My mom is responsible and caring. Yet she vividly recalls being sleep deprived when I was a newborn. She sat quietly on her porch and watched people walk by, pondering which nice woman could hold her baby while she napped. I think she was kidding, but I have also experienced that exhaustion can make us desperate.
What can be done to make this intense stage with a newborn easier?
6 Ways to Make Life Easier with a Newborn
There are many things you can do before baby arrives that will help reduce stress significantly. What better way to take advantage of that natural nesting instinct? The most helpful things I found to do ahead of time is:
1. Do as much paperwork in advance as you can. Go to Service Canada’s website and become familiar with forms that are required. Create a list of phone numbers including doctor, midwife, breastfeeding consultant, Telehealth, paediatrician and any others you need at your fingertips.
2. Freeze meals in advance. Spend some time preparing easy meals to pull out after having your baby. Dust off that crockpot and check out posts like Once A Month Slow Cooker meals.
3. Have the nursery completely set up. Even if you use a bassinette in your room, have all the sheets washed so it is ready to go.
4. Set up a change station on the main level. For my first child I would run up and down the stairs to the change table every time he needed to be changed. For every other child I set up a basket that had a stack of diapers, wipes, a mat and a few extra outfits. SO much easier!
Never Turn Down Offers
This was advice I received when pregnant with my third. It was so liberating because when people said, “Let me know if you need anything,” I would actually do it. One of my friends even took my older two to a Wiggles concert so I could stay home with the baby.
Ask for Help
This one is trickier for moms. Many of us suffer from a Superhero syndrome and have trouble admitting that we need help. But permitting others to help us during this stage is a healthy start to raising each child. We admit we can’t do it all on our own, and we allow others to have the blessing of giving in tangible ways.
Make Wise Financial Decisions
Lower Your Standards
If you once felt good about getting your hair and make up done – you should now celebrate getting into the shower. If you typically make your bed, be proud that you got out of bed. In fact, leave the bed unmade so you can easily move onto the next hint. There is a season for everything, and savouring a newborn is more important than my other tasks.
Nap Whenever Possible
As a mom of four, I know that this may seem like an impossible suggestion, but it’s really not. When my first three were under 4, my best naps were in the van. If they happened to fall asleep at the same time, I would pull into the driveway and CAREFULLY recline my seat. With any luck, we would all rest for a few minutes. And if your newborn is your only child then nap as much as your little one allows. Rest is so important to recover from childbirth and to ward off post-partum depression.
Having a newborn is exhilarating yet overwhelming. Be proactive by getting many tasks completed in advance. And surround yourself with people who will remind you that tender moments are meant to be cherished, and free you up so you can savour the time with your baby.
What do you think helps when preparing for a newborn?