Having a baby is challenging. This is true in any circumstance, but add a pandemic to the mix and the experience of welcoming home a new baby can be even more arduous.
I had my daughter in 2019 when the world was a different place. I had support in form of family, friends, and professionals. And still, the recovery from childbirth and the newborn phase was incredibly hard (amazing, but hard!). Now, I’m preparing for my second baby and have been warned of the extra challenges we’ll face as it’s happening amidst a pandemic.
But not all hope is lost! While there are extra challenges you’ll likely face if you’re expecting a baby during the pandemic, there are ways to prepare, get support, and allow you more precious time with your sweet newborn.
Here are 10 things that will make the newborn experience easier, even during a pandemic.
1. Hire a Virtual Nursery Designer
We all want our little ones to have a beautiful and safe nursery to come home to, but who really has the time to plan and design one with everything happening right now? Plus, some of us don’t exactly have that eye for design, no matter how long we spend on Pinterest. Instead of spending hours trying to put together the perfect nursery, you can offload that work. Check out YouthfulNest and hire a virtual interior designer to guide you in creating a custom nursery, all from the comfort and safety of your own home. You’ll get the nursery aesthetic you want, even if you aren’t quite sure how to get there yourself.
YouthfulNest expertly creates a custom design in a virtual experience. The process is simple: fill out a questionnaire, review via a quick voice or video consultation, and based on the discussion, a designer will create a custom shoppable design that sources products within your style and budget. You can make the purchases or use a personal shopper to handle all the logistics. As a mom-to-be or a new mom, you’re understandably short on time. By hiring a virtual designer, you’ll save time, you’ll save money over a traditional interior design service, and you’ll get the perfect nursery with a lot less stress.
2. Set Up a Meal Train
Cooking is near impossible with a newborn. To minimize visitors (and potential germs) while still getting fed, set up a meal train and friends can send you takeout or gift cards to food delivery services.
3. Sign Up for a Dog-Walking Service
Dogs and other pets are like your babies. That is, until you have a real baby. We all still love our furry companions, but sometimes it’s easiest and best for everyone to have someone else handle the pet care. Sign up for a local dog-walking service and hand over your leash to a trusted walker, giving you more time at home to rest and recover.
4. Explore Virtual Therapy and/or Meditation Apps
The newborn days can be incredibly lonely, and this may be exacerbated by the pandemic. In normal circumstances, new moms can join meetups and support groups, but during the pandemic, this isn’t possible. Many moms are having to find community in online groups. But if you’re struggling, make sure you have someone to talk to. For some, that might be a professional, which can be done via virtual therapy; for others, a meditation app may be helpful to deal with the overwhelming emotions.
5. Order a Birth Recovery Kit
Depending on how your delivery goes, recovery from childbirth can be really strenuous. When I went through this myself, I made homemade padsicles to alleviate pain and also was constantly buying new products claiming to help. Instead of scouring the Internet for product recommendations, buy a pre-made kit to help with recovery. Get all of the must-have items you need, when you really need them.
6. Buy Lactation-Supporting Snacks
With my first baby, I had my mom baking up a steady storm of lactation cookies made with ingredients that are said to support milk production. If you’re facing the newborn days without a baking mom nearby, order lactation-supporting products and have your pantry well-stocked.
7. Take an Online Baby Sleep Course
Exhaustion is a part of new mom life. In normal circumstances, you might have friends and family stopping by to hold the baby so you can get a little rest. During a pandemic, this likely isn’t the case. While newborn sleep is a challenge, taking an online course to learn the basics can go a long way.
8. Sign Up for a Diaper Subscription
Due to the pandemic, it’s already been a bit of a challenge to get to the store for necessities. A major necessity during the newborn phase is diapers. Take one item off your plate and sign up for a subscription so they’ll come to your door on a regular basis without any work by you.
9. Buy a Stash of Basic Onesies
In theory, dressing your little one in different adorable outfits each day makes for a fun photo opp. In reality, your baby requires constant changes and is bound to spit up or have blowouts on a large portion of their wardrobe. Buy a good amount of basic onesies. They aren’t expensive and will mean you’re doing laundry less frequently.
10. Set Boundaries With Family and Friends
And finally, it’s important to set boundaries with guests when you have a newborn during any time, but due to health concerns, it’s particularly important to set those boundaries during a pandemic. Of course, people want to come over and take a peek at your sweet new baby, but only do what you feel comfortable with and don’t feel guilty about telling people they will have to wait to meet the baby.
This post was in partnership with YouthfulNest but all of the opinions within are those of The Everymom editorial board.