As a new mom, or a mom in a new stage of life (adding more to the picture), getting adjusted to a new routine or schedule can be difficult. And as most of us know, mom ends up coming last, most of the time. With diaper changes, feeding schedules, play time, pictures, napping, cleaning the house, doing the laundry, etc., we can often look at the clock at 5 PM and wonder where the day went and why am I still in my bed-clothes?
There just doesn’t seem to be enough time, most days to get everything done and look good. Right?
Well, I have some strategies for getting ready for the day (before the end of the day) when you have little ones. Here’s how to make sure you get a shower each day:
1. See-thru showers.
If you do not have a glass door shower, you might want to invest in a see-thru shower curtain. That way, you can see them at all times. And, more importantly, they can see you.
2. Keep the kids contained.
Shut the door to the bathroom or set up a gate, so the kids can’t roam through the house. We have to close the door to our closet and the door to the toilet room and put up a gate to keep our toddler contained. If you feel you need to, do some baby-proofing in order to keep them out of off-limits places. But if you have done step one, you can keep your eye on them and keep them out of trouble. For babies, this can include laying down a plush towel or blanket and putting them in a Boppy (or some other) pillow or laying them down flat. Once baby can sit, you might bring in the Bumbo (or some similar) seat for them.
3. Occupy their time.
For newborns, this is very easy. The sound of the shower will almost always put them to sleep.
For grasping babies or sitters, place a toy(s) next to them or in their hands. They will likely lose it in just a moment, but they can still see the toy(s) and you. You might also try using toys that you can wrap around their wrists. Or you can attach the toys to the blanket or pillow they are lying on with a safety-pin or velcro, depending of the surface
For crawlers/toddlers. Place a few interesting toys in a basket or bag (not a plastic one, please) and prompt them to explore the contents. Make sure they are age appropriate toys and do not have lots of small parts. We currently have a shape sorter, some soft blocks, and a See and Say in the bag for our toddler.
4. Narrate what you are doing.
From almost the very first time I had my little one in the bathroom with me, I discussed the process of getting ready with her. I tell her I am shampooing my hair, conditioning, shaving my legs, etc. When I am done with the shower and need to squeegee the shower doors, I talk about up and down and across with her. She has gotten to where she waits by the shower door at the end of the shower and starts saying, “Up….down…up…down!” While I am getting ready, I tell her I am putting moisturizer on my face, deodorant on, etc. and I tell her why “so mama doesn’t look old early in life.” and, “so mama doesn’t stink.”, etc. She has a very clear idea of my routine now and walks with me through it. This gives her structure and she knows what to expect.
5. Include them.
Whenever possible include them in the process. For baby, you might wash his face and hands or put on lotion as part of your routine (We do what we call “spa day” and we made up a song for it). For an older kid, you can let her “brush her teeth with a kids size toothbrush; brush or comb or even blow dry (lowest cool setting) her hair (and her favorite stuffed animal’s hair). We taught our little one what wet and dry were by letting her touch our hair when we got out of the shower and comparing it to her dry hair.
These are just some of the strategies for making sure you can get a shower in. There are many more, but hopefully these get you thinking about how to solve the problem of getting yourself ready with baby.
Do you have any tips for getting fabulous with a toddler in tow? Do tell…