Claire is taking an unusually long nap right now (anything longer than 40 minutes is a long nap around here) and I’m feeling a little inspired. So, here I am. I have things I could be doing (laundry, for one, which is never ending nowadays) but part of self care is taking time for yourself. Every day. Self care is often put on the back burner when you’re a new mom. Take care of the baby, animals, home tasks, work, you name it. I firmly believe that you need to take care of yourself before you are fully able to take care of others. So, here are 7 self care tips for new moms.
7 Self Care Tips For New Moms
1. Take A Shower Every Day
A few minute in the shower can do wonders. I’ve taken at least one shower every day since Claire was born. Sometimes, I would take a shower at 5am and then go back to bed. It’s relaxing. You need to get clean after possibly being spit up on, peed on, pooped on… you name it. Babies are messy. Hell, I just put on a new pair of comfy clothes after my shower because if I’m going to be home all day, I’m going to be comfortable. We’re in a better routine now so it’s not as challenging to make time for this. However, if you’re in the rough first few months, it’s OK to set baby down for a few minutes to shower or have someone else watch the baby.
Seriously, do it. You will feel so much better.
I was going to call this tip “get sleep,” but, duh! Of course. Every new mom wants to get sleep. It’s easier with some babies than others. (Thank goodness I was blessed with a good sleeper, most of the time.) In the early days it’s super hard to get enough sleep. And sleep deprivation is a bitch. I’m all for doing whatever you have to do to amplify the amount and quality of sleep that you get. (As long as baby sleeps in a safe space, of course.)
Resting can look different, though. Sometimes I let Claire play independently on her activity mat while I enjoy warm coffee in the morning. Because that is important to me. Sometimes, when I am tired and she’s down for her typical 40 minute nap, I just lay on the bed and close my eyes for that amount of time.
Rest takes on a lot of different forms. I think you just need to see how you feel that day and do what you need to fill up your tank a little bit. Laundry, cleaning, cooking… it can wait. Your sanity is more important.
3. Nourish Your Body
Eat when you’re hungry. Don’t skip meals, if possible. Drink water. Have a treat every day. Take your vitamins. Try to eat healthy but don’t beat yourself up if you don’t have a perfect diet right now. Get fast food, take out, heat up frozen meals… some days you just need to get by and that’s ok.
Enjoy that glass of wine at night.
If you are breastfeeding or pumping, then you know how hungry that makes you! (You’re feeding another human, after all.) Just go with what your body is telling you and don’t even worry about the scale right now.
4. Get Out Of The House
With our without baby, I think every new mom needs to get out of the house a couple times a week. Every day, if possible, and if you are feeling up to it.
I know. It’s a pain. I had major anxiety about taking Claire out at first. And, to be honest, sometimes I still get anxious. But it’s so much better for my mental health and she loves getting out, too.
Go to Target.
Take a walk around the neighborhood.
Have someone watch the baby so you can do something on your own for an hour or two.
Whatever it is, if you are able to get out of the house for a little while, then you will feel more refreshed when you come back home.
5. Do Something That You Enjoy
Pick up that hobby you loved to spend time on before baby arrived. Forget about baby, house work, and errands for a while and get lost in something you love. Do something that might be harder to do when the baby is around. It’ll help you feel more like yourself again. After all, isn’t that the point of self care?
6. Spend Time With Friends
Having friends come over and hang with you and the baby or going out for a lunch date are both great, easy options. Investing time in your friendships is important for your mental health.
I can’t always be around my best friends but we text each other on the daily. It helps keep me connected and not feel so lonely.
7. Plan A Date Night
Get a babysitter and spend time with your significant other. Put it on the calendar and make it a priority. You will feel so much better by putting on real clothes and doing something fun.
It’s OK to take time for YOU. For your mental well being. So you don’t get lost in the overwhelm.
I hope these 7 self care tips for new moms helps you just a little. The days feel long but they go by fast. It’s OK if you don’t always enjoy every day. It’s rough at first. But, by taking care of yourself, I bet you’ll end up having more good days.