I don’t consider myself an authority on baby parenting or on ‘how-to-look-after-small-babies’, but from the past couple of weeks or so I have been looking after my 4-month old daughter and maintaining my house without any help. I have my husband by my side but he’s in office from 9AM to 9PM, so the arduous task of looking after my daughter falls on my delicate(who am I kidding) shoulders. I have learnt a lot about parenting and what good is knowledge if it’s not shared, right? So let me list things that you can do which will help you in looking after your small baby when you are alone at house, especially if you are a first time mummy, like me :)
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Cooking: One of the major time consuming work for me is cooking, as you know, if you have read my earlier post on my aversion towards cooking. If you are one of those lucky ladies who can afford to have a cook then you can skip this section. On second thoughts you can skip this post, because if you can afford to keep a cook, I am sure you can keep a nanny too. Thank God I have my sense of humor intact in these tiring times.
On serious notes, I never cook when my baby is sleeping because baby’s nap time is my rest time. Also all the ruckus from the kitchen will probably wake up the baby. I usually finish all my cooking chores in the morning time before hubby leaves for work, so that I can have the entire day for my baby and myself. Also it’s best if you keep all the ingredients for your dish ready before the actual cooking. I finish all my cutting/dicing/grating work when the baby is having her short duration naps in the day.
Bathing: Baby’s bath time can be very stressful for both the baby and the mommy, especially if you have a baby like mine who screeches at the top of her lungs during her bath. But it’s best that you learn how to give your baby a bath, so that you don’t have to depend on anyone else. Also most babies sleep soundly after their bath, so give bath to your baby when you and the baby feel sleepy. I generally bath my baby during noon so that I can finish my lunch and have my afternoon siesta.
Every baby is different so adjust your schedules according to your baby’s sleep patterns. After all what works for the baby, works best for the mommy too :). If you are bathing your baby in the traditional manner (with baby on your lap) ensure that your little one is comfortable. Most babies fidget a lot when they are being bathed in the traditional manner, so it will be tiresome for the mommies too. You can also try giving bath using baby bathtubs which are safer.
Keep it handy: Ensure that all essentials like diapers, napkins, baby medicines, baby powder are kept at the same place and are handy. You don’t want to have a wailing baby in hand and then start rummaging around for the medicines or diapers. Also keep important numbers like your pediatrician and your spouse’s numbers on speed dial. Being organized and prepared helps in reducing stress when you have a small baby to look after.
Take a breather: It’s very important that you take a break from looking after your baby and do something that’s relaxing, after all looking after a toddler is not an easy task. So during weekends put your husband on baby duty and go have a relaxing massage or a facial. Anything that will relax you. It’s ok to take help because overdoing it will get you down faster than you think. When your baby is napping, take rest, do something that you enjoy. Remember putting somebody else on baby duty and relaxing will not make you any less a perfect mom. So there’s no need to feel guilty if you spend some time for yourself.
Take care of yourself: Being a mother and taking care of your baby all alone can take a toll on your health. You have just undergone a life-changing experience of giving birth to a new life, so it’s important that you take care of your health. A good healthy mother makes a good healthy baby. Stock up on the fresh fruits and leafy veggies. Make sure that you are taking your iron, vitamins and calcium pills regularly. If you are nursing your baby, make sure that your diet includes proteins, sprouts and lots of liquid. You can also have drinks that aid in lactation (I use Lactare and Galact Granules which can be mixed with milk and used). Most mothers ignore their health when there is a small baby demanding attention constantly. But remember that if you remain healthy and strong, you will be able to take better care of your baby.
Having a baby and taking care of your baby can be an amazing experience and to make it more delightful you need to be calm and stress free. So keep your mind and body fit and enjoy motherhood.