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We asked the Mamamia community for their best hacks during the newborn stage. Here's what you told us.

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Thanks to our brand partner, Huggies

Being a brand-new parent to a newborn can be an exciting, beautiful and challenging time. Nothing can prepare you for the exhilarating ride that new parenthood will take you on.          

Some days it seems you’ve been thrown into a CEO role with no experience or training. But I promise, from one parent to the next: you’ll absolutely get the hang of it. 

It can be helpful to find your own little hacks to make the transition to parenthood a little less overwhelming. For that precise reason, we thought, why not ask the Mamamia community of parents for theirs? What are the golden nuggets, the practical tips and the game-changing tricks that helped you through the newborn stage?

Here's exactly what some of them said.

Self-care basket

During those blurry early days, you’ll find that your newborn sleeps for up to 18 hours a day. A lot of this sleeping be in your arms, as that’s where babies feel most comforted and safe. Lauren, mum of one boy, found herself frequently "nap trapped" when her son was brand new. That is, having a gorgeous, snoozing bub asleep on top of you, and so physically trapping you from doing literally... anything else. 

Lauren recommends putting together your own self-care basket, which she always had within arm’s reach, to avoid having to get up and disturb her sleeping son. She suggests your self-care basket to include a bottle of water, charged up phone, snacks, a book, headphones or earphones, the television remote, as well as spare nappies, wipes and changing mat or towel.

Invest in the best nappies and wipes

Now we're talking nappies and wipes, a lot of new parents repeatedly recommended finding the best nappy and wipe combo that are top quality, an affordable price, and from a brand they trusted. For myself in my own newborn experiences, I'd recommend Huggies Newborn Nappies and Huggies Thick Baby Wipes Fragrance Free as a no-brainer. 

They were the go-to duo for me when all three of my babies were born. And the two products that also make the most sense together; I couldn't have one without the other. They’re specifically designed to protect and care for a newborn’s delicate skin and are endorsed by the Australian College of Midwives. Huggies newborn nappies have a special liner that quickly absorbs those explosive ~code browns~ (as they’re known as in our household!). 

Huggies Thick Baby Wipes are super gentle on baby’s skin and made with 70 per cent natural fibres, too. This is particularly important to me because my three girls all have sensitive skin, and I’ve seen how delicate their newborn bottoms could be. Huggies wipes are also thick enough that your fingers won’t go through them mid-wipe (parents, if you know you know.)

Image: Supplied.

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Find your village

This tip to navigate the newborn stage of parenthood came up a lot: finding your village. Hannah, who is a new mum of a little girl, says she has found it difficult to make parent friends during the pandemic. She suggests making the effort to go to a baby music class or a reading/'rhyme time' at the library, where you’ll often meet other parents who are currently in a similar parenting stage as you. 

Hannah also recommends making time to go for a walk with a girlfriend or loved one, and she says it gave her a chance to debrief and feel seen when sharing (or comparing notes) on the newborn experience with those who have been through it before. Hannah says she is learning to accept offers of help and support from family and friends, as well nurturing bonds with her ‘mum friends', which is a great way of creating that crucial support network during a stage of parenthood that can be isolating and full of questions.

Thermos of tea

"When my daughters were newborns, my favourite hack was to brew a thermos of camomile tea before bed and keep it next to me. When I’d wake up in the dead of a wintery night to feed my baby, I’d have a cup of hot camomile tea. It woke me up enough to be alert, but there was also something really comforting about it. Of course, I was hugely careful not to spill it on my baby!"

Sound machine

"My husband Luke says his favourite newborn hack is white noise. You can buy small portable sound machines which become a great sleep association for a new baby. White noise is soothing and is reminiscent of the background noise a baby becomes used to when they are in utero. White noise also does a good job at blocking out household noises, such as husbands who talk loudly. Apparently."

The kitchen sink

"Your kitchen or laundry sink is the perfect place to bathe your newborn baby," recommends Cate, mum of two girls. It’s a comfortable height for you and means you won’t be bending over the bath during your postpartum recovery. If your change table isn’t near to the sink, set up an extra towel on the couch to dry and dress baby on, along with their clean nappy and clothes. 

Yoga balls

"If you have a yoga ball, try sitting on it while you’re getting an unsettled baby to sleep," says Jess, mum of three. "They’ll love the gentle motion, plus you get a break from the standing and swaying that you might otherwise find yourself doing!"

Pyjamas with a zip

Dress your baby in pyjamas with a zip, recommends Sarah, who has twin boys of her own. You’ll thank yourself when you’re doing multiple nappy changes in the middle of the night. Pyjamas with snap buttons can be fiddly and frustrating, especially when you’re exhausted and uncoordinated, or you have a baby (or multiples!) being fussy and wriggling. 

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Changing stations

If you live in a multi storey house, mother of three Bec recommended her game-changing newborn hack is to have a set of supplies on each level of your home. She suggests keeping a container with Huggies Newborn Nappies and Baby Wipes, cream and anything else handy on each level: that way you can avoid having to keep running up and down the stairs whenever you need to do a nappy change.

Batch cook

Days with a newborn can be... a bit of a haze. And before you know it, you’re trapped on the couch under a sleeping baby at dinnertime, not even realising a few hours have passed. Anna, mum of four little ones, suggests doing a big cook up once or twice a week, and freezing meals for the nights when you don’t have time or capacity to cook. 

Several parents also suggested signing up for a meal delivery service for the first few months of parenthood as a useful option that saved them time and grocery trips.

Bicycle legs

Newborn babies have an immature gut and can often be unsettled due to pain from trapped wind. Georgie, mum of three, swears by the bicycle legs technique. Lay your baby on their back (on a soft but firm surface), and gently move baby's legs around in a pedalling motion for a few minutes, to mimic legs pushing peddles on a bike. This does wonders for releasing trapped wind and helps baby feel more comfortable.

Warm bath

Inconsolable newborn? Francis, mum of two, suggests running a (temperature-appropriate) warm bath for your baby. It’s extra beneficial if a parent gets in too, so baby also has some skin-to-skin time with them. The warm water and cuddles with a parent can calm baby and help wind them down for sleep.

Ice cube trays

When your baby starts solids, puree the food of your choosing and freeze it in ice cube trays, advises Bella, mum of three. When you need puree, simply pop out and defrost only one portion, which is generally the perfect-sized serving for a baby starting solids.

Wheat bag

Newborns love being snuggled up and warm, which is why they sleep so well when they’re being held. Often when you try and pop them back in their bassinet, they stir and wake as soon as they hit the mattress. Lucy, mum of two girls, would place a warm wheat bag in her daughter’s empty bassinet, while Lucy was feeding her. She was careful to always remove the wheat bag before she transferred her sleeping baby back to the bassinet, leaving a cosy and warm spot for baby to lie on.

Have your own parenting hack you swear by during the newborn stage? Let us know in the comments below.

To help you on your journey through the newborn phase, Mamamia and Huggies are giving 10 lucky winners the chance to win their very own Huggies prize pack containing $500 worth of Huggies nappies and wipes!

Enter the competition here, but be quick! Entries close 5pm AEST Monday, March 7th.

Feature Image: Mamamia/Supplied/Getty.

Huggies
We understand how important it is to start your baby’s journey with the best care. That is why we’ve developed HUGGIES® Newborn Nappies & Wipes designed to protect and care for newborn's delicate skin and endorsed by the Australian College of Midwives. Join the Huggies Club at Huggies.com.au for more information and exclusive offers to help new mums and mums-to-be on their journey. We got you, baby.