Thursday, December 23, 2010

Getting things done at home with a baby

Things that are pretty fun to do with a baby:
  • Folding laundry.  Put baby on bed.  Dump clean, dry laundry on top of her (you know, without smothering her).  Enjoy her delighted smiles.  Wave items of clothing above her, letting her grab and giggle, as you fold.  
  • Sit-ups.  If baby's neck still isn't too strong, lay her down on your thighs; if she can, sit her up on your mostly-straightened legs, holding on to her hands to keep her upright if needed.  Do sit-ups, smiling at baby on each ascent.  
  • Push-ups.  Put baby on blanket on floor.  Do push-ups over her, giving her a kiss on each descent.
  • Playing music.  In a carrier, baby can be entertained by you noodling on piano or guitar for a variable amount of time.
  • Take a bath.  Especially with a young baby (under 3 months) who wanted to be held all the time, I found that this was the easiest way to get both of us somewhat clean.
  • Read email/books/magazines.  Nurse baby, and read away.  Just don't try to write anything.  It's not gonna happen.  (If you're not quite at the one-handed nursing stage--don't worry, one day it will just magically be possible).
  • Walks.  The best way to send baby off to dreamland, and get some exercise for you (and the dogs).

Things that are possible, if not fun, to do with a baby:
  • Sweep.  Put baby in carrier, and sweep away.  Just leave the little piles to hang out until your better half can gather them into the dustbin.  
  • Groom dogs.  Put baby on blanket on floor, and let her watch, fascinated, as you brush the dogs.
  • Set out ingredients for something.  Put baby in carrier, and get things ready for a recipe for later.  You can show her each thing as you get it out.  
  • Tidy up toys.  We have a big open basket on the floor for toys, and baby enjoys watching me throw things in there.  I fantasize about the day she'll spontaneously do this herself.
Forget about it:
  • Anything involving cleaning products just doesn't seem safe.
  • Making the bed.  Too much bending for this to be easy, even with baby in a carrier.
  • Actual cooking.  I'm not coordinated enough to be sure of not impaling or burning baby.  Pre-mobility, I had a blanket on the kitchen floor to enable cooking; now there's a little exersaucer in there, although that's only good for about 15 minutes.
  • Coffee drinking.  Now that baby is grabby and can roll, we've had a couple close calls.  So I try to have my daily cup during morning nap-time.
Anyone else have a suggestion of something you manage to get done even with a baby?  Or things that you despair of ever getting done ever again?  Creative ideas from the non-baby-having peanut gallery are also welcome.

This is a good time to get things done.


  1. Dance with baby in arms. Baby learns to dance, and you burn calories while feeling joyful.

    (Oh, wait a second, I guess you don't REALLY accomplish anything with this one!)

  2. Inasmuch as preparing salads, cereal/oatmeal/muesli, and baked fish counts as cooking), those might be doable with baby strapped to your back, as opposed to your front.

    Also, for guys, carrying baby in front while wearing sunglasses is a great way to look tough yet sensitive (best when it's a relative's or friend's baby as opposed to your own).

  3. Oh, DEFINITELY dancing. How could I have left that out?

    And yes, some cooking is possible...I'm just getting to the point where baby is comfortable when strapped to my back, so I do have more cooking freedom to look forward to!

    And for the last point...actually, babies DO help with meeting people! Puppies are probably better, though.