When our family left and Joe went back to work and I was on my own with Olivia I was pretty nervous about how our day would be. To be completely honest, some of the first days were really tough (and Olivia is a really good baby).
The days were tough because I had too many expectations about what our day would look like. You just can’t do that with a newborn (in my opinion). You have to let them lead the way and try and be as flexible as you can. In that first week I cried around 4pm everyday. It would start to get dark, Olivia would start to get fussy, and I would be getting very tired. I think my nervous energy just made things worse.
I would Google constantly trying to find some kind of schedule to make things easier for both Olivia and myself. If you’re reading this post right now, you may have searched for the same thing. Although no one else’s schedule is necessarily right for your baby, I think it’s helpful as a new mom to see what other people are doing. So here is our current schedule which reflects most days, but some days we have no schedule at all. I’ve included the fussy day routine and the sleepy day routine because Olivia’s mood really does effect what our day looks like.
8 ish: Olivia wakes up, she sleeps in a co-sleeper in our room. (We use the Arms Reach bassinet)
I let her stretch and wake up a bit and then feed her in my bed. On fussy days I sometimes need to feed her in the nursery because she moves around a lot while eating and we can’t get in sync as well as we do in the glider.
8:30 or so: Diaper change and dress for the day. I put Olivia in her crib and she moves her arms and legs and plays. She looks at her mobile, I go put in my contact lenses, use the bathroom, and sometimes go grab a cup of coffee to drink while playing with her. (*tip, always use the auto setting on your coffee maker the night before so its ready when you get up) At the end of her play session we do tummy time for a minute or two (or 30 seconds). If she’s fussy this playtime is shorter, but usually she is in a good mood at this time. I never push it, and if she gets upset, I take her out right away.
9am: Come downstairs, walk around, often another diaper change. Try to put Olivia in the swing for a nap. On fussy days she isn’t having any part of the swing and usually wails when I put her in it and makes me feel guilty for trying. So instead I walk her around more, go into the bathroom with the loud fan that she likes, swaddle her, give her a pacifier and attempt to lay her in her bassinet downstairs for a nap. Usually she will go down if she is calm, but may stir and wake up a bunch of times. Often she will bust out of my swaddle and lose the pacifier, so I just stay calm (try), reswaddle her and give her back the pacifier.
9:45: Pump.If she is fussy, I may skip this in order to eat because who knows how long she will nap.
10am (or so): Clean pump if I did that, and then eat breakfast. Most days I make egg whites on a bagel thin with turkey and spinach. A banana on the side. Fussy days I usually eat oatmeal because it’s faster. I load it with banana, walnuts, raisins and some flax seed. Calorie dense is good because mealtimes may be infrequent. I pour some cold almond milk on top to lower the temp so I can eat it quickly. Then I run around and try to get things done- laundry, dinner prep, prep my lunch and snacks for the rest of the day so they are easily available, etc.
11:30 Depending on nap time…feed Olivia again, diaper change, lay her down to play on her playmat or bring her upstairs and put her in the bouncy seat while I shower and do things upstairs. Some days she hates the bouncy seat (most days), so time is limited. Yesterday as soon as I got all wet in the shower she spit out her pacifier and started wailing. I got a bit flustered thinking about how to run out of the shower soaking wet and pick her up to soothe her without clothing. Fortunately by the time I got out she was somewhat calm and I was able to hurry up and put a robe on. It was kind of funny actually.
From here it’s kind of hard to remember what we do. She will eat again, nap again, and there will be a bunch more diaper changes. Usually the order is- eat, diaper change, play a little (or something like that), she gets sleepy, I try and soothe her and put her back down.
Anywhere from 2-4pm : We venture out on a walk. Even on non-fussy days she cries when I put her in the carseat. I run downstairs to bring the diaper bag down, and then the carseat, and load her into the car. I can’t walk safely with her right out the door since we live on a busy road, so we drive to the park and walk for about a half hour.
3pm (or so): Another feeding (often a fussy one), usually followed by a nap on my chest. I often take this time to close my eyes as well.
4/5pm: Diaper change, playtime, etc. Sometimes there is another feeding because she spaces them closer together as the day goes on. If she eats and naps for a little, I’ll use this time to prepare dinner or clean up a little bit before Joe gets home.
5:45/6pm: Joe comes home, I hand him Olivia and get dinner ready, or I will go out and do something (quick trip to the gym, grocery store, etc). Sometimes she will hang out in the swing and we eat together, other times we eat in shifts. After dinner Joe usually holds Olivia and she rests but doesn’t sleep really. I’ll get the bath ready if she is taking one (every other night usually)
6:30- 8:30-: More resting, another feeding, bathtime, PJ’s and then she goes upstairs into the nursery. Joe will give her a bottle and I will pump, or I will feed her. Either way, her last pre-bed feeding is always the same. In the nursery, lights down low, she eats, gets swaddled and then goes down in her co-sleeper. We try and do the same thing every night so she knows it’s bedtime. So far it’s working. When we put her down, usually she is awake but quiet and eventually falls asleep. One of us lays in there while the other gets a snack downstairs and then we switch.
9:30/9:45-I’m in bed and sleeping.
1am (or so): First night feeding, I take Olivia into the nursery. Feed one side, diaper change, feed other side
4 or 5am (or so): Second night feeding.
7:30/8am: Up for the day/repeat!