“Before the baby came, I used to achieve so much in a day; I used to be able to look back at the end of the day and know that I had been productive and I’d got things done! Now I just seem to get to the end of the day, the house is a mess, I’m shattered, and I’ve achieved nothing!” I could add the name of the person that said this to me, but actually, I’ve heard it so many times from so many new mums that it could be any new parent and it might well be YOU right now!
Having a new baby throws all your old ways up in the air.
Suddenly the simplest of things becomes a challenge.
It’s when we’re in the midst of this muddle that it all becomes tough.
So I wanted to give you a couple of things to help you if you’re deep in new-baby land right now, or if you are pregnant and having a baby soon, these Tiny Wins could really help you in the first stages of having a baby. And if your baby is a bit older now and you still find that there aren’t enough hours in the day, then these tips might help you make some more structure and space in a slightly chaotic world!
Tip 1: Cook early, Cook too much!
Make the evening meal as the first job you do when your baby goes back to sleep in the morning. Choose something quick and something that can sit in a pan and just be reheated. Casseroles, bakes, chilli, curry and stew are fabulous as they can easily be reheated (and eaten one-handed if necessary!) when you’re ready.
You will thank your organised self for doing this every night when you come downstairs after putting the baby to bed and find a little present of a meal waiting for you!
To be even more thankful to your organised self, make more than you need, pop it in a pot and freeze it, just remember to label it (I do remember serving many a supper mystery when I had tiny babies!). That way, on REALLY tired days or when you aren’t feeling fabulous, there will still be a lovely bit of magic waiting for you to bring you a smile!
Tip 2: Think in blocks of time
Before my first baby was born, my sister told me that newborn babies work in blocks of 4 hours, and checking with my midwife friend Darcey Croft from Mothermind ( https://mothermind.io/), she tells me that babies need to feed every 4 hours. So, think of your time in 4-hour blocks and know that in that time your baby needs to feed, sleep and play. In the beginning, they’ll spend most of the time eating and sleeping, but over time, that will totally flip and they’ll spend the majority of the time playing and a lot less of the time sleeping or eating.
Thinking like this gives you structure to the day and just helps!
Tip 3: Toys and playthings
Your baby doesn’t need many toys. Things from around the house are fabulous toys for your baby. I found being a bit organised with the playthings really helpful. So, collect together a basket or box or two and fille them with things from around the house that would be safe for your baby to explore and play with. Then create different kinds of play baskets. You might, for example, have a texture basket and include all sorts of things with different textures. Or you might want to have one that’s full of natural things and include things that are made of wood; large, smooth pebbles; shells, etc. You could have a noisy basket, or a red one. Really, the options are endless! Each basket doesn’t need many things in it.
When you organise things into baskets, it means you can mix up the toys and things that your baby plays with which keeps things interesting for them.
Try to include a cardboard baby book in each box if you can. Take time to settle down and read the book to your baby. Remember that they love to hear the same book, again and again, so don’t worry that they’ve heard it before!
Tip 4: Get clear on what your baby needs to learn or practice next
When you get clear on what your baby needs to learn and practice next, you’ll help them build the skills they need to move on with their development. Taking the time to understand your baby’s development needs will help you feel confident that you are giving them all the skills they need to develop and reach their full potential. It will also make you much more intentional about the play that you are doing with them and more intentional in the way you interact.
This can be a tricky thing to do if you don’t know about child development. The Oliiki app is here to help you do this simply and easily using things you have around the house. As you share the simple activities with your bump or baby, you’ll realise the learning they’re gaining from the play you are doing and you’ll be learning more and more about your baby’s development which in turn will make you feel confident that you ARE doing the very best you can for your baby! You can download the Oliiki app here, and if you’ve got the app already and found it useful, why not tell a friend… you never know - you could really make their day!
Tip 5: Look for the Tiny Wins each day!
Having a new baby is a time of firsts. There are SO many things that we’ve just never done before or had any experience of. It’s really easy to get overwhelmed and feel a little bit like a failure. Here at Oliiki, we know that a confident parent is a great parent and therefore in everything we do we aim to build your confidence. The biggest piece of feedback we get from parents who use the Oliiki app is that they feel so much more confident when they start using it with their baby. One of our big things is to look for the Tiny Wins each day. Please note that Tiny Wins have capital letters because they are SO important! Finding them will make a massive impact on your day and the wonderful thing is when you start focusing on them, you’ll find them all over the place! So, make a thing of looking for your Tiny Wins each day and taking note of them. I promise it’ll make a massive difference!