Just You and Baby
When mom or dad is back to work, mother/father in-law or your mom/dad has left and it is just you and the baby, it can be a little scary. You have had so much help for the past couple of weeks and now it is up to you. Start scheduling what you need to get done and what you want done. Don’t expect that everything is going to get done the way it used to and that is ok. Make sure when you get up in the morning and your partner or husband is home, you shower before they leave. You can even take the baby in the bathroom with you while you shower. This helps you start your day and you don’t get into a rut. It also helps you feel better too! When your baby is awake, this is a great time to cuddle and read a book to them. This is a special time that goes very fast.
Getting Enough Sleep
Babies sleep a lot in the beginning; about 14-16 hours a day. Not so great when they only do 15min – 1 hour increments at a time. When your baby falls asleep, this is not the time to clean the house, do laundry and catch up on cleaning out a closet. Take a nap when your baby does. As soon as they fall asleep, put them in their crib and you get some shut-eye. Catching up on sleep when you can in the first couple of months is like you struck gold. This too will pass faster than you know it. By 3-4 months, your baby is sleeping 5-6 hours at a time which is music to your ears. Take turns in the night with your partner changing the diaper and feeding if this is possible. It will help both of you cope better!
New parents feel guilty about doing something without their new born. But, you need a break even if it is just for an hour. If someone asks what you need or want, tell them to give you gift certificates to a spa or a gym. You should aim to go out to do something for yourself at least a couple times a week. Don’t go food shopping, don’t go pay a bill, do something that will make you feel good again. If you are breast feeding, plan to go out right after you breast feed. So if your mom is coming by, plan it around the same time you usually breast feed. So at least this gives you a couple of hours of sanity for you.
It is Okay to Let Someone Babysit
When the baby comes home, every family member and friend wants to come over and hold onto that baby. When they are there say, “Do you mind watching him while I take a shower or catch up on a nap?” Everyone wants to cuddle and snuggle a newborn baby! You just need 5-10 minutes. When someone you are comfortable with, like your mother, says “I will come over, you two go out to dinner,” take them up on that offer! They will not come often as they get older. So take advantage of them as much as possible.
Emergency Diaper Kit
So, before it was just you and off you went. Now with a baby, you need to take stuff as if you were going on vacations. It is okay if you forget something – it will be fine. But, get used to having a diaper bag ready. Extra diapers, about 4-5, some wipes, a couple of bottles, and formula (if you breast feed no need for bottles), and two extra pairs of clothes. You can easily pick up diapers, if needed. But, most moms do not want to run into a store to get diapers when they have to be somewhere and they’re running late. By keeping this full, it will save you a ton of time to just grab and go. Each time you use items in the bag, replace as soon as you get home. You can add more things as your child gets older. Making your life simplified will only help you.
When you have your second child, you become a multitasking professional! You can fold clothes, get breakfast ready, pack a lunch, brush your child’s hair, and put clothes away with just one hand! It gets easier, I promise! Take time to enjoy the little things, because it goes by so fast.
This article was written by Tracy Martin-Turgeon, VP and Regional Director of Operations at The Children’s Workshop in Cumberland, RI. This segment was featured on The Rhode Show. Watch it here!