2020 was a difficult year for families all over the world. Drastic lifestyle changes, uncertainties, and individual and family struggles created a year filled with heartache, fear, and challenges for many. Parents of little ones definitely faced unique challenges in trying to care for a baby in different circumstances.
Unfortunately, many difficulties are carrying over into the New Year. But equipped with the experience gained from the last year, and the hope for improvements in 2021, many have found added strength.
We surveyed parents to ask them what takeaway or tip they learned from raising a baby in 2020. Here are some of the most common answers we heard:
1. Value self-care
Ask for help and take care of yourself. It can get lonely and isolating without normal social opportunities. Make time to call a friend, or have a socially distanced walk with a family member. It’s so important to realize you don’t need to do it all on your own—and that trying to do so can be damaging to yourself and your relationships.
2. Let the rules go
All the parenting rules you thought you had for your child don’t apply anymore. Sure, they can draw on the walls or watch two movies a day! Also, not every meal has to be nutritious—talking to your baby while prepping dinner can be more valuable than what’s on the plate.
3. Get creative
With parks, playgroups, and other outings on hold, you have to get creative to keep yourself and your baby sane. It’s okay to give your child 2 baths a day if they love bath time play! And your activities don’t have to be well-planned, scheduled, or educational—your baby just wants to spend time with you!
4. Get good sleep
Getting enough sleep is so important. Don’t underestimate the power of a swaddle and white noise machines in helping babies fall and stay asleep!
At Baby Merlin, we know and believe in the power of a good swaddle! The Magic Sleepsuit was created by a mother and pediatric physical therapist to help babies who are transitioning out of the swaddle to have the benefits of swaddle sleep as they age.
5. You are your baby's world
Having more forced family time helps you see how happy your baby is with just you. You might notice your calendar looks empty, but all your baby knows is that they are spending lots of time with you. Don’t worry about what things they’re missing out on, they have everything they need with you.
6. Make diaper changes easier
Anyone with an infant knows how many diapers they go through a year. With so many diaper changes, you’ve got to do what you can to make the process easier and less stressful. Put a small clip-on light on the changing table for easier nighttime changes. Do diaper changes 5 minutes before the baby is done eating. And double zip pajamas are absolute lifesavers.
At Baby Merlin, we agree! We designed our Magic Sleepsuit to feature double zippers to make diaper changes easier.
7. Use the time for change
“A year with so many changes is a great time to make the changes you’ve always wanted.”
We love this comment from a parent who was inspired by the adjustments they were forced to make this year to use it as a launching point for their own changes. We applaud all of the parents who have faced down the challenges of this year while raising little ones!