Oh, the newborn phase, when sleep is but a memory and your entire life is consummated in one little human.
As a first-time-mom, when I entered this unknown territory, “shock” is an understatement to what I experienced (I am sure all you mommas can agree!).
I am still recovering, more like adjusting.
It’s like your whole entire life is flipped forever and you must adapt and adjust at every turn!
It’s beautiful yet EXTREMELY challenging (that’s what makes us strong though!).
Going through this phase I had a really rough time getting anything done other than taking care of the baby (sometimes I wouldn’t even have time to use the restroom!).
However, as I went through the weeks, I started to figure out tricks to getting things done.
So here are 5 time management hacks I wish I had known when I first entered into the newborn phase…
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What you will read about…
III. Leisure Activities
VI. Working Out
V. Help Advice
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1. Cooking and Cleaning
Personally, I’d refrain from both cooking and cleaning at least for the first two weeks post-partum.
It’s not like you’ll be able to do much anyways.
However, once you heal up and baby becomes a little bit more used to the new environment, you can begin trying to run your home again (but remember this isn’t your number one priority).
Of course, it isn’t easy!
So, here are some ways I have been able to get both done…
Use the time when the baby is sleeping or when daddy, or anyone else, is home.
Try sitting down with your significant other on a weekend night and plan out both your daily menu for the week and your daily cleaning obligations (try cleaning a little each day not to overwhelm yourself).
Once you have your plan completed, try to do as much as you can in advance.
Buy groceries on weekends.
Also, meal prep the night before (I do it once the baby is sleeping, and have found it to be super helpful!).
This is for the multitaskers.
I definitely don’t regret getting my Ergo 360 carrier.
Put baby in (make sure baby is positioned correctly) and you’re ready to go!
Everyone says this, but there’s a reason they do because it is true!
Sleep when the baby sleeps, as much as you can.
Trust me, you need the rest!
I’d probably put this before anything else as a lack of sleep is not only detrimental to one’s health but it’s detrimental to one’s awareness and comprehensive decision-making, which could even be dangerous!
So, here is how I coped…
Try to study your baby to see how and when they like to sleep.
Do they sleep better on you?
Once you figure out your baby’s sleep preferences, TAKE ADVANTAGE of them!
Sleep while the baby is sleeping, BUT make sure your baby is in a safe position if you were to doze off.
(Note – If your baby only sleeps in arms, try to see if the baby will sleep laying down next to your shirt. Also, look up safe co-sleeping if you’re open to considering that option. We use the Dock-A-Tot and it has been a lifesaver!)
You might end up sleeping in later than you’d like or even sleeping throughout the day, take it for what it is and understand that this is only for a short time.
What worked for me was doubling up and getting things done late at night while everyone slept and then sleeping in late with the baby in the morning (she could sleep for a while next to momma!).
3. Leisure Activities
Once I discovered that breastfeeding could be a calm experience, I realized that you can actually get a lot done if you learn to take advantage of those sessions (just don’t forget to also enjoy your baby once in a while too!).
By the way, these tips will also work if you pump!
By the way, this is where I rave about how awesome Amazon and all of its free trials are.
Take advantage of your first month with your newborn and utilize all the free services you can get!
The coolest part is that you can cancel the subscriptions at the end of the month if you don’t want to pay for anything.
Whether you can have both hands free (pumping with a handsfree pumping bra or even during breastfeeding) or just one, those are hands that are available to do something else (like finish reading that book you’ve never finished or even snack on your, now, cold lunch)!
As you’re sitting on the couch or recliner you can do a lot more than your mom could when she was in your position.
You can order groceries (check to see if your city qualifies for the AmazonFresh One-Month Free Trial), purchase baby clothing or stock up on toothpaste (if you try AmazonFamily Free for One-Month you get access to everything Prime along with diaper subscriptions discounts and other coupons! I had no idea!).
There is no need to go shopping because whatever you want is right there at your fingertips!
If you haven’t tried Amazon Prime, you’re missing out!
You get a free trial month, so you could always quit before the trial ends.
- Relax and Enjoy.
Don’t forget to use this quiet time to also just give yourself a break.
You can watch something or listen to music or an audiobook. Oh and guess what, Amazon has trials for all those as well!
Want to listen to unlimited music ad-free? Here’s the Amazon Music One-Month Free Trial!
Want access to thousands of popular movies and TV shows? Here’s the Amazon Instant Video One-Month Free Trial!
Don’t like movies and TVs and prefer a good book instead?
Amazon offers an Audible One-Month Free Trial, where you get two free audiobooks with your sign-up!
I don’t know about you, but I took advantage of these offers, and I don’t regret it!
I chose to stick with my membership (I love my Prime), but you don’t have to.
4. Working Out
After putting on all that baby weight, I couldn’t wait to work out (of course I made sure to get my physician’s OK first!)!
The problem was that going to the gym wasn’t as simple as it had been before!
So what’s a girl to do?
Well, you work with what you’ve got!
Here are some things I did (just make sure you stretch prior!)…
I cannot say how much Ergo 360 saved me!
It is a workout in itself, however, you can do things like squats and lunges with it on just to make things more interesting (make sure you have proper positioning, though, and don’t do this too often).
Not using a carrier can make for an even better workout.
You holding baby works out those arms, so there is a silver lining in those long sleepless nights (just trying to stay positive!).
- Sitting Exercises.
Sitting a lot?
You can use this time to your advantage.
Squeeze those glutes or do some leg lifts.
Maybe even try doing some crunches if you’re laying down.
Here are some suggestions.
The first is for abs and the following one is for thighs!
Use baby’s sleeping time to squeeze in some quick power workouts.
5. Help Advice
There is no way to know everything there is to know about taking care of a baby beforehand, and you aren’t always able to ask your physician or lactation consultant pressing questions.
However, there are resources that might offer needed answers, and some even at any time of the day.
Here are a few I found to be incredibly helpful (by the way, NONE of these should replace your own pediatrician’s or any medical professional’s advice!)…
What is neat about this resource is that it tracks your baby’s age and gives you updates on any changes your baby might be undergoing and tips on managing and coping while also offering answers to potential questions.
This is for my breastfeeding mommas.
I’m sure you’ve already run into this site with your Google searches.
I just wanted to reassure you that this is a very trusted resource to answer all your breastfeeding questions.
My own lactation consultant recommended it to me!
- Mommy Forums.
This is by far my favorite resource!
When you sign up with WhatToExpect they automatically include you in a mommy forum with moms that are expecting babies around the same time you are.
They go through the same things you go through and around the same time, so it helps to know what has worked and what hasn’t (and it’s nice to know you’re not alone!).
- Mommy Support Groups.
So apart from online forums, it will be even more helpful to meet with some of these moms in person and share your concerns while being able to physically show what is going on.
As a note, surrounding yourself with other struggling moms is such a boost in confidence and is incredibly reassuring when going through such a trying time!
What did you find to be the most difficult to do during the first couple of months post-partum?
Share in the comment section below!