As a new mother, it can be hard to find your footing. According to the Pew Research Center, 45 percent of moms with kids younger than 6 years say parenting is tiring all or most of the time. How can you make the adjustment easier?
You took breastfeeding and prenatal classes, read every book you could get your hands on, and soaked up all the advice you could get from friends and family. However, all of that pales in comparison to the reality of caring for a newborn. How can you handle this new world of mothering?
Go practical with paper. During the chaos after bringing baby home, doing dishes can get put by the wayside for weeks. Look for biodegradable, compostable paper products to save your sanity.
Sleep when your baby sleeps. When your child is sleeping 16 hours a day in small chunks, it can be tempting to use this time to clean or catch up on things left undone. Avoid this temptation — recruit friends and family to come help out at home while you and your baby rest.
Know your village. If it takes a village to raise a child, make sure you know all the resources available to you. Whether it’s a lactation consultant at the hospital or a coworker who volunteered to bring food, take advantage of as many helping hands as you can.
Plan to power snack. If you’re stressed or running low on sleep, a few extra calories in the afternoon can help keep your energy up. Stick to healthy, energy-packed snacks such as yogurt, peanut butter crackers, fruits and veggies.
Don’t overthink it. If your doctor says your child is happy and thriving, then you are probably doing plenty of things right. Don’t let the pressure to be a perfect parent get the best of you, and remember to cut yourself some slack every now and then.
When your little bundle of joy becomes mobile, your home could be full of potential dangers. Before your child starts crawling, use these tips to get your home ready for your toddler on-the-go:
Put dangers behind locks. Poisons, household cleaners, medication, knives and weapons should not only be stored out of reach but behind a lock. A drawer that wasn’t in reach of your crawling baby may suddenly become accessible once your toddler is upright.
Big furniture can cause big problems. Large bookcases or televisions can topple over when pulled on. Load shelves with heavier items on the bottom, and make sure all drawers stay fully closed. When possible, anchor televisions and bookcases to a wall.
Get on their level. At a grownup’s height, it’s easy to miss potential choking hazards or cords perfect for pulling. Crawl on your hands and knees throughout your home to look for hazards you’ve missed.
Keep an eye out. Even the best childproofing isn’t perfect. There is no substitute for watchful supervision.