The first days with your new baby are wonderful, exciting and rewarding, but can also be some of the most uncertain, scary and challenging. As taking care of your little one takes the forefront, self-care often moves to the back burner. In the first 11 months with my daughter, I learned that life with baby looks very different than it did before and I’m working on integrating quick self-care into my life. Here are six quick tips for integrating self-care into your routine while taking care of your little one:
- Take a shower or bath.
- This one seems so simple, yet it can be incredibly difficult to actually fit one in with attending your baby’s needs around the clock. I tend to feel like a new woman after a hot shower, even if it’s a quick one.
- Get outside!
- If the weather allows, take some time outside for fresh air. Take a walk to the mailbox or around the house if you’re not able to make it to a destination spot. Even 10 minutes makes a big difference. Your baby will appreciate it, too.
- Connect with friends.
- Though some existing friendships may change post-baby, others may strengthen, and new ones may form. Parenting on an island is tough; the phrase “It takes a village” came about for a reason! Having someone close to confide in helps, no matter what season of life your baby is in. The Beaumont Parenting Program can be a great way to forge new friendships with parents of children close in age with yours!
- Think about what you loved to do pre-baby. If it’s possible, work that back into your life, even if it’s “baby” steps.
- Time at the gym may be tough to do now, but a good start may be to take your baby for a walk in the park. If you liked reading previously, join a book club and try to get in 10 minutes of reading before bed. Though it can be challenging to do as much or in the same way as before baby, it helps for self-care and love!
- Date night (or day!)
- Time out with your partner can also go on the back burner once your bundle of joy arrives. When you feel comfortable leaving your little one in the hands of a trusted friend or family member for a couple of hours, make time for a date night. If possible, I found that one of these a month can make a big difference! Although your beloved baby may be front-of-mind, try to talk about other topics with your partner.
- Make a solo errands run.
- A quick hour with both hands to run errands can be refreshing, too. Once in awhile, I find an errands run by myself is very helpful for self-care. At the same time, it helps check some things off your to-do list!
What are some of the self-care tips you have for new parents? Share them below!
– Kylie Coury is a Parenting Program volunteer with a 1-year-old daughter and another baby on the way. She enjoys time with her husband and little one, and has appreciated all of the new connections and adventures in this season of life.