Remember those care-free days of uninterrupted sleep and meticulously planned schedules? Those will no doubt seem like a thing of the past now!  But it doesn’t matter because you have a beautiful, little bundle of joy. The happiness and love that come with parenthood are unparalleled but, let’s be honest, that tiny human wreaks havoc when you are trying to get things done! I’ve been there and want to share everything I’ve learned on time management for new mums to make your days a bit easier.

First of all, congratulations on your new arrival!  This will be a most magical time as you spend your days in the new born bubble.

However, at the same time, you will likely feel like you are drowning in a sea of dirty nappies, endless feeding sessions and all the other wonderful, yet utterly exhausting, demands of your precious newborn.

Suddenly, finding a spare moment to shower or grab a decent lunch feels like a herculean feat.

Time Management Challenges Faced by New Mums

Here are some of the biggest time management struggles you are likely facing as a new mum:

  • Sleep Deprivation – Newborn babies operate on their own time schedule, not yours. Countless nights of interrupted sleep leave you feeling foggy, forgetful and struggling to focus. This makes tackling even simple tasks feel monumental.
  • Ever-Changing Needs – Your little one’s needs are constantly evolving. Feeding sessions can last longer than anticipated, growth spurts can disrupt sleep patterns and unexpected crying spells can throw your entire day off track. Therefore, sticking to a rigid schedule feels impossible.
  • The Laundry Monster – Gone are the days of neatly folded clothes and tidy rooms. Newborn babies seem to generate a never-ending stream of dirty laundry, bottles to sterilise and toys to pick up. So, keeping on top of housework feels like a losing battle.
  • Decision Fatigue – Feeling bombarded with choices throughout the day – what to feed your baby, when to nap, should you shower or fold laundry? – can all lead to decision fatigue. Making even simple choices feels draining, leaving you paralysed and wasting precious time.
  • Mum Guilt – The pressure to do it all can be immense. You might feel guilty for prioritising sleep, neglecting housework or simply taking a moment for yourself. This guilt can be a major time-waster, weighing you down and preventing you from focussing on essential tasks.

You are definitely not alone in these struggles as most new mums grapple with effective time management in the early days.

In fact, research highlights the dramatic shift new mums experience. Your body is healing, your sleep is much reduced, your routines have been disrupted and the emotional demands of caring for a newborn all contribute to a heightened sense of stress and overwhelm.

But here’s the thing: this is perfectly normal and this is your new normal in this phase of life!

Your entire world has been turned upside down!

The good news is that with a few strategies and a shift in perspective, you can navigate this chaotic yet beautiful time and reclaim control of your days.

The Importance of Time Management

You might be wondering:

‘With a newborn, how can I possibly find time to learn about time management?’

Well, trust me, it is definitely worth the effort!

Spending a little bit of time each day to hone your time management skills can provide a world of benefits for you and your baby.  These include:

  • Reduced Stress and Overwhelm – Feeling like you are constantly chasing your tail can be incredibly stressful. By establishing a more manageable routine, you will feel calmer and more in control.
  • Improved Mental Well-being – Sleep deprivation and constant demands can take a toll on your mental well-being. Time management shows you how to carve out space for self-care which will help you achieve a sense of balance and emotional resilience.
  • Quality Time with Your Baby – Believe it or not, effective time management can actually free up space for those precious moments of connection with your little one. When you are feeling organised and less stressed, you can have more free time to be truly present and enjoy those snuggles.

Reframing Expectations

As you can see, there are many benefits to learning time management skills.

But, before we start, I would like you to let go of any unrealistic expectations.

Social media might show picture-perfect mums effortlessly juggling motherhood with flawless homes and gourmet meals.

But in real life, there is no such thing as perfect. This is an unrealistic expectation.

The tips below are a guide to empower you, not to pressure you.

So, let go of unrealistic expectations and embrace the journey of motherhood, messiness and all!

Prioritise your recovery, listen to your body’s needs and shower yourself with self-compassion.

I want you to thrive in this new and beautiful chapter of your life.

So, grab a cup of tea, (yes, the cold one will do!), and let’s get started…

Understanding Your Time

If you have been feeling overwhelmed and scrambling to catch up with all that needs doing, don’t worry.  Let’s take a step back and get a better appreciation of how you are actually spending your time.

