The moment we become a Mum is a defining time in our lives and it can change the way we live forever more. Now that we have a little baby who relies on us for everything in its life we have a new sense of purpose and something to look after as our own.
Being a new parent can be stressful and at the start, it can be easy to think you won’t be able to do all the things that your parents did. But there’s no reason not to trust in yourself and in fact, the relationship you build with your baby will allow you to come up with your own parenting style in time which suits you both. Today we are going to take a look at some of the small hacks you can try to make your life a little easier and a little more comfortable when you have a little one.
The first thing you will want to do when you have a baby is to stop looking at all of the new mums on Instagram and comparing yourself to them. These mums are likely wearing sweaters and joggers 99% of the time and you shouldn’t feel bad for wanting to dress in clothes which are comfortable for you when you are looking after your baby. There are actually tonnes of sites such as innerparents which offer clothes for new mums which are more comfortable to wear and which will allow you the freedom of movement you need for cleaning and nappy changing.
Don’t listen to everyone else
From the moment you announce that you are pregnant to the world, every single person you come across will have some nugget of wisdom to enforce on you and to tell you what to do. When you are in the stages of pregnancy or you have just given birth you will not necessarily think twice about taking every piece of advice handed to you. The issue is that everyone has a different idea of what is right and if you don’t take this into account you will struggle with looking after your baby in the best way. Shut out the white noise which is advice and let you and your baby find your own flow.
You know best
Just like Mother Gothel always says… mother knows best. Although you will be given a lot of opinions about your baby in terms of their weight or their health, it is important for you to listen to your gut instinct and let your own mind make the decision. If people are telling you that your baby is fine but you think they need a doctor, always stick with your own instinct and be on the safe side with things.
Go with the flow
As much as it would be a helpful tool, there is no such thing as an instruction manual for looking after a baby. Every single baby will be different from the moment they leave the womb and this means that you need to simply let the baby tell you what they need. It’s like getting a pet, even though you can’t talk you can sense what they need, and with a baby, they will let you know if something is wrong. Go with the flow and don’t worry about all the strict guidelines and rules right now.
Your baby is unique
Remember that your baby is like no other. If you have just had a baby and your friends are telling you to do one thing, don’t worry if this doesn’t work for your child. One size doesn’t fit all and different things will work for different babies. This will mean a lot of trial and error, but you will eventually find things which work for your child which you can implement into your life to make it easier.
Don’t sweat the bad days
As a new parent, you will likely feel as if you are walking on eggshells for the first year or so to try and make sure your baby is happy and healthy, and you may have days when you just want to stay in bed and do absolutely nothing. It’s normal to feel exhausted and sad at times and the important thing is not to beat yourself up about it all. If you feel as if you cannot look after your baby the best you can today, ask a family member or a friend if they don’t mind taking over so that you can rest. You are only human after all.
Ask for help
Following on from that last point, it is incredibly important that you take the time out to ask when you aren’t sure of something or you need help with something. Make sure that you don’t let issues simmer inside and let them out. You don’t have to be perfect all of the time and it is totally normal for you to need a little bit of aid now and again.
Always have wet wipes
As a new Mum or Dad you will have a lot of mess to clean up during your everyday lives, and when it comes to cleaning up after your baby there is nothing which can quite beat a good wet wipe. This can be used for dribbling mouths, crumbs, to protect your shoulder when you wind your baby… the list is endless and this should become a staple in your bag.
Make sure to sleep
Honestly, as annoying as it may seem, you are no good to your baby if you can’t keep your eyes open. The idea of sleeping when your baby sleeps can be difficult to adjust to, but this can actually be the best way for you to get enough rest in your day to keep you healthy and happy. If your baby tends to sleep for an hour after eating lunch, sit on the sofa and do the same. Take any little respite you can because your body and your mind need to be fresh to look after your baby in the best way it can.
Celebrate small wins
Sometimes being a parent feels like a constant battle between waking up, feeding, winding, changing and playing with your baby… and this cycle often feels like it will never end. However if you want to feel happy and in a good mood every day, you will want to celebrate every small win you have as a parent. Like for example changing your nappy in record time or not getting it inside out, managing to get your baby to eat all of its dinners… it might not seem like much but it can put you in a darn good mood after a long day.
Prep your meals
Eating as a parent can be one of the most difficult things you have to try and do. You will no longer have the same meal times as you were used to because with a baby it can be hard enough to predict one minute from the next. This is why a lot of parents either end up losing a lot of weight or putting it on due to eating at strange times of the day. To make your life much easier, make sure that you cook a few batches of meals at the weekend which you can heat up in the microwave throughout the week. This will make life so much easier for you every day and you’ll always be able to reach for a meal which is substantial and healthy at the last minute.
As a parent, it will feel like all you do is work and Work and Work, and this is largely true. You don’t really have a break from your baby, because even when they are asleep they could awake at any moment. The main thing is to make sure you plan one day a week where you have time out with your partner to be you again. Ask your family to look after your baby for the night and spend some time together chilling out on the sofa or head out for a date if you want to. Taking the time out like this can be essential for your mental health every day and it can be exactly what you need to cope with having a little bundle of joy in your life.
Take it day by day
Every baby is unique and this also means that every baby develops at a different time to others. As you raise your baby you shouldn’t be sticking to a schedule and worrying if your child isn’t crawling or talking yet. Your baby will learn this skill when they are ready and if it takes a while it’s nothing to worry about. It doesn’t mean that your child isn’t as smart as other children, it simply means that they are developing different skills and at a different rate to others, which is normal! Let things happen when they happen and don’t stress yourself out.