When you have a newborn, given the hours you spend feeding, burping and diaper changing, it can be hard to find time for yourself.
In fact, when my now 2-year-old daughter was a newborn, I didn’t have any “me time.” Now, that I’m a second-time parent of a newborn, however, I’m able to carve out more time for myself (how else, for instance, would I still be able to write and publish hints).
How do I do that? Since my daughter was a baby, I’ve learned tricks for speeding up some of the basic tasks related to caring for an infant, including the three time-saving hacks that make up today’s hint.
1. Skip warming up milk. Warming up formula or pumped breast milk can take a few minutes, regardless of whether you’re using a bottle warmer, a bowl of warm water or the faucet. So, if you’re looking to save time, you can cut down how long it takes to prepare bottles by skipping the warming step. I recently learned this trick from my friend, a mom of newborn twins who learned the trick herself from the nurses at the hospital where she gave birth.
And the experts over at BabyCenter back up that it can work, noting, “there’s no health reason to warm the milk first” and “if your baby is accustomed to drinking bottles at room temperature or slightly cold, you save yourself the time and hassle of preheating bottles.” To be sure, some babies may prefer warmer drinks. But if you don’t offer that option, your baby may not develop such a preference.
2. Go for a one-handed wipe dispenser. Given that newborns go through an average of 10 diapers a day (according to the authors of Baby Bargains), you spend a lot of time at the changing table when you have an infant. One trick for shaving at least a few seconds off the time involved in each diaper change is to go for a one-handed wipe dispenser like Oxo Tot’s “Perfect Pull Wipes Dispenser,” a product I also learned about from my friend with infant twins.
With the traditional free wipe boxes that I used when my daughter was an infant, you often need to use both hands to take out a wipe. In contrast, Oxo Tot’s product is designed so that you can easily open it, take out a wipe, and close it using just one hand, leaving your other hand free to simultaneously work on other aspects of the diaper changing process.
3. Burp like the experts. One of the most time consuming parts of caring for an infant is the burping process. Eliciting a burp from your little one can feel like it takes forever, sometimes adding a good half an hour or more to the feeding ritual.
To cut down burping time, you may want to try out two night-nurse tricks for more quickly coaxing out a burp when you have your infant in a seated position with one hand supporting his or her chin and the other gently patting his or her back. Trick one: Stick a pacifier in your baby’s mouth while you’re doing the burping. And trick number two: Move your baby around in a circle motion.
Of course, these burping strategies aren’t always guaranteed to work. Still, it’s worth having them in your arsenal and when they do work, they work quickly.
What time-saving tricks did I miss? Share your thoughts and tips below.