Not to scare you, but the first 6 weeks with your newborn will be intense and difficult.
And while being a new parent is all about devotion and eternal love for their little angel, it is also a time to cut corners whenever and wherever possible. And the sooner that new parents learn where they can apply some time-saving (more like sanity-saving) hack, then the better off they shall be!
The following hacks remove some of the most common struggles so that you can have more time to marvel in the miracle of your newborn angel.
Newborn Bathing Hacks
1. Kitchen Sink — Mom’s New Found Friend
Get ready to fall in love with your sink!
Being a new mom, any help is appreciated during those initial days of subsiding pain of delivery, even if such support comes in the form of that porcelain basin.
Large bathtubs are for large humans, not for little ones who squirm and wiggle their way around whenever possible. You don’t want to crouch over and catch your slippery infant.
This is where your kitchen sink becomes a lifesaver. No crouching, no bending. Plus, most have the perfect size for little humans and even come with a detachable nozzle.
2. No Bath Time
If your little angel does not like the traditional sponge bath, then please don’t force him to do so. Instead, you can try the swaddle bathing.
This is a technique where you wrap your infant in a swaddling cloth and place them in the bathtub. Once submerged from his shoulders down, unwrap one limb at a time and clean.
3. Towel, Ready and Out
Even if you already have a few baby bathing sessions under your belt, do not be overconfident in terms of handling a slippery wet and wiggling little human. Cute as they may be, they are slicker than they look!
And the last thing parents want to do is give your little one a bath then carrying them over to their towel in the next room. Mind you, a lot can happen in that 10 or even 5 feet of space. Wherever the bath takes place, that’s where the towel needs to be. Place it in the ground or a table next to it, with another towel underneath for softness.
Never, I repeat, never transport your slippery little dude to their towel!
Newborn Diaper Changing Hacks
4. Cleaning The Alien Poop
So, it’s your little one’s first official poop. As a first-time parent, looking down at his diaper, you might stifle a scream.
Be warned, the first poop is not the norm!
It is tar-like— horribly sticky, gooey and bizarrely blackish!
And it is despicably hard to clean off, so you don’t want it getting on your limbs.
This is called meconium.
If you’re wondering how your little one pooped inside your belly for the whole nine months, well, he hasn’t. And this is the poop that your little one has been storing up.
This should pass within the first few days after delivery as your little one gets more of your milk.
In the meantime, you can use coconut oil or olive oil in order to get it off your little one’s bottom.
5. Those Shoulder Flaps On Onesies Have a Purpose
See those cute little envelope necklines on onesies? Those are not just adorable decorations.
It is actually a clever feature that you need to stop ignoring and start using! It allows you to pull a soiled onesie down (yes, down!) over the baby in case of ugly, smelly emergencies (you know what I’m talking about).
So, yes, if you are staring down, wide eye, at a category 5 poo-nami and seriously thinking off sacrificing the onesie with a pair of scissors in one hand, stop! You do not have to cut that onesie into twosies or even try a Minute-to-win-it careful removal of the onesies over your little one’s head without contaminating their face and hair.
Grab those decorative shoulder flaps, pull open, down and to some powerful running water it goes.
6. Mess-Free, Less-Revolting Butt Cream Application
The problem with diaper creams is that they kind of permanent. So, if you wipe it on your little one then wash your hands, it kinda just spreads around and makes it worse. So, rather than washing your hands, get a diaper wipe, wrap it around the creamed finger and wipe it all away.
Now, if you’re the more sensitive parent and think how ghastly and unhygienic a diaper rash cream can be, then a butt spatula will be your new buddy. It makes applying the cream so much easier, keeping things sanitary and less painful for your little one.
Newborn Sleeping Hacks
7. Soothing Sounds
Probably one of the eternal questions of every first time parent would be “how to get my little human to sleep more?”
One tried-and-tested method?
Use a white noise machine. It allows a baby to sleep better by canceling out cars, house noise and other distracting sounds. There are even some white-noise machines that play nature sounds and soothing lullabies.
8. Stay-Sleepy-While-Checking-Baby Hack
There will be those nights when your little one suddenly goes “waaahhhhh!!!!” in the middle of the night, nut just once, twice or even thrice!
Diaper changes and I-want-my-mommy crying are both hard to deal with in the dark. While you can turn the bright light to see where you’re going, doing so will instantly make you (and your little one) from “zombie idling” to “splashed-cold-water-in-the-face awake”.
To prevent this, replace your white bulb with a red light bulb. This kind of bulb produces dimmer light so that you and your little one can stay under “sleep mode” as you work on the problem.
9. Layer, Layer, and Layer
Pee-spolosions, wet-thorough and blowouts happen. And for some frustrating reason, they seem to happen in the middle of the night.
And the last thing you want is to (half-awake) deal with finding new bedding and remaking the crib and chances of waking up your little one.
So, what can you do?
Get at least 2 waterproof mattress protectors and another 2 sets of sheets. Then, build your crib wet-proof lasagna— the mattress protector, a fitted sheet, another mattress protector then another fitted sheet.
So, the next time there is flooding, just take out the top layer and you’re done!
Newborn Feeding Hacks
10. Nursing Made Easy
Let’s face it, breastfeeding is still less accepted today with more people judging and staring at moms breastfeeding in public. Although there’s no shame in feeding your little human, if you want some privacy and avoid the judgmental and prying eyes of someone, then you will need a nursing cover.
If you don’t have one, then a nurse-friendly shirt is a great solution. Then try the 2-shirt method.
You literally just need to wear 2 shirts. When it’s feeding time, you only need to lift the first shirt. Because you have a second shirt underneath, you don’t have to worry about exposing your post-partum tummy or even the top portion of your breast.
11. Pump, Pump To Give Dad A Chance
For the breastfeeding moms, a breast pump is a necessity, even for the on-leave mamas. And even if you only pump once a day, it offers a great opportunity for dad to do at least one feeding a day, giving him and your little one the time to bond.
Better yet, your partner can do the night feeding so you can have the time to sleep better during the night.
Newborn Clothing Hacks
12. Save The Tiny Socks
As a first-time parent, you might notice why you keep on missing one tiny sock and end up buying more on a weekly basis.
Your washing machine might be secretly eating them. (No kidding)
To prevent losing another pair, buy a mesh-lined bag and keep your baby socks safe while you wash them!
13. Nightgowns Are The Best
Button and snap clothing are cute. However, they become less cute when your little one had a blowout at 2 am, and you, woozily, trying to properly re-snap them without making another mess.
So, do yourself a favor and use nightgowns instead! These sleepers are the simplest versions of pj’s. They are open at the bottom, offering a life-changing way of dressing your little one. No one should ever concentrate that hard right before dawn.