Now that you’re a parent, welcome to the world where advice is available for everything you need to know about looking after your baby, from burping to baby burpee exercises (well, almost). There are feeding schedules, sleeping schedules, play ideas and delicious get-them-to-eat vegetable recipes.
Let’s face it though, if you’re a working parent, a lot of the recommendations about schedules and daily planning aren’t practical. Too many suggest impossible things like ensuring your baby is fed and bathed and ready for bed by 6 PM, usually the time you’re walking in the door after a hard day at work.
What you actually need is some help organising yourself and your day so that you can wring every gorgeous moment out of the time you spend with your baby, without running around trying to catch up, keep up and not stuff up. Think in terms of cycles, not routines Rather than a routine, think about each day as a 24-hour cycle. Working within the cycle can help us be more organised, and relieve us from worrying about the minute details of parenting, like whether or not there are enough rusks in the cupboard for daycare snacks tomorrow.
Here’s your day like you’ve never seen it before, practically laid out with working parents in mind. This is the basis for our plan and the key to a hassle-free life. Well, less of one, anyway. Evening organisation It may seem strange, but we’re going to start our cycle in the evening, because regardless of whether tomorrow is a workday or not, thinking ahead tonight is key to unlocking a smooth day for everyone tomorrow. Delay Netflix for a teeny tiny moment – it’s time to get organised!
- Make lunches for older kids – and you too!
- Pack the baby bag full of everything you need like nappies, nappy cream, bibs, moisturiser, baby sunscreen, dummies, and nibbles.
- Write a list for the kitchen bench of any items you’ll need to pack in the morning, such as milk, food or your baby’s favourite toy.
- Layout the breakfast places, especially if you’re juggling a toddler!
- Pop on a load of washing so it will be ready to put out in the morning.
- Plan what you’ll be wearing in the morning, literally lay out your outfit, including shoes! Evening parent pamper time
Feeling organised and virtuous, you can now make this your time and do something you enjoy, even if it’s just listening to that golden sound of silence. Hit the lounge and catch up with friends on social media, enjoy a quiet read or grab a chocolate ice cream and watch the latest series on Netflix.
Good luck! We all know this one is in the lap of the baby sleep Gods, but we hope you get enough shut-eye to feel rested in the morning. Good Morning! Here’s a morning secret guaranteed to make life easier. If your baby’s sleep pattern is becoming more regular, and you can guess their wake-up time, set the alarm one hour earlier and make this hour work for you! Grab a coffee, put the washing on the line (from the night before, remember?), unpack the dishwasher, make the bed, and most importantly, have a shower and grab some precious time to yourself to get ready before walking out the door. Leave some time for just YOU (read, meditate, exercise… anything that makes you feel good). This hour of power will set you up for an organised day.
During breakfast is a great time to check the list on your bench and pack milk, perishables, favourite toys and anything else you couldn’t pop in the bag the night before. Some daycares provide breakfast, in which case, eating yours during the parent power hour will speed things up even more.
Daycare drop off time
Keep bags of tempting toys in the car and healthy nibbles for toddlers for longer car trips or peak-hour traffic. A great tip is to use your centre console for all the things you need in the car, like your baby wipes, tissues, hand sanitizer, a pair of nail clippers, pen and paper and some gold coins. In the car, keep an extra set of nappies, nappy baby cream, and bags on hand for emergencies as well as baby sunscreen. Keep them all stocked up and you’ll never be left short.
As you head off to work, we’re pretty sure you’ll have a plan for this already in place.
Daycare pickup time
Similar to daycare drop off, even if it’s Grandma and Grandpa’s day to pick up baby, make it easy for everyone by fitting baby seats in all the cars to minimise fussing in the mornings when leaving for work.
One of the simplest ways of making your life easier is to pre-plan meals for your week. Sit down on the weekend and drool over what you’d like to eat that week then take advantage of online food delivery to your door. So many services are now available, from delivery of groceries to delivery of pre-planned meal ingredients for a whole family for the week. Pre-planning has the bonus of setting out what’s on the menu for the week so whoever’s in the door first from work can start cooking.If you’d prefer to pre-make meals, weekends are a great time to bulk cook with a slow cooker and then refrigerate or freeze portions to enjoy over the week. Preparing slow cooked meals can save a lot of time and money too as can using your morning hour to put the ingredients in the slow cooker for that night. If all else fails, and you can’t muster the energy for any more than tea and toast, if you keep baby sized portions of cooked or pureed veggies in containers in the freezer you may not enjoy a cordon bleu meal, but at least your baby will enjoy their version of one.
Baby Bath and Bedtime
With dinner out of the way, it’s your chance to enjoy wind-down bathtime and baby massage. At Lovekins this is our favourite time of the day. It’s a chance for you to connect with your baby. Feel comfortable knowing their skin is cared for with the natural ingredients of our baby skincare range. There are beautiful pampering products available to make bath time relaxing and soothing, with beautiful Camel milk baby soap, and hair and body wash. After bath time, pamper your baby with a massage using luxurious baby massage oil, whose scented oils will leave you and your baby smelling fresh and feeling relaxed. To hydrate your beautiful baby’s skin, use our nourishing moisturiser and for their body and our gentle, soothing face cream for that little face you love so much! Well done, you have survived another day in parenthood…. it’s not easy but it sure is worth it! Remember, life is a cycle, and so is each day, all 24 hours of it. Harness a daily cycle, and you’ll feel more organised, less stressed and be more present for your baby than ever before.