Thursday, June 23, 2011

Parenting Tips for the New Mom: Organizing the Chaos

by guest blogger Diane Johnson

Let’s face it, amid all the love and awe of a new baby comes another state of being – chaos. When parenting, it’s as reliable as a dirty diaper. Try as you might to get as completely organized when a new baby is on the way, when that baby gets here, it's just chaos. A good chaos, but it is chaos. The best thing to do is to organize what you can and roll with the rest.

We’ve collected five parenting tips to help you organize the chaos of a growing family and get back to what you should be doing – enjoying time with your new baby.

1. In/Out log. What is an in/out log? It’s keeping up with how much food goes into the baby and how often waste comes out. Some people say keeping a log is overkill. Some people keep one for months straight. We fall somewhere in the middle. After all, you’ll want to have a general idea of how many dirty diapers you have a day for the first few weeks. You will be put on the spot and asked by the pediatrician, so best to have your diapers in a row.

2. Calendar. If you’re not a calendar-type person, you need to become one. Between pediatrician appointments, follow-up gynecological appointments, newborn picture appointments and more, you’ll always have some place to be, so you might as well develop a system for keeping up with the parenting game.

3. Supplies. If this is your first child, your nursery was probably fully stocked and ready to go. The diaper changing area was cleaned up and all supplies laid out for first use. Except now that the baby is here, you realize you may not always need to change a diaper in the nursery. If you mainly stay in one part of the house during the day, keep a supply of diaper changing necessities tucked in a corner, a change of clothes is great too (especially if you have a multi-level house). This will keep you from having to dart upstairs to grab a diaper or wag the baby up and down the stairs for each and ever change.

4. Feeding supplies. If you bottle-feed, have enough bottles on hand to rotate a day’s feeding supplies in and out of the dishwasher. This ensures you have plenty on hand for that day and let’s face it, getting though this day, then that one is what matters most.

5. Eats. While everyone is probably most concerned with the new baby’s feeding schedule, don’t forget that you and everyone else in your family needs to eat, too. Plan out a schedule for meals ahead of time and stick to it. Build up your supply of made-ahead frozen meals and have them ready to pull out every day for the first few weeks. Nothing is more stressful on a new mom than worrying about what everyone will have for supper at 6 p.m.

Parenting a new baby is exhausting and stressful. Everyone who has been through it knows that you really can’t understand until you do it yourself. Even in the chaotic environment of a newborn, you can instill a little organization to help things run more smoothly and help you get back to the thing you love most – being a mom. Have a great parenting organization tip? Tell us about it!

Diane Johnson writes about a number of her interests including shopping, online schooling, and traveling.

Thank you, Diane, for your contribution to Mommy Rantings!

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