Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Time Saving Tips For Surviving a Newborn

There's no doubt about it. Newborns are hard work. But there are a few shortcuts that will make life that little bit easier. Let's face it, the sleep deprivation, the stinky diapers, the wheel barrow full of baby goods you have to carry with you every time you walk out the door with baby are bad enough, if there's a way to save yourself some time to catch some sorely needed Zzz's then you want to hear about it, right?

Refuse nothing but blows...
This was something that my Scottish Grandfather used to say and it's a great motto when you're having baby. In this case we want to accept every offer of help. Doesn't matter if it's a sincere offer from your Mom or if it's a polite offer by your neighbor - it's their own fault for asking!

There's one phrase in particular that people seem to use instead of saying goodbye... "Let me know if there's anything I can do to help." Don't let these people get away Scot free. Put them to work. When you have had a good nights sleep and you don't have a newborn baby in your arms, it takes a few minutes to go through and straighten out the bathroom or move a load of clean clothes from the washing machine into the dryer. But if you were to try and do it in between feeds and resettling baby then you could easily spend half the day trying to get around to it.

In my experience, when people make the offer, they are politely saying "You poor thing, you look so tired. I wish you would let me help you." Seriously, take advantage of these offers and don't feel that people are making them just to be polite. They think it's a huge honor when you ask them to hold the baby while you go and have a shower. Use them but don't abuse them.

Plastic Plates
I know we're all heading toward a sustainable living but if ever there was a time to break open a packet of plastic plates and cutlery then the time is now. When we find ourselves in high pressure situations the housework is the first thing to go flying out the window - there's more pressing things to deal with, right? And when you are housebound with a newborn baby there is nothing worse than that ever increasing pile of dishes growing at the sink.

Having some plastic cutlery and plates on hand for when you are having a lazy day (which might just be everyday) will save time by cutting down on the amount of time you spend at the sink and also help to relieve that sinking feeling new mothers get when they see the housework is getting the better of them. Using plastics for just one meal a day will save you five minutes worth of washing up and you can spend that time with your feet in the air and your bum on the sofa.

Give your sheets sheets
Now this one is just pure laziness and I debated whether or not to include it! There are few things more frustrating then putting new sheets on your bed to have baby bunk in with you and wet them. Using a folded bed sheet to put under baby's bum will spare you from having to change the whole bed in the event of diaper failure. Of course the sheet will need changing regularly and it won't cut down on the amount of washing that needs doing but it will save time by not having to strip down the whole bed and redress it.Towels are another more absorbent options but I find them uncomfortable to sleep on. You can also purchase plastic backed sheets if you have money to burn. Just make sure that one side is very absorbent otherwise you'll end up with puddles...ew.

Calling all near and dear...
Arranging with you friends and family before the birth to give you a hand after the birth is a sensible course of action. Family and friends can help you with all those regular chores like taking the older children to school or cooking a few meals for you to freeze and reheat. By making arrangements with people ahead of time you give them the opportunity to work their designated chore (the school drop, laundry duty etc) onto their own schedule.

We have a saying around here. It takes two people to make a child but a whole village to raise them. It's so true. In the first week alone baby meets Doctors, nurses, uncles, aunties, grandparents, who each play a different yet equally important role. Not to mention when baby grows - teachers, farmers, butchers, dressmaker, cobblers, and the list goes on and on - I don't think we could ever comprehend the fullest extent of this network of people that influence our lives. The point to all of this rambling is that you should never feel embarrassed to ask for help - it's perfectly expected by your friends and family who are happy to swoop in and rescue you as soon as you give the signal

So there you are folks. A few time saving, sanity saving tip to help you survive the first trialsome months of getting to know your baby

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