It’s no easy feat raising a baby, especially when they’re in the newborn stage. Night after night of disturbed sleep can easily lead you to feeling over-exhausted. And it can be hard trying to get tasks done when you’re really tired and you have a baby in tow who wants you to carry them 24-7.
So, how do you get anything done with a baby? That’s a question many new mum’s and dad’s want to know. Well, I’m going to share with you some tips that helped me in the first years after having a baby. As a working mum with two young kids, I am sharing 20 strategies that have really helped me to stay organised.
1. Plan ahead and write things down
Plan things you want to buy or chores that need completing using a schedule or calendar. You can therefore tick things off as you complete them which will give you the satisfaction in knowing that you’re making progress.
2. Prepare things the night before when possible
If you know you have a particularly busy day then get everything ready the night before such as clothing and meal preps. This will save you from leaving things to the last minute.
3. Do what you can while your baby sleeps
Notice I said do what you can and not do everything while your baby sleeps. Do what you can when your baby sleeps but make your expectations realistic.
You probably won’t be able to do everything you wish to while your baby naps but get the top priority tasks out of the way first.
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4. Plan meals in advance and cut out Cooking time
It’s best to plan what you’re going to eat for the week before going food shopping as you won’t have to think about what you’re going to have before every meal.
You can also use kitchen appliances like a slow cooker which saves time as you are able get on with other things while your meal is cooking. Another great tip is to batch cook your food and store it in containers then place them in your fridge or freezer. If your baby is now on solid’s you can also store their food in a baby food container and place it in the fridge or freezer.
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5. Shop Online
You can do online shopping which saves time and fuel money. Yes, it can be nice to shop in person as you can see what you’re buying, however if you’re running short on time, then shop online.
6. Have a changing mat or changing station upstairs and downstairs
So you don’t have to keep running up and down the stairs, make sure you have a changing mat or changing station upstairs and downstairs as well as nappies, wipes and nappy rash cream (if you use it).
7. Organise your home
Keep things in the same place so you always know where to find them. You can also use organiser labels so you know where things have been placed.
8. Use baby gadgets to keep your baby occupied
You can try cool baby gadgets such as a baby swing or a bouncer suitable for their age; these can keep your baby occupied for a little while so you can do small tasks. Swings and bouncers are also soothing and entertaining for babies.
In addition, white noise has been shown to help babies relax and sleep better, therefore you can try a baby white noise machine or put on a white noise video on Youtube.
9. Use calendars to plan your Day
Use calendars for upcoming appointments and write the appointment times and addresses so you don’t forget. You can also plan upcoming birthdays or parties by using a calendar.
If any domestic forms need completing then put these on monthly calendars and the dates they need completing by so you won’t miss deadlines. Staying organised can help to prevent stress. For big tasks, you may need to plan well in advance and set small goals to achieve them.
If you are planning something for the first time (such as going on your first holiday with a child) then do some research on the internet of common things you need to prepare.
10. Keeping a sleep routine
Try to keep routines once you baby is over a few months old – here’s a guide to help you with a baby sleep schedule. Sleep routines help young children in the following ways:
- It helps their body to fall into a routine so they will naturally feel tired at certain times of the day and night – this is good for you because you can plan things better.
- It helps your baby to begin learning what is expected of them.
- It helps your baby to feel more in control as they can start to predict what to expect.
- Generally, it helps to prevent fussiness and over exhaustion in babies.
11. Time daily tasks
If you can time your tasks this will help you as you will become an expert in knowing how long things take so you can plan your tasks effectively. You can time things like bathing your baby, feeding your baby or doing housework.
Also, once you are clear about how long tasks take then you can give yourself a limit to get each task done as this will help you to stay on top of your schedule.
If you plan on completing a new task and you’re really not sure how long it will take, or you suspect it may take a while, then it’s best to do it at a time you know you won’t be disturbed instead of rushing. For example, this could be when you have someone there to help you look after your baby.
12. Ask For Help From your partner, Family Or Friends
If there is any way your loved ones can help you out, then simply ask them. Also, make sure you are totally clear with them on what help you want.
13. Organise your baby’s clothes
Separate your baby’s clothes into different sections so you know where everything is. For me, I use a door organiser for things like nappies, nappy bags, wipes, a changing mat, moisturiser and even clothes for my daughter.
14. Stay on top of finances
After payday, you may want to put money aside for things you know you need to buy that month. This helps you to stay organised with your money.
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15. Carrying your baby around
You can always carry your baby with a baby sling while you get things done. I’m sure your baby would love the close contact with their mummy / daddy and it’s a particularly useful tip if you’re wondering how to get things done with a clingy baby in tow.
16. Staying on top of the shopping
Keep an eye on what food and other items you need as you don’t want to be rushing to the supermarket at unsuitable times of the day just to buy something. If you can, then have multiple supplies of household items so you don’t run out.
17. Stay calm
Don’t stress about not getting tasks done. Stressing won’t help to get things done but it can affect your mental state. Most house chores can be done at a later date or time. When it comes to raising very small children, remember that things tend to get easier as you child becomes more independent.
18. Accept that things won’t be perfect
Everyone knows that looking after a baby or toddler can be a lot in itself, so don’t stress about trying to be perfect. A little mess on your coffee table is to be expected.
19. Be Kind To Yourself
Give yourself little rewards by dedicating some of your baby’s nap time / any free time to doing something you love.
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20. Encourage Your Toddler To Help You
As your baby gets older and becomes a toddler, you can start asking them to help you with little tasks. Using tools like routine cards will help to guide and encourage your little one to get tasks done – in a fun way! Make sure you praise them and celebrate both your wins together.
You may want to check out these productivity tools that are great for mums with young children. Also, feel free to leave a comment about what helps you to stay organised.