When we have a baby many of us are so in love, so happy, so content, so grateful, and so damn proud of ourselves that we don’t want to put our babies down.
Many babies are in such utter shock that they’ve now landed in this strange world where sounds are no longer muffled and there are lots of people poking them, that they just want to be cuddled.
Combine that with the good old parenting paranoia and you can find yourself literally unable to put them down.
Add into that breastfeeding and you literally morph into one person for a while at least.
Now don’t get me wrong I literally wouldn’t have swapped that closeness with my babies for anything at all. That’s been a huge part of that raw part of motherhood for me that is so frequent and intense, but also in the whole scheme of things so short lived and fleeting. Nothing lasts forever and that closeness was an important part of our bond.
How about you?
With my last baby though, I had the added complication of silent reflux, which meant that I could rarely put him down as he was liable to choke on his own vomit.
As much as we love our babies, as much as we want that bond, and as much as we desperately want to fulfill their every need, we also do need to do other things, for ourselves and for others.
So here are my top tips for still being able to achieve other things whilst being attached to your baby 24/7.
- Baby carrier – use a baby carrier or a sling, whichever works for you and your needs. I did this with all the children but due to the reflux, with my last baby the baby carrier was a total must, as it was a better position for him and I could still get on do things with the other children. I carried him in this at some point every day until he could walk.
- Keep your phone with you – especially in the early days of a new baby, and particularly in the night when you are up feeding, make sure you have your phone close by. I used to order the grocery shopping, do Christmas and birthday shopping, send myself reminders of things I needed to do and so on during weird hours of the night. You have to use these opportunities to take some pressure off yourself during the daytime.
- Preparation – this is really important and can really help you to help yourself. Make sure you prepare as much as you can in advance. Use the few moments that someone else has the baby or if perhaps they are sleeping to prepare anything that will help you out later. Do anything you need two hands for and leave the rest.
- Master one handed tasks – until you have a baby you don’t realise how many things can actually be done one-handed. Trust me, there are only a few things you actually need two hands for, get practising!
- Substitution for you – as you and your baby get a bit happier with them being put down for short periods, you can try things out as a substitution for you. The best things are those you can take anywhere in the house. I used to try and get myself set up so I had something in most rooms, so I could move between rooms in the house with the babies and they could play and chat to me whilst I got a few things done.
As hard as it can feel sometimes, try to remember that they were until recently all snug inside you, being carried everywhere and now they are out and it’s all a bit different…wanting to be carried everywhere still is not all that surprising is it?