The first six weeks of being home with your baby can be enchanting, relentless, overwhelming and glorious all at the same time. But it’s in those trenches of parenthood that the beautiful bond with your baby is formed. Here are six of our top tips to help make them wonder-filled, and slightly less stressful.
1. Easy food
Looking after a small human can be hungry work so do yourself a favour and stock your fridge and freezer with easy food. Before baby arrives get some batch cooking done, divide it into meal-sized portions and pop it in the freezer. Soups, chillis and lasagnas make great batch meals. Freeze them in freezer-safe glass containers and you can put them straight in the oven. Here are some ideas to get you started.
Short on time? Ready meals that just need to be popped in the oven or the microwave are your friend – the less prep the better. Add some microwave veg and rice and you’ll have a nourishing meal in no time.
Fill your fruit bowl with anything that can be eaten one-handed, on the go like grapes, bananas and blueberries.
And while we’re here, paper plates and cups are the way to go for the first few days. You can even get compostable ones!
2. Make visits work for you
Having a constant stream of guests in your home can be tiring. Warn guests ahead of time that you’d love to see them, but visits will be kept short for the first few weeks. And if they offer to help with something? Say ‘YES PLEASE!’ Keep a list of things that would be helpful so you’re ready with an answer. A quick hoover, empty of the trash, load of washing thrown on can make a big difference to your day.
3. Prep baby’s clothes
Whether it’s a diaper leak, a little (or big!) spit-up or a messy feed, you’ll probably be doing a couple of outfit changes a day. Save yourself time (and mental energy) by getting your little one’s clothes ready ahead of time. Set out a few days worth of outfits, rolling vests, and rompers, or leggings, rompers and vests, together and tucking them into an over the door shoe organizer. All you have to do is grab one little bundle from the organizer and you’re ready to go.
4. Get outside as often as you can
When your midwife has given you the green light, get outside and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. Tuck baby into a sling and spend some time in the garden, or go for a walk. Your little tot will love being snuggled up close to you and you’ll appreciate a change of scenery and a bit of fresh air.
5. Keep the diaper bag ready to go
Taking the time to re-stock your diaper bag as soon as you get home will make getting out the door next time much easier. Plus, you’re more likely to remember what needs topping up. There’s nothing worse than realizing too late that you’ve run out of wipes. We love the Pacapod bags – their pod system means they are so easy to keep organized. One of our best tips is to allocate a drawer or basket specifically for things that need to go with you – think umbrella, spare clothes, bottles, snacks, extra wipes, clean Get in the habit of restocking your bag as you walk in the door and making sure the basket is empty just before you leave the house. That way you shouldn’t forget anything important.
6. Give yourself permission to take it easy
Give yourself grace to spend all day – or all week – in your pajamas and to sleep when baby sleeps (yes, it really is a thing you’ll want to do). Investing in a few sets of beautiful, nursing loungewear, like Nightire, will help you feel more comfortable. They’re great for breastfeeding and their moisture-wicking properties mean they’re just the thing you need for those post-birth night sweats.
Remember – no one really has any of this figured out, we’re all muddling along together. The days are long but the years are short and before you know it you’ll be whizzing along to the three-month, and then the six-month mark and your teeny baby will be sitting, giggling and toddling about. And you’ll soon be needing one of our #prettierplaymats
Featured image by the lovely Sarah, @disastersofathirtysomething