Balancing Responsibilities with a New Baby
A key to balancing responsibilities when your new baby arrives is communication and planning before baby is born. And after your baby is home, you’ll likely need to reassess and adjust as needed. A good starting plan, however, will make life so much easier as your household welcomes the new member.
Simple planning is one of the keys to balancing responsibilities. While it may seem overwhelming, taking decisions one step at a time can provide a good base for balancing your life with baby.
- Getting baby’s room or quiet place ready
- Getting diapers and other supplies so they’re on hand
- Ensuring baby has the proper clothes to wear for the season
Coordinating with Your Spouse or Other Caregivers
Open and ongoing communication with the people involved in your baby’s care is vitally important. It will help you all maintain balance in your lives as you care for your new baby.
- Divide up responsibilities when baby arrives
- Talk with your partner and family members about your and their expectations
- Talk about family values and expected behavior when baby arrives
- Talk about the roles you’ll each play in various situations
- If you’re both working, decide who’ll be the primary contact for daycare
- Consider each other’s strengths and weaknesses as you divvy up these roles
Saving these discussions for after you get home from the hospital with baby can add to stress and lead to miscommunication and misunderstanding, neither of which promotes balance in your life.
After Baby’s Arrival
Balancing responsibilities after baby’s arrival will depend on a variety of factors such as whether or not mom is breastfeeding, will one parent stay at home with the baby and what your essential day-to-day schedules look like.
- If mom is breastfeeding, it’s important she gets her nutrition and hydration in
- Nighttime feedings will depend on your work schedules and sleep habits
- A rotation for changing diapers might be necessary
- Sterilizing bottles and clean-up responsibilities, such as emptying the diaper pail, should be shared
When balancing responsibilities, be sure to involve older brothers and sisters, as well as grandparents, aunts and uncles. If you have family members available to help, they can help relieve some of the pressures that conflicting schedules can cause.