As a new parent your focus is suddenly narrowed to the single most important thing in life – your new baby. Yet, most unfairly, all the chores from before still need to be done, and all while you’re sleep deprived and at a small dictator’s beck and call!
Slings offer many advantages when you have a newborn. They can be very soothing to babies, because they experience the lulling motion as you move, and are always comforted by the warmth of being next to you. It’s also lovely for parents to be able to have constant communication with their little one – and the wonderful smell of their baby’s head just beneath their nose (when fitting a sling, you should always be able to kiss the top of their head).
One of the big ticket time stealers is lulling your little one to sleep. They just know when you’re not there! To help with this, try pNeo’s Baby Shusher which uses a real human voice to make shushing noises for up to 30 minutes, giving you some precious time to read, cook, eat, exercise or just wash your hair.
This is a really fantastic way to save time, not only on shopping but on the inevitable recycling of toys as your little one grows and their needs change. With a Whirli toy subscription you can choose toys from many top brands all in one place, and return them when your baby’s interest is no longer piqued (or you can’t bear that particular tune any longer!). You’ll get tokens to the same value and can select new ones. If you can’t bear to part with a particular toy, you also have the option to buy.
Exercise may feel the last thing you want to do, or you may be frustrated that you can’t find the time to fit in more, but either way, it’s important for your physical and mental health. So why not incorporate some simple strength work into your normal newborn routines?
A lot of these tips centre around food – and that’s because food matters, especially when you’re running on empty, sleep-wise. Let’s start with food for baby (once they’re on solids). For a simple, quick and mess-free (or as mess-free as you get with a weaning baby!) solution, why not try Ella’s Kitchen for sweet and savoury purées and finger food snacks that you can take on the go, while still being assured of top quality, organic ingredients.
Even though blitzing baby food saves time, you don’t need the fuss of washing up every time. So do a batch whatever you’re making – from fruit purée to creamed potatoes – and put the leftovers into ice cube trays. These make a perfect portion size for tiny ones so you always have a healthy option on hand.
Now for your needs! Mealtimes can be fraught when you have a new baby – and beyond. It’s often hard for both parents to sit and enjoy a meal at the same time, so it’s easy to end up just grabbing snacks which are neither nutritious nor satisfying – or even to missing meals altogether. At a time of increased stress and reduced sleep, regular, nourishing meals are crucial to maintain your energy levels and mental health.
There’s no shame in picking up some microwavable rice and pre-chopped veggies to make side dishes easier. In fact, for healthier options like brown rice, this saves even more cooking time while delivering more goodness. There are many different – and exciting – options (try Tilda’s Super Grains flavoured with sweet potato and coconut, Whitworths Brazilian Smoky Beans or Jamie Oliver’s Curried Chickpeas for starters!), so you may even get inspo for next time you have time to devote to cooking something special yourself.
While we’re on the subject of food, you are certain to have days when even the simplest cooking feels too much. Why not treat yourself to a freezer full of ready meals for those nights? Gourmade’s new parent hamper contains eight main meals (two single portions of four different favourite comfort meals), two sides and two desserts (each with two portions!). The single portions mean that both parents can be assured of a hot meal if baby is fractious and you can’t eat together (yes, we’ve been there!), while the desserts are just a well deserved – and scrummy! – treat.