I've had a few requests to share what our day to day routine is like. I must say, it took a while to get into a routine, mostly because I didn't know what the heck I was doing and I second guessed everything I did. Looking back, and for next time, I will definitely try to push a routine earlier on. I use routine loosely, because in the beginning it's tough regardless of how hard you try to enforce one. Baby tells you what you're going to do for a while.
For starters I would have focused more on the idea of EAT, AWAKE/ACTIVITY, SLEEP. This plan sort of helps you have a timeline for how you should be interacting with your babe. It helps insure a nap routine, it helps you learn hunger and tired signals, and it hopefully, possibly helps prevent you from cluster feeding. If anything can prevent that, again I think that's up to baby, but any little bit to help. Babies love routine, so if you can get in this habit it'll be great for all involved.
Here's what our schedule looks like. It's obviously different now that we've returned to work. There was a lot more "down time" before. And of course nothing is exact or on the dot, things change a bit from day to day.
7:00 am: Henry wakes up. I walk in to see his smiling face rolling around in his crib. I change him and nurse him.
7:30 am: I burp him and change him again.
7:45 am: Henry sits in his vibrating chair while I shower. Honestly though, recently I've found that showering at night is my best bet. He can't sit in his chair through a shower, blow drying and doing my hair AND makeup. It just takes too long, he doesn't hang out alone for very long. He needs all of the attention. So basically he sits in his chair while I put my hair in a pony and throw my makeup on + get dressed. This process takes a while because I'm constantly stopping to make Henry laugh or pick him up to reassure him that I know he's there.
8:15 am: Nap #1. This may seem early but Henry gets pretty fussy without it, so I follow his cue. This one is usually in my arms (I know, I know.), I'm working on getting him to the crib, but he just doesn't sleep as long in the crib and I don't want him to be crazy fussy for my mom.
9:00 am: This is usually time for diaper changes, booger sucking or singing and dancing. Also packing and loading all of our gear for the day.
9:30 am: We're on the road. It's a 30 minute drive so Henry usually gets in another cat nap. Sometimes he's just along for the ride though, he's usually nice and quiet while I'm driving.
10:00 am: I nurse Henry again before I leave him with my mom.
10:30 am: I start work and Henry starts he's day with Gigi. They usually take walks, she'll sing to him, or she'll entertain him while he swings.
12:00 pm: This is about the time Henry will take a longer nap with my mom
1:00 pm: Gigi will give Henry a bottle.
2:00 pm: I'm off and I grab Henry. We run any errands that we need to and then head home.
3:00 pm: It's time for Henry's final nap. It's usually only 30 minutes or so, the kid just doesn't nap well, BUT you'll see why it's not too bad by the end of this.
4:00 pm: It's time for Henry to nurse again!
4:30 pm: if it's nice out we'll go for a walk around the neighborhood. If not, we'll get on the activity mat to do some tummy time and practice our rolling over and sitting up.
5:00 pm: Some days we attempt to make dinner. This is more recent. For the first 3 months straight, I didn't cook dinner once. Kory had to because Henry screamed bloody murder if I ever put him down. He still does that a lot, but if it's a quick dinner I can get it going while he's playing in his pack n' play or his exersaucer.
6:00 pm: Dad's home. YAY. (!!!!!!) We eat dinner. Henry sits in his bumbo on the dinner table with us, staring. drooling. grabbing. He is SO interested in what we're eating lately. I'm not going to lie, I can't wait until next month when we can start introducing some solids. We'll of course keep nursing, but I'm still excited to see how Henry reacts and what he enjoys.
7:00 pm: It's time to start our bedtime routine! This starts with a bottle from dad. Dad feeds him while I read our prayers and a bedtime story.
7:15 pm: Henry's favorite time of the day: BATH TIME. This kid loves it. As soon as he hits the water, he pees. Dad and I die laughing and baby joins in on the giggles. Dad washes him up while I read his bath time book. It's a farm book, so I make all the farm animal noises to him and he smiles and coos the entire time. We play in the water a bit and then we wrap him up in his towel and head to our bedroom. I dry him off, lotion him up, put a fresh diaper on and get him in his sleep sack (no more swaddle!!!!). I give him a million kisses and snuggles and hand him off to dad.
7:30 pm: With the sound machine on, dad sings and rocks Henry to sleep.
That's our day. Henry is up at 7 and down by 7:30. Like I said above, this routine didn't happen overnight and it didn't come easily. I do think we've had this routine going for about 8 weeks though. Once we committed to a routine everything started falling into place. I'll admit, sometimes it's a huge bummer. 7 o'clock comes quick. We don't go out to eat, not past 5 anyway. We don't have people over, nor do we go other places past 7. It feels like we don't have a life sometimes or a bit like groundhog day, but Henry is happy and in a routine. He eats well, he's in his crib and he sleeps through the night. That is far more important to us than anything else. We're parents, we knew what we were signing up for, and I must say it's quite wonderful. :)