Every stage of parenthood comes with struggle, for both you and your child. Changing needs, new milestones, and changes in attitudes. But the new born stage can have some really taxing, frustrating, and sleep deprived issues with it. Especially when it’s your first. Mom’s of newborns have a hard time navigating life for those first few weeks. You can be busy recovering from birthing your child, or just getting used to being someone’s mom takes time and patience. Today I have a list of self-care ideas for mom’s of newborns to help you navigate that short time when you baby needs you the most.
- Sleep when baby sleeps. DON’T YOU CLICK AWAY FROM THIS JUST YET MOM! Hear me out! The reply I see to this most often is ‘yeah and do dishes when baby does the dishes, vacuum when baby vacuums.’ But you know what? F@#$ the dishes! I don’t care how many you have in that sink. If you have older kids that are capable of doing the dishes pass that crap on, ask your spouse to help, or have them get up with the baby all night so that you can do the house work the next day. Yes, sometimes you will have to play a little catch up, yes, dishes do still need to be done from time to time, but most importantly, you need some rest! What’s more important, a shiny sink or a healthy mom? Get the rest you need, even if it’s sitting there awake because you also have two year old that you need to look after and you watch cartoons while you breastfeed all day long. Put up your feet, and the moment your kids close their eyes make sure your eyes close too. A tired mom makes mistakes, life-threatening ones. A tired mom loses patience with toddlers and crying babies and can do the unthinkable before even she knows what’s happened. Get a little shut eye and know that the dishes will be there tomorrow, and if they grow legs and walk out of the house, well, that’s even better. You aren’t meant to be perfect, you’re meant to be healthy and you’re able to be a better mom when you take a few minutes and give yourself what you need.
- Dry shampoo is one of your new besties! I love the idea that tampon and pad boxes should come with coupons for chocolate candy bars. I think pregnancy tests should come with dry shampoo coupons. You may not use it on a regular basis, you might not even like using it at all, but that morning will come where you didn’t get a wink of sleep the night before, the baby as an appointment at 8 am, and not only is your hair falling out, but it’s extra greasy from the dramatic change in your hormones. A little dry shampoo and you at least look presentable. Concealer may also be your best friend in this new born stage, if you can actually find the time to apply it. 🙂
- Face masks and other low maintenance pampering. You can find face masks at almost any department store, from the dollar tree and five below to target and Ulta. Shop where it fits your budget, and grab a few masks to have on hand, or even just a really good face wash. Remember those hormones I mentioned? It also can give a really nice case of adult acne! Looks awful, huts your confidence, and can really be painful!
- Drink lots of water. Especially if you’re breastfeeding, but no matter how your kid eats, make sure you’re drinking lots of water! This is basic self care and can do wonders for your health, your skin, your hair, everything.
- Eat your fruits and veggies. Eat other types of snacks too, this isn’t a weight loss plan I’m talking about here. But along with the water you need to eat healthy, this will give your body the boost it needs to help you heal, give you natural lasting energy (so that you can do the dishes while baby sleeps if you insist) and just helps you feel so much healthier.
- Get some air. Open a window if you can, take baby out on the porch with you, go to the park, whatever. Just get some fresh air! A little sun light too! It can be scary to take a new born out and about with germs and sickness and loud noises and people who never learned to keep their hands to themselves, but get out and get some fresh air. Parents in other countries will also do this in the winter.
- This tip works best before baby is even born, but if you do decide to clean up, spend a couple minutes de-cluttering. If there’s less clutter in the house, there’s less to clean, so there’s more time to watch baby sleep and get some rest for yourself too.
- If possible, get some time to yourself as often as possible. My husband still does this, but when I had a toddler and a new born in the house and he was gone at work all day, he would come home and play with the boys while I took a walk, a bubble bath, or sat in the corner laughing hysterically while slipping slowly into madness. Okay, maybe not that last part, but that might be what happens if you never take some time to yourself. I took countless showers while my toddler napped in his bed just outside the bathroom, and my new born was in his swing in the bathroom, but any chance you get to do so alone, take it! The term “touched out” is totally real and can make you feel like you’re going crazy if you get to that point. So the next time your mother in law stops by and asks if you need help with anything, say, “Heck yes!” And have them sit with the baby while you take a bubble bath and watch make up tutorials on youtube for at least 30 minutes. Or whatever floats your boat!
- Which leads me to this next tip: ASK FOR HELP! Your husband doesn’t know how to best help you. Even when they want to, they don’t know where to start. You friends want to help you, in anyway they can, but they don’t know what you need from them. Ask them! Ask them to wash a few dishes, ask them to sit with the baby, ask them to go for a walk with you and baby, all you have to do is ask. That doesn’t mean they’ll drop everything that second, but if and when they are able to help they most likely will! You aren’t mean to be perfect, and you aren’t meant to do 100% of this work alone.
- My last tip for today is: don’t exercise. Not in this new born stage! Unless you adopted, or are fostering, and haven’t gone through the physical action of having a baby. In which case working out can be very beneficial. But to the new mom who just gave birth, you need to heal. Don’t worry about the weight, don’t worry about your stomach. Working out can really be harmful during these first few weeks (longer if you had a c section) if you can’t manage to get a nap when baby sleeps, then you don’t have time or the physical health to take on a workout schedule at this time. Wait until your doctor gives you the okay and punch anyone who tells you differently square in the jaw. Point me in their direction, I’m known to be a little feisty, and I’m always ready to stick up for a fellow mom! 😉
Just concentrate on loving yourself, and loving your baby! After these first few weeks you can manage more, and you will find your new normal! But until then concentrate on you and your kids. Everything else is just filler.
Until next time friends!