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The Simplest Baby Plan: How new parents can get control back of their life and career

Congratulations if you are having a baby or have one already! For all parents this is an amazing and wonderful event, but it is also a life changing one. For us as business executives, we found this to be incredibly true.

My husband and I work in the entertainment industry in Los Angeles. He works as a business strategist for one of the premier studios managing their brands and franchises worldwide. I’m a creative executive who consults for all the various entertainment studios and runs Simplest Baby, a start-up company.  Our work can best be described as, well crazy, and endless.

Finding balance between a personal life and a career is tough enough but add to that a new baby and it brings everything to a whole new level of crazy. For moms, things get even more complicated. You’re healing, you’re experiencing a tsunami of hormones, you maybe breastfeeding, and sleep—what is that anymore? As new parents having a new baby can create an overwhelming sense of chaos and the feeling that things are completely upside down. How do you get your life and career back and under control?

The answer is two-fold.

First, having the right team is critical. Without a talented team to help support, a business doesn’t run smoothly and the same is somewhat true when it comes to a baby. We were blessed with incredible support, from our pediatrician, nanny to our night nurse, they mentored and taught me so much. Hiring a nanny or potentially getting a night nurse will go a long way to reducing the stress and getting things under control.

The second thing that was truly a game changer for us, was getting on a schedule. Being an executive, this is not something new to you. Everybody wants some of your time and you juggle countless important issues every day. This would be completely impossible if you didn’t have some way of keeping things organized. A schedule or process is required, as without it things would be utter chaos.

The day we came home from the hospital was the day our night nurse put us and our baby on a schedule.

So, what is a schedule?

A schedule is an integrated process that brings together all the daily activities of a baby’s life into a trackable system.

In partnership with our pediatrician, newborn care, and sleep specialist we developed

The Simplest Baby Plan. This simple and easy-to-follow system for raising a healthy, happy baby is a comprehensive day and night schedule for tracking all activities. You will track and log baby’s sleep, eating, play, pee and poop as well as fuzziness, gassiness, any medication given, etc.

Why do it?

  • It makes raising a baby easier
  • It helps baby reach key developmental milestones
  • It moves baby faster toward sleeping through the night
  • It provides predictable sleeping and feeding habits
  • It helps prevent baby from becoming overtired
  • It’s comforting to baby
  • It gives parents a greater sense of control
  • It makes it easier for others to step in and help out

Monitoring and logging daily activities will enable you to see if baby is getting enough food, understand their sleep behavior, know if baby is pooping, peeing normally, and if there are any issues that need to be addressed with your doctor.

If you choose to use a schedule you need to be consistent in its use. Changing the routine or not sticking to it is a sure way for it not to work. Big changes in the schedule, like missing naps or feedings, will negatively impact the schedule’s effectiveness and create a very unhappy baby. Babies learn to anticipate the next step in a schedule, and when that routine gets messed up, thing falls apart.

Every baby is different and for some parents, having a set routine may feel too restrictive, so they may want to go with what they feel is right for them and their baby. It does take commitment to stay on a schedule, but it has been our experience that a schedule really works and was a life changer for us.

Written by Stephen Gross.

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Stephen Gross
Stephen Gross is an award-winning designer who has received numerous honors for his work in advertising, branding, and retail. He is author of The Simplest Baby Book in the World. His creative vision and design talent has impacted some of the most creative and innovative companies in the world, including Estee Lauder, The Walt Disney Company, Warner Brothers, Universal, Fox, Nickelodeon, Hasbro, Mattel, Lionsgate, and A+E, among many others. From his experience as a creative executive for Disney and Mattel, Stephen has acquired a sensibility that understands what parents want for their children and learned how to talk to them in words, visuals, and graphics in an easy, compelling way. He lives with his husband, Vincent, in Los Angeles with their two adorable children, who are now ages two and three.

Stephen Gross is an opinion columnist for the CEOWORLD magazine.