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6 Essential Tips to Work from Home With a Newborn Baby

on November 17, 2014

Being a new first-time mom–or dad–is one of the most rewarding and challenging jobs there is. Every day is an adventure, and there’s nothing more precious than seeing the world through your newborn’s wide, shiny eyes. No doubt about it–your life changes forever the minute you hear your baby’s first cries. It’s super exciting, but many people find it daunting as well. The question on many new parents’ minds is, “How will I find time for my career and my own personal fulfillment when I’m faced with so many new responsibilities?”

People who work from home have it better than many, since we can spend the day with our babies while still staying active in our careers. Most of us have relatively flexible schedules and are motivated self-starters, both of which are ideal traits for balancing work and family. But still, the question remains… How does one work with a newborn in the house?

By practicing time management techniques, of course! Here are 6 strategies I use to incorporate plenty of work–and play–into days with my one-month-old daughter, Xaviana.

Want your baby to give you a wink for a job well done like Xaviana is doing here? Just follow these tips!

Want your baby to give you a wink for a job well done like Xaviana is doing here? Just follow these tips!

  1. Read Good Night, Sleep Tight by Kim West – Everyone is more productive after a good night’s sleep, but having a newborn in the house makes this seem impossible. That’s why I recommend this book. It’s chock-full of amazing techniques to find a sleep schedule that works for both you and your baby, and I used the tips inside to set up an awesome sleep routine at home. Babies sleep fifteen to eighteen hours a day during the first month, but the sleep is pretty scattered. Xaviana takes three main naps per day, one in the morning, one in the mid-afternoon, and another in the evening after dinner. My family sleeps around 10:30, and Xavi awakens twice at night for feedings, and typically wakes up a third time in the early morning around 6 AM. After I feed her, she snuggles with my hubby and falls back asleep until somewhere between 7:30 and 8 AM. I am not a napper unless I’m sick or severely fatigued, but luckily Xavi is a good sleeper and so am I; I get eight to nine hours a night, even though it is interrupted. This allows me to function optimally during the day and get a ton of work done while Xavi naps.
  2. Be Flexible – Tailor your daily routine to your baby’s moods, and know that you will seldom have long, uninterrupted blocks of time to work. Instead, learn to work in quick snatches of an hour or two, concentrating hard during that time. If you’re a writer like me, you’ll probably be able to write and take care of your baby all by yourself as long as you remain flexible. For example, when I’m in the middle of writing a chapter and Xaviana wakes up hungry and/or irritable, I make a note of where I was heading, and then focus on making Xavi happy. Afterwards, I can pick up where I left off. On the other hand, if you work in an industry that demands meetings–even virtual ones–with clients and coworkers, flexibility is a bit more challenging, and you may need some extra help with the baby during the day. This brings me to tip #3…
  3. Ask for Help – I’m the type of person who likes doing things myself. I detest delegating, and prefer to be left alone during the day to work and take care of Xavi. But I also know that sometimes, we just need a helping hand. For this reason, it’s super important to have a support system: significant other, family, friends, and baby-sitters. If you’re anything like me, you probably won’t ask for help, but remember, it’s okay to do it if you have to.
  4. Be Efficient – Don’t waste time–especially when your baby is napping. It might be tempting to nap when the baby naps, and that might work for some people. But I know that I accomplish the most while Xavi is asleep, since it’s easiest to concentrate and immerse myself in my work.
  5. Make a To-Do List – Starting each day with a to-do list is essential. Newborns break your day into little fragments that can seem disjointed and disorganized unless you have a clear itinerary of everything you want to accomplish. I include not only work goals on my to-do list, but also personal ones, such as playing piano, exercising, cooking, and cleaning. The list keeps me organized and lends a sense of accountability. It also helps me to structure my day. For example, I play piano and exercise while Xavi is awake, since she seems to enjoy watching me do these activities. I try to write, cook, and clean when she’s asleep.
  6. Be Realistic – Before Xavi was born, I would often write 4000 words a day, in addition to blogging three times a week, shooting YouTube videos, promoting, and keeping  up with social media. Now, I write about 2000 words a day and blog once or twice a week, but still make plenty of time to promote and keep up with social media. My goal is to return to my original level of productivity, and even exceed it. 😉 However, I also realize that this will take some time, and I’m okay with that. For now, I’ll challenge myself to write as much as possible while still enjoying the sweet little girl I waited so long to hold and adore. Newborns are amazing, and we should savor every smile, every wiggle, and every cuddly moment of this precious time.

New moms and dads out there, I hope these tips help you to work from home more effectively. What strategies work for you? I’d love to hear your thoughts!


2 responses to “6 Essential Tips to Work from Home With a Newborn Baby

  1. Congrats again on that precious new addition!

    I’m not a parent, but so respect writers (and others) who are. I love your tip on flexibility… I interviewed a sociologist who found that moms who aim for perfection are lots more likely to grow depressed.

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