With the third lockdown set to continue for many weeks to come, it’s a particularly challenging time for new parents who may be cut off from the support of family and friends.
Now founder of The New Parent Academy, Katie Hilton, who is a midwife and health visitor, has teamed up with CheekyRascals.co.uk and revealed how mothers and fathers of lockdown babies can arrange their time to make life that bit smoother.
Speaking to Femail, Katie said: ‘As a new parent, it’s sometimes easy to forget what “me time” actually looks like.
‘We all know life can be unpredictable, especially with a new baby, but it doesn’t have to always be a struggle.
‘If you’re finding the only time you get to yourself is when you’re sitting on the loo or you’re desperate for a bit of extra money these tips may be just what you need.
Her tips include investing in an instant formula making machine, if you’re bottle feeding, which could save up to three hours a day, or using a pumping bra for a simpler way to express.
For those mothers whose partners aren’t working from home, she suggests their partner leave breakfast bars, fruit and cups with teabags in them in key places, so mums don’t forget to eat when the little one is refusing to be put down.
Founder of The New Parent Academy, Katie Hilton (pictured) who is a midwife and health visitor, has teamed up with CheekyRascals.co.uk and revealed how mothers and fathers of lockdown babies can arrange their time to make life that bit smoother.
Katie’s (pictured left and right) tips include investing in an instant formula making machine, if you’re bottle feeding, which could save up to three hours a day, or using a pumping bra for a simpler way to express.
CREATE SNACKING STATIONS
Before going to bed in the evening prepare everything for breakfast the following morning.
Get your partner to put out snacks and drinks in key places like the sofa, kitchen bar and bedside table so you don’t forget to eat during the day. This also makes it easy if your baby refuses to be put down in the early months.
PLAN TO CLEAN AN AREA OF YOUR HOME EACH DAY
Each day focus on getting just one room tidy – or even a part of a room – and don’t worry about any of the others.
MAKE FEEDS QUICKER & EASIER
Preparing feeds for your baby can be a frustrating and time-consuming task (especially at 2am!), but it doesn’t have to be. Use a device such as the Baby Brezza Formula Pro, which will fully mix and prepare your bottle for baby in an instant.
An instant formula machine means you don’t have to wait half an hour for the kettle to cool as directed, and could save you up to three hours every 24 hours (based on six feeds).
It could also save you around £3 per pack in wasted formulas where bottles have been pre-prepared at night – but thrown away as the baby hasn’t woken up in the two hour expiry window.
British midwife and health visitor Katie Hilton, shared her time-saving tips for parents of lockdown babies who are battling fatigue (file image)
INVEST IN A REALLY GOOD SLING
Most newborn babies quite rightly love to be close to a parent and often want to be held for long periods of time. As a new parent it can be difficult to combine both cuddling little one and finding time to put a load of washing on. Invest in a good quality sling such as the Izmi Baby Wrap or Baby Bjorn and you can multi-task both at the same time.
IF YOU’RE BREASTFEEDING USE A PUMPING BRA
If you’re a pumping mama invest in a pumping bra to hold the pump – or a wireless pump like the Elvie. This will mean you can express that liquid gold whilst also completing any household chores, so more bonus time to sit down with a relaxing cup of tea afterwards. Remember- you’re saving formula money by breastfeeding so this is worth investing in.
A lot of new mothers have been unable to join mother and baby groups during lockdown, missing out on invaluable tips. As well as Mumsnet, you can join forums like parenting app Peanut to find new mums around you. BabyCentre signs you up to a forum of mums with babies born the same month as yours, and you can often find answers to common problems at your stage- whether it’s the cheapest and most effective carrier for a newborn or how to tackle four month sleep regression.
If there are two of you and one of you is working, split the night into two shifts. Your partner could cover 8pm-midnight to give you a chunk of sleep, and you could cover midnight to 6am. At the weekend take it in turns to have a lie in while the other enjoys one-on-one time with the little one.
Katie said batch cooking and planning weekly menus can help to save both time and money on your weekly shop (file image)
BUY IN BULK AND SECOND HAND
Shop around for all those essentials you’re going to need as a new parent and buy in bulk. Whilst it might seem more costly initially, it will save you money in the long run, and you won’t need to keep running to the shops to stock up.
Baby stuff can be expensive but sometimes trial and error is the only way to find a resting place they will settle – be it a nest for your cot or a crib that attaches to the bed. Places like Facebook marketplace and BabySwapOrShop will get you that third and successful baby gym or bouncer at a fraction of the price. After all – a lot of parenting is trial and error!
BATCH COOK MEALS & PLAN WEEKLY MENUS
If you’re wanting to save both time and money on your weekly shop then spend time planning out a full menu for the week, create a shopping list (and stick to it!) and try to cook meals in batch on your partner’s day off.
Not only will you find your meals and pennies go further but you’ll also be cooking much healthier meals which will give you a burst of energy.