When you’re expecting people go on and on about how important it is to create a routine for your baby. Then your baby arrives and there is absoloutly no routine at all. You’re awake all day, eating breakfast at 2pm, showering next month and simmering deep down in your belly is the urge to kick the shit out of the next person who asks you how your routine is going.
It does change though, I know everyone says it and it probably doesn’t feel like the truth but it really is, your baby starts to adapt to life outside your tummy and more often than not they begin to set their own routine.
I thought I would give you a quick run down of how our day typically goes when we stay at home with no plans. Obviously this doesn’t work all the time as we do actually have to leave the house to do stuff and on those days we have to improvise and then there are the days when the baby just doesn’t want to play ball, no matter how settled or into the routine you think you are there will always be that day when none of it goes to plan and that’s cool too, just try to go with the flow.
So, if we’re at home this is typically how our day pans out:
7am – I get up and take a shower, do my make up, hair and get dressed before anyone else is up. It’s just so much easier to have it all