Strange time for babies

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images
There’s one group of people who haven’t taken any notice of the lockdown - those little ones scheduled to be born during April and May. Only one alert level there - I’m on my way, writes Ian Munro.

Ian Munro
Ian Munro
There’ll be a tale to tell them later about the strange times into which they entered the world. Mind you there’s a chance we’ll be still in those strange times then, too.

Baby’s home and in your bubble and that’s when life does change regardless of what’s going on in the world outside and particularly when it’s your first.

While some quality sleep will be top of your essentials, it isn’t always possible and a sense of humour seems to be the next best help to carry you through. If you can laugh about changing a nappy for the third time in 15 minutes, you’ll probably make it.

That aside, it’s really important to schedule some time for yourself, even half an hour, at some point each day. It’s easy to say, and a little harder to do, but something worth forcing yourself into making happen.

Don’t take time just for catching up on a few chores but for something you enjoy doing — a walk, some other form of exercise, or perhaps a read or a spot of gardening.

To maintain your health and wellbeing, keep exercised and properly fed and hydrated. If you start feeling run-down, get a check-up. Take care with lifting and carrying — you’ll be no use to anyone if you injure your back in some way.

Try for some sleep or at least a rest when Baby sleeps — yes, it might be nice to catch on some things that need doing during that brief window but you’ll handle the rest of the day better if you feel a bit fresher.

In fact, limit housework to the essentials for those first months. Or let Mum or Mother-in-law into your bubble to do it without you feeling guilty or judged.

A slow cooker is ideal for preparing some main meals in bulk that can then be frozen in meal-sized portions. Coupled with a rice cooker, you’re set for when you just don’t have the time or energy to even think about what to have for dinner let alone prepare it.

If there’s a local parents’ group — join when it recommences. Sometimes they can be undermining if there’s a culture of ‘‘my Mary’s smarter than your Jane’’ but, equally, you can get friendship, advice, support and maybe some reciprocal babysitting.

Above all else, keep in touch with your partner. Don’t let Baby push him out. Both be involved. Dads are quite capable of bathing baby, nappy changing, getting up at night and vacuuming when push comes to shove. And find ways to spend some time together.


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