When you have a baby around, there’s really no such thing as an easy day, but it might be possible to make your day easier.
There’s a lot we can do to make our days run a bit more smoothly, and allow some time to cherish our little ones.
Whether it’s your first time or your fourth, it can take a while to adjust to having a new little one around.
And nothing makes it more evident than when your partner first returns to work.
But what do you do after what feels like the initial survival period?
You want to feel you’ve accomplished something, but at the end of the day you want to make sure you’re still sane.
7 Hacks To Make Your Days With Baby Easier
Sometimes, simple changes can help your day flow more easily and allow you more time to rest and enjoy your baby.
We all hear the advice: “Sleep when the baby sleeps!” but is that even possible?
Try these 7 hacks. You just might find the time for a quick nap here and there.
#1: Prepare The Night Before
Many new mamas spend the mornings and the bulk of their days solo parenting. It can be almost impossible to get a healthy breakfast while wrangling a fussy and hungry baby early in the morning.
A healthy breakfast helps you feel set for the day, and can make the difference between a bad day, and one that feels totally manageable.
Before you go to bed, check what you have available for breakfast and, if possible, prepare it. If you’re a coffee drinker, have the ingredients ready, or even opt for a cold-brew which requires no morning prep.
If you need to be out of the door early for work, appointments, or school, be sure to have your clothes and baby’s clothes laid out. Pre-packed nappy bags, book bags and purses can mean getting out on time, even when baby isn’t cooperative.
#2: Have All Your Baby Essentials In Reach
Nothing is worse than having to run upstairs or even into the next room with a fussing baby to find a nappy, or change of clothes. Take time to set up nesting stations throughout your home.
I have one in the baby’s room, one in my bedroom and another in the living area. I stock each one with nappies, wipes, a onesie or sleeper, a muslin blanket and anything else my baby uses often.
This means if I’m settled in the living room and baby has a blow out, needs to breastfeed or is ready for a nap, I don’t need to run upstairs to get her settled.
#3: Wear Your Baby
Need to get some tasks done around the home? Have emails to answer? Need to run an errand? It could be difficult if your baby is not content to be out of your arms.
Babywearing is great for simplifying your day, for all kinds of reasons.
You can complete tasks without giving up some of that much-needed cuddle and bonding time with your little one. It’s helpful for growth spurts, too, as closeness is great for your milk supply.
It can even make impossible errands seem totally do-able. You won’t need to use one arm to hold a squirming baby, and the other to push an empty pram, or wonder how you’ll finish putting anything into your cart.
#4: Meal Plans
Just as at breakfast, it’s important you get adequate nutrition for lunch and dinner. I waste a fair bit of time some days, rushing around and trying to figure out what I’m going to eat.
When I take the time to make a meal plan, I don’t have the stress every day and with smart planning and shopping, meals are often much easier to put together .
#5: Lighten Up Your Cleaning Load
There are several ways to keep your household organised and still save time. Keeping a home clean and tidy with little ones around might seem impossible, but there are ways to make it work.
Your home might not be pristine, as it was pre-kids, but that’s okay! Household organisation with a baby around is more about function than perfection.
- Pre-soak stained clothes so there’s no scrubbing when you’re ready to throw a load in.
- Have designated spots for everything. I tell my children each toy, shoe, and article of clothing has a ‘home’. When we know where everything goes, it makes tidying up easier.
- Invest in some simple all-purpose cleaning products. It means you only have a couple of items to grab at the store, and not having to search through your cabinet can make cleaning up after meals quicker and easier.
- Clean as you go and when you can. You don’t need to wait until you have time to clean a room from top to bottom. If you wait for that time to appear you could find yourself way behind. Take a moment to wipe the toilet or sink when you go to the bathroom. Wipe out the shower when you've finished. Have a simple broom or mini vacuum to clean up small messes rather than wait until you have time to do the entire floor.
Many mamas also find it worth the investment to have a bit of cleaning help here and there – especially for the big tasks. I can’t tell you the last time I actually made it to a hair salon, but I have no regrets about that portion of my budget going towards a clean I didn’t have to do!
#6: Rest. Yes, Rest Can Improve Your Routine
Have a million things on your to-do list? Go nap! I know it seems counterproductive but mama burn out is real. If you take a bit of time to rest while your baby is sleeping you will have enough energy to make it through the day – and your to-do list.
Pushing through every day without a break is a sure recipe for a mama meltdown. And once that happens, you can fall even further behind.
Rest can be co-napping with your little one, a quick soak in the tub or shower while baby sleeps, or simply chatting with a friend (you know, actually having a real conversation with someone who talks back).
Read What Is The Secret To Resilient Mamas? to learn more about the importance of rest and self-care.
#7: Have A Simple But Consistent Bedtime Routine
Babies don’t need to be on a strict schedule, but routine can be helpful, for you and for them. Establishing healthy sleep hygiene and routines during infancy is a great way to prevent future bedtime battles and pure motherhood exhaustion.
Many babies settle more easily after a soothing soak in the tub, a baby massage, aromatherapy, instrumental music, or a quick story.
And if you get to the end of the day, your baby is fighting sleep, and your to-do list isn’t done, see #3. You can wear your baby in the evening to help her settle to sleep. Then you can finish up whatever else you need to do so you can go to bed too.