When you bring home your bundle of joy, the first few days and even weeks, as a new family is exciting. And exhausting. You’re most likely not thinking about how to practice self-care with a newborn in the house.
Your days are filled with skin to skin, swaddling, around-the-clock feedings, searching symptoms on Google, squeezing in mealtimes or showers in between feedings, and checking under their nose just to make sure they’re still breathing.
Taking care of a teeny tiny human being is incredibly exhausting, leaving you very little time to take care of yourself. This is exactly why self-care is still very much important.
You may not have hours to binge-watch your favorite TV series or mindlessly wander the aisles at Target, but you can steal 10 minutes here and there for yourself.
Here are 10 ways you can exercise self-care with a newborn to make sure both mom and baby are covered. They’re brief, inexpensive and you don’t even have to leave the house if you don’t want to!
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1| Spend a few minutes outside.
You don’t have to go far. Just stepping outside your front or back door for a bit with a hot beverage may help to clear your head of the newborn fog. You can spend 5 to 10 minutes mindfully admiring creation, observing your surroundings, or just sitting still on your patio with a hot cup of tea. Just be sure to bring the baby monitor with you!
2| Put on a Face Mask.
You may not be able to spend a day at the spa, but putting on a face mask at home is a simple way to practice self-care with a newborn in the house. If possible, ask someone to pick up a small package of face masks for you the next time they make a Target run. Giving yourself a mini facial is great for a quick pick-me-up and may leave you feeling a bit more rejuvenated afterwards.
3| Paint Your Nails.
Fingernails, toenails or both. It’s a great time to try out a color you don’t usually wear since you’ll be spending more time at home. Couple this with a hot shower and you might feel like a new person! Sometimes it’s satisfying to savor the simple things in life and with a newborn, a hot shower and painted nails can feel like a mini-vacation.
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4| Learn something new.
Sometimes spending too much time on social media or YouTube can be an energy-sucker and a time-waster. It can leave you feeling like even more of a zombie when you’re already sleep-deprived.
Instead of getting sucked into the social media vortex, might I suggest learning something new. Listen to a new song on your favorite music app. Check out the latest TED Talk. Download a podcast on a topic you’re interested in learning more about.
Learning something new could help to combat the repetitive nature of life at home with a newborn and improve mental health.
5| Read a Book.
I know, I know. This may sound like a bit of an advantageous idea for self-care with a newborn. But you don’t have to finish the book! You don’t even need to read an entire chapter. Reading a few pages may lift you out of your current reality just enough that it provides you with a bit of a break. I wouldn’t choose a parenting book unless you’re stuck in the middle of a baby dilemma and need to troubleshoot an issue as fast as possible. Otherwise, choose a book that you’ve been wanting to read that way you look forward to it.
Who knows? Maybe it will spark a 10-minute reading habit that will serve you well throughout your child’s first year. After all, time is of the essence when you’re a parent.
6| Write in a Journal.
Write down your child’s birth story while it’s fresh in your mind. Write down your goals and dreams for your new family. Create a family bucket list of things you’d like to do someday. Pour out your thoughts and feelings about new motherhood. Jot down something you’re thankful for (obviously, the baby).
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7| Take a Bubble Bath…or a Sitz Bath.
Another alternative to a nice hot shower is a relaxing bubble bath. Try a soothing scent like eucalyptus or lavender to unwind and relax. You could even bring a book, a cup of tea, or light a candle.
That is, if your postpartum body is up for it. If it’s too early for a bubble bath, a sitz bath would be a better choice.
8| Do your hair.
You may not be going out for a night on the town, but it could help improve your mood when you look in the mirror. After all, you’ll be up all night anyway and if your breasts are leaking and you’re covered in spit-up, hey, at least your hair looks good! Plus you can rock that selfie – from the neck up – with your little one. 😉
9| Do some light exercise.
Once your doctor has given you the green light to exercise, go for it! Get the blood pumping by going for a walk with the stroller, doing light yoga, or working out with a YouTube video.
10| Take a nap.
The classic choice of any exhausted mom – newborn or not. Sleep can truly do wonders.
How will you practice self-care with a newborn at home?
Share in the comments below! Or share your favorite at-home ritual for practicing self-care.