Or, A Typical (Atypical) Day in the Life of Baby Ellis.
Ellis is approaching 3 months, and by now we have a pretty regular routine going. It’s not a schedule, and it changes daily, but the pattern has become routine. So I’d like to share what our days usually look like, and I’ll try to be as honest as possible.
Somewhere between 2 am and 4 am:
Ellis has freed her arms from her swaddle and is ferociously sucking on her hands as she tosses and turns in her crib. I go in to reswaddle her. Sometimes she falls back to sleep immediately, and sometimes she wants to be fed. She’ll nurse about 6-10 minutes before falling back asleep, and then I’ll hold or rock her for another 5 or so. Back to bed for me.
Between 6 am and 8:30 am:
On a lucky day, Ellis will sleep through her first awake cycle until 8:30 am. More often, she’s up by 7 and back down by 8:30. On bad days (for me), she’s up at 6, but then it’s usually dark enough that I can nurse her and put her straight down again.
First awake cycle:
I unswaddle Ellis and let her stretch and wiggle in her crib. She doesn’t normally cry when she wakes up, so I have to watch the monitor to see if she’s playing or creepily staring back at me. I say good morning to her and ask her if she slept okay. We talk and smile, and she coos at the ceiling fan. I change her diaper, nurse her, and bring her out to the living room for quiet play (often in her bouncer). This is her shortest awake time; they get longer as the day progresses. Around 50 minutes later, she’s ready for her first nap. I swaddle, rock, and nurse her until she’s asleep, then I stick her in her crib fast asleep. She naps for about 45-50 minutes.
We do this routine about four more times, with awake times extending to an hour and half by the third nap to two hours by her evening nap. She normally takes five naps a day; her naps getting shorter and her awake time getting longer as the day goes on. Also, she’s easiest to put down in the morning. I can put her down with her eyes still open and make noise, and she’ll still fall asleep. By her 4th nap around 3 or 4, it all changes, and I may have to pick her up and rock her back to sleep several times. I trick her by leaving my hands on or under her in the crib so she thinks she’s still being held, and that works, too, sometimes. We also use a heating pad so that her mattress is warm and cozy when we lay her down.
After her first nap is when I give her a sponge bath and change her out of her pjs. I’ll often give her a short baby massage and chit chat with her, too, but I try not to keep her on the changing pad for too long, or she starts to get restless.
Some days, it’s all about playing with Ellis, and other days when I really need to get things accomplished, I have to stick her in her bouncy, swing, or if I can work while supervising her, lay her on her play mat while I work or clean.
We don’t have a normal bed time/night routine either. Usually, we’re all so exhausted that evening walks and bath time don’t happen. It’s all about nursing, cuddling, and quiet play,
and trying to maintain my sanity. Travase will often read a couple of stories to Ellis if she’s in the mood. Every once in a while, I try to have a glass of wine with dinner, after I’ve nursed her and put her down for her last nap. I immediately regret it, though, because she’ll no doubt wake up after 10-20 minutes and want to be nursed, and all I’ll have is a stupid bottle for her which she’ll fight to take, making me feel like the worst mother in the world. She’s fussiest in the evenings, so even though I have Travase there to help out and relieve me of my duties, she’ll often cry nonstop until I hold her. Therefor, I often go to the gym in the evenings not because I have all of this energy to burn, but so that I can have a break and give Trav and Ellis daddy-daughter time, wherein they have to work their issues out because I won’t be there to intercede.
Ellis goes down for the night anytime between 8:30 and 10 pm, and I promptly follow suit. Then it starts all over again!