Life with a newborn can be challenging. Between being sleep deprived and caring for an infant who requires round-the-clock attention, there is little time left for cleaning, cooking, or even personal hygiene. While a lack of free time is unavoidable with a new baby in the home, there are ways to make this time easier. Here are five ways to survive life with a new baby.
In those first few months with a new baby, friends and family members will be offering to provide assistance with meals, housework, or childcare. Accept this help without shame; people who offer to help truly want to do so, and having an extra set of hands is life-saving when your days are consumed by dirty diapers and spit up.
If your mother-in-law offers to come over to do the dishes or fold laundry, graciously accept the offer. Other relatives may simply ask how they can be of assistance.Ask for what you truly need, whether it’s someone to tend to the baby while you take a nap, or to have a hot meal served for dinner.
Consider online shopping
If your partner is back to work and you are home with the baby on maternity leave, it will be difficult to get to the store to purchase necessities, as loading up a diaper bag, strapping baby in the car, and keeping her content during a shopping trip is no simple task. Consider ordering nonperishable items such as toilet paper, diapers, and snack foods online, so they are delivered right your doorstep.
If online shopping becomes a habit, you can sign up for Amazon Prime to enjoy free expedited shipping. You can also order in bulk and take advantage of free shipping; most retailers will ship for free if your order exceeds $50.
Have extras on hand
Spend extra to stock up on essentials such as baby washcloths, sleepers, burp cloths, and bottles. If you have extras on hand, you won’t have to do the laundry or wash the dishes as often, which will save you a considerable amount of time.
It is also helpful to stock up on diapers and wipes. If you have more of these items on hand, you can shop for them less often, and you won’t find yourself making an emergency trip to the store because you’ve run out of diapers.
Paying for convenience might be worth it when you have a new baby at home. Use paper plates and plastic silverware that can be disposed of after use, instead of dirtying dishes that you will have to wash later.
Having food delivered or ordering takeout is another convenience that can make mealtime easier with a newborn. You also can save money by purchasing easy-to-make foods, such as microwavable rice and veggies or frozen dinners.
Do what works for you
After you have a baby, everyone will have advice or opinions to share. Some people will insist that your baby won’t be healthy unless you breastfeed, while others feel that formula feeding is just fine. Your pediatrician will remind you that baby must sleep in a crib, whereas a close friend might share with you that co-sleeping worked well for her family.
Regardless of the issue, you have to do what works for you and your baby, instead of adhering strictly to what you are told you should be doing, or giving in to what friends or family members want you to do. There is no need to stress about whether you are doing things the right way; as long as baby is happy, healthy, safe, and cared for, your way of doing things is more than adequate.
Doing what works best for your family can take the stress out of parenting a newborn. There is no shame in making life easier with takeout dinners and online shopping during the chaotic newborn phase. Remember that these shortcuts are only temporary; as baby gets older, things truly do get easier, and you will slowly find life returning to normal.