What to do with a Newborn

Category: New Parent Big Stuff
Things to do when you're alone with a  newborn to keep sane and happy.

My son is nearly two weeks old and so far I've had either my husband
or my mother or both around at all times to prepare and bring me food,
chat with me while I nurse the baby, and provide an extra pair of
hands to hold him and change him. Well, my husband has returned to
full-time work and my mom is flying back to Iowa on Wednesday and I am
beginning to wonder how I'm going to manage a hungry, clingy newborn
all on my own during the day.
I have yet to figure out how to do anything else while
breastfeeding--I'd love to read a book, watch TV, check email, etc.
with him in my arms but I can never seem to manage the mechanics of
those without disturbing him. And what to do with him when I need to
shower or make myself lunch?
Are these all things that just come with practice? Would wearing him
in a sling around the house help out with most of these issues (except
Any suggestions from those who have been there would be greatly


Keeping the baby happy and yourself sane at home:
--Use a sling/Bjorn/other carrier: keeps your hands free and your baby cozy and
--A bouncy seat/car seat/swing/gymini/moses basket keeps baby occupied while you
do other stuff
--Bring baby into bathroom while you shower using bouncy seat, car seat, or
lying on a towel on the floor--babies may find the running water soothing
--Or wait to shower till your husband comes home or before he leaves
--While breastfeeding, keep phone, remote control, reading material, water,
snacks, etc. within arm's reach
--Snacks while nursing: nuts, dried fruit, granola bar, crackers
--Have easy-to-make meals, such as pbj sandwiches or quesadillas (use meat from
whole rotisserie chicken and pre-shredded cheese)
--Use Boppy or My Brest Friend pillow for breastfeeding
--Subscribe to Netflix
--Swaddle the baby and put him/her down
--White noise calms baby: electric razor, hair dryer, radio static, bathroom
exhaust fan
--Read/watch DVD Happiest Baby on the Block ny Harvey Karp for more tips on
soothing babies
--Prioritize eating and sleeping and don't worry so much about keeping yourself
and your house clean
--Occasionally let the baby cry for a couple minutes so you can get necessary
stuff done

Get out of the house! (Every day if possible):
--Go to mommy and baby yoga classes (Park Slope Yoga Center has good ones)
--Walk in the Botanic Garden or the park.
--Join a mom's group (such as the ones you can sign up for at Boing Boing or the
one at Families First)
--Go to Tea Lounge on Union and converse with other mothers in the same boat
(order the pizza toastie for quick calories)
--Other desinations: Perch, Red Horse Cafe, Cafe Eleven, Boing Boing, movies
(easier now than when they're toddlers), museums, zoo, Coney Island
--Have a weekly schedule--designated days for laundry, library, mom's group,

General Advice:
Enjoy this period while it lasts--remember that it will pass quickly and your
child will never be this quiet or still (or teeny-tiny) again