baby

'My top 5 useful tricks that got me through the fog of those newborn days.'

NSW Health
Thanks to our brand partner, NSW Health

Ah, the newborn bubble. An exhausted, blissful state in which there's no concept of day or time.

Those first few weeks and months are such a mix of total love and adoration, but are also overwhelming as there's so many new things to learn, systems to put in place and stuff to keep on top of. Caring for a tiny human is a lot of work!

I'm now into my second year and learning to tackle all that comes with a toddler, but looking back, here are the best tips I was given and tricks I learned that got me through the newborn phase.

Use a hair elastic as a feeding reminder.

If you're breastfeeding it can be hard to remember which breast you last used and which should be used for the next feed. Sure, some mums have lots of supply so their boobs will 'tell' them, but I didn't have that problem. 

I downloaded some apps to log which breast I used for each feed, but I was in such a daze, of course I'd forget to update the app. Then a friend shared this clever little trick. Pop a hair elastic around the wrist on the side you've just fed on. It means when it comes time to feed again you just look down at your wrist and you know which side to use. Swap the elastic over after that feed and there you go! A constant reminder. Free, easy and clever.

Set up a feeding station.

While on the topic of feeding, it's a smart idea to set up a 'feeding station'. It doesn't matter if you're breast or bottle feeding, it comes in handy for everyone. I used a peg bucket from Kmart and in it I had some wipes, a phone charger pack, a bottle of water and of course, some snacks. I also had a battery-operated lamp for night feeds. So often you wind up trapped under a feeding or sleeping baby, so this way you're prepared.

Use a handy app to keep on top of vaccinations.

I downloaded Save The Date To Vaccinate before I had Xandy. Image: Supplied.

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Newborns have a fair few appointments in their little diaries! They have clinic or nurse checks, and of course, appointments at the GP for their very important vaccinations. I've been using the Save The Date To Vaccinate app on my phone to log and keep track of my baby's vaccinations, including when they are due.

The app sends me a reminder to make sure I've booked an appointment and also alerts me to when I have an upcoming GP visit so I won't forget. The app is free and will create a personalised immunisation schedule for all your family members, which is so handy if you have more than one child.

You can also use it to record your GP's details, keep track of past vaccinations and play sounds to help soothe your child. On-time vaccination protects your baby against serious diseases, so this tip is literally a lifesaver.

Bulk order nappies for home delivery.

You don't know you're out of nappies until you are and when that happens, it's pretty hard to find an alternative around the house. Plus, it generally happens at 2am when the shops aren't open. Spoiler alert: maxi pads do not work.

I learned this early on, so I did a bulk online order. Having them delivered straight to your home is a godsend because as you know, packets of nappies are cumbersome and babies go through A LOT. I would order 12 packets at a time and store them in the wardrobe of the nursery, and I'd do the same for wipes.

It meant when I strolled up to the supermarket with my pram I didn't have to cart nappies home every week.

Block out time for self care.

So often when the baby arrives and in the weeks following it's all about the new arrival. Sure, people check in on the new mum, but more than being asked how she is, new mums need a bit of time out to look after themselves.

Partners, relatives, friends or even postpartum doulas (yep, they're a thing) should be called on to supply little chunks of time to care for the baby so that mum can refill her cup, so to speak.

It might be a bath, an hour nap, a walk or a quick pedicure. Nurturing the mother is so, so important for her mental state, and therefore the health of the baby.

What are your top tips for surviving the newborn phase? Tell us in the comments.

Feature image: Supplied.

NSW Health
On-time vaccination is your child’s best protection against serious vaccine preventable diseases. The Save the Date to Vaccinate app is an easy, free tool to remind you of your child’s upcoming vaccination appointments. It follows the National Immunisation Program Schedule and contains information on all of the vaccines that your child will receive. Download the free app today so you can make sure your child is vaccinated on time: health.nsw.gov.au/vaccinate. Or search ‘vaccinate’ in the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.
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