You have a cute new baby! Congratulations! But, now what? Your extended family has left town, your husband has returned to work and now it is just you and your baby all day every day. There will be lots of sweet snuggles and naps; there should definitely be naaaaaaaaps. But there will also be thousands of diaper changes and your whole routine will feel turned upside down. And since your new routine probably requires waking up at the crack of dawn to feed your little one, here are five things that you can do with your newborn to get you through the day.
1. Lower your expectations for what you’ll accomplish. Put one item down on your to-do list as a must-do. That is all you need to accomplish for the day. I am a big to-do list maker so checking things off a list is a huge way that I feel accomplished and productive at the end of a day. But after my first baby, my days of long to-do lists were put on pause as I tried to figure out a new routine with Marjie. Basically, my to-do list became one item. Maybe it was taking a shower or doing laundry. Whatever it was, I made sure to get it done because it made me feel good about my day and what I accomplished. If I got other stuff done, it was a bonus! But remember, pick one item, everything else is just fluff!
2. Go on a walk. Getting out of the house is crucial in not going crazy the first few months of having a newborn. Even if it’s a short little walk, like a trip to the mailbox and back, having a change of scenery, breathing in some fresh air and just getting out will make you and baby feel better and make the day go a little faster. When I had Marjie it was one of the snowiest winters on record in NYC, but you better believe that my girl and I took a walk every day.
3. Read books out loud. I am a big reader so this was something that I loved to do with my babies and is still a big part of our family now. You can read baby books because you can’t go wrong with Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. Or you can read out loud whatever book you’re currently reading. I’m looking at you, Crazy Rich Asians. Talking out loud to your baby is awesome because it helps with language development. Reading out loud is a great way to do that if you’re not a naturally chatty person or you struggle to have a very one-sided conversation. But don’t worry they will have opinions and the ability to voice them soon enough.
4. Listen to a podcast. You’ve read out loud and you’re running out of conversation during playtime, now it’s time to turn on a podcast. This is a great way to have a little distraction for mom without having to turn on the television. I recommend Stuff You Should Know or Serial. Also, they might just give you more things for you and your baby to talk about. Win-win! Do you have any favorite podcasts? Share them below!
5. FaceTime family and friends. Call an adult. That’s right, you’ve been baby talking all day, it’s good to interact with the outside world! Besides they want an excuse to stare at your baby anyways, give the people what they want! Call up grandparents, friends, siblings, you name it. Chat for a bit and let them admire that sweet baby of yours. It’s a great way to stay connected to other people when you might start to feel a little trapped and disconnected.
Having a newborn is wonderful but it’s an adjustment. Be flexible as you try to figure out your new routine and be patient with yourself as you get the hang of it. That special time you have with your newborn is so short and you should soak it all up. I love my kiddos and their fun ages now, but oh there is nothing quite like those newborn snuggles! That’s why I love newborn sessions because they capture those moments forever. Book a session with me and we can capture that moment together and chat about all things newborn!