One of the first thoughts that occurred to me after I’d walked in the door of my home with Miss E for the first time, was ‘How on earth will I ever get anything done again?’
I’m still not sure how to get things done with a newborn around, but now that things have settled down and I have a 4 month old, I’ve found a few techniques that work for me:
Okay, no surprises here. This is when I get much of my ‘quiet’ housework done. Things like cleaning bathrooms, watering plants, hanging out laundry etc.
2. Highchair Dance-off
Miss E loves her highchair! This is probably helped by the high chair toys we have on her tray.
In the mornings and evenings, when I spend the most time in the kitchen, I put Miss E in her highchair in the middle of the kitchen. We pump the music up, and while I’m washing dishes, unpacking the dishwasher, cleaning benches and preparing food, I make a fool of myself dancing to the music. Despite lacking any kind of coordination, Miss E loves watching my dancing! Penny (Our beautiful labrador) always hangs around as well, just incase I drop some food, and as you can see, Miss E loves watching her too.
This was probably our best non-essential baby purchase. I try not to use it as a baby sitter too often as it’s not overly stimulating, but for sanities sake, being able to pop Miss E in there for five minutes so that I can eat lunch with two hands is often a blessing!
4. Laundry helper
If I’m folding laundry I’m either sitting on the floor next to Miss E as I do it, or I put her on my bed and we fold the washing there. It might make the process a little longer, but games of ‘Where’s Miss E?’ with the clothes I’m folding and letting her touch the different fabrics, is fun for her and allows me to get housework done guilt-free.
5. Reading while feeding
I learned early on that sometimes feeding little ones is a long process. If Miss E is alert and watching me, I’ll try to talk to her and hold eye contact as she feeds. Often she feeds with her eyes closed though, so I take this as an opportunity to read. Sometimes holding a book with one hand can be a struggle, so I ended up investing in a Kindle to make life a little easier.
6. Taking baby with you
The best way to do this is probably by baby wearing. This worked well for my husband, but I found every carrier I tried hurt my back, so I relied on the pram a lot more. I take Miss E outside with me while I’m gardening in her pram or on a picnic blanket. I talk through everything I’m doing as I do it, and she enjoys watching, listening and getting a little sun.
I don’t expect these techniques will work for everyone, but anything’s worth a try, right?