12 hacks for first time parents
In this blog, we will be talking about parenting hacks and tips.
The arrival of a new baby is exciting – newborn babies represent life, hope and the promise of love. On the other hand, babies require hard work and dedication…
We hope these hacks will make the first few weeks and months with your baby a lot easier.
“When we encourage new parents to treasure the moments because they don’t last forever. We need to remember to also reassure them that they will survive these moments because they don’t last forever.” L.R Knost.
Mental Health Hacks
Get as much sleep as possible
This is probably the best advice for new parents, sleep when the baby sleeps. The housework can wait. Babies typically sleep-in short spurts over a 24-hour period, so allowing others to assist you is critical. It is a challenging ride but this stage doesn’t last long, remember there is light at the end of the sleep-deprived tunnel. Being a new parent is like a huge balloon of joy but being sleep deprived can be the pin that pops the balloon. One way of getting help, if you can afford to, is to hire a maternity nurse or nanny. These are trained and experienced individuals who come to your home after your baby is born.
Maternity Nurse – is someone who comes to your home after your baby is born and helps in the first weeks or months of a newborn baby’s life. They tend to work 24 hours a day, 5 or 6 days a week and live-in with your family.
Nanny – is someone employed by a family in either a live-in or live-out basis. It is a nanny’s responsibility to create a daily schedule for the children they are caring for and to engage them in activities to advance their mental, physical and emotional growth relevant to their age.
Accept all the help you can get
Historically new parents have had a network of family to help with the care of the new baby but nowadays families are much more spread out and often both parents are working. Lean on friends and family or again, if you can afford to, hire help…A maternity nurse or nanny. Being a new parent is hugely rewarding but it is also hard work – especially at first. There are lots of changes to deal with. Adjusting to parenting is a process of trial and error. Do not be afraid to ask for help!
Nowadays there are so many parenting philosophies out there, so many experts giving first-time parents advice. It’s amazing to have great ideas and plans but our newborn babies are here to challenge our preconceived expectations. Sometimes, “just rolling with it”, can keep you sane and in a positive state of mind.
Take care of yourself and your partner! Make sure you look after your mental and physical needs. Rest, eat right, exercise, especially during the first 6 to 8 weeks. You need to take good care of yourself to rebuild your strength. Try to make time to do some fun things together. Caring for your baby should not become your whole life, try to make time for yourself and your other half. Go out for dinner, a walk or to the cinema. Utilise the time when a family member or friend comes to visit or make the most of your maternity nurse or nanny if you have one. Make sure you have other new parents to talk to or see at least once a week.
Practical Baby Hacks
Baby bath time
The kitchen sink is the perfect height for a baby bathtub, especially when you are recovering from childbirth, no bending! Always make sure the room where you are bathing your baby is warm and draft-free. Have a dry towel handy to wrap your baby immediately after his/her bath. Make sure that everything you need is within reach. Placing a warm, wet washcloth over your baby’s tummy will help him/her not to get cold. Make sure the water is close to body temperature…. Use your elbow to test the water temperature. Keep one arm under your baby’s neck to support baby’s head during bath time. Newborn babies are very slippery! About 5-10 minutes is long enough for a baby bath.
Changing Baby’s Diaper
Experts recommend that you change a newborns’ diaper every two to three hours.
Always be prepared before changing your baby’s diaper, layer a few covers on the changing pad, so you always have a clean one handy. Lay a new diaper under the old one before each diaper change just Incase.
If you live in a home with different floors keep a small baby changing station on each floor so you don’t need to go up and downstairs.
Make changing time fun…hang a mobile over the changing area to distract baby if he/she fusses.
Talk and sing to your baby, make it a special one-on-one time.
Stop Your Baby Boy Peeing On You
Prevent your baby boy from peeing on you by wiping a wet wipe under his belly button before changing his diaper. This is said to make him pee before you take the diaper off – fresh air prompts the same reaction.
Help Wipe Poop-Off Easily
If you put a little coconut or almond oil on your baby’s bottom it will help make cleaning those first tar-like poops more manageable. The oil will moisturise your baby’s bottom enough that the poop will wipe right off!
Gas troubles often start right away or when babies are a couple of weeks old. Fortunately, most infants outgrow them by the time they are 4 to 6 months old.
One way to relieve gas if your baby is suffering from it, is to lay your baby on their back and rotate their legs in a bicycle pedalling motion (elbow to knee), to get things moving internally.
You can also gently push baby’s knees up to his tummy and hold for 10 seconds, then release and straighten baby’s legs. Repeat several times.
Massage can sometimes help your baby pass gas. Start with your baby’s tummy, then give a gentle rub all over – shoulders, back, legs. It might help the baby to relax enough to pass gas.
Feed Your Baby When They Wake
We eat to give us energy so if you feed your baby as soon as they wake up then they’ll have nutrients to give them energy for their awake time. They won’t then be relying on milk to fall back asleep; this can end up being a hard habit to break further on in their development. After your baby has fed you can then play until they go down to sleep again.
Baby Tummy Time
Tummy time is an important and exciting time during baby’s early development.
Newborns spend a lot of time on their backs during their first moments of life, tummy time can be very beneficial for your little one.
Placing a baby on his/her tummy while they are awake and supervised can help your baby develop strong neck and shoulder muscles and promote motor skills. It strengthens the muscles needed for sitting, crawling and walking.
It can also prevent the back of your baby’s heat from developing flat spots.
With a newborn baby you can roll up a blanket and place it under their chest and upper arms for support.
Place your baby on their tummy for one or two minutes after every diaper change.
Your baby should always be awake and alert for tummy time.
Take Your Baby Outside Everyday
Even if it is just a walk around the block, the fresh air and a change of scenery can make you feel like you’re a part of the real world again.
Babies need fresh air and light; they need to get out. Lots of fresh air will help your baby to sleep better both during the day and at night.
A healthy baby can go outside every day, even in winter as long as the temperature is not too cold and it’s not too windy.
In conclusion, there are few things as amazing as witnessing how a baby goes through Its growth stages and finds its personality. With their cute smiles and giggles, they will turn your lives upside down, yet you will be so thankful for it.
“Having a baby is a life-changer. It gives you a whole other perspective on why you wake up every day.”