Bringing a new baby home is amazing, but it means a lot of changes for you, your partner, and your household, in general. Babies take a lot of time, attention, and practice. What does this mean for a parent? It means learning a lot of new habits. Here are a few habits that can be especially helpful to develop.
Being More Efficient
With a new addition to care for, you, unfortunately, won’t have as much time to get things done. So, efficiency is key to a smoother lifestyle. So working smarter and doing things in a different order than usual can be helpful. For example, loading the dishwasher before you start your other chores so the dishes can be cleaned while you’re folding laundry. Little things like this can make a big difference. Another way to be efficient is being able to use both hands to get things done. This might sound super easy, but when you have a fussy baby that wants to be held, it can be very difficult. You can alleviate this by using an infant baby carrier. So, baby can stay close to you, while you have both hands free to get things done.
Being More Aware of Your Surroundings
We get it, you’ll be totally sleep deprived when baby comes, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need to pay close attention to your surroundings. Babies need to be watched at all times, even as newborns. Another way you need to keep track of your surrounds is when you’re driving places. You’ll be tired, and it might be hard to concentrate. So, having a wireless backup camera could save someone’s life!
Learning how to Quickly Shop
Maybe going to the grocery store was fun before, but going with a baby can be very difficult. You have to learn how to put a car seat in a shopping cart, how to fit groceries around the car seat, and shopping super quickly before baby wakes up. Maybe even consider using a grocery pickup service. This makes it so you don’t have to get out of your car, and a store associate will find everything you know before you arrive.
Getting Sleep Where and When You Can
A lot of people will tell you to “sleep when the baby sleeps,” but that’s not always realistic. You can’t clean when baby cleans or shower when baby showers. So, it’s important to get the things you need to get done efficiently, as mentioned before, but it’s also important to take time to sleep when you have a few minutes. Sometimes, it won’t be super ideal. Maybe you’ll fall asleep in the rocking chair watching over your colicky baby—when you have a hard time sitting up and falling asleep. Maybe you’ll catch a few zzz’s as your partner is driving you to a doctor’s appointment. Get sleep where you can, because you’ll need all the sleep you can get!
Learn to Budget
If you haven’t ever had a budget before, this is a REALLY good time to start considering your budget. A new baby brings quite a few expenses and will for a long time. According to one report, during the first year of your baby’s life, you could spend almost $12,000. You will probably spend close to $50 per week on just diapers, formula and baby food. That doesn’t take into account medical expenses, child care, clothes, furniture, and equipment.
Consider where you can cut costs or start thinking about the trips you want to take when your baby gets older. You can start saving now to make your money stretch a little more.
“Start when your children are young and save up little by little. Set a goal for how much you want to save and by when—graduation from high school, heads off to college, etc.—then utilize a child savings account to make it happen,” advises Kimberly Boettcher, Financial Education Manager at Mountain America Credit Union.
Following a Schedule Closely
Babies and children thrive when they are kept on a schedule. This can be difficult when you’re more of a “go with the flow” sort of person, but it will help your baby so much. So, try to set a napping and feeding schedule so they know what to expect. Babies love consistency, but it can sometimes go out the window if they are sick or moving into a new developmental stage. Hang in there, though!
The biggest thing is to try not to worry too much! The newborn phase goes by so quickly. So, enjoy it while you can.