3 Things to Sacrifice When You Have a Baby
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Val has four children and today she is posting here on my blog with her sound wisdom in regards to the sacrifices you may need to make after you add a baby to your family.
I always appreciate the practical advice that she offers in her writing as well as the personal experience she is able to offer up.
You can read my thoughts on going from 1-2 children in this post –> 5 Truths You Need to Know About Having a Second Baby
When you have a new baby, you can find yourself torn between catering to all of baby’s needs and living life as usual. While you want to be sure baby joins the family and the family can live their lives as usual, the family also needs to add a baby to it. This means that life isn’t what it was.
It is different and their needs to be some adjusting. “Usual” is now changed.
You can’t sacrifice everything for baby, but there are some things you should sacrifice. At our house, we very closely follow the Babywise Method. That means I am working toward a predictable routine and focusing on sleep for my baby.
Here are three things I always sacrifice when I have a baby to ensure baby develops great sleep skills and sleep habits.
You can read my full balanced approach to adding baby to the family here.
1) Activities During Baby’s Naps
As my older child or children have gotten older, we will have grown accustomed to doing certain things during the day. We might go to story time, head to the park, or participate in dance or music class.
Once a new baby joins our family, we reevaluate those activities for a season. We might take story time off for a few months while we all adjust to the new baby. We might choose to go to the park less frequently so we give the baby some time to sleep at home. Sometimes, we might carpool to activities or get help from grandparents so the older children can go to activities and baby can stay consistent with sleep.
2) Going Out
When we have a new baby, we go out a lot less often. It can be hard to stay home more, especially if you are an extrovert. Even so, it is a short time period that baby needs you to stay home, so it is a sacrifice we do make.
Things like going to the grocery store become an exciting outing. If you have extroverts at home, you can find ways to get the necessary socialization in during your months of focusing on baby’s schedule.
You can invite friends over for the older children. You can have a friend and her children come over during the day. Invite a family over for dinner, or you can invite a couple over to play games after children are in bed.
Not everything needs to happen at home. You can leave one parent home with the baby while the other runs errands or meets friends for a night out. Hire a babysitter to watch kids for a couple of hours after bedtime. You can schedule lessons in the evening so one parent can take the child while the other stays home with baby.
With a little bit of thought, you can find ways to still meet the social needs of the family while allowing baby to really get established in a great routine.
3) Full Freedom
When we had our first baby, we initially went about our business as though he was just an addition to the life we were leading. He was our tag along. A cut tag along, but a tag along.
After about three months, we realized that was not working for him, which then meant it wasn’t working for us. We decided we needed to allow him to have some consistency so he knew what to expect from his daily routine.
You must change your life when you add a baby to it. You don’t need to, and shouldn’t, revolve your life around baby forever. But you can and should adjust your life to fit the baby into it.
There will be things you need to change in order to add the baby to this family. There are sacrifices every member of the family will need to make. You will not have the freedom you had before the baby came. As the months and years go by, you will get more freedom.
For now, you need to consider the full impact of activities and events on every member of the family and decide what the best decision is as a whole.
There will be some activities you decide need to be skipped for the sake of the baby. There will be some days you decide baby needs to try to sleep on the go so the family or a certain family member can participate in an event.
The big picture is to remember the baby joins a family and family adds a baby. Everyone must sacrifice.
There may be more sacrifice from the family as baby works on establishing a solid routine. Once the baby has a great routine down, the baby will be able to start to sacrifice and bounce back to that schedule.
Giving baby time to adjust and develop a strong routine will have huge benefits to the baby’s schedule in the long term.