Living on Baby Time
November 13, 2017
Babies are constantly growing and their needs are constantly changing, which can make it difficult for parents to establish any sort of consistency. While it is a parent’s duty to care for our growing children, it’s not necessarily easy to revolve around them. Don’t worry, it won’t last forever, and here are some tips to help you while you’re living on baby time.
Parenting, all aspects of it, is a team effort. Feeding, changing, tummy-time, doctor appointments – everything your baby needs must be done with regards to the whole family. If mom has been the one getting up at night for night-time feedings, dad needs to take a shift or arrange for her to sleep during the day. Work together to make sure your needs are being met. This could mean recruiting outside help, too. A family member or friend would be more than happy to play with a baby while you slept. Remember, it takes a village, so don’t be afraid to reach out to yours.
Don’t roll your eyes or call this “cliché” like I did when someone suggested it. Once your doctor clears you for exercise, DO IT! Actually, do it. It will help you sleep better at night and have more energy during the day – 2 things that will make a drastic difference in your ability to cope with and adapt to the changing needs of your baby. You will be healthier and happier with regular exercise. One of my favorite ways to get in a quick bout of exercise is to look-up a YouTube video of an 8-minute workout that targets a specific muscle group. I do one or two of these a day, rarely consecutively, but at some point, I have a spare 8 minutes and it changes the whole tone for my whole day. You won’t regret prioritizing your health.
Stick to a routine
While the timing might not be consistent, the activities should be. Creating a routine can help your baby have a more consistent schedule, sleep and eat better, and stay calmer. They begin to anticipate and associate certain routines with certain activities. For example, having a consistent bedtime routine of breast/bottle, bath, book, then bed, can help them know that those activities mean it’s time to wind down.
Follow baby’s cues
As your baby grows, you may notice they sleep longer at night, and less during the day. They may eat more before bed because they are outgrowing their night feedings. It’s important to pay attention to your baby’s habits and behaviors so you can anticipate their needs and adapt. If you notice your baby acting fussier than normal before bed, perhaps they are still hungry and are adapting to a bigger “dinner” to allow for more sleep at night (hooray, right?) Maybe they are struggling to fall asleep during their morning nap, and are transitioning to 1 nap, which may also hopefully mean more sleep at night.
What tips would you give new parents who are living on baby time?
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