With our first baby, I remember going for a buggy walk in a park with her and Mr.H when she was just four days old. It was our first drive with baby since coming home from the labour ward. We managed to drive to a local park and luckily the sun was shining. With our second baby, we made it out as a little family but I wasn’t as adventurous on my own. Six weeks into life with a two-year old and a newborn, I realised I had the baby blues. As soon as I realised how I was feeling I knew I had to do “one nice thing a day”. It was important to get out about and still do nice things although I was exhausted, Big Munch was mastering her tantrums and Baby Munch wasn’t in any kind of routine. It was nice trying to plan “one nice thing a day” and obviously there were days where we chilled out at home and just went with the flow.
Here are my ideas for seven nice things to do with your newborn in those early weeks or months. As every baby is different, that makes each motherhood experience different too. So whenever you get to do some of these things, whether it’s in the first month or first year, that’s cool.
- Buggy strolls…Even a little ten minute buggy walk around the block can be good for you and baby. You get some fresh air, you get out of the house where it can be easy to focus on chores and you can soak up a change of scenery. If it’s just a walk around the block you’re not too far from home in case you need to pop back for a feed or a nappy change. Not every mummy feels confident heading out on their own with baby for the first time. So make sure you make the most of buggy walks with baby and your partner during the first few weeks. It’s also good to get out even if it’s a bit colder or raining. That’s what anoraks, blankets and buggy rain covers are for.
- Tea and cake…Arrange to meet up with a friend or another mummy friend for tea and some well-deserved cake. Let’s face it, in the first few weeks our bodies are recovering from the extraordinary experience of giving birth. So, we need sugar!! There’s nothing like having some company when you’ve been spending a lot of time inside the house with your baby. Although it’s important to focus your attention on your little one, it’s important you enjoy some social time especially if your partner is back at work.
- Arrange a little get-together…If you’re feeling up to it, arrange for a few mummy friends to come round and visit. This is really important if you’re not able to or don’t feel like leaving the house much. You can be clear that there are no rules when they enter your home. Your friends can feel comfortable feeding and changing babies in your home. They can feel comfortable however they’re feeling and especially if they want to share concerns or moans and groans. Hey, they can even turn up in their pyjamas if they want! I recommend pyjamas that pass as so-called lounge wear especially if you’re catching public transport to your mates house. Oh and it doesn’t matter if your house is a mess, your friends will accept your home the way it is (especially when you’ve just had a baby). You can then make some other dates for visiting them in their homes.
- Have a slinging good time…Make the most of those newborn weeks and enjoy the closeness by carrying baby in a sling. I know there are babies who don’t like the sling, but the majority of babies I know love their time hanging out so close to mummy or daddy. If you feel up to it, go somewhere local or further afield with bay in the sling. Newborns can be super-portable and may also love snoozing in the sling. My favourite sling is the ErgoBaby carrier. It’s cool they now have the 360 version. I still carry Baby Munch in the ErgoBaby from time to time although she’s a one-year old.
- Join a local baby group…If you have time, research nearby baby activities before you have your baby. With most groups you can join at anytime and there are also lots of drop-in classes. After my six-week check up at the doctors, I had the go ahead to start exercise again. I loved going to mummy and baby yoga with both of my babies. It was also critical social time as I’d get to see some mummy friends.
- Enjoy a book together…When I had some hypnotherapy before the birth of our first baby, the hypnotherapist was also a neurologist. She recommended that you speak to your baby lots when they are a newborn and use your normal vocab. She said the more words you share with your baby the better. It didn’t matter how young they were. So read some of a book or a magazine aloud with your baby. She or he will love hearing mummy’s voice. Obviously you may not get to read a full chapter or a magazine back-to-back! You may of course prefer to read baby books too, they can be equally as soothing. Check out one of my first posts on our favourite books for baby.
- Baby cinema…Outside of the school holidays lots of cinemas run baby and parent friendly showings. I loved going to baby cinema and wish I went more in the early months. If you love films, check if your local cinemas run baby showings. No baby, no entry! So you know that other cinema-goers will be in the same situation as you whether they have to change baby, soothe a crying baby or feed baby at some point during the film. A post on seven things we love about baby cinema is appearing on Lucky Things blog soon.
What did you enjoy doing with your newborn or baby in the first few months? Any tips for other nice things to do when you’re on maternity leave? What’s the “one nice thing a day” you liked to do when you were on maternity leave? Leave a comment below as I know everyone would love to hear your tips too.
Enjoy Lucky Things everyone.
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