A ‘typical’ day in my life with a six-week-old baby …
Yesterday, I decided to document my day to better spot my little one’s patterns. The result: an entertaining diary of life with a six-week-old baby. I’ve broken it into blocks around each feed. And no, I didn’t leave the house once.
My sleep is interrupted by familiar chirping / grunting sounds from the co-sleeper, warning me little V is waking for a feed. I check my iPhone for time. Fingers crossed it’s 5a.m. already and she’s slept through the night …
Damn. It’s only been two hours since the last feed. Decide to redo her swaddle and settle her back down for another hour of sleep. Her arms spin like a windmill as I attempt said reswaddle. I pin them down and cuddle her tight to my chest. She turns crimson and starts screaming. The dog starts barking. My husband wakes up. Damn. We settle her on his chest instead.
Debate giving in and feeding her again already.
Give in and feed her.
Husband gets up to do mid-feed nappy change as I’m exhausted. Post-feed I pass V unceremoniously back to husband to resettle her. My head crashes back down on pillow. Apparently she gets back to sleep by 01.30. Ouch.
Woken again by the ‘feed me’ chirp. Check iPhone. Nearly four hours since last feed began. Respectable. Feed, change, feed a bit more, reswaddle and put on Spotify baby lullaby album as she’s returned to her co-sleeper. Asleep again by 04.30. A victory.
Husband gets up to do morning feed with bottle downstairs. I stay in bed. Dog starts barking and wakes me up. Husband brings baby back up at 07.00 as he showers for work. His alarm wakes me up again at 07.25. Debate, not for the first time, what sleep benefit I get from him doing this feed.
V wakes herself kicking off all her blankets. Her leg strength is quite impressive. I now understand what I was feeling during pregnancy. Settle her again. Shower at top speed while opportunity presents itself. Mentally calculate in shower I’ve had 6.5 hours sleep, albeit in three blocks of two-ish hours. Celebrate a good night.
Bring her downstairs for a cuddle and BBC Breakfast News with wet hair still wrapped in towel. She falls asleep instantly on my chest. Wish I had cup of coffee and bowl of cereal beside me.
Cuddle short-lived. She’s hungry. Me too, little one. Do first half of feed, pop her on her back for a wiggle and race to make coffee and bowl of cereal before second half. Nappy change and new outfit on. Note her growing belly is almost busting out of her newborn clothes. Second half of feed, with one-handed breakfast and coffee consumption. Ah, the things I can now do with one hand.
Give V a short bounce in her rocker until she starts yawning and grizzling. Settle her on her downstairs pillow with the TV radio on in background.
We have nap time! They say sleep when they sleep. Rubbish. Do domestic jobs when they sleep. Run around like crazy, prioritising household tasks – baby clothes wash on, sterilise bottles & express one ready for evening, put various things away – ours, babys, dogs.
She has a tiny cry. Resettle with pacifier (only used in husband’s absence. A continued debate). Phew.
A bigger cry. Try to settle. She omits explosive poo which soaks through entire outfit. Sprint upstairs to change. Cries continually. Poo down her back.
Back downstairs for feed, though it’s not three hours since the last, to soothe poo-gate trauma. Follow feed with playtime. Sing songs from radio to her. Feel guilty when start singing lyrics to Blurred Lines at her (“you know you want it”).
Second half feed. Decide I should check she’s actively feeding – she’s a habit of getting a bit snoozy. Start browsing on phone instead. Feel guilty and give her a prod awake.
Post feed playtime. Yoga stretches combined with kisses. Produces gorgeous big smiles. At this moment, husband comes home for lunch and assumes whole day with baby is one giant smiles and kisses session.
Get carried away with playtime, putting on tummy. She starts a grizzle that is timed perfectly to last our entire lunchtime. We take turns holding the baby / bolting down lunch.
Settle overtired baby for her lunchtime nap. Try to ask husband about his morning in the office, but keep getting distracted and telling him exploding poo story. He leaves shortly after.
Nap still going strong. Domestic things done. Having victory coffee. Plus Toblerone. And biscuits. And chocolate raisins.
Waking. Try pacifier. Works for five minutes. Go into feed routine. Read stories from BBC News out loud to her during feed. Try to avoid articles about terrorism, murder or the Ebola virus. Notice she’s started fussing. Google ‘fussing baby during feed’. Realise it’s because she’s finished.
Put on knees for a wiggle, followed by a walking tour of the house. Narrate every item: “Here’s our wine rack! I’ll be coming back to this in two hours time!” Finish with some songs – Somewhere over the rainbow, There was an old lady who swallowed a fly, You are my sunshine etc.
Try settling for an afternoon nap. Fail miserably. Nothing settles her. I’m feeling shattered by now. I try snuggling with her. She screams. Bounce her. More screaming.
Screaming stops when I opt for a standing shoulder hold. Am clearly going to have to spent afternoon standing. At least can go to kitchen and eat more. Realise nearly three hours until husband is home again.
Gingerly sit down with V still on shoulder. Still asleep! Succumb to daytime TV. Hello Escape to the Country … take the opportunity to do some online shopping for birthday presents and winter baby wardrobe bits. Is dangerous being stuck in and dextrous. Incidentally, much of this blog is typed one-handed.
Arm is starting to go numb. V is starting to stir. Must wake her or she won’t sleep tonight.
Feed part one. Playtime – ‘pickling about’ as I call it, suitable for a little pickle.
Husband comes home in time to put into place brand new bath, bottle, bed routine – designed to achieve longer night sleeps. Run baby bath, let V splash until she starts to look sad. Post-bath, husband massages her with enough oil to power a tanker.
I transport slippery baby downstairs to finish feeding. As husband preps dinner we hope for a rare meal where neither of us are holding the baby.
Baby in bouncer. We’re eating dinner! Together! At a table! Celebrate after dinner by spoiling her with lots of sofa cuddles.
Force husband to wait until this time for bed with bottle feed as part of new routine. He’s been ready to sleep since 21.00. Head upstairs in atmosphere of beautiful calm. Bottle ready. Vivi lets out huge poo, ruining zen moment. Lightning fast change. Husband gives bottle.
Lights off. Lullabies on. Husband snoring. Waiting for V to get sleepy on my shoulder before swaddling and settling. Wait for it … wait for it … quietly settle in co-sleeper. Please let this work and next time I wake up discover it’s 5a.m.!
Chirp, chirp …