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100 Tips for Nannies and Families

The advice in this book comes from Candi Wingate, President of Care4hire.com.
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How to Get Out the Door with Your Baby

You’re tired.  The baby just went down for a nap.  The house is a mess.  You’ve got spit-up milk on your shirt.  You’re pretty sure you smell like the diaper you changed not five minutes ago.  This is not the time to be going out and about, running errands and accomplishing tasks outside your home, but when is the time?  You haven’t felt rested since before the baby was born.  The house has been a mess for about that same length of time.  As to your shirt and smell, well, those earmarks of early motherhood are a staple in your world these past few months.  Here are a few tips to help you get out the door with your baby.

  • Shower every morning while your spouse is still home.  That way, if something happens to baby, your spouse can respond while you’re temporarily unavailable.
  • Avoid fabrics that stain easily, need to be pressed or dry cleaned, or that collect dust or lint.  Seek apparel that can be slipped on and off easily for quick changing.  So, this rules out your fancy black velvet blouse with all the buttons up the back.
  • Nap when baby naps.
  • Express breast milk in advance so that you don’t always have to be the one getting up in the middle of the night to feed baby.
  • If your budget supports it, hire a housekeeper and a nanny or babysitter.  If your budget does not support this, enlist your relatives’ and friends’ help.  Perhaps your best friend can ride with you and baby to your dental appointment tomorrow morning, chatting all the while, and then watching baby while you have your exam.
  • Keep a car seat in your car at all times.  Ensure that you have blankets and other items (i.e., small stuffed animals) intended to comfort and protect baby in the car seat.  Most babies are lulled by the motion of a vehicle, so transporting baby should not interrupt baby’s sleep more than momentarily.
  • Keep a diaper bag in the car for on-the-go necessities.  This saves you from having to carry a host of paraphernalia every time you and baby go for a ride.  (Note:  a change of clothes for both you and baby should be in the diaper bag, as should a fabric detergent stick and a gallon-size baggie for disposal of damp garbage.)
  • Set a schedule and do your best to stick to it.  If you and baby plan to go to lunch with your gal pals this noon, begin preparing early.  Write out a check list of all that you need to get accomplished.  Get as good a night’s sleep as you can in advance.  Choose your morning activities with your schedule in mind.  Try not to get distracted or taken off course by unnecessary diversions.
  • Learn to set boundaries with others.  With a new baby in the house, your phone may be ringing off the hook because people are calling to check on you and baby.  They may want to come over to visit.  They may want to chat on the phone.  Certainly, you want and need your social connections, but sometimes you have to say “no” or creatively problem-solve the situation.  For example, you may say, “Tina, I’d love to chat with you, but the baby and I are getting ready to run errands.  If you want to ride along, we can chat while I’m running errands.  Do you want to do that?  If so, come over.  We’re leaving in about 20 minutes.  Ok?”
  • Allow yourself the occasional treat.  You and baby can get tandem massages or have your hair done together (assuming baby has hair).  J  (You may be thinking, “How does this help me get out the door with baby?”  In this author’s experience, a treat every now and then helps keep a new mom’s perspective positive.  That, in turn, will help you accomplish all that you need to do in order get out the door with baby.)
  • Cut yourself some slack.  Nobody is SuperMom.  You can’t be a fashion plate, perfectly made-up at all times, while also attending to baby.  Do your best.  That’s all anyone can ask of you.  That’s all you should ask of yourself.

By following the tips above, you CAN get out the door with your baby!

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