It is one of life’s great mysteries that a teeny tiny baby, so small in size, can turn your life completely upside down. However, there are some things that you can do to make life easier in those first months, which are equal parts joy and sleep deprivation! Here are five tips from seasoned parents to help you come out unscathed.
Feed, Change, Sleep, Repeat
For all their wonder, the first weeks of baby’s life are also reasonably monotonous. Their stomach is tiny, so they need to feed every three hours or so. It can feel like you are simply a milk-making machine. Breast milk has magical superpowers for your baby’s immunity, so it is terrific to breastfeed if you can. If you are using bottles, a baby bottle sterilizer is a lifesaver to keep up with the constant cleaning and sterilization of bottles and teats.
Stick to Onesies for the First Six Months
It is incredibly tempting to buy adorable frilly dresses or little pants with suspenders and bow ties. But with constant feeding comes constant nappy changes; not to mention the liquid poo explosions and milky upchucks. With all this in mind, simple is best. Unless you have a special occasion, stick to onesies that are easy to take on and off and easy to wash.
Find a Routine for Sleep Time
You will get advice from hundreds of well-meaning friends, acquaintances, strangers in the street, blog posts, and books on sleep. There is no single answer to how to approach this one. However, a common thread to most stories of sleep success is routine, routine, routine. Whether you follow the attachment theory and feed on demand, or stick to a strict three hourly schedule, try to follow the same steps when it comes to putting your baby down for a nap and at night. These steps may be as simple as changing their nappy, wrapping them in a swaddle, and singing them “twinkle, twinkle little star” before you pop them in their cot or bassinet.
Spiral Pasta is Easier to Eat with One Hand Than Spaghetti
Let’s get real. You will be tired, and your body will need fuel. Even more so if breastfeeding, but either way, you will most likely be hungry ALL the time. Now is not the time to think about “bouncing back” to your post-baby body. But it is a good idea to try to give your body some of the nutrients that it needs in between essential energy-boosting chocolate breaks. So, have some fruit and veg when you can, carb-load when you need to, and always remember to choose foods that can be eaten one-handed. Babies have a magical sensor, so they know when you have just sat down to eat, drink a hot cup of coffee, and put your feet up.
Be Kind to Yourself
Finally, and most importantly, give yourself a break. You and your baby are both new to this, and you will figure it out together. Remember to ask for help and accept it when people offer. Don’t worry about having a spotless house. In fact, if there was ever a time to hire a cleaner, even just for a few weeks, now is the time to do it (depending on your budget of course).
Before you know it, your tiny baby will be toddling around the house and then starting school. So, slow down and soak in this precious time and all the sweet baby cuddles while you can.