- Family and Parenting
How to Get Things Done with a New Baby
Getting anything done beyond caring for your newborn can be surprisingly difficult
Having a new baby in the house whether it's your first or fourth is such a special time and yet always takes some adjusting. It would be wonderful if you could just snuggle and cuddle your baby all day. However there may come a time when you find yourself under mounds of dirty clothes, with dishes stacked to the ceiling and dust bunnies swinging like Tarzan across your living room. It is then that the realization hits that you have other things that need attending to beyond just baby. The only problem is baby might not see things your way... These tips will help you gets things done with your baby in a way that keeps baby entertained and happy.
A Baby Jumper Entertains Baby Safely
I'm in a unique position where I have the best and worst of both worlds. I'm a stay at home Mom who owns a business so in addition to taking care of the kids I also work from home. I'm glad to have the ability to be the one to raise my children but the amount I have to do in a given day is endless. Taking care of the kids, working on my business, paying the bills, cleaning, cooking, running errands, the list goes on and on. My marker for an absolutely successful day is a day that I manage to get a shower... I have two of the most lovable children who also happen to be two of the most high maintenance kids you can come by. So it's been especially hard for me to figure out how to get anything done, particularly when they were little babies.
The best tool in my bag of tricks is definitely having a good jumper. Babies just love to go bounce. These aren't the death traps from my day where I was left to hang in the doorway like a trapped jackrabbit. These are safe units that have toys galore so baby can alternate between bouncing and playing and when bored can turn and find new fun and interesting distractions.
The Baby Jumper both of my children loved
Create Stations for Baby
As much as the bouncer has to offer, eventually baby will get bored. I like to create what I call stations so if baby tires of one thing and I still need to get something done, baby moves to the next station. I place these in different rooms of the house in various areas so it's not baby overload in any one given space. Plus if I'm cooking dinner it's nice to have a place to put my baby in the kitchen. If I'm working in my office I bring baby with me where I have a station nice and ready. It makes life a lot easier and most importantly it keeps the boss happy.
An Activity Station is the mecca of all toys and distractions. My recommended station as seen below is great because in addition to all the fun things to do, it can actually help baby learn to walk. However it's a stationary unit so you don't have to worry about it running into things or toppling over. Baby will be able to go in circles to play with the various toys while being completely safe. My 3 year old daughter actually still fits and enjoys going in. I really liked the fact that I could put my younger baby in the seat and my daughter could still play with him and the other toys. She also loves pushing him in circles which gets him giggling.
Photo Â© melissamio - all rights reserved
A Baby Gym is a Portable Baby Station
Another easy station is a baby gym. What's great about these is they're very portable so you can carry them from room to room or easily bring them with you to Grandma's house. Baby can sit back, relax and enjoy the entertainment. It's also a fun way to get in some tummy time.
Photo Â© melissamio - all rights reserved
Fun and Affordable Baby Gym
A baby gym is a must have for any new parent and makes a great baby shower gift idea.
A bouncer is very similar to a jumper with a few key differences. Since a baby sits upright in a jumper and lies down in a bouncer, it makes a bouncer the more appropriate choice before baby can sit up by themselves. Even once baby is big enough and strong enough to use a jumper there is still a good period of overlap where both can be enjoyed, giving you just another station for baby to enjoy. I personally used each and valued them differently.
Photo Â© melissamio - all rights reserved
My Baby Bouncer
A Soft Play Mat for Baby
Another favorite for both tummy time and play is a Bear Baby Mat. We received this as a baby gift for my son and at first I wasn't sure if it would really have much appeal. Boy was I wrong- he loved it! It even wins the prize for being the first source of sibling rivalry between my two children. My daughter ended up loving it too and felt strongly that it really had been intended for her. It's incredibly soft so it's a comfortable place for relaxation or play. Just lay baby out with a couple favorite toys. My daughter has to sit on it when she watches Sesame Street. This is a lovable item that will be enjoyed for years to come, long after baby has outgrown many of these other items.
Soft and Cuddly Baby Play Mat
This is available in a large variety of different animals and colors. It's so soft and fun for a baby to lay on. Even my toddler loves it!
Swings are a mother's best friend
Last but definitely not least is the baby swing. Modern swings are a wonderful invention. Use them! I've gone through about 5 swings for my two babies. They are so helpful that in addition to my regular home swing, I make sure to have one at relatives we visit frequently and also have a portable one on hand for vacations or other outings. I've had several conk out on me but for the amount of use we get I can't be too upset. Not only do they keep baby occupied but they soothe baby and help baby to fall asleep. Look for one that can be battery operated but also can plug into the wall, that has a variety of soothing sounds and music, various speeds, different positions depending on whether baby wants to sleep or play, a mobile for entertainment and fabric that is machine washable.
Top Baby Swing Choices
Baby swings offer a wide variety of features and options. You can definitely find the right swing to suit your needs. I always like having one portable swing and one more permanent decked out with features baby swing. Features can include running on batteries, song selections, option to move side to side in addition to back and forth, trays, toys and more.
Use a Baby Carrier
Get things done with a baby on the go
A good baby carrier can really help in almost any situation. If you have a clingy baby and you're trying to get things done around the house then keep your hands free by "wearing" baby. I've done dishes, put away laundry, swept floors, and more with my kid strapped to either my front or back. Our old mailbox was about a block away and my youngest baby was very heavy. It was much easier to put him in the baby carrier than have to hold him up and back while juggling the mail.
Of course it also helps to have a baby carrier when you're out and about. A stroller is great but a lot of times a baby will only be happy in one for so long. If you have a long day planned it's not realistic to hold your baby in your arms the whole time so a good baby carrier that's easy on the back can be a life-saver.
Best Baby Carrier
There are a lot of choices when it comes to your baby-carrying options. They vary in price dramatically. I've bought probably 10 carriers between my two children. I tried saving money at first but in the long run I would have saved money by buying a nicer one to begin with. This is the one I found worked best for me and my children:
Get a baby seat such as a Bumbo Seat
These chairs enable a baby to sit upright before they'd otherwise be able to do so. It's very comfortable and helps them get used to sitting. The seat is contoured for the right posture for baby. The chair is lightweight so you can take it anywhere and set baby down in a safe place. They can watch you while you cook dinner or watch siblings play. Some of the Bumbo's come with a tray or you can add on a tray. This is great for snacking or playing with toys. I know a lot of Mom's who will use this to help their child watch TV though I typically follow expert recommendations to wait until age 2 for a child to start watching TV. But if you're okay with it this is a great option. Either way this seat will make life easier for you and will be something that baby enjoys.
Please note some of the older models were recalled for safety. They now include a belt for safety so baby doesn't fall out so be aware of that if you buy one used.
Bumbo Seat for Baby
The bumbo seat is available in a wide variety of colors to match any nursery or household decor.
If nothing else works or cost is prohibitive, stick baby in an Easter Basket!
Which station to entertain baby do you like best?
Which station would your baby like best?
© 2012 Melissa Miotke