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Mum asleep

Finding some you time could help you to stay contented and calm after you have a baby. Here are our top tried and tested tips for when you can’t get a babysitter…

1. Have a shower, no matter what

It may sound ridiculous but how often have you told yourself ‘I don’t even have time for a shower’? Try to remember it’s a mental thing. If you’ve at least stood under some hot water for a few minutes today, you’ll feel better in a lot of different ways.

It’s about working out the logistics. If they’re little, take your baby into the bathroom with you in a rocking chair. Or if they’re old enough to be left alone for five minutes, put them in their cot with some toys or turn on their favourite programme.

Last but not least, treat yourself to some good shower gel. This should feel as luxurious as possible.

2. Go shopping when they’re asleep

While it’s only the online version rather than the hour-long walk around each shop that you did pre-baby, it’s something. It will make you feel like the old you.

The same also applies to Skyping your friend with a glass of wine at 8pm. These things might not be quite the same as leaving the house but the internet can get you fairly close to the real thing.

3. Get beauty treatments at home

Use a mobile hairdresser, book a nail technician, or even get yourself an at-home massage if you fancy it and can afford it. It’ll be so much easier than figuring out how to get to a salon. This way, you can fall straight into bed – baby-depending – afterwards.

4. Get through that boxset during a feed

With newborns, you have arguably your best ever opportunity to watch that show that has seven seasons. You can enjoy watching that boxset knowing that as you need to stay in for now, you might as well use it as relaxation time.

Get everything you need ready in advance for feeding your baby: muslins or formula if you’re using it. Don’t forget a drink for you, remote control, snacks and your phone. Sit back and give yourself a well-earned break.

5. Use the many, many walks you’ll take your baby on

When you’re walking with your baby who’s sound asleep in their pram, why not call that friend you’ve been meaning to catch up with. They’ll appreciate it and you’ll get to talk without having to tell your little one ‘no no put that down’ every ten seconds.

6. Visit family or friends

Basically, visit anyone who will have you. They’ll be keen to hold or play with the baby. That’ll leave you free to breathe, drink a cup of tea someone else has made you, and talk about something other than nappies.

7. Make a relaxation-only rule for your baby’s sleeps

Instead of spending that precious hour when your baby’s sleeping running around vacuuming, tidying, and putting a wash in, just relax. Split the tasks that need doing with your partner when they get home or a family member if you’re a single parent.

For now, use your baby’s sleeps as much-needed relaxation time. Watch that show you love, read a book or take the monitor with you and soak in a deep, warm bath.

8. Listen to podcasts or audiobooks

Feeling like you’re totally out of touch with the news or pop culture happens a lot when you have a baby. If that’s you, use the time when your baby is napping in the car or in the pram to listen to podcasts or audiobooks you enjoy. You might even get a chance to listen when they’re in the highchair or occupied at home. No hands required: a multitasker’s dream.

Further information

Our support line offers practical and emotional support with feeding your baby and general enquiries for parents, members and volunteers: 0300 330 0700.

You might find attending one of our Early Days groups helpful as they give you the opportunity to explore different approaches to important parenting issues with a qualified group leader and other new parents in your area.

Make friends with other parents-to-be and new parents in your local area for support and friendship by seeing what NCT activities are happening nearby.

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