Sunday, August 28, 2011

Routine

To commemorate the summer off with the baby, I thought I'd do a post about our normal routine (note the word "routine", not "schedule". Josie scoffs in the face of schedules... at least for now), especially since I suspect this routine will be quite different now that Ryan has gone back to work, so it will be interesting to see what stays the same or changes while I'm on my own for the next month before I go back to work too.

For a while, Josie was waking up right around 4am and 7am every day for feedings, and then we would keep her up after the 7am feeding, Ryan would go mix up some of the crazy oatmeal he cooks up (my favorite was the banana and peanut butter version). However, after noticing that Josie still seemed pretty sleepy after the 7 o'clock feeding, we tried putting her down again afterwards instead of keeping her up, and voila. More sleep for all. Yay! So now she gets up for the day around 11ish, which begins one of my favorite parts of the day - Josie waking up. She just loves her changing table, where she has her friends, Mr. Wicker Basket and Abby, the lotion bottle. She's generally a happy camper when she first wakes up, so we unswaddle her, which prompts much stretching on her part, then she usually squirms around and smiles while we sing her ridiculous songs, give her stuff to hold, and change her diaper.



Once she's all clean and decided she's done with the changing table, Ryan brings her over to where I'm sitting in the nursing section of the nursery, and perches Josie on the stack of pillows so I can feed her (and do my morning internet browsing, using my awesome keyboard/mouse tray Ryan set up for me and the laptop stand/temporarily-repurposed high chair).


After she's had her breakfast, Ryan takes her back for a burping session - lately to the rhythm (and tune) of "We Will Rock You" (which then tends to lead to "We Are the Champions", and then a detour off into some Simon & Garfunkel, Elton John, etc.)
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After attempting to get all her burps and spit up out (although it's never-ending), then she goes in the carrier for our morning walk.


Once we get back, Ryan keeps her in the carrier (where she's either asleep or at least quietly entertained now) while I go take a shower and Ryan gets lunch ready. I scarf lunch down before she realizes that I'm in the same house and I'm not feeding her, then go to nurse her again while Ryan eats.

Depending on the time (and how sleepy she is), we either keep her up for a little while now singing and playing with her (primarily waving her hands and feet around and making faces at her), or I try putting her down to sleep. On a good day, she will nap for around 3 hours or so... on a bad day, she'll last about 10 minutes and then we realize the day has likely begun its slow descent into Overtired Babyville. I normally will feed her in the nursery and then move her to her crib, where I usually end up watching her sleep on the monitor.
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We've also had some success with feeding her in bed and then leaving her there to nap, which worked well as long as someone stayed close enough to provide a barrier for one of her arms, since we found if we did that, her startle reflex wouldn't kick in and she would actually stay asleep unswaddled.


A third nap-time option is to just leave her on me. Obviously, this is not a good plan if we have any hopes for a 3-hour nap, but if she's been having troubles napping, this at least is a fairly safe bet to ensure she gets some sleep in. And then I get to stare at her zonked-out baby face and cute little hand dimples.


If she does go down for a nap in her crib, we spend this quality time by doing laundry, usually. Babies seem to generate a lot of laundry, especially ones who spit up a lot. Or sometimes I'll nap with her for an hour or so, before getting up and doing laundry :) Once we've made an attempt at cleaning up the house a bit, I will usually spend some time fretting about how I never get anything done that's not related to housework (note: I did this before we had a baby too, so this is really nothing new).

The previous few paragraphs all assume that Josie has taken a decent afternoon nap - if she hasn't, then chances are we spent most of the afternoon cycling through playing with her, nursing, and trying to get her to sleep. At some point in the day, she'll probably get either a wipe-down or a bath, after which we'll fluff up her hair as much as possible because we find that sort of thing amusing.


Sometime around 7pm, Ryan and I will eat dinner (together if she's still asleep or tolerating the swing/bouncer, in shifts if she's not) and then try to keep her up for a bit before putting her down for the night. We usually attempt to put her in the swing or bouncer, possibly on her play mat, or just prop her up on our legs and mess with her hands and feet more (which seem to be endlessly entertaining to us at this point, but not quite as much for her).
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Usually around 8:00 I start to look forward to getting some sleep... which is a bad idea, since Josie hasn't gone down for the night before 10:00 for weeks. And yet, I still hold onto those memories fondly :) So I usually end up nursing her again around 10:00, normally in the nursery with The Sopranos on in the background (I'm over halfway through all 80-some of the episodes now...). She drifts off to sleep, I swaddle her up and then make the trek across the hall to our bedroom, and either nurse her again in bed or walk with her for a while if she's woken up, and then into the crib she goes, where hopefully she'll sleep peacefully for a few hours before we get up and do it all over again :)