When it comes to taking care of your baby or toddler, their health and safety should be your top priority. However, it is still incredibly important to make caring for yourself a priority as well. It can be really challenging as a parent to find the time to care for yourself when you have a baby to focus on as well. This article will break down a few tips to help parents care for themselves, even on long days spent at home with a baby.
How to Take Care of Yourself While Also Caring for a Baby
It is so important to find ways to factor in self-care when you’re home with your baby. Many parents can relate to the feeling of being home with their baby all day, whether they stay at home or use the weekends to bond with their baby. Caring for a baby or toddler all day can make it difficult to feed yourself and drink enough water, let alone do the less necessary stuff like shower or get out of the house. Here are a few helpful tips:
- Find ways to get out of the house.
- Make the most of nap times.
- Invite a friend over or make a phone call for some extra company.
- Take self care seriously.
- Ask for help when you need it.
Ultimately, your baby's safety should be the top priority, but in order to be the best parent you can be, you’ve got to take care of yourself as well.
Find Ways to Get Out of the House
One simple way to feel good when you’re caring for a baby or toddler is to make sure to get out of the house regularly. Parents can really start to feel cooped up and isolated when spending all day at home alone with a baby. As your baby gets older, you’ll be able to find more and more activities to do that allow you to leave the house. Here are a few ideas:
- Take a walk with the stroller: Most babies love to sit in their stroller and getting fresh air and exercise is super beneficial for your mental health. Go for a walk around your neighborhood or put the stroller in your car and drive to a scenic location such as a park.
- Go to the grocery store: This might not sound like the most enjoyable task but older babies will like sitting in the grocery cart and getting pushed around and it can feel good to cross something off of your to do list.
- Head to the playground: If you have an older kid or if your baby is nearing toddler age, going to a local park or playground is a great outdoor activity.
Make the Most of Nap Times
If your child likes to nap then nap time is a great time to do some self care. Many parents feel pressured to use nap times as a productive time to clean the house, wash dishes, do laundry, etc. Although these are obviously important tasks, it is also important to take care of yourself when you can. Try to allow yourself to leave some tasks undone when you can, let your house be messy and just use nap time as an opportunity to do something that makes you feel good, such as taking a shower, doing some exercise or yoga, reading a book you enjoy, or watching one of your favorite shows.
Invite a Friend Over
Having good company can really help you feel happy when you’re home caring for a baby all day. Call a friend and invite them to come over or just talk on the phone for a while to catch up. This may even give you an opportunity to get some time to do things around your house, if your friend feels like holding your baby or playing with your toddler. It’s also easier to have friends come to you once you have kids since you won’t have to worry about their home being baby proof.
Take Self Care Seriously
It may not seem like a top priority to take a shower or even wash your face when you have a child to care for, but it is honestly so important to take time to do a few things for yourself throughout the day anytime you can. Simply getting ready for the day can make you feel better, even if you don’t plan to go anywhere! Take advantage of nap time and jump in the shower, style your hair, put some makeup on, or just do anything that makes you feel like yourself.
Ask for Help When You Need It
It is important to recognize when you need a break as a parent. Obviously, you’re not always going to have the option to call someone to come help but when you do see the opportunity, you should take advantage of it. It can be really easy to get burnt out as a parent, so you need to accept that you can’t do it all. Taking help when needed is so important for your mental health, which ultimately affects your child as well!
At the end of the day, your baby’s safety should be your first concern. But once you know that your baby is fed, changed, and content, you should think of some ways to take care of yourself. Some days, it may just look like ensuring that you eat and drink enough water. Other days, you may have time to do something you love like read a book or watch TV. The good news is, there are plenty of activities that you can do to feel good that allow you to bring your baby along, such as going to a park, taking a walk, or even just sitting outside for a while. Some days are definitely harder than others when you’re taking care of a baby or toddler, so it is important to set low expectations and just take it one day at a time.
The Pop N’ Go Playpen offers a safe and spacious area for babies and toddlers to play and relax.