Make a few simple changes to your routine and steal yourself 60 minutes of sanity-saving peace…
Leave your baby in the next room
Steal 2 minutes
When you’re a new mum, it’s second nature to keep your baby with you at all times, carrying her from room to room. But now and then, it’s also a good idea to get your baby used to you leaving the room without her. Make sure she’s in a safe area where she can’t come to any harm. A good time to do this is when you’re getting dressed in the morning, when you can pop her in her cot with a toy. A moment’s peace to get dressed by yourself will clear your head. And it’s amazing how a little thing like wearing matching underwear can boost your confidence throughout the day!
Create a me-time moment in your everyday routine
Steal 6 minutes
Introduce a regular me-time treat for you and your baby at the same time every day. Put a few different items into a small basket for your baby to discover. These don’t need to be toys, far from it– most babies are blissed out the first time they meet a saucepan and a wooden spoon or a few toilet-roll tubes. Make sure everything is safe for your baby to play with under your supervision. As you sit, a few feet away but within her eyeline, give yourself a DIY hand massage. Use a scented lotion, breathe in deeply, and knead the base of the muscle under your thumb, which will de-stress your scalp, neck and shoulders.
Steal 4 minutes
A few simple strategies will buy you the four minutes you need to look in the mirror and apply a slick of lippy before you head out of the door. Keep a nappy-changing bag in the car or pram, and get
into the habit of replenishing whatever you’ve used when you get home. Leave a bag of other essentials in the boot too, with a spare set of clothes, sun lotion and a first aid kit. And make a few days’ worth of healthy snack packs, so you can just grab one from the fridge when it’s time to go out.
Close your eyes for a while before you drive
Steal 3 minutes
Getting out of the house is a stressful experience. When you’ve strapped your baby safely into her car seat, before you even put the key into the ignition, shut your eyes for three minutes to recharge.
If your baby fusses, turn the radio on. For maximum relaxation, breathe in deeply through your nose, carrying on until your lungs are completely full. Exhale through your mouth as
slowly as possible, to a count of 10.
Let her self-settle after her lunchtime feed
Steal 17 minutes
Just-fed babies are happy – fact. So, after her lunchtime feed and nappy change, read her a story, pop her in her crib and give her a kiss, but then leave her to settle herself. She’ll manage fine – it’ll help teach her to self-settle and buy you a chunk of me-time. Dig out that CD of ballads you only put on when no one else is at home – she’ll find the warbling soothing and you’ll enjoy the positive boost and escape music gives you.
Me-time with storytime
Steal 9 minutes
While it’s great to read with your little one, it’s also good for her to enjoy books by herself. Lay a blanket on the floor and pile up colourful books for her to look at. Then sit nearby and read a magazine to connect with the world outside of Babyville.
Give her a bath every other night
Steal 19 minutes
Every other night, give yourself, rather than your baby, a bedtime bath. Pop her in her bouncer chair in the bathroom and get into the tub yourself. Add Lavender Epsom Salts (£3, simpleynatural.co.uk) and relax. Research advises young babies should be bathed a maximum of three times a week, so you don’t need to feel guilty.
Why me-time is important
Making time for yourself is central to being the mum you want to be says life coach Laura Wagner (laura-wagner.com): ‘The inspiration and energy you want to have as a mum isn’t out there somewhere mysterious – it’s within you.’ A few minutes of me-time in your day will make you a calmer, happier mum, so it’s good for you and your baby. ‘Creating small moments in your day will help you connect with yourself outside of your roles as a partner or mother – and it will help you get your mojo back,’ explains Laura. ‘Me-time restores and maintains your happiness levels.’