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Becoming a single parent can bring joy and challenges, including worrying about caring for your baby solo.
These ten tips can make daily life easier for you and your little one.
1. Feed How You Need to Feed
There’s no wrong way to feed your baby, as long as they get enough nutrients to grow and thrive. Breastfeeding, pumping, and formula feeding may be the right choice for a single parent. It depends on your schedule.
You might not have time to pump when you’re in the new parent life solo. If your baby latches quickly, placing them on your chest could be more accessible. However, pumping could be an excellent option for working moms, especially with portable options available.
On the other hand, the formula is great for moms with a lower milk supply or who don’t want to breastfeed. It’s also vital for many single parents who can’t produce breast milk. Each has advantages, but all feeding methods provide comparable health results for your little one.
2. Let People Help You
Even if you can do everything alone, that doesn’t mean it’s good for you or your baby. Self-care is essential for parents. Single parenting is challenging and can take a toll on your physical and mental health. Taking a warm bath, watching your favorite television show, or enjoying a great meal without constantly looking at or listening to your baby can help you stay sane.
You can’t be your best for your baby when you don’t care for yourself, and people often want to help. Holding, feeding, and snuggling your little one could be the highlight of your loved one’s day. Go ahead — boost their serotonin levels and take that much-needed break.
3. Simplify Your Meals
Creating simple, nutritious dishes that satisfy your cravings can help keep you going when you’re a single parent. Your baby isn’t going to care what you make.
Frozen fruits and vegetables often have the same or more nutritional value than fresh alternatives. Pre-cooked meat and pre-shredded cheese make life easier. Plenty of side dishes exist at your grocery store’s hot foods bar or in the freezer section. You could even order meal kits or restaurant catering to get more than one meal from a prep session.
Whatever helps you get a good meal done fast can work. It’s not a sin to order in occasionally when you’re breastfeeding. It’s also alright to give your baby store-bought purees when they’re ready. “Fed is best” applies to you and your baby.
4. Enlist Help With Baby Proofing
Many parents worry about their baby’s safety when they come home from the hospital. Baby proofing concerns heighten even more for single parents, but you don’t have to do it alone. Ask family or friends to help you tackle your baby-proofing to-do list, especially tasks that you can’t do while you’re pregnant.
Here are just a few baby-proofing tips that can ease your mind and make you feel safe in your home:
- Put locks on all cabinet doors.
- Cover all outlets.
- Install a fence around your home to ensure safety while playing in the yard.
- Research the safest options for baby products, including cribs, high chairs, toys, and more.
- Store all breakables on high shelves.
- Put carpets in rooms where your baby might play.
5. Diaper Clutches Can Be Lighter and More Convenient
Diapers, wipes, outfit changes, toys, and more can quickly fill a diaper bag or backpack. However, toting around a heavy suitcase seems more daunting when you only go somewhere for a few hours, especially when carrying a baby.
More and more companies are offering diaper clutches that are much easier to handle when running errands, going to doctor appointments, or enjoying a short visit with friends. They come with a wristband or over-the-shoulder strap and can hold items for you and your baby.
6. Pacifier Wipes Can Save You From Stress
As much as your infant suckles, they will drop their binkies on the ground, changing tables or pets, especially as they get more mobile. Pacifier wipes can quickly disinfect the binky, reducing the time it takes to kill germs to help prevent meltdowns. While giving a pacifier the occasional
Deep cleaning is good; these wipes can keep your baby safe anywhere you carry them.
7. Your Baby Won’t Remember Your Bad Days
Everyone has bad days, and it’s alright to occasionally do the minimum to keep your baby alive and content. Whether watching television while you feed, stepping away for a minute when the crying becomes too much, eating a lot of junk food, or spending the day parenting from your bedroom, your infant won’t care. As long as they’re safe and cared for, it’s OK just to survive.
8. Babywearing Can Help You Get More Done
Not every baby wants you to wear them, but it’s often an easy way to bond while getting more things done. Wearing your infant frees both your hands to do chores, grocery shop, or carry items from one location to another.
You can complete tasks — like folding laundry or cleaning up spills immediately — with your baby always nearby.
9. Create a Support Network
Plenty of other single parents are out there, and everyone deserves support. See if there’s a local in-person support group where you can enjoy lunch or take your babies to activities while sharing stories and advice. No one understands single parents like other single parents.
Another excellent support group addition is a therapist. Whether seeking care for postpartum mental health conditions or needing a neutral voice to hear your struggles and concerns, therapists and counselors can offer advice and tools that make the hard days more manageable.
You’re doing great! No parent is perfect, but the best ones tend to worry about what’s best for their child. Take it a day at a time, ask for help when you need it, and soak up these precious moments.
Thriving As a Single Parent With A Baby
Becoming a parent is stressful whether you have a partner or are alone. Finding ways to simplify your baby’s care, getting support, and giving yourself grace can help you and your baby thrive.