Time Saving Tips for New Parents
A new baby brings much joy and happiness into your life, but also places massive demands on your time. This can leave you feeling stressed and frustrated, with not enough minutes in the day to even take a trip to the loo.
With a bit of planning and organisation you can have time to get things done and spend quality time with your baby. You might even free up some spare time for yourself to relax!
Try out some of these time saving tips:
- Keep a nappy changing bag packed and ready to go so you don't have to refill it every time you go out.
- When you are out and about, save time looking for places to change nappies with the NCT Babychange app. This app locates your nearest baby-changing facility.
- Try to keep all feeding equipment together in its own section of the kitchen. This way you have everything close to hand when you are making up feeds and sterilising bottles.
- If you are using formula milk, prepare several bottles at once and put them in the refrigerator. This saves having to mix up individual feeds each time.
- Rinse feeding bottles and breast pump parts after use and put them to one side. Wash and sterilise everything at once instead of one thing at a time.
- Choose white or light-coloured sheets, blankets, vests and sleepsuits. These can all go in the same wash and saves time sorting whites from coloureds.
- When your baby starts taking solids, prepare food in batches. Freeze portions of fruit and vegetable purees in ice cube trays or small pots. You can do the same with mini meals when your little one moves on to a more varied diet.
- Prepare toddler-friendly family meals so everyone can eat the same thing.
- Make big batches of one-pot family meals such as casseroles, soups, stews and pastas. Freeze adult and kid-sized portions in suitable containers instead of cooking every night.
- Save time with a slow cooker. Throw ingredients in the pot in the morning and have a meal waiting for you in the evening.
- Sit down one evening and plan family meals days or weeks in advance. Then you won't waste time rummaging through cupboards wondering what to cook.
- Keep a supply of tinned and frozen fruits and vegetables for when you don't have time to prepare meals. They still count towards your five a day.
- Stock up on healthy snacks such as nuts, seeds, crispbreads, breadsticks, yoghurts and fruit. You will have something quick to eat between meals instead of fattening chocolate biscuits.
- Make a shopping list to help you get round the supermarket quicker. Don't rely on memory, you're bound to forget something and buy things you don't need.
- Do your grocery shopping online.
- Make 'to do' lists so you don't have to commit everything to memory.
- Keep household bills organised in a folder. You can keep track of payments and find statements without rummaging through drawers.
- Rotate your child's toys so you don't have loads of toys scattered around the living room. Put a few toys in a box that you tidy away at night, and keep the rest somewhere out of sight. Every couple of weeks or so, swap the toys around.
- Find ways of multitasking. For example, give the refrigerator a quick wipe down while preparing grocery lists. Catch up with your favourite TV shows while ironing or sorting laundry. Make phone calls via speakerphone when feeding the baby or sorting paperwork.
- Keep muslin cloths and baby wipes in every room in case of milk vomit or other accidental spills!
- Keep cleaning wipes in the bathroom so you can wipe down the sink, bath and toilet seat each day. This avoids a time-consuming 'proper' clean.
- Don't be too proud to accept help from other people. Those who have been where you are will remember what it's like to have a new baby. If they offer to mind the baby, clean your house, do your shopping, cook you a meal or mow the grass, let them!