Everyone knows there is not much to newborns – they eat, sleep and poop, and somehow that’s enough to make us fall in love with them. It has been less than a month since Torre joined our life, and I’m glad that babies are as straightforward as they are because even learning to manage these simple functions has been more than enough to keep me occupied!
While there have been moments I’ve felt frustrated that my baby’s needs, though simple, sometimes seem constant, it helps to remember that this time will pass by so quickly, and that the simplicity is sweet. I remind myself that it is impossible to spoil a newborn, that my son doesn’t yet have the capacity to manipulate or take advantage of me. His needs are genuine, and if that means he nurses in a million short bursts or poops as soon as I change his diaper, it’s better to laugh and kiss his face than get frustrated.
With all that said, there are three things I have discovered so far that help keep life simple and enjoyable as I’m learning to mother my newborn:
1. Make jewellery meaningful. I got this idea from a friend of mine who used to wear a hair elastic on her wrist to remember what side to nurse her baby on. At night I’ll use a hair elastic, but during the day I prefer a bracelet. It’s one way to feel girly and a tiny bit put together, and when Torre is hungry I don’t have to try to remember which side I nursed him on last. A ring could work as well, anything that is easy to see and switch over.2. Wear the baby! As I type this, Torre is napping on my chest. Being able to carry him around hands-free buys me a lot of time because I can make/eat a sandwich, rinse a dirty diaper (we’re using cloth), hang laundry up to dry, or get on the computer whether he is awake/asleep/in between. I love wearing him when he is awake because he gets such a different perspective than laying in his crib, and I love wearing him while he sleeps because I don’t need to stop what I’m doing to check on him. If he’s in between, he usually ends up asleep within a few minutes of getting tied onto me, and it’s way less effort than rocking/singing/trying to put him down.
3. Don’t sort laundry. Um, this isn’t really a new thing since Torre was born, since I basically just do laundry whenever we have a full load and choose my settings based on the most delicate item(s) I’m washing. This load, for example, was a cold water wash because there were soft blankets (if only babies would give some indication they’re about to spit up, and you could rescue the soft blankets!). However, there were also jeans, tshirts, diapers, sweaters and socks that I threw in because there was room and they needed washing. I figure if I have a load of laundry to wash and the energy to do it, why wait? And why sort it into piles that all need to be kept separate until they’re big enough? This approach may not be for everyone, but it’s definitely working for us so far.