I was inspired by a post over at the lovely Love Little Poppins Blog today. She did a lovely post which described a day in the life of her little family. She too has a beautiful little baby, so I found it really interesting cross referencing our little routines. Maybe this is of no interest to any of you, but I've never actually written it down before, so here goes.
A Day In The Life As Billy's Mammy
Ok, so that's me, Tracey. Now that we've cleared that up I'll just get straight down to the nitty gritty. This is a typical day for me (us) but it's a day where I wouldn't have to be anywhere particular and can just stay around the house for the day.
7.00 am - Billy will usually wake up at about this time (though that flipping hour going back has him a bit all over the place). At this point Peter's alarm will usually go off too, and we'll all get up together. On a very rare occasion if Billy was still asleep, Peter would tip toe around the house getting ready for work. We'll usually be up and starting the day before he leaves for work though.
First things first, feeding Billy. Within a few minutes of waking up he will start showing signs of wanting a feed. This isn't subtle. He makes this rather hilarious noise when he wants to be fed, and has been known to pant like a little puppy. It is the funniest thing ever, but totally normal to me. He also does this sort of fake "struggle" noise as though he's just heard some really bad news, it's all part of the dramatic "feed me" routine. It's the cutest thing ever. So usually I'll have a little cuddle with Billy, then head downstairs in my dressing gown. I'll brighten up the place by pulling all the blinds, and then we'll head in to the kitchen to the change station and I'll change Billy's nappy and dress him for the day. His usual day-time attire is a pair of soft tracksuit bottoms and a long sleeved top with vest underneath and soft warm socks. This is always themed with a token bib for this absolute dribble monster. At this point he will look a little something like this. My baba!
Billy's ready for the day, and my PJs are very much still in place.
8.00 am - Once he's dressed I'll get comfy on the couch to feed him . He's gotten really good at feeding quickly so this generally doesn't last too long. The days of 30-40 minute breastfeeds are a thing of the past now. So now he's fed and watered. Up until now we would have started a bit of play time at this point, but now I give him his 'breakfast'. Jesus I can't handle that sentence. My baby eats breakfast! I only started weaning Billy on Sunday so this is all very new. So today for example, Billy had a couple of spoonfuls of an apple and pear puree. I think it's important to offer him this food after the breastfeeds because at Billy's age (20 weeks) milk should still be the main aspect of his nutrition. He just needs some extra foods to give him extra nutrients and vitamins etc. He will happily eat all of the puree offered to him, and then we'll have a bit of play time. Play time usually consists of Billy on his play mat and me showing/giving him different toys such as rattles, a little ball he can grab himself, and usually ends in him giggling. I'll also turn Nick Jr. on the television and he'll glance at that every now and then. Play time might also involve time in his swing, bouncer, or just playing on my lap. We also throw in a bit of tummy time, and I give him his Vitamin D drops (which all Irish babies must be given daily for their first year of life, but I'm terrible for forgetting).
9.00 am - At this point, out of nowhere Billy will be absolutely shattered and will go down for a nap. Once he starts showing the signs (think suddenly very whiney and wiping his eyes) I will pick him up and cuddle him and give him his soother (which is never far anyway) and stroke his head a few times. He'll drift off in my arms and then I will transfer him in to his pram and snuggle him up in this fabulous bunker. At this stage I will have a quick shower, get dressed, make my bed, stick on a wash and make and have my breakfast. This is usually when I have my first coffee, which is a very important part of my day.
9.45 am - Billy will usually wake up from his nap at about this time. We'll have a little play, a nappy change, and then it will be time for another breast feed (I have to specify now as feed no longer just means milk. Sob!). He usually feeds every 2.5 - 3 hours during the day.
11.15 am - After his feed and more play-time, Billy will go back down for another nap. Once he has been awake for 1.5 hours he needs to go back to sleep. It's almost like clockwork. Amazing really. While he naps I will prepare the dinner (which usually involves sticking something in this slow cooker for hours - something like spagetti bolognaise, curry, or a casserole of some sort. Perfect for this autumn weather). Then I'll do something else around the house such as pack the dishwasher or put the wash on the clothes horse. It's probably time for a cup of tea too! I'll sit down with a cuppa, catch up on blogs or Facebook, and wait for the little man to wake up.
12.00 pm - When Billy wakes up (usually 45 minute naps during the day) I might bring him for a walk at this stage. Sometimes in the pram or other times in the sling. We might pop in to my aunt and nanny for a visit because they live nearby, or I might have to pop to the shops, chemist or post office etc. It's nice to get out and have some fresh air. During this time (if I am in my aunts and stay there for a while) he will of course be fed and changed. This is also the time that I give Billy his 'lunch' which today, for example, was a puree of carrot and butternut squash.
Out and about for a walk in the sling
1.30 pm - Yep, you guessed it, it's time for another nap. Whether we're out and about in the pram, in someone's house, or home, chances are he is going for his 'big nap' at about this time. Most naps during the day are 45 minutes or so but at this time he will usually stretch for about 1.5 hours, or maybe on a rare occasion a bit longer. This is a good chunk of time for me to get something done, or just relax and watch a tv program or make a phone call. I'll also have my lunch during this time. It's usually some sort of a sandwich, wrap or bagel!
