by Lindsay Harris, Owner of Glow Baby
Having a baby is a highly anticipated event and most parent-to-be plan ahead for their new arrival. The evidence of this planning can be seen through gift registries, baby showers and prenatal class attendance. All of these activities and rituals help parents adjust to the idea of having a baby and at the same time accumulate all the gadgets and gear their baby will need.
What expectant parents sometimes forget is that you must also plan for your daily life once baby arrives and figure out how you will accomplish your usual daily tasks like making meals or doing the laundry. Life with a newborn can be overwhelming due to sleepless nights, insecurity and the significant life change that happens with a new baby. Here are a few tips that will help you feel more in control during the first few months.
1. Rally all the help you can manage, but spread it out!
If you are lucky enough to have family around, one thing you can do before baby’s arrival is work out a schedule to ensure you have help consistently for the first few weeks or even months if needed. I was lucky enough to have a large extended family and was able to have regular help after my husband went back to work. The period when your partner goes back to work can be daunting as you are now alone with your new baby and this can be quite scary. To have a support system to help you over this hump is invaluable. It is also nice to have someone there to make you a meal, let you have a nap or for adult conversation.
2. Breastfeeding Support – Don’t wait until after baby to research what is available!
If you intend to breastfeed your baby, it is a good idea to find out first if your hospital has lactation support before baby arrives. If your hospital does not have a lactation or breastfeeding clinic, research what other support is available through organizations such as La Leche league. They have chapters all over the country and can be a great resource in helping you establish a good breastfeeding relationship with your child. By being proactive, if you do need the additional support, you will already know where to go to get it.
3. Tracking your baby’s daily details.
Another helpful tip is to be prepared to track your baby’s feedings and diapering. “Every baby is different! Due to individual differences, healthy full-term babies may breastfeed as often as every hour or as infrequently as every four hours and thrive, according to LLLI Breastfeeding Answer Book (BAB) Third Revised Edition, page 26. Daily breastfeeding patterns will vary from baby to baby and from day to day.” Being that breastfed newborns do not stick to a schedule the only real way to ensure that baby is getting enough milk is to write down each feed to ensure they are feeding the recommended 8-12 feeds per day. It is also important to write down each diaper and whether it was wet or soiled to ensure they are having the appropriate number of diapers based on their age. Tracking other details such as their baths, vitamins or if you have any questions for your doctor can also be helpful. With sleep-deprivation comes forgetfulness and by writing things down you will have the information you need to ensure your baby is getting what they need. Glow Baby has a journal perfect for this.
4. Meals – Other options...
With a new baby in the house it can be difficult to ensure that mom is taking care of herself and eating healthy meals. One option is to create freezable meals before baby is born. This is a great way to ensure that you have a number of healthy meals ready to be put in the oven just before dinner time. A second option is to ask the helpers you have lined up to do grocery shopping or the cooking for you. A third option would be to use any online grocery service where you can select what you need and they will do the shopping for you and deliver the items to your door. There are also companies who create healthy frozen meals that can be delivered to your door ready to be cooked in the oven when needed.
5. New Moms Groups...
No one knows better what you are going through as a new parent as other new parents. It is very helpful to connect with moms whose babies are the same age as yours. By searching out available moms groups in your area before baby you can see what is available to you and even connect with other expecting moms waiting for their new baby to arrive. You can even test these groups out to see which one will be the right fit for you. These moms groups are a great resource after baby arrives and will give you a great excuse to get out of the house.
Editorial provided by Lindsay Harris. Lindsay is the Owner of Glow Baby – For the Organized Family. Glow Baby products are designed to help parents stay organized through all stages of parenthood to help make life easier after baby. She is also the proud mom of two beautiful daughters ages 3 and 16 months.
Copyright © Lindsay Harris. Permission to republish granted to Pregnancy.org, LLC.