  • Sleep Tracker – Sleep deprivation is real in the first year! But before you resign yourself to permanent exhaustion, consider using a sleep tracker for your baby. These handy apps or trackers can help you to identify your baby’s sleep patterns and then you will be able to establish a predictable (ish) routine.  This won’t be until 2 – 4 months in but knowing when your little one is likely to nap allows you to schedule some much-needed rest or time to tackle those essential tasks.

  • List of Essential Tasks – In the early days, you are not going to be taking on big projects like decluttering your whole house!  You will be in survival mode so need to stick to the basic tasks that need doing to meet yours and your baby’s needs.  Have a think about what really needs to be done each day / week and what can wait, then make a basic task list.

Understanding your time is the foundation of effective time management. By tracking your baby’s sleep patterns and knowing the essential tasks you need to do each day / week, you will be well on your way to creating a more manageable routine.

In the next section, we’ll look at the practical strategies you can implement to streamline your daily life as a new mum.

Effective Time Management Strategies for Daily Life as a New Mum

Here are some practical tips to streamline your daily routine and free up precious time for you and your little one.

Prepare in Advance

If you are busy nesting and preparing for your little one’s arrival, there are some simple steps that you can take now, to set yourself up for success in those precious first weeks when time seems to warp and melt away.

  • Make Freezer Meals – The last thing you’ll want to think about in those early sleep-deprived days is what to cook for dinner. Stock your freezer with healthy, pre-made meals. Think hearty stews, casseroles or individual portions you can easily defrost and reheat.
  • Stockpile Household Essentials – Avoid those last-minute dashes to the supermarket when you are running low on nappies or wipes. Create a stockpile of essential household items like nappies, wipes, toiletries, cleaning supplies and dried or tinned food. This way, you can focus on snuggles and bonding with your newborn, instead of frantic shopping trips.
  • Deep Clean Your House – Let’s face it, a deep clean is probably the last thing you’ll feel up to after giving birth. Take advantage of your pre-baby energy and tackle those deep cleaning tasks. Scrub the floors, organise your cupboards and declutter surfaces. A clean and organised environment can contribute to a calmer and more manageable post-partum experience.

By taking these few easy steps, you will be able to savour those quiet moments or catch up on some much-needed rest while your baby is napping, instead of wrestling with your laundry basket or grocery lists.

If you are reading this post-partum, don’t worry. There are still a lot of other strategies to help you.

Prioritise Self-Care

The most important time management tip I can share with you as a new mum is to prioritise your well-being.

Your body is healing, you are full of hormones, you may be breast feeding and you are totally sleep-deprived!  A stressed-out, depleted mum simply can’t pour from an empty cup.  Believe me, I have tried!

It is essential for your physical health and mental health that you look after yourself.  You will be much better equipped to handle the joys and challenges of motherhood this way.

Now, self care isn’t going to be about bubble baths here.  It is about meeting your basic needs, primarily.  I came up with an acronym when I had my first baby that helped me focus on the simple things before moving onto other tasks.


This stands for:

Sleep – If your nights are disturbed, you need to take a nap during the day to ensure you are getting enough sleep.

Innovation – Changing things up and doing something new each day is good for your mental health as it will stop your days being routine and boring.

Meals – Your body needs a healthy diet full of nutritious meals to heal and for energy.

Peace and Quiet – Having 5 minutes of much-needed time to yourself each day helps rejuvenate you.

Liquid Hydration – Drink enough water, especially if you are breastfeeding.

Exercise – A little bit of gentle movement and some fresh air is so good for you.

These self-care activities can be fitted into your day and done easily with your baby, if needs be.  For example…

S – Nap during at least one of your baby’s naps.

I – Try a new flavour tea or watch a new TV programme.

M – A banana is just as quick to grab as a biscuit so make healthy food choices.

P – Take 5 minutes to have a cup of tea in peace or read a couple of pages of a book.

L – Fill a water bottle in the morning and put it where you feed your baby.

E – Take your baby out for a trip in the pram so you can have a stroll.

Prioritise your health and well-being as it is so important for you and your baby.

Build a Support System

Becoming a new mum is a steep learning curve. You may feel prepared but nothing prepares you for the experience until you live it.

