Life with a newborn in the first few months, often referred to as the fourth trimester as they adjust to life outside the womb, can be a wonderful but exhausting and challenging time for new parents.
With the huge life changes, lack of sleep, and sudden influx of responsibility, it’s no wonder that first-time parents are often overwhelmed. We know, we’ve been there, too!
There are no real shortcuts during this stage, but there are certainly some tried and tested tricks to help parents cope and simplify their new normal. Here are five of our simple hacks to help make the fourth trimester run just that little bit smoother.
1. Ditch the baby books and follow your baby’s lead
Every baby is unique, so don’t be too attached to what the baby books say. Get to know your special baby, follow their cues and you’ll soon learn what works best. It can be difficult to read their signals at first, but we have a few tips on how to recognise and respond to what your little one is communicating.
3. Get a sling or baby carrier
Slings or carriers are the ultimate parenting hack in themselves! They provide a sense of security and comfort to both babies and their parents, and the close contact helps to soothe a crying baby, promotes bonding, and can ease their transition into the world. They also allow parents to move around freely with their little one to get on with doing other things or going for a walk.
3. Set up several feeding and nappy changing stations
You will be spending a lot of time changing nappies and feeding your baby in the early weeks, so make sure you have everything accessible in different parts of the house and also the car. For instance, anywhere that you plan to sit and feed (including your bedside), have a table or little trolley nearby stocked with everything you need. Keep a stocked nappy-change caddy and mat in a few different places along with changes of clothes (for both of you!).
Check out our 5 hacks for nighttime bottle feeding
4. Simplify their clothing
Newborns don’t need cute three-piece outfits or overcomplicated clothing with buttons and press-studs. Stick with zip-up grow suits for comfort and convenience. Hopefully you’re already aware of the onesie hack for dirty nappy changes? Onesies can be pulled down using the shoulder flaps instead of over the head, which helps to avoid any poo getting on bub’s head.
5. ‘Put them in water or take them outside’
When you’ve got an unsettled, cranky baby, and nothing seems to work, sometimes the simplest solutions are the best when it comes to parenting. You don’t always need to be bogged down with all kinds of tips and advice. Put them in water or take them outside—it’s that simple. A bath or shower (even better if it’s with you) or a walk outdoors can solve so many challenges for both you and your baby.
We would love to hear from you. If you have any tips and tricks you’d like to share with other new parents, or if you would like some ideas yourself to cope during the fourth trimester, please send us a message over on our Facebook page.