One minute, you’re child-free, and the next your life is 12 diapers a day, cuddles, cries, coos, and a fuzzy memory of what life was like BB — Before Baby. It might be a shock to the system, but having a few basic guidelines can help ease your mind.
1. Establish a parental plan
Gold recommends parents discuss how they will address a wide range of issues. How are you going to handle visiting in-laws? Who’s going to get up in the middle of the night? And how does each of you feel about letting a baby cry?
Once you get on the same page physically, emotionally, and philosophically, things will be smoother. But, you must do it before chronic sleep deprivation and physical and emotional exhaustion set in.
2. Postpone energy-draining projects
Extreme demands like marathon training should be put on hold by both parents until after the baby’s first year.
3. Plan for baby’s arrival – NOW
4. Keep a log
Write down baby’s feeding, sleeping, and crying habits. It will help you identify patterns and give you a record you can use for instructing caregivers.
5. Farm out meals
Sign up for a meal delivery service for the first year or even the first month if financially feasible. Prepared meals are nutritionally balanced, healthy, and tasty, and they provide variety. They also eliminate the need for grocery shopping, menu planning, and cooking. Likewise, stock up on takeout menus.
6. Sleep when baby sleeps
Sleeping when the baby sleeps is time-tested advice, and it works. Sleep is a medical necessity even for new moms. Sleep is also an important way to guard against postpartum depression.
When one parent is up, the other one should be sleeping. The one on duty can sleep with the baby; the other one in a separate part of the home with a white noise machine and earplugs. Even nursing mothers can protect their brain chemistry from crashing as long as they get a few uninterrupted hours of sleep each night.
7. Try a ‘baby burrito’
8. Exercise with baby
It seems counterintuitive, but when you’re dead tired, exercise can boost your energy. Try Mommy and Me swim or yoga classes. Get outside into the sunshine — a guaranteed mood enhancer. Take your baby for a walk or a run in the jog stroller or on a hike with a front pack. Just always protect your baby from the sun’s harmful rays.