Having a newborn baby is a time of great excitement for new parents. It also happens to be a time of sheer exhaustion and change. Here are Mama Milk’s top ten parenting tips to simplify your life during your first month of babies life.
10 Parenting Tips
Tip 1. Have a ‘babymoon”
Get into the holiday mindset, that means no laundry, no housecleaning and eat off of paper plates! If giving this up for a whole month is too much, then minimise how often you do this. Trying to be a super mum is not going to do you or baby any good, it will only lead to stress and exhaustion. You’ll have plenty of time for menial tasks later but you will never get back that precious time with your baby.
Tip 2. Minimise guests
Let’s face it, you’re going to be bombarded with people wanting to visit when baby arrives. We’re not suggesting they cannot visit, but agree a signal with your partner for when they have outstayed their welcome. Tell any would-be-guests that your new family is adjusting to the new changes, but you’d love to see them when things are more settled.
Tip 3. Use technology
It’s an official fact that your brain will turn to mush when your baby arrives. If you or your partner loves a good gadget then explore ones that can help simplify you life as a new parent. Our current favourites are:
If baby has not yet arrived drop lots of hints to friends and family that your would love these ideas for when baby arrives or for a baby shower gift. You can even create your own Baby Wish List on Amazon, just like Wedding List, which helps give family and friends gift suggestions.
Tip 4. Sleep when baby sleeps
Have you noticed that sleepy feeling you get whilst breastfeeding? Your body is now having to adapt to erratic sleep patterns as you’re not going to get a solid 8hrs for a long time. Make up the time you lose during the night by having naps through the day. If you wake at every breath baby takes then ask your partner of a family member to take baby for a walk whilst you get some rest. You can also pump some milk so baby can have a feed whilst you sleep.
Tip 5. Have lazy days
Have some days where you have no plans and stay in the house all day. Ideally stay in your pyjamas all day and chill all day in bed with baby. Lots of skin to skin and breastfeeding will do wonders for your milk supply and bonding.
Tip 6. Create a nest
Have a feeding area set up in the room you spend most time. A little storage basket with essentials such as muslin clothes, nappies, wipes, breast pads, snacks etc means you can easily settle down to feed when needed without having to interrupt to go gather these items.
Tip 7. Simplify eating
It’s so easy to forget to eat with a new baby or to want to grab a takeaway every night. I highly recommend using your last few weeks of pregnancy to prepare a stash of meals ready for when baby comes. Check out Pinterest for a vast resource on lots of freezer meals which can help you to keep a healthy diet when you just cannot be bothered to cook from scratch. We suggest buying a slow cooker as you can simply pop everything in at the start of the day and it’s all done for dinner time.
Tip 8. Accept help
If family and friends offer to cook you meal, do your shopping or ironing, let them. It’s their way of supporting you and showing you their love through this stressful time.
Tip 9. One day at a time
Your first days as a new parent can knock your confidence. You’ll feel like you’re taking one step forward and two steps back especially if you baby is having a growth spurt. Just remember it does settle down, you and baby will soon get your own routine as you get to know each other. If you’ve had a bad day, get an early night and remember tomorrow is a new day. Don’t be afraid to ask your midwife or health visitor for help if you’re struggling.
Tip 10. Have couple time
Having a baby is a huge stress for a couple. It’s so easy to get bogged down with being mum and dad, that you forget that you were a couple before baby arrived. Try to get a babysitter once a month, or even just designate one day a week as a ‘takeaway and movie’ night if you don’t want to leave baby. Ban ‘baby’ talk and reminisce on times before baby and have a laugh together. Your relationship with your partner will be the first example your baby has on how to interact with people throughout life.