A new baby creates an amazing amount of work.

How to Do Housework With a Newborn

by Daisy Peasblossom Fernchild

The way to do housework with a newborn is to let go of all but the most essential housekeeping needs for the first weeks. A new baby needs to be fed about every three to four hours, burped, diapered and cleaned. Laundry is going to be essential, along with regular meals for the family. Delegate as much as you can to friends and family who are willing to help out, and nap when baby naps.

1 Take care of your baby first. If you are nursing, you won't have to prepare formula or a bottle. If you are not, correctly preparing your baby's formula, and making sure his bottles are cleaned according to manufacturer's directions is a priority. Disposable diapers can cut down on laundry during those first weeks, but not all babies can use them. If you use cloth diapers, they will need to be washed daily. This will keep them from piling up into an unmanageable amount.

2 Prepare simple meals that do not require a lot of standing or stirring. Soup, salad or sandwiches can feed the whole family as long as they have healthy ingredients. Enlist the aid of family members or even older children for meal preparation. Let your husband take over some of the cooking, or let him have bonding time with your baby while you put together your evening meal. Accept gifts of casseroles and other foods from family and friends.

3 Focus your housekeeping time on essentials, such as clean dishes, laundry and frequently used areas of the house. Place your baby in his crib or bassinet in the same room where you are working, where you can talk to him or sing to him while you work. You can try carrying him in a snuggle harness or sling. Keep in mind that your little one will grow rapidly, and can become quite heavy to carry while you vacuum or do other routine tasks.

4 Get plenty of rest, especially if you are nursing your baby. Your sleep is being interrupted, and you have just had a lot of extra work added to your usual house cleaning routine. Make it a habit to have a large glass of something nutritious to drink while you are nursing, and use that time to put your feet up and enjoy a favorite video or listen to an audio book. Use baby's nap time to slip in a nap for yourself.

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