So, a little while ago I posted about 5 things you need to start doing with your newborn. Most of those were for your newborns future. Today I am going to talk about things you need to do today for your sanity and to make your life easier.
Most of these things you might say “that’s common sense, doesn’t everyone do that”, but you wouldn’t believe how many parents don’t do these things.
- Start a bedtime routine. This is something I feel has saved me many sleepless nights. Starting a bedtime routine from day one makes sure your little one knows when it is time to wind down for bed. I have heard so many people talk about the cry it out method, meaning they let their baby cry until they fall asleep (this doesn’t start at the newborn stage, but not until months later). We started a bedtime routine at 3 days old, when we came home from the hospital. My daughter slept in a co-sleeper for the first two months of her life, then I moved her to her crib in her room. I have never had to let her cry it out. Our routine consisted of a bath (every other night) and calming lotion, bottle, book, then bed. Up until she was about 4 months old, she was asleep before I was half way through the book. Now, at a year old, she knows it is time to lie down to sleep and like I said, we have never had to cry it out. Yes, she still occasionally wakes up and cries for whatever reason, but I give her a binky and she is fine.
- Start reading books. It is proven that reading books from an early age helps kids develop a love for reading, which in turn helps them later in school. I have read to my daughter from birth, and she loves books. We can read books all day long and she loves it. Plus, it’s not expensive. You do not have to have a huge library of books because babies don’t care if you have read it 100 times!
- Follow your normal routine. I feel that almost every new parent gets stuck on this one. It is so easy to say “I can’t I have a baby” or “it is easier for me to stay home so I don’t have to pack a bag”. I get it, I really do! But, can you permanently change your routine? Can you stay at home all the time because of the baby? No, eventually you will have to get back to your daily routine. I am not saying you have to clean the whole house days after giving birth, this one can wait a while, but you need to get back to your normal routine as soon as possible! As your baby grows, she learns from you, how to do things, and routines. Try to get her into a routine that fits in with your schedule. If you have to get up at 6 A.M. to go to work, try to get her up when you would normally need to get her up to get ready, start this before it is time for you to go back to work. If you need to do laundry, do it in front of her so she can learn sequences (you fold the towel, then you put it away, not the other way around). Trust me, she will adjust to your routine, and the earlier you get her on your routine, the better!
- Take your baby out. So many parents are afraid to take their new baby anywhere, but this is a big mistake. Going to crowed places isn’t a good idea, but you can go out. If it’s in the winter and you are afraid of the flu, go to a friend’s house. Staying cooped up in your house all day for 6 weeks is not good for you or the baby, it could lead to postpartum depression. Even if you are just going outside for a little while, go ahead, just protect baby from the sun.
- Take lots of pictures! I seems like it should go without saying, but go ahead and be that mother that takes hundreds of pictures of her baby! You will not regret it, plus with digital cameras and phones these days, you can delete bad pictures. I usually take several pictures in a row, then I keep the good ones, and delete the bad ones. Babies appearances change almost daily, especially in the first couple of months, so you will not regret having a lot of pictures. Plus if you sign up for Shutterfly, you can get great quality prints really cheap, sometimes even free (plus shipping & handling).
- Hold her! Enough with the “you will spoil her” comments! I am not saying to hold her constantly, but you will not spoil her by holding her and cuddling with her. This is actually good for them. Just hold her and enjoy the sweet smell and cuddles because they will not last for long! Once they start moving they want nothing to do with cuddling and sitting with mom.
Did you know you should do these things? Have you been doing them or are you going to start?