Simple yet effective, here are 10 ways to get things done with a baby in the house.
There is absolutely nothing like new parenthood to turn your world upside down and make you feel like you can’t get a single thing done.
If you are feeling this way please know you are not alone!! Some days it’s all you can do to brush your teeth or change your clothes. That is OK. It’s a huge adjustment. Parenthood requires a complete shift in prioritizing, and perhaps more importantly, a shift in expectations.
It’s just that you simply cannot do it all. Spotless house, meals from scratch, rested you, partner time, etc. Something has to give (usually our expectations). More than ever we learn as parents we need to delete things from our schedules and delegate wherever possible.
Babies also have impeccable timing. Just when you settle in to a task they decide they are hungry or have a huge blowout. It’s quite remarkable, but I promise you this, it’s just a season! They grow up all too fast and as the years go on they need us less and less.
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How To Get Things Done With a Baby at Home
Set 1 intention for the day
One of my favorite ways to feel productive in this chapter of life is to simply set one objective for each day. When it’s complete you’ll feel accomplished and anything extra is bonus!
Learn your baby’s sleep patterns and use one nap
You are likely to get totally overwhelmed if you try to get your newborn on some kind of textbook schedule. If I’ve learned anything as a parent it’s that every child is unique. I highly recommend documenting their sleep and following their cues to learn their natural sleep rhythms. Of course, you can slowly modify this as they grow but it’s a great place to start.
After you’ve got some idea of when they are sleepy you can start to use one of their naps to complete whatever task is on your agenda for the day. With my two kids I’ve had the best luck with the first nap of the day, but, again, all kids are different. If you can get your baby napping in a bassinet or crib, take advantage of that time to either rest yourself or achieve your intention for the day.
Embrace baby wearing if you can
If you have the physical ability to wear your baby, do it! There are lots of newborn friendly carriers out there. You don’t want them restricted in a carrier or device all day, but baby wearing is a great way to have hands free contact naps.
After some trial and error of different wraps and ring slings I came to love the baby k’tan and the ergo baby structured carrier. I wore both of my kids for one nap a day so we could be out running errands, spending some time in nature or otherwise getting something done.
Have a safe place to set baby down
It’s never too soon to encourage independent play! Set up a floor mat and play gym in the same room as you and you might find yourself with 15+ minutes to yourself.
Once your baby is crawling consider a gated/fenced play area to keep them safely contained. They can play while you get something done next to them.
Use a baby swing in the same room
Similar to the previous method, take advantage of those baby swings you received off your registry or as gifts from friends and family. Used in small doses these can be very helpful in letting you have a few moments while the baby plays. It’s just important to make sure they aren’t over used. Babies need lots of free movement and tummy time for their development.
Accept and ask for help
Easier said than done for many, I know. It’s a tough one for me too. But if you are so lucky as to have family or friends offering help – accept it! You don’t have to necessarily hand over the baby and do everything yourself. Let them take care of a chore around the house while you snuggle your sweet baby!
Create a schedule for chores
Embrace simple systems for your home so you can stay ahead of the mess and spend less time cleaning. Some of my favorites are the 1 laundry load a day method and having a basic weekly & daily cleaning schedule. You can divide chores up among family members, or outsource if possible too! Having a schedule allows you to stay ahead of the mess and spend less time cleaning overall.
Take baby with you for errands
It can be incredibly nerve wracking to leave the house with your new baby. I get it! With my first I’m not sure I went anywhere other than doctor appointments for the first 2 months. Don’t be me! With a properly packed diaper bag you can absolutely manage small errands with your sweet baby.
Use the morning hours
Try to take care of chores and priority tasks first thing in the morning after baby is well rested and has eaten. They are typically best rested after their night sleep (and you are typically at your highest energy too!).
Of course every baby is different. If you find your baby is most independent after their long morning nap, then you can modify your schedule accordingly.
Make sure your needs are taken care of
Again, totally easier said than done. But it’s next to impossible to be productive if you are completely depleted. Try to get what sleep/rest you can, drink lots of water, eat nourishing meals, and practice a little self care. The more energy you have from these activities, the more you can naturally get done.
Meal plan and use grocery pick-up or delivery
Meal planning is one of the biggest time savers I know of. Scheduling takeout or delivery can absolutely count too. Meal planning doesn’t mean you have to make every meal from scratch. What it means is you know what you are eating that week and don’t have to waste time staring into the pantry or arguing with your partner about who has to figure out dinner plans.
If grocery pick up or delivery is available near you, use it to your advantage. It limits impulse buys and saves you so much time!
Not all of these are likely to work for you but it is my hope you found a few new things to try!
Summary of 11 Ways To Get Stuff Done With A Baby
- Set 1 intention for the day
- Learn your baby’s sleep patterns and use one nap
- Embrace baby wearing if you can
- Have a safe flat space to lay your baby down
- Use your baby swings (sparingly)
- Accept & ask for help
- Use a chore schedule
- Take baby with you for errands
- Use your morning hours wisely
- Make sure your needs are taken care of
- Meal plan and use grocery pick up or delivery
While these days can feel so incredibly long, babies grow and change incredibly quickly. I hope you can find happiness and peace in the stage you are in!