Your new baby is finally here! While you’ve been working and hoping for this little bundle of joy, it’s completely normal to feel overwhelmed in the first few days, weeks and months of baby’s life. Taking care of a newborn (and beyond!) is a 24 hour a day job and can be seriously exhausting.
To make taking care of baby just a little bit easier, we’ve gathered some seriously helpful baby tips and tricks and parenting hacks that are inexpensive and easy to do.
- Find a routine: It’s never too early to do this. New babies sometimes get their days and nights mixed up; getting them on a routine can help them figure it out! However you choose to structure your routine is up to you, but doing the same things at around the same time (for example, bath time at 6:00, followed by a story and final bedtime feeding at 7:00) will help her learn what to expect!
- Use blackout curtains: Newborn sleep is no joke, so do what you can to help them stretch out those nighttime sleeping periods. Keep the room dark with blackout curtains, consider gentle music or a white noise machine, and make sure the room is a comfortable temperature for sleeping.
- Try portable diaper changing baskets: To make diaper changing time easier, keep a basket filled with essentials at several locations around the house. This way you don’t need to go all the way back to the nursery to change a diaper.
- Cut nails after they fall asleep: Is there anything more harrowing than clipping a newborn baby’s fingernails? Next time, try doing it when they are asleep. No wriggling or moving tiny little fingers or toes! Wait until baby is asleep for at least 30 minutes to avoid waking him.
- Keep an emergency diaper kit in the car: Even if your diaper bag is stocked, keep an extra emergency kit in the car as well. Make sure to have an extra shirt for mom (or dad) just in case of an extra messy diaper blow out.
- Park strategically: The next time you head out to the store, try parking right next to the cart return instead of the closest space to the store. It’ll make returning the cart so much faster and easier!
- Velcro Swaddlers: Yes, you can use any old infant blanket to swaddle her, but investing in a Velcro swaddler will be so much easier, especially when changing them in the middle of the night.
- Bicycle their legs: New babies get a little gassy or have a little tummy ache that’s uncomfortable for them and can make them fussy and even cry. If you’ve tried it all and it’s not working, try laying baby on his back and move his legs in a bicycle motion, gently pushing the knees into his belly. This helps to move gas and stool through the intestines and help tummy feel better!
- Football hold: Baby’s love the football hold! Try holding baby along the length of your forearm, with his head in the inside of your elbow, belly down along your arm, and diaper in your hand. The palm and wrist can apply gentle pressure on the belly to also help relieve gas or stomach discomfort. Try gentle rocking or bouncing to help soothe baby to sleep!
- Sleep when the baby is asleep: There’s a reason why this one sticks around. During the early weeks with a newborn, it is so important to take care of yourself too. Yes, you can get the dishes or laundry done during naptime, but it’s truly more important to rest when you can.
- Use a spatula to apply diaper cream. Diaper cream: great for treating diaper rash. Getting it on your hands when applying it: not so much. Try using a small spatula to apply the cream instead in order to keep your hands clean!
- Store the pacifier in a to-go cup: Those little to-go sauce cups are the perfect size for storing pacifiers, so they don’t get gross or lost in your diaper bag or purse.
- Use the onesie shoulder tabs: You know those little tabs at the top of infant onesies? They widen the neck of the top so that you can pull it down instead of up over their head. This is super helpful after a diaper blowout.
- Use an extra wipe on baby boys: Skip the fancy products designed to prevent a little boy from peeing on you when you take their diaper off. Instead, grab an extra wipe and gently place it over his penis while you clean everything else.
- Baby wipes: Baby wipes are great for everything! Use them to clean faces, hands, your hands, as a tissue, or even to clean up a spill.
- Ziploc bags: Keep a Ziploc bag (or 2 or 3!) in your diaper bag to throw out dirty diapers when you’re on the go. Filled diapers can get pretty stinky pretty quickly. Keep it sealed in a Ziploc bag until you can reach a garbage can.
- Double up your crib sheets: Keep a double layer of sheets and waterproof sheets on the crib for easier night clean up. If there’s an accident in the middle of the night, simply grab a layer and pull it off to wash in the morning. No need to remake the entire bed!
Over time, you’ll start to gather your own favorite parenting hacks and new baby tips and tricks. Don’t hesitate to share them with us! We’d love to pass them on to other new Extraordinary Conceptions parents who are also just beginning their own parenting journey.