It can be challenging and exciting (and also a little frightening) for a young adult to start a new family and begin a new career simultaneously. Becoming a parent at a young age certainly has both its advantages and disadvantages, and if you are looking to start a family soon, weigh your options before getting in over your head. But if you know you’re ready or you already have a baby on the way, here are some tips on how you can reach an ideal work-life balance.
Find Recommended Daycare
Not everyone gets to stay home with their baby once he is born. No matter your age, it’s up to you to create a safe environment for your baby in and out of the home, so finding quality daycare is essential. Often the best recommendations for nannies, babysitters and daycare centers come from your friends and families. So turn to them for advice.
Decide what criteria are important to you before you visit local day cares. Ask questions and get references. Be sure they have up-to-date licenses, employee background checks, flexible hours and an outdoor space. A good daycare will also have low teacher-to-student ratios.
Supine Swaddle Your Newborn
Supine swaddling involves wrapping your baby snuggly in a swaddling blanket and placing him on his back to sleep. The back-to-sleep position is important because it reduces the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Not only that, but swaddling your baby can help promote better sleep. Combine supine swaddling with other safe sleep practices such as temperature awareness, and you’ll find your little one to be more calm and likely to sleep.
Set a Routine
Life is confusing for a newborn. Jodi Mindell, author of “Sleeping Through the Night,” refers to routines as the “scaffolding” that offers structure to babies so their days don’t seem so random. Not only is a routine beneficial to the baby, but it is great for you parents, as well. With a bedtime ritual, you know you’re working toward closure for the day and will have some time to yourself after baby goes down. Also, predictable nap times give mom and dad a small break to rest, clean or simply just be for an hour or so. Routines give your baby security and comfort and give you better peace of mind.
Spend Time With Your Partner
Between being a new parent and working a new job, you will find that you have little time for yourself, let alone time for your partner. But it’s more important than ever to nurture your relationship by making time for each other. While a weekly date would be ideal, that may not be realistic. At the very least, set up a monthly “cheap date night” for just you and your partner, so you can check in with each other and make sure you’re on the same page. It doesn’t have to be extravagant and cost a lot of money. Do whatever you can to stay close to your partner.