Becoming a new parent can be a daunting task, especially when you now have your little bundle of joy to care for and protect. From worrying about illnesses and safety, sleepless nights, cleaning and just running everyday errands, the day can get overwhelming at times. The best way to stay calm and sane whilst caring for your baby is to have a good system in place and of course dedicated ‘me’ time so that you can be the best you can, no matter the circumstances.
Here is a list of 10 things you can do to ensure you and your partner experience the joys of parenthood with better peace of mind.
Keeping Your Environment Safe
Babies are more susceptible to illnesses the first few weeks of coming home so be sure to try and keep his or her environment bacteria free as much as possible.
- Focus on cleaning the floor, cots, high-chairs, toys or anything your baby may come into contact with. Aside from regular mopping and dusting, disinfect these surfaces with cleaning solutions such as Dettol Antibacterial Liquid to remove any germs or dirt that may be on them from daily use. Household surfaces and even strollers are used very frequently and as a result, become hotspots for germs and viruses that could make you or your baby sick. Using disinfectant sprays can also minimise the spread of these germs.
- It’s important to stop germs before they have a chance to spread. Dirty baby clothes kept in laundry baskets are susceptible to germ growth especially when ignored for periods of time. Washing them with a skin safe, antibacterial detergent regularly can stop the spread of these germs and allow your baby to feel fresh and clean in their clothes. Germs and dirt from sweating in your sleep cake your pillows and mattresses without you knowing. Wash yours and your babies’ pillows on a gentle cycle and dry them so they remain clean and dust free.
- Keep Your Hands Clean. This may seem obvious but with a new baby, it is easy to forget basic steps in your daily routine. It’s important to consistently keep hands clean to prevent germs from spreading. Since you’re doing everything with your hands from cooking to cleaning, use liquid handwash or sanitiser to ensure clean hands before you carry or play with your little one.
- Limit your baby’s interactions. Because babies are additionally sensitive to their environments and new people, it is advised that parents keep visitations to a minimum for at least the first two weeks. Your child unknowingly could contract serious or even fatal illnesses simply through exposure. Try not to let new people kiss or hug your baby while their immune system strengthens since they are not yet protected by vaccines. If you have visitors over who aren’t from your immediate household, try keeping some antibacterial wipes or hand sanitisers on coffee tables or by entrances so your guests can use them to limit the spread of germs before saying hello to your little one.
Self-Care is Equally as Important as Baby Care
- To prevent one person from maintaining the cleanliness of the household singlehandedly, share the load. Stay organised by writing down tasks that need completing separating them by frequency. List down what needs to get done daily, weekly and monthly. Don’t forget to schedule in me time separate to anything household related. Self-care should also be an important part of maintaining your household.
- As a new parent, finding time for yourself may prove difficult in between grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning. You’ll probably find the best chance you have for me time is in the shower. Take advantage of this and set aside some time as frequently as you’d like to have a destressing bath as part of your new routine. Aromatherapy can prove very helpful in unwinding from the day or taking the edge off, so use something that smells great and will leave you feeling rejuvenated so you can continue being the best parent possible.
- Nap Time! While your baby sleeps, you should try creating a nap time routine for yourself. This may not happen at the same time every day like most of your other tasks, but it gives you and your body a well-deserved break throughout the day. Just be sure to have a baby monitor near you so you’ll know if your little one needs anything.
Always Remember You’re Not Alone
- Things may not always go to plan. If the wheels fall off the train (and they usually do), go easy on yourself. If you’re having trouble with milk production or can’t get your baby to fall asleep, don’t beat yourself up. You love this little human so much and want to do everything perfect for him or her… but always remind yourself that just because things aren’t going to plan, doesn’t mean you’re not doing a good job.
- The first few months are such a rollercoaster that the only people who can empathise with you are those going through the same thing, at the same time. We suggest that all new parents join a parenting group. Most classes will group together families whose babies are within a few weeks of one another, so everyone is pretty much dealing with similar issues at the same time. It’s an amazing resource—and often a much-needed outlet.
- Trust your instincts. With all the opinions you’ll hear, and the countless books thrown your way, new parents should always do what works for them and their baby. Don’t feel guilted or pressured into anything that isn’t working for your family. In the beginning, everything is a phase or a stage, and those things that keep you up at night now will become second nature in time or no longer be an issue.
While being a parent is a full-time job, taking one day at a time gives you better peace of mind. We understand that being a new parent comes with great challenges but parents are the unsung heroes of any child’s life. Enjoy the journey and trust that you are not alone.