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Staying productive on a day-to-day basis with a baby is hard! This changes throughout their first year of life. But at some point you’re going to feel like you can’t get anything done. Babies go through so many developmental shifts and they take you along for the ride. This can mean your baby is needy or fussy or requires constant interaction. Here are 4 ways I stay productive:
Take Advantage of Naps
One of the many pieces of advice you get as a mother is to sleep when the baby sleeps. This is really dependent on how well your baby sleeps through the night and is more applicable advice in the first couple of months. Once the baby has a well established schedule, you should focus on getting at least 8 hours of sleep at night. This will give you energy to have a productive day.
At this point you want to take advantage of your baby’s nap times. Your baby probably naps between 2-4 hours a day. That is half of a normal work day!
For the morning nap I clean. This is usually a fairly short nap, 30-45 minutes. So I do the morning dishes, put away clean dishes from the night before, sweep, tidy up the bedroom, clean the cat litter, and start some laundry. The mid-day nap is longer, around 60-90 minutes. This is when I work on my blog: writing posts, editing, and working on social media. This is a solid chunk enough chunk of time to feel very accomplished when baby wakes up! For the afternoon nap, I cook dinner. I do any lengthy prep and get any meat ready. This is because I don’t like to be caught in prep of raw chicken when my baby needs me. Anything prepped gets set back in the fridge if it’s too early to start dinner.
I know you’ve heard this one before. Some babies react better to being worn then others but I think the majority of this is due to the carrier. A quality carrier/sling/wrap is a must. If your baby is comfortable and you are comfortable, you will be much more likely to utilize an amazing multitasking product. You need baby gear that supports your babies booty to prevent hip dysplasia. And it must support your back for longer wear periods without giving you back pain.
I use two different carriers depending on my baby’s mood. If she is being needy and just wants her mommy I use a wrap. If you’re interested in one, I suggest the Ergo Baby Carrier by CuddleBug. It’s affordable, super stretchy, and my baby falls asleep in it almost every time (and she is a high energy baby!). If I have things that must get done, but she is wide awake and wants to be “involved” with what I’m doing I use a structured carrier. Once your baby can hold their head up, they will probably want to look around much more and this allows them to have a great stimulating view of the world when worn facing out.
Involve Your Baby
Find activities your baby likes and combine them with another task. For example, I stay productive by folding laundry on the floor next to my daughter. We play peekaboo behind clothing and she laughs her head off. It can be a little crazy at times with her unfolding thingsI’ve already folded but I can accomplish folding laundry with a happy baby all for the low price of refolding a couple of items. Worth it!
We do this in the kitchen too! I put her down on the floor or in her high chair and give her a pot and a pan and she enjoys feeling like she’s taking part. Babies just want to do be like you, they look up on you so much.
Plan For a Productive Week
To stay productive it is important to set aside time at the end of the week to plan for the next. I do this when my boyfriend is home and playing with Jocelyn. I write down and pick a day for things I need to get done. This gives me a goal each day, even if it’s something simple like scheduling a doctor’s appointment. Examples of things I plan for:
- Any phone calls that need to be made?
- Bills to pay and due date?
- When do you want to grocery shop? (Create a grocery list too!)
- Any big cleaning/organization tasks for the next week?
- Dinner out one evening?
- Mommy and daughter day out? (Important to make yourself get out of the house to keep up energy and your personal morale!)