Becoming a new parent is one of the greatest days of people’s lives; some say nothing will ever eclipse that moment when they became a parent. However, this does not mean it is easy. New babies may be tiny, but they have huge needs and are completely dependent upon their parents. I remember thinking I totally new how to take care of a baby, and then feeling totally overwhelmed by her needs and my exhaustion after becoming a mom. If you are a new parent and are looking for a little advice, then here are just a few tips that will help make your life a little easier.
Get the right gadgets
The market is full of different gadgets that you can buy to make your life as a mom easier. From baby backpacks and baby gyms to baby sleep aids and comfortable baby sleepers, there are almost too many options to choose from. What will really help you and what’s a waste of money?
If you have good friends who have babies, ask them what helped. They may be able to recommend a particular baby carrier or gadget that made a huge difference for them. I’m in several mom groups on Facebook and Signal where we regularly ask for advice and share what’s worked for us; it’s a huge help. If you don’t have friends to rely on, try reading reviews to see what other parents say about various devices.
And then wait to see what you need. A baby’s basic needs are for a safe place to sleep, good food, and lots of love. If you’ve got those needs met, you’re grand. That’s not to say you shouldn’t buy anything else that will help you meet those needs, but wait to see what your baby really needs. Some babies are great sleepers from the beginning, while other babies (like mine) only sleep while being held.
If the latter is a case, check out baby wraps and carriers that let you wear baby while getting your work done. Maybe a baby rocker will help your baby fall asleep and stay asleep while you can also rest or work. Baby monitors will help you keep track of when your baby needs you and when they are asleep. Baby gyms will help engage your child with the world around them and hopefully tire them out.
Make sure that you don’t bankrupt yourself on these gadgets but find out which one’s work for you and then make the most of them. Many baby items can be found secondhand, either online or in baby consignment stores. If you are part of a local mom’s group, they may have baby clothing / gear swaps where you can get great baby items very cheaply.
Feed your baby
There are a few different ways that you can feed your baby and again there is no right answer. Everyone has their own opinion and so you need to go with the one that suits you.
If you are thinking of breastfeeding, then many mothers say that a nursing station is a must-have. This could be a comfortable chair where you keep anything you’ll need while feeding baby, from a nursing pillow and cover to a good book or waterbottle for yourself. Many moms prefer to breastfeed as it gives them more time to relax. (I read more books while nursing Pearl than during any other time since becoming a mom!) You can also look through photos or just watch your favorite tv show.
If you want to pump so Daddy or Grandma can help feed baby, then there are lots of different things you can get to help you with that. Some say that microwave bags are useful to help sterilize the pump parts and the bottles. Others say you can pump milk from one breast while breastfeeding with the other to maximize your output or you could invest in a hands-free pumping bra that will make the whole process much easier.
Some mothers aren’t able to breastfeed, need to return to work sooner, or just prefer to use formula. One trick is to buy a large plastic pitcher and make a bulk batch. It is good for up to 24 hours when it has been mixed and kept in the refrigerator. This saves you from having to mix up formula for every feeding (while baby is fussing and demanding to eat immediately).
Once your child moves onto solids, there is no reason why you can’t save time here as well. People recommend preparing a week’s worth of baby cereal at a time by individually portioning it up into bowls or cups with lids. Then all you need to do is add milk. Or you make batches of baby food such as mashed veggies and freeze them in meal-size quantities. It will help make sure you always have food on hand.
This can be a tricky period for any new parent. However, all you need to do is find what works for you. Again, people tend to have their own views on this but it’s whatever you feel comfortable with. One parent says that they have showered with their child since their child could hold their head up. It keeps things efficient and can be a time just to be silly and have fun. Many babies enjoy bath times, and have fun splashing in their own little tubs.
Keep things tidy
This is a tough one and it can seem like an everlasting task to try and tidy things up. One thing you can do is use your laundry basket to clean things up. Add a few bags to it and you can go through the house picking things up. Do a bag for clothes, then one for trash, one for the kitchen, and one for toys. Then once you are finished, you can take the respective bags to their homes.
As baby gets older, you can make cleaning a game. You may find they help make things a little easier. Plus, it might even tire them out so that they sleep better a night.
Heading out with your baby
Getting out of the house with baby will take more time than getting out by yourself, but it can be easier than you would think. When you are taking out your baby, you should always dress them seasonally and bring spare clothes along with you in case of emergency.
Things like diapers should always be close to hand. You can keep them in your purse or just in the car so that should you need them, you aren’t far. Some parents have even suggested that if you are out in shops or supermarkets, customer service desks often have diapers and wipes on hand in case of an emergency. This can be a lifesaver if you are struggling and need a hand.
Being a new parent
There is no doubt that this is an exciting time for you or your family, but you need to remember that it will come with its own challenges. Fortunately, you aren’t the first person to go through this and you won’t be the last. Ask for help when you need it and don’t try to do everything on your own. Some bits of advice just won’t work for you and that is okay. Just do you!
Cover photo credit: Depositphotos.