That is why it helps to have a strong support system in place from friends, family members or even online communities.

Go to baby groups and talk to other mums, too.  It really helps to share your experiences and share advice. You won’t need to waste time trawling the internet for answers then!

Knowing you have people who care about you and are willing to lend a hand can significantly reduce stress and time, making motherhood feel a lot more manageable.

Delegate Whatever You Can

There is a common misconception that new mums have to do it all. This is not true! Please don’t be afraid to ask for help!

Here are some ideas of ways to do this:

  • Lean on your Partner – Your partner is there to support you. Let them help you with household chores like laundry or cooking, even if they don’t do them quite the same way as you do! Sharing the workload lightens the burden and allows you to focus on your baby’s needs or simply to take a well-deserved break.
  • Embrace your Village – Don’t hesitate to accept help from family and friends. Let them bring over a pre-made meal, fold a basket of laundry or hold the baby while you shower. There is no shame in needing a helping hand with your household responsibilities.
  • Utilise Outsourcing – Consider outsourcing certain tasks if it fits your budget. Maybe a cleaning service can take care of the deep cleaning or a gardener can save you the time spent mowing the lawn.

Time Block your Day

Time blocking is a way of finding some clarity amidst the chaos.

It involves dividing your day into specific time blocks dedicated to particular tasks.

Instead of feeling overwhelmed by a never-ending to-do list, you create a schedule that carves out time for essential activities, baby care and even (dare I say it?) a bit of self-care.

So, how can time blocking benefit you as a new mum?

  • Focus and Efficiency – Time blocking allows you to focus on one task at a time, minimising distractions and maximising efficiency. Need to tackle a pile of laundry? Block out a specific time slot and power through it.
  • Prioritisation – Time blocking forces you to prioritise the tasks that you need to do. Start your day by scheduling essential activities like feeding your baby and showering. Then, slot in other tasks like housework, errands or even a phone call with a friend.
  • Flexibility – Some days are crazier than others and time blocking allows for flexibility. If your baby has a long feeding session, simply adjust your schedule as needed. There is no rigid structure to hold you hostage!
  • Reduced Stress – Knowing what is coming next and having dedicated time slots for tasks can significantly reduce your stress levels. You won’t be constantly wondering what you should be doing or feeling guilty about neglected chores.

Now it is time to get started with time blocking using the following steps…

  1. Grab a planner, calendar or even a piece of paper.
  2. Find your master list of essential tasks from earlier.
  3. Estimate how long each task will take – Be realistic! Newborn babies are notorious for throwing schedules off track.
  4. Block out time slots in your calendar for each task so you can see what you are dealing with and what you actually have time for. Leave some buffer time between activities in case things run longer than expected.
  5. Don’t forget to schedule in self-care! – I know I keep banging on about it but even a 20-minute nap or a quiet cup of tea can make a world of difference.

Establish a Routine (But Not a Rigid One)

When you have good routines in place, you and your baby know what to expect throughout the day. You will both find comfort in a predicable rhythm to nap times, feeding schedules and playtime.

Luckily, babies thrive on consistency. A predictable routine helps to regulate their sleep-wake cycles, leading to (hopefully!) longer stretches of sleep and less fussiness. This translates to a calmer and more manageable day for you!

Routines also help you to plan your day more effectively. Once you have a grasp of your baby’s natural rhythms, you can schedule other tasks around their needs.

For example, a healthy morning routine might look like changing your baby and feeding them whilst you eat some overnight oats, they might sit in a bouncy chair whilst you shower and sing to them, then you can quickly get dressed and be ready for the day.

This allows you to maximise your productivity during windows when your little one is napping or content playing independently so that both your needs are met.

Use Nap Time Wisely

Nowadays everyone tells you that you should nap when your baby naps.

But, I know the urge to catch up on housework or finally shower might be stronger!

So, find a balance. A new baby has multiple naps during the day so be productive during some nap times and promise yourself to take a nap during at least one.

Sleep deprivation is a recipe for burnout and frustration. Therefore, those precious nap windows are your golden opportunity to recharge.

Even if it is just 20 minutes of quiet time with your eyes closed, it will make a world of difference to your energy levels and overall well-being.

Meal Planning and Prep

The last thing you want to do, when your baby starts getting restless near to bedtime, is waste time thinking about what to make for dinner.

