This post about making life easier with a newborn is sponsored by Playtex Diaper Genie, however, all opinions and experiences are my own.
Since we have 5 young children (the oldest is 8 years old), we frequently have friends, family, and strangers comment about how they don’t understand how we do it all. And well, the truth is, we don’t always get it all done! Some nights I go to bed with dirty dishes still in the sink or clean clothes in a hamper waiting to be folded. Frankly, sometimes I go to bed and the house looks like a tornado blew through. However, with each new baby we add to our family, I’ve gotten better and better about finding time-saving solutions and making life easier with a newborn.
Today I’m going to share with you 7 tips I’ve discovered for making life easier with a newborn.
Purchase Quick-Fix Meals
I LOVE a homecooked meal as much as the next person, however it can be quite difficult to spend large amounts of time in the kitchen when you have a newborn. Cooking a meal that typically takes 20-30 minutes could easily take 2+ hours with a newborn. Purchase quick-fix meals during this time (and stock up before baby is born)! Frozen lasagnas, prepacked bagged meals, rotisserie chickens, sandwiches, anything you can fix quickly and without much prep work. I even usually purchase some microwavable meals for this time, especially for lunches.
Go to Bed Earlier
I am a night owl and when I don’t have a newborn, you’ll frequently find me awake and working well past midnight most nights. However, everything changes when I have a newborn. I try to fall asleep no later than 11pm these days, many nights even earlier. I’m exhausted by then and just NEED that extra sleep because I’m waking up so frequently during the night. Making sure I get enough sleep at night helps to ease the mommy-brain fog and also helps me not get too grumpy the next day (just keeping it real!)
Get a Diaper Genie Complete
When I had my first baby, a few people told me that I wouldn’t need a diaper pail. “Just put them in your trash can,” is what they would say. But you know, here’s the thing, when you live in a 2-story home and your main kitchen trashcan and nursery are not on the same level, it’s really not an ideal solution. I found myself putting diapers in our upstairs bathroom trashcan (which wasn’t emptied as regularly as the main trashcan) and that resulted in serious STANK, even from the urine diapers.
If I didn’t put the diaper in the upstairs trashcan, instead I’d set it down with the intent to take it down to the trashcan but sometimes get distracted and the diaper would sit there for hours or sometimes days.
And then sometimes I DID manage to get the diaper in the kitchen trashcan…only to be hit with horrible odors wafting from the trashcan as I was trying to fix dinner later. I found myself emptying the bag before it was even full just to get it out of my kitchen, essentially wasting garbage bags.
I FINALLY got a Diaper Genie Complete with my 4th baby. (Mine is white, although it comes in a number of colors including blue, pink, green and grey!) It is preassembled and ready to go right out of the box and I understood immediately why it’s the #1 selling diaper pail brand. Getting a Diaper Genie has made my life easier and in my mind, it is TOTALLY worth it. In fact, I’ve given away a few as gifts because I love mine so much.
The Diaper Genie Complete is so easy to use! It’s tall and narrow so you don’t have to bend down to use it plus it doesn’t take up very much room in the nursery. You just push the pedal, the top lid and inner clamps open, and then drop the diaper in. As it closes, the Diaper Genie Complete has an Air Tite® Clamp that keeps the diaper smell well contained inside the diaper pail. It also features a carbon filter as a backup defense against odors. When it’s time to empty it, you just open the front door and pull the bag through the built-in cutter. Then seal the bag and start a new bag.
The refills are reasonably priced and last quite a while, especially if you purchase the two-packs like I do. The 7-layer refill bag works great at keeping the odors contained.
Utilize Grocery Delivery/Pickup
Some stores are offering grocery pickup now – I know that Walmart and Amazon offer these services for sure. If they are available in your area, it’s a lifesaver! Not only will it save you time, you also won’t have to take your new baby (and older siblings) into the stores during cold and flu season where they could potentially pick up yucky viruses.
Don’t Make a Lot of Plans
Newborns like to eat often. They poop often. They like to be held frequently. Going on a lot of outings with a newborn can quickly get stressful and time-consuming. I try to limit our plans to leave the house for the first 3 months. Of course, we can’t be hermits and stay inside that entire time, but I try to combine errands so we can do them all in 1 or 2 days of the week. This also ensures that most days we are home so baby Aram can get his naps in.
Let Baby Sleep Where Baby Will Sleep
When I had my first baby, I remember after a few weeks stressing about her sleeping in her crib. I was afraid to have her get too accustomed to sleeping in her swing. As I was stressing over forcing her to nap in her crib (and not getting quality naps from her because of it) and wonderful dear (and smart) fellow mom said to me, “Have you ever seen a preschooler still sleeping in a swing?” Well, of course not! Her point was, let your baby sleep where your baby will sleep. Eventually, as your baby matures and grows, he or she WILL learn to sleep in his or her crib/bed. Until then, just focus on getting them to sleep, wherever they will! Sleep generally begets sleep. So, by making sure your baby gets quality naps during the day, they are more likely to sleep well at night too!
Now that I have my 5th newborn, I let her sleep where he sleeps best. During the day, when our house is prone to lots of loud noises thanks to my other 4 children, that means baby Aram usually sleeps in something that offers him movement, either the swing or mamaRoo. I also turn on a sound machine. Sometimes I even turn on the vacuum cleaner (and leave it on) or an app with vacuum cleaner sounds to ensure he gets a good, long nap.
Take the Easy Way Out
My blog is called Thrifty Nifty Mommy for a reason. I like saving money. I will buy the block of cheese and shred it at home to save 25 cents. I’ll cook meals at home instead of eating out to save us money. BUT, when we have a newborn, I take the easy way out. If I just don’t have time to fix dinner, we’ll order pizza and my husband will pick it up on his way home from work. I buy the pre-shredded cheese. I stop clipping coupons (except for ones I can clip electronically from my phone while I rock the baby). For these few weeks, I give myself the freedom to take the easy way out, even if it means I pay a little bit more.
Have you picked up on the overall theme of this post? The key to making life easier with a newborn is to make life as simple and as easy as possible for you and the whole family. A newborn is a big adjustment and takes a lot of time. But, if you follow these tips, life with a newborn can be much easier for the whole family!