At seven months, Lily has really gotten into a rather predictable schedule. This is all well and good, of course, but it makes me wonder how people ever manage with more than one. I’m still tired more than not and feeling like I run around in a semi-conscious state of general “behindness.” I probably just need to let go of any expectations of productivity and give in to the experiment in entropy that is our bedroom. But I find myself resisting!
Here’s a typical day. Lily naturally put herself on the “1-2-3” pattern, something an infant educator at Natural Resources gave me a head’s up about several months ago. She’s up for one hour, needs a nap. Then she’s up for two hours, needs a nap. And then she’s up for three hours, needs a nap. Then it’s just the final stretch before bedtime. It sounds easy—and it really is in baby terms, especially with her easy-going, interactive personality, but I’m realizing that all infant care is just plain hard work! It feels like nap schedules run my life now.
Here’s a typical day:
6:15 a.m. – Rise and shine. Sweet baby in the co-sleeper a foot away from my head starts babbling and kicking around. Very hard to ignore and/or convince her to go back to sleep. (On the rare occasion that this happens, it requires major booby time, so it’s not really more sleep for me anyway.) Usually this is her first breakfast (in bed) followed by playtime. She's very talkative, likely telling us about her dreams! I really should pump (long-time readers know how much I enjoy this...) so I can build up enough for our babysitter and/or Stephen to put her down. It's very hard to feel like doing this first thing though, which means it doesn't happen often enough.
7:30 a.m. – First nap. If we manage this well, we're ready to take Pali out for a walk, and this nap happens on the go in the ergo. (Note: My kind husband has recently been letting me sleep through this while he takes “the kids” out. It’s really very generous, if a bit of enlightened self-interest since I’m a whole lot less emotionally volatile when I’ve had more sleep.)
9:00 a.m. –If the stars are aligned, this is her first solids meal of the day. Then it’s playtime.
11:15 a.m. – Second nap. Sometimes this has gone close to two hours--sometimes longer--of late. Whew. I try to sneak in a shower and a little work. (Note: This nap does not work well out and about now. She’s too interested in people and what’s going on and can easily keep herself up.)
1:00-1:30 p.m. – Refreshed from a long nap, this is our first real chance for an outing that day.
3:30-4:00 p.m. – Final nap of the day. This is usually a cat nap unless the mid-day nap got off somehow. I don’t mind if this one is in the car or out and about since if it gets interrupted we don’t have long until bedtime.
5:00 p.m. – If all is well, she’s up and ready for her final playtime, dinnertime, bathtime, etc. I’ve been trying to feed her some good protein for dinner (e.g. egg yolk, lentils, whole milk plain yogurt), as it seems to keep her from waking up in the middle of the night. While that’s been a blessed discovery, it does seem to correlate with a lot more poopy and rather nasty smelling diapers!
7:00-7:30 p.m. – Bedtime. This usually takes about 30 minutes.
8:00ish p.m. – A little time together/work time/chore time sans baby. Can’t stay up too late or I curse myself in the morning.
4:00-4:30 a.m. – Sweet baby Lily needs a little snack (or maybe she’s just thirsty as our apartment gets really hot and stuffy in the night). I know other babies who sleep for longer stretches, but it’s pretty rare that she goes longer than this. Occasionally she goes through until 6, and I wake up wanting to sing a rousing rendition of the Hallelujah chorus.
6:15 a.m. – The 1-2-3 cycle repeats. It’s a good thing she’s pretty much the cutest thing I’ve ever seen! Because boy does this feel early.
So, that’s our schedule. The days go by quite quickly, but not effortlessly. Somehow she seems to know when I need that dazzling smile flashed my way. It really does do a body good.
By the way, did you notice, dear reader, how few chunks of actual time there is to do anything either with or without my sweet babe? I did! (How do my friends with twins--or, worse--an older toddler and then twins manage?)
Oh, and I forgot to mention that just when I'm sure I know when to plan something like a doctor's appointment, she'll have an odd day and we'll be off by an hour or so the whole day!