That is why I found meal planning and prepping to be a lifesaver when I was a new mum.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Plan Your Meals – Dedicate a specific time each week (maybe during a nap window?) to plan your meals. Consider your family’s preferences and any dietary restrictions.
  • Focus on Simplicity – Don’t aim for gourmet meals. Think hearty stews, one-pan wonders or simple pasta dishes. These are quick to prepare and often freeze well.
  • Prep in Advance – While you have the energy, chop vegetables, cook double batches and portion out meals into freezer-safe containers. This will save you time and ensure you always have a healthy option on hand.

Make Use of Technology

Technological advances have made parenting easier in many ways!

We’ve already embraced the power of naps and now it is time to embrace the power of apps!

There are countless apps designed to streamline your life as a new mum. From baby sleep trackers that help you identify your little one’s sleep patterns to feeding timers that ensure you never lose track of the last time your baby nursed, these handy tools can bring a much-needed sense of order to your day. Many apps even offer white noise generators or calming music to help soothe your fussy newborn.

Technology can also be a lifesaver when it comes to communication and organisation. Take advantage of grocery shopping delivery services that allow you to order essentials online and have them delivered straight to your doorstep. This eliminates the need for stressful shopping trips with a cranky baby in tow.

Similarly, online calendars and to-do lists can help you stay organised and prioritise tasks, ensuring you don’t forget those all-important appointments or errands.

Finally, don’t underestimate the help from a tumble dryer, dishwasher or slow cooker.  If these items are an option then they can definitely save you time and energy.

Technology has its downfalls, but it can certainly make navigating motherhood a little bit smoother.

MORE: 15 Laundry Hacks for Busy Mums to Save Time

Batching Similar Tasks

If you feel as if you are constantly being interrupted then batching similar tasks can be a game-changer.

Here’s how it works:

  • Group Similar Activities – Instead of responding to emails throughout the day, designate a specific time slot to tackle them all at once. The same goes for phone calls, laundry folding or anything else that requires focussed attention. This minimises distractions and allows you to work more efficiently.
  • Minimise Multitasking – While it might seem like multitasking is the ultimate time-saving strategy, it often backfires. Focus on completing one task at a time to ensure accuracy and avoid making mistakes that require double the work later.

Make Things Easier for Yourself

Conquering the early days of motherhood can feel like scaling Mount Everest in flip-flops. Exhaustion reigns supreme and the concept of a ‘normal’ day seems like a distant memory!

By simplifying your life and focussing on strategies that make things easier, you can reclaim control of your time and create a more manageable routine.

The first step is to embrace the concept of ‘good enough’. Gone are the days of spotless kitchens and perfectly folded laundry. Focus on the essentials – feeding your baby, keeping them clean and comfortable, and getting some much-needed rest yourself.

Lower your cleaning standards, delegate daily chores to your partner and don’t be afraid to ask for help from friends or family. Remember, a happy and well-rested mama is better equipped to care for her little one than a stressed-out superwoman trying to do it all.

Secondly, prioritise ruthlessly. Not all tasks are created equal so you need to focus on the most important things. Feeding your baby, changing nappies and getting some sleep are non-negotiables. Everything else can be delegated, rescheduled or even eliminated altogether. Learn to say no to additional commitments and focus on what truly matters during this demanding yet precious time.

By streamlining your responsibilities and prioritising your well-being, you’ll free up precious time and energy for what matters most – bonding with your new arrival.

These are just some strategies to get you started. As you get more experienced at motherhood, you will find out what works best for you and your unique family dynamic. You’ll also work out how to focus on the most critical tasks and cut out the typical time wasters.

Final Thoughts on Time Management for New Mums

Phew! We have covered a lot of ground, haven’t we?

I hope that you have found the information useful and that it has equipped you with the tools and strategies to navigate the beautiful chaos of new motherhood.

Start small, be patient with yourself and celebrate your wins, no matter how big or small.

You are an amazing mum and you’ve got this!

If you enjoyed reading this, you may also like:


10 Useful Time Management Tips for Breastfeeding Mums

Effective Time Management for Stay-at-Home Mums

Practical Time Management Tips for Working Mums

Time Management for Single Mums: Tips and Strategies




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