You bring home your bundle of joy and now you literally can’t figure out how to get anything done. The house is a mess, the dishes are overflowing in the sink, there is dog hair everywhere (oh wait, is that just my house?). It feels overwhelming. I feel you.
Seriously, when August was a baby, she would take 45 minutes to eat, I would change her, she would sleep for 5 seconds, and then be ready to eat again. Mix that with numerous issues, and I was one overwhelmed mama. With these helpful tips, I have gotten 100 times more things done with a newborn and a toddler than I was able to get with just one baby!
But there are things you can do to still get things done with a new baby. But PLEASE, mama please, give yourself some grace. You are recovering and need some rest. Give yourself rest and healing before trying to accomplish 500 things. Give yourself grace on days when you just can’t. Between little sleep and taking care of another human being, you just may not be able to get anything done. That is okay! Got it? Good.
I remember before I had August someone gave me good advice. They said, “make your bed every morning that way at least you feel like you accomplished something.” It was really true, and that is when I actually started making my bed on a regular basis.
Power hour (or should I say power 10 minutes)
- With a new baby, you may only get 10-15 minutes to get something done, or you may be super lucky with a good sleeping baby and get an hour or two at a time. Use that time as effectively as possible. See how much stuff you can get done in just 10-15 minutes. I do this normally to clean the house without a new baby. I get myself super motivated for a short time and just get everything done (i.e. right before daddy gets home and you want to pretend the house was clean the entire day).
- Wear them babies. They love it and it allows you to move around and do things while they are attached to you like a baby kangaroo. Vacuuming was the easiest when baby wearing, and if August wouldn’t nap, I would put her in the sling and vacuum and she would be out like a light.
- My favorite baby wearing gear is the Tula Carrier (similar to an Ergo), the ring sling (like this one), and I got to try out the Lalabu Soothe Shirt (shown above) which is awesome.
Have safe places to set baby nearby:
- When you need to shower, do the dishes, or cook, you can place the baby near you in a pack-n-play, swing, or bouncer. They are nearby enough to know you are right there, and if they get fussy, you can easily pick them up. To shower, I place baby in the bouncer in the bathroom with me while I shower for a few minutes (for my toddler, she gets to watch a show while I shower, and I leave the door open if she “needs” anything… by needs I mean she likes to come check on me).
- Do tummy time or mat time while folding laundry or stuffing cloth diapers.
Learn the art of multitasking:
- We talked about the power hour, but doing multiple things at one time can save so much time and energy. When I’m going to bake something in the oven, I make extra. For instance, the other day I was baking spaghetti squash for dinner, so I also threw some sweet potatoes and white potatoes in the oven to bake for other meals throughout the week.
- Baby wearing definitely makes multitasking possible. Vacuum, clean off the table, pick up a bit around the house all while baby wearing.
- If you’re really awesome, breastfeed while doing other things. Libby was awesome at this. She would feed her little girl while walking around the house, organizing things. Yeah, I’m not that skilled.
- Get some computer work done while feeding the baby, or read to your older child.
- And in the midst of all of it, one of my best methods is the practice of killing several birds with one stone. If I’m heading to the master bedroom from the kitchen, y’all know I’m going to take the laundry back with me, I’ll take my kids shoes to drop off along the way, and I’ll balance a fresh roll of toilet paper to drop off in the hall bath as I go. I try to make my trips around the house as productive as possible, and you can totally do this while wearing your sweet babe.
Tag team and ask for help:
- Working together is really helpful, especially when having a new baby in the house. My husband is a great helper and cleaner (truthfully, he is better at it than I am).
- Ask for help. Whether it be from your spouse, a friend, or family member. It’s okay to ask for help, and if someone offers, take them up on it, yo! It’s allowed.
- When nighttime rolls around, sometimes you just need a break. Ask your spouse to hold the baby for a bit while you relax, however that may be.
Learn to cook easy meals:
- Just like the last point, talking about making more than one thing at a time, you can do this with other meals.
- Freezer meals are awesome to do before baby is born. That way, when you need a healthy meal, you can just take it out the night before and bake it or throw it into the slow cooker in the morning.
- On the weekends, while your spouse is home, you can try to batch cook or just prep foods to get ready for the week. Cook a whole chicken, beef roast, ground beef, pork, etc., then use them in recipes the rest of the week. Cook a large batch of soup, bake extra potatoes, muffins etc.
- Make double or triple everything. That way you have leftover to eat throughout the week, or you can throw some in the freezer to eat the next week or so.
Use a grocery delivery service or drive up service:
- A lot of grocery stores are now allowing you to order food online. They do the shopping for you, and then you just pick it up. This saves you time, energy, and sanity. Especially with a new baby.
Get on a schedule:
- Not as much for baby as for you (although, eventually getting baby to sleep for regular naptimes and bedtimes is helpful), but try to set a goal to get one extra thing accomplished per day. For instance, write one cleaning item to get done per day on your weekly calendar. Like, clean the bathrooms, vacuum, dust, laundry, etc.
- Do one load of laundry per day, that way it doesn’t build up and you have to fold 500 loads on Saturday (cough, cough, like I do).
- I thrive on routine, so it’s helpful to try to get up the same time everyday and get into some sort of routine.
What have you done to be more productive with a new baby?
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