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Tips for staying sane

Sleep deprivation, crying baby, endless laundry, an unfathomable amount of pooey nappies, having on demand boobies, and of course all those crazy hormones is enough to send anyone insane.  These are my tips to avoid such a fate (not in any particular order, other than the order I think of them):

1. Go outside every day.  Even if it’s just for a little walk around the block (take baby with you in the pram, baby carrier, or if you’re really game, just good old-fashioned carrying) or to the mailbox.  Getting outside does wonders for keeping sanity intact.  It’s ok, your baby won’t melt, go outside.

2. In the early days, before your baby gets distracted by, well, anything, read a book, play your DS, watch something on your iPod, do a Sudoku (not that baby brain will let you), do something while you breastfeed your baby, something you enjoy doing and otherwise wouldn’t really have time (now that you have a baby) to do.  Even in the middle of the night, put on a little lamp, and don’t turn on the actual light and wake up your baby too much.

3. Sometimes babies wake up in the middle of the night for whatever reason, and cry for 1/2/etc. hours while you are sitting there next to the cot, patting your heart out, willing her to go to sleep all the while losing more sanity as the minutes roll by.  Or, you could take this time as a little treat for you.  Get your ipod, put your headphones in, turn up the volume to drown out crying baby, and watch a tv show or movie you really like, all the while still patting your baby.  How do you do it without distracting baby, you ask?  Easy, put the cot rail in the up position, sit cross-legged with one of your knees under the cot, prop iPod up with something (I use a book) just under the cot, and then you can see it, and baby is oblivious.

4. Meet with other mums.  Regularly.  I can’t tell you how good it is to regularly meet with a group of mums who have babies the same age as yours.  You think your baby is doing something odd?  Talk to the girls, it’s so reassuring.  Had a little breakdown and feeling quite stupid about it?  Talk to the girls, you’ll find they have too, and you are indeed, normal

5. Read some kind of parenting a baby in the fist year book.  I chose to read “What to expect the fist year.”  Invaluble information, and very helpful.

6. Have a nap!  When baby has one of her naps, you have one too.  You’re no good if you’re always cranky, half asleep and short fused.

7. Get dressed, brush your teeth, and have a shower (not in that order…).  You’ll feel so much better.  It’s so hard to actually do all of those things when you have a baby, but where there is a will, there is a way.  You can have a shower with baby, let baby play in your room while you get dressed, and put baby in a sling while you do your hair.

8. Realise that your baby isn’t repeatedly throwing food off the table or spitting it out of her mouth just to annoy you/push your buttons (well, I don’t think that is why she does it).  You will feel a lot better and calmer if you just see it as her learning about life and if she refuses to eat, stop trying to feed her and do something else.

9. Get a vaporiser. Babies can’t breathe through their mouths, so when they catch colds, they get really upset and tend to wake up a ridiculous amount of times each night. Put a vaporiser in their room (there are special kid safe ones, and waterless ones) and the number of wake ups will drastically reduce.  Well, they did for both my kids.  I’m talking 8+ wake ups without one and 2 with one.  Worth every penny.  Go for the waterless kind if your house tends to get mould.

10. Get a gym membership. At a gym with a creche (nursery/daycare/childminding, whatever you want to call it). One where the creche is included in the membership. You get to you an hour or so of you time, get fit, lose your baby weight, work off all that pent up my-child-screams-half-the-night frustration in a healthy way, and of course you get the added benefit of all those mood boosting endorphins. So it’s like a win, win, win, win, win, win, win situation. If you are in Australia, check out your local YMCA, they often have very reasonably priced memberships, including creche (and no, they didn’t pay me to say that or anything, that is just my opinion….)

23 Responses to “Tips for staying sane”

  1. Carlos October 25, 2010 at 3:41 am #

    Thank you very helpful. I am raising my own child with my husband and these tips will help.

  2. February 14, 2011 at 12:11 am #

    Great tips. Sleep deprivation from breastfeeding was my main challenge to overcome. I remember taking naps while pregnant with my second. My three year old son and I’d curl up on the couch and sleep. Such precious memories! I never pass on a good nap. :)

    • February 14, 2011 at 7:16 am #

      Yeah, I’m a bit worried about the sleep deprivation this time, I mean I can’t just nap when ever, now I have a rambunctious toddler to entertain as well as the little booby monster when he/she arrives! Curling up on the couch with her sounds pretty good though, but knowing her she’d poke me and tell me “up” because she doesn’t like it when I lay down when I’m watching her. Cheeky little monkey….

  3. July 26, 2011 at 3:06 am #

    Love your tips ~ especially going outside everyday…

    • July 31, 2011 at 1:44 pm #

      Thanks :)

      I have to say, same goes for the second year too!!!!! We still get out every single day, as much for my sanity as for Hannah’s. Maybe more for mine…

      • October 15, 2011 at 7:03 am #

        Hi Sherri,

        Cute blog and I love your tips here. Great ideas for a new mommy!

  4. November 11, 2011 at 12:00 pm #

    Thank you for the tips. I’m not pregnant, but my sister in-law is about to have her first :) I’ll share your page.

  5. January 14, 2012 at 4:52 am #

    These are great tips. The first year is very hard on a parent’s mental health. Following these should help keep the sanity in tact. :)

    • January 14, 2012 at 5:38 pm #

      Thanks, glad I could help:)

  6. cheeriosandlattes January 25, 2012 at 1:29 pm #

    Great advice for new moms! I love the part about going outside; that helped me so much. You can only go to Target or the grocery store so many times in a week! ;)

  7. April 23, 2012 at 4:07 am #

    The library was a saving grace in the days after having both my kids. With a newborn baby, it’s the perfect place to go. Quiet, not too crowded with strangers who want to sneeze on the baby, stuff for other kids, stuff for adults. My husband and I lost ourselves there for hours during his paternity leave. We didn’t have to worry about chores, and there were plenty of quiet corners to snuggle up and nurse. Highly recommend.

    • April 23, 2012 at 7:54 am #

      Good idea. Know my cheeky kids though, they would have been running wild and/or screaming when too young to run wild. That’s just how they roll.

  8. October 5, 2012 at 3:45 pm #

    Love this advice, especially the pushing buttons one.

    • October 12, 2012 at 6:17 am #

      That one is by far the one I struggle with most. I just have to keep telling myself they’re not doing it on purpose, they’re not doing it on purpose….

  9. January 27, 2013 at 1:03 pm #

    Thanks for the tips. Had my first call to poison control today as the 4 year old broke into the child protected cabinet and squirted tooth whitening solution into the 2 year old – playing doctor…oh boy. All is well.

    • January 29, 2013 at 12:25 pm #

      Oh Goodness. They do love playing doctor…. It’s hard because you put the dangerous stuff up high and they get a chair and climb up there anyway. You lock it up and they figure out how to unlock it.

      • June 21, 2013 at 11:05 pm #

        fantastic tips. I never even thought of a vaporiser – you’re a genius. thank you!

  10. August 18, 2013 at 8:36 am #

    Thanks for much for the tips. My little girl is three now, and I wish I had read these tips sooner! Especially like the idea of getting your ipod / smartphone out with headphones on during the crying episodes while patting your baby. It’s so true that you can feel on edge during those moments, and your suggestion a great way to reduce the stress.

    We have been trying for a second baby for quite a while now, and I think these tips will come in handy if and when we have another!

    P.S. It’s nice to get some laughs in from your blog as well, thanks for the humor!

    • August 18, 2013 at 8:03 pm #

      Thanks :) Good luck in the baby making department ;)

  11. October 19, 2013 at 1:42 am #

    I love these tips. I went crazy when I went from a working lady to stay at home mom. No one had any solid advice. Great job!!!

    • October 19, 2013 at 6:37 am #

      Thanks :)

  12. February 3, 2014 at 7:56 am #

    Awesome tips! As I mom I can relate to this post.


  1. Flirting with your spouse | - May 2, 2013

    […] Tips for staying sane […]

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