3.00 pm - Billy wakes up and is usually a little bit cranky. I'm not sure why but I think it's because he was in such a deep sleep on this longer nap. I think he is a bit disorientated. This usually means I'll cuddle him and feed him straight away which offers him immediate comfort and the feed he would be due any way. At the moment I am only giving Billy a little breakfast and a little lunch but as time progresses this is probably the time that I will give Billy his dinner, which will be some sort of a balanced meal with some carbs, meat and vegetables. Some water from a sippy cup too. But for now we use this time for a breast feed, nappy change, and then a nice long play. We might read his book (I read to him of course) or watch a program on nick jr. He also enjoys coming for a walk about the house or out in to the garden (if weather permits). He loves being on the move.
4.30 pm - Once again, like clock work he will go for a little nap at this point. This is usually the time where I will check on the dinner (if it's in the slow cooker) and do some sort of a chore around the house. If there is nothing to be done (never!) I'll sit down and relax for a few minutes. I'll also make it my business to fill my water bottle and sit down and drink it. I've been forgetting about keeping my water intake at a high lately. It's so important with breast feeding though. If I don't drink enough water I tend to feel a bit sick and drained.
5.30 pm - Billy wakes and after a quick feed and some play time, Daddy arrives home. Peter is always greeted by a huge smile from Billy, which just melts my heart. Peter takes Billy straight away and plays with him for a while because he knows that Billy's bed time is not too far away. During this time I'll relax with my two boys and flick around on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Billy usually has a 'chat' with Peter at this point which makes me laugh so much. Below is an example of one of these chats. So adorable.
6.30 pm - This is when we start the bed-time routine. We bath Billy, put him in to a fresh babygrow or pjs and in to his Gro Bag. We then bring him in to the living room where he'll be read a story. He loves the colourful pictures in the book, and is known to turn the pages himself! It's hilarious. I try to read the page really quickly when I see his little hand creeping up to change the page. If we make it to the end of the story without Billy getting over-tired, we'll start making our way up to bed. Billy's bed time is anything from 7-8pm. It depends on the time he has his last nap. Once he wakes from that nap he will usually be in bed within 2 hours of that. He'll let us know when he's tired.
7.30 pm - His last feed of the 'day' will happen in the bedroom while I sit on the bed beside his cot. The lights will be dim and I don't really talk during this time. He has this musical seahorse teddy which plays lullabies for 5 minutes and has recently become an important part of our bed time ritual. I'll play the seahorse while feeding Billy, then press it again one more time. 99% of the time I'll have left the room and Billy will be asleep and all before the end of the second round of lullabies. It's less than 10 minutes in total. Once he has fed, I pop his soother in to his mouth, give him a cuddle and stroke his head gently a few times. This is how he falls asleep and it's a lovely moment to share with him. I then place him in his cot and put a blanket on him (if it's cold enough. My Angelcare monitor (present from my sister Leanne, thank you!) will tell me what temperature the bedroom is. Below 19'C and I'll put on a blanket, but the Gro Bags are designed so that you don't technically need one. I like to use a light one though.
Fast asleep while his seahorse plays lullabies, snug in his Gro Bag. The 'minion' teddy behind him props him up when he sleeps on his side like that. It's utterly bizarre, I know. But hey, you do what works right?
8.00 pm - At this point Billy will almost certainly be asleep. Myself and Peter will now sit down to have our dinner. It's a nice time to catch up and talk about our days. After dinner we'll watch tv and laze about on the couch. I'll usually be on my phone or laptop catching up on blogs and Facebook etc. Billy will usually wake every 2.5-3 hours for a feed so I'll end up feeding him at least once before I go up to bed. I don't mind that though. I hear him on the monitor, go upstairs and lift him from the cot and feed him with the lights nice and dim. I don't talk or stimulate him at all and he barely wakes up. It's just hunger. After a quick feed I'll do our usual cuddle and head-stroke (that sounds funny) and he'll go straight back to sleep. All in all, it takes about 7 minutes.
11.30 pm - Bed time. We'll head up to bed, and it may or may not coincide with a time that Billy is looking for a feed. If it doesn't we will tip toe in to bed and it's up again at 7.30am to do it all again. And I wouldn't have it any other way.
As for Billy's sleeping. He doesn't 'sleep through the night' without any wake ups. I know some babies of his age do, but it's quite rare in breast fed babies. Don't let that put you off though. On a good night Billy would go to bed at say 7.30pm and he would feed three times between then and morning, but lately it's been more often. He is waking every 2-2.5 hours at the moment and it's all part of a developmental leap and the four month sleep regression which your PHN and fellow mother friends will vouch for as being very real, and very tough. He's also teething so his nightime sleep has been a bit of a slippery slope lately. That being said, I do get a decent sleep. Even if I am woken four times to feed Billy, it's a quick 5-10 minute affair in total and he goes straight back to sleep after, as do I. Once this sleep regression passes I anticipate him only waking maybe twice a night, which is completely normal for a baby of his age.
So there we have it. I hope you enjoyed reading, and maybe it gave you a little insight as to what a day in the life of a first time mammy is like. Billy is 20 weeks old so I'm sure this routine will change many many times. It also changes depending on the day itself and if we have somewhere to be or things to do. For example, we had a photoshoot on Saturday ( a lovely present from his godfather) and it happened to coincide with Billy's nap time but he was fussed over so much with various toys and teddies, so he happily stayed awake for an extra hour for the photoshoot, and then slept for a good stretch afterwards allowing mammy and daddy to have a yummy Nandos dinner.
Labels: breastfeeding, parenting, routine, sleep, weaning