Back to You: Getting What You Need When You Have a Newborn

May 17th, 2010by Jessi Arias-Cooper

During the early months of your baby’s life, finding time to take care of yourself can seem impossible. The good news…it’s not. With a little flexibility, you won’t have to sacrifice the simple things in life that keep you happy and healthy.

There are three basic things every new mom wants and needs:

1. More sleep

2. To eat real meals (with both hands)

3. A hot shower.

Once you’re out of the hospital and on your own, you’ll have no choice but to learn how to work with your baby to make sure that you’re both getting what you need.

It can take weeks, sometimes even months, for your baby to sleep through the night. This doesn’t mean that you have to be a stinky, starving zombie.

The key to meeting your obligations to yourself, is to study and understand your baby’s sleeping and eating patterns. How long does she sleep between feedings? How often, and at what time, does she stay awake for an hour or more?

Babies’ schedules can appear to be completely chaotic at first, but if you pay attention, you’ll catch on to a pattern fairly quickly. They will generally find a comfortable rhythm and stick to it for a while.

Once you have your little peanut’s schedule figured out, you can fit your life into her schedule. Prioritize: Naps first, food second, and finally…ahhh…a relaxing shower.

With a little planning, your life can still be yours. A happy mom makes for a happy baby. If you’re too rundown to bring your mommy-ing “A-Game” to the party, you’ll both be miserable.

Give yourself the gift of self-indulgence, even if it’s just in the form of meeting your basic daily needs, and your early mothering experience will be a relaxed, content one.

Jessi Arias-Cooper is the senior writer and an editor for She is a work-from-home mother of 3 boys and has been married for 10 years. Jessi co-owns Profitable Prose, with her husband, Brock. If she had time for hobbies and interests outside of parenting and keeping house, they would be jewelry making, baking, watching bad B-movie horror flicks and creative writing.

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