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Nothing prepared me on how to get things done with a baby. Let alone, an impossible one. And the only way I was going to prepare myself to get things done around the house with a baby was to experiment and go through a lot of trial and error.
Before I had a baby, I didn’t put much thought into how truly different every baby is. For example, I thought babies all cried for the same, exact reasons. Clearly, I wasn’t around many babies prior to having my own. And I was way off.
For the first 6 months of my daughter’s life, I felt like I heard nothing but crying and screaming all day, every day. Unless I was holding and nursing her of course. So it made it extremely hard for me to get anything done around the house such as cooking, cleaning, and including, taking regular showers.
12 Tips To Get Things Done With A Baby
1. Use a wrap or baby carrier while getting things done.
This was honestly the only way I was able to get anything done during the first few months of my daughter’s life.
I used a baby carrier while I vacuumed, did the dishes, cooked, and folded clothes. Every time I even tried setting her down after she fell asleep in the carrier, she’d instantly wake up. And this was a reoccurring situation for months after.
2. Put your baby in a jumper or walker with a teething toy or snack.
Once my daughter was able to keep her head up, I put her in the baby jumper and walker. And I was able to have a little more time to get things done around the house without carrying my baby.
It does get easier as they get older. At around 7 months of age, my daughter was able to be in her walker with some snacks and a teething toy for an hour.
An hour might not be a long time to get things done for some people but it was more than I was used to (without carrying her).
3. Set your baby down in the crib or bassinet with a pacifier.
If your baby is still very young and unable to keep their head up, bring the bassinet into the kitchen or living room while you get things done.
And if your baby is anything like mine was (colicky af), then you might need to do more than just lay them down with a pacifier.
My daughter would scream and cry anytime I laid her down. Sleeping or not, she hated laying down without a human nipple to suck on.
In this case, I recommend putting on a baby-friendly show like Baby Shark on Amazon Prime. This might work for 15 minutes at-most but hey, that’s better than nothing.
4. Keep baby in a pack ‘n play with several toys for distraction.
The issue with impossibly hard-to-please babies is that they get bored way too easily. If your baby is at the developmental stage where they’re able to flip from back to belly, put them in a pack ‘n play with toys that talk back.
Don’t just put one or two toys in with them either. Shoot, it doesn’t even have to be an actual toy! Bring your baby and the pack ‘n play in the kitchen and put a silicone cooking spoon, a plastic strainer, and a pack of ramen in with your baby to play with.
5. Break up the tasks on your to-do list for each nap.
This is the best thing I learned as a mom of a colicky baby. Break it up, sis. No need to do everything at once or even in the same day. Break up your tasks like have 3 things that need to get done each day instead of 3 things to get done during each nap.
A lot of mamas take their “me” time during baby’s naps. And that’s totally cool because I do the same thing (the majority of the time).
For example, your Monday tasks can include wiping down the kitchen counters, swiffering the kitchen floors, and cutting vegetables for dinner for the week. And then, your Tuesday tasks can be folding laundry and throwing in a few loads.
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6. Put your baby in a swing, jumper, walker, or high chair while you vacuum.
A lot of babies find the sound of a vacuum cleaner to be soothing. It’s kind of like the white noise machine where you can play the sound of a dryer, rain, crickets, and water.
Your baby might actually find some amusement out of you getting things done around the house like vacuuming, wiping down the mirrors, and steam cleaning your carpet.
7. Accept or ask for help.
This was something I’ve had to work on. And continuing to work out.
It’s so easy for me to ask my husband to take over so I can get things done or task out housework to him. But when he’s at work and I feel like I’m drowning in chores, I don’t ever think to ask my neighbors for help. (I have 2 close neighbor friends.)
Welp. Welcome to motherhood. We’ve all been there and experienced those feelings of helplessness. And some of us continue to experience it (like me).
So find you some mama friends you trust and ask for help. Take turns helping each other out. For example, ask your friend to come over with their baby to watch the babies while you get things done. Then, you can go over to her house and help watch the babies while she gets things done without having to worry about her baby.
8. Clean as you go.
Motherhood can either break you (totally kidding) or make you into the most efficient human being.
No, seriously. You’re going to grow eyes on the back of your head. You’re going to grow a pair of super hearing ears. And your’re going to own more than 5 senses.
Alright, clean as you go. What exactly does that mean? It means- stop racking up the dishes after you eat. Clean while you cook and eat while you clean.
Part of being a mom aka the most efficient human beings in the world is also being a multitasking queen!
Not only are you going to grow a new set of eyes on the back of your head or superhearing ears, but you’re also going to grow an extra set of arms.
You’ll catch yourself knocking out several things at once while keeping your baby occupied while adding another task and checking up on your baby. And all of this on repeat, every day.
10. Get a playpen for the baby.
My daughter started walking when she was 8 months and there was no containing her.
And while we don’t quite have a playpen yet, we use something like a playpen as a gate to close her off in the living room. That way she doesn’t feel contained but still kinda is.
11. Find a tv show your baby gets into.
Before my baby was 5 months old, her favorite tv show was Octonauts. Then, she lost interest and got into Veggie Tales. And now her absolute favorite show is Baby Shark on Amazon Prime.
I’m really not about getting my baby into watching tv but if it distracts her while I vacuum the house, I’ll take it.
12. Let them play on the floor with anything safe they can play with while you get things done around them.
If none of these tips help, put your baby on the floor. If you have hardwood floors or tiles, don’t forget to get some baby mats.
Give your baby a bunch of random items that are safe for them to play with and let them get distracted by them. Plus, it’s beneficial for their development to see, feel, and hear the different textures, colors, and noises the items make.
“By failing to prepare, you’re preparing to fail” Benjamin Franklin
This is one of my favorite quotes that have helped me push forward and get things done. I hope this list of ways to get things done with a baby was insightful. And don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter to stay connected and get access to over 20+ freebies. Which includes a ton of to-do lists, weekly lists, and more ways to stay organized and get productive!