Whether you are a happy and overwhelmed Mum or Dad, congratulations for becoming a parent. The road ahead is challenging, but the good news is that millions survive it every year. You are likely to lose out on sleep and miss appointments, having to deal with emergencies, and stress out sometimes, But after all, it will pass and be worth it. If you feel like you have no idea how you are going to cope with work, household jobs, and childcare alone, below you will find a few tips on how to stay focused and organised, making your own life and your family’s easier.
Keep a Calendar in a Visible Place
With a new baby, it is easy to get distracted and miss out important appointments. Whether you have to turn up at the dentist for a checkup or need to schedule a meeting or training, you are likely to forget it. A calendar in the kitchen or the hallway can help you remember what you have to do each day and plan your days ahead. You are likely to have much less time now that you are responsible for another human being, and this means that you have to combine trips and make sure that you allow time for dealing with last minute disasters, too.
File Your Coupons and Offers
It is hard to keep on top of your couponing when you have a baby, and you might find that they start laying around the dinner table or the kitchen counter. Simply get a folder and file all of the coupons and vouchers you have collected in a date of expiry order. This will help you choose the offers you would like to use whenever you are heading out of the house. Whether you have to fill up your car with fuel or get some nappies, you don’t want to spend hours trying to find the right coupon.
Get a Food Diary
In case you are worried about your child developing food allergies and intolerances, you will need to keep a food diary, so you can monitor their health and identify the food items that are not good for them. You can create the food diary on your computer or in a notebook, depending on which one you prefer, and check back what might have caused your baby’s upset stomach or constipation. As a parent, you will have to keep an eye out for potential dangers, as your baby can’t yet tell you when they are not feeling good after eating a particular meal.
Collect Your Bills
One of the things that usually gets neglected after you have a baby is bills. You are likely to miss the deadlines, unless you have a direct debit set up. You can create a bill storage box and place it on your hallway tree or your kitchen counter, so you can check which invoices are due at the end of the day, after the little one is asleep and you have a few minutes to yourself. Simply pick out the ones that need paying and take care of them next time you go to the post office or the bank branch. Alternatively, you can move all your accounts online, and manage them through your mobile app.
Store and Sell Clothes to Make Up Space
Image via 33rd Fighter Wing
Babies grow fast, and you will need to make sure that you don’t become a hoarder. In the baby’s room, create different shelves with labels, and sort the clothes out based on size. If you received a few, you will want a chance to wear them before they grow out of them. Once you have a shelf full of clothes people grew out of, you will be able to take a photo of them and sell them online or give them away to charity shops or friends, depending on the condition.
Keep Doctors’ Numbers Handy
No matter how old your child is, you are always going to worry about them. As babies can’t tell you what’s wrong, you will be tempted to call the nurse or the hospital when they look upset. It is important that you keep the doctor’s and the local nurse’s number handy. In some cases, it might be better to call 111 where you can speak to a qualified nurse on the phone, instead of having to call in at A&E or surgery.
With a new baby, you will not be free to come and go when you want. They will want to sleep at a certain time, and if they can’t they will get moody. If you have finally identified the time they are the most alert and happiest, you can plan a trip to town to do your banking, meet up with friends, pick up a few items from your local shop, or get your car washed. You are not likely to have more than one chance to do everything you need to do in the day, so planning ahead is always a good idea.
Sort Your Laundry
With new babies come a lot of extra laundry. You can get a laundry basket that allows you to sort your clothes by color and other baby gadgets that will make your life and household chores easier. Be sure to have a stain remover spray handy, and try to keep every surface hygienic. You might need to get a steamer that will remove bacteria without leaving harmful toxins around that your little one might ingest.
Schedule Your Cleaning Around Your Baby
One of the most challenging things you will need to schedule is cleaning. Most babies will want your attention and hate hoovers. If you would like to keep a happy and healthy home without upsetting your little one, chances are that you need to get smart. You can ask your partner to take them out for a walk while you are doing the hoovering and dusting, or simply put on a relaxing music, to see if it helps. Be careful that when they start standing up, they will take the chance to pull out all the drawers and open the cupboards, so you should move all your cleaning stuft higher.
Hang Clothes on Coat Hangers
Busy new mums rarely have time for laundry, not to mention ironing. You can make your life easier if you hang clothes (especially shirts and dresses) on coat hangers so they don’t get that many wrinkles. You will be able to run over them with a hot iron, and that’s it. If your other half wears a suit, you might be better off sending these to the local laundry and getting them professionally cleaned and returned ironed.
Keep Your Freezer Stocked
There will be times when you simply can’t get out of the house, and you will still need to prepare tea and feed your baby. You will need to have a few ready meals in the freezer, or you are not going to be able to take care of your family. You can cook a meal in the slow cooker during the weekend and freeze a few portions, so you just have to get it out when you are hungry. You could also make your pizza dough ahead and freeze it, ready to roll when you are in a hurry.
Prepare Small Portions of Baby Food Ahead
Baby food will be more important than anything. At the first few months, you will need to make sure that you try various formulas, However, making your own can also be a good option. Get small resealable plastic containers, mush pumpkins and spinach with potatoes, turn it into a baby food, and cool or freeze it. This way, when you urgently need extra food, you will have it ready, free from artificial colourings and preservatives.
Bulk Buy Baby Items
There will be a few baby items you will use every day. From nappies to baby wipes and cream, you can get them in bulk, after checking the expiry date. Baby formula can be tricky, but if you have the storage, you can save a couple of trips to the more expensive convenience stores.
Do Your Shopping Online
When you can’t get out to do your weekly shopping, there’s always online delivery service. You should open an account with your favorite supermarket and simply add your regular shopping list. Pick your preferred delivery date and time, and you don’t have to go out with a baby who simply doesn’t want to face the day. Even if you only do a part of your shopping online, you will have more time to spend with your baby and take care of your household chores.
Welcome to the world of busy parents. If you don’t want to become overwhelmed with household chores, appointments, and bills, put these tips into practice and you will save time, money, and hassle. Fewer trips to town and more food in the freezer will help you manage your limited time in the first few years of your child’s life.