The transition from couple to family is probably one of the biggest - not to mention most exciting - lifestyle changes you'll ever make. One day it's just the two of you, the next there's a tiny human being dependent on you for their every need.
Daunting as that may sound, you’ll soon develop lots of clever, time-saving strategies, and learning the parenting ropes together can be a wonderful way to strengthen your relationship with your partner. Here are a few ideas to help kick start the most amazing journey of your life so far.
There’s often more than one way to do something and it’s likely that you and your partner will have different approaches to some things. Discussing these differences calmly from the start will help avoid conflict.
If your partner is back at work before you, he can take over baby care when he comes home and give you a lie-in at weekends, too. Even if you’re breastfeeding, you can express milk into a bottle so your partner can do a night feed sometimes.
If you can’t nap easily, closing your eyes and resting will help you recoup some energy.
You’ll both be too busy and tired to spend much time on housework so, if this bothers you and you can afford it, consider a cleaner while you get used to being new parents. Or, if money’s tight, ask close family if they can help.
This will give you days of meals you can quickly heat up, but remember to label and date them.
It’s much easier than a supermarket trip with baby in tow.
Put the baby’s cot next to your bed so when it’s time for the night feed you can lower the side down without getting out of bed. Using a nightlight will be easier on the eyes so you both go back to sleep more easily.
‘Wearing’ your baby keeps them happy and leaves your hands free for other tasks.
Write a list of everything you need to take when you go out with your baby or, better still, keep a bag pre-packed with essentials such as baby wipes, clean nappies, a zip-up bag for dirty ones, a changing mat and a spare outfit.
It’ll make getting out of the house less rushed. Also, allow extra time for hitches such as a last-minute nappy event.
Joining new-parent support groups, taking a postnatal course or signing up to online parenting forums are all great ways to discover new parenting hacks. They’re also excellent ways to meet other people who are going through the same experiences, and even make lasting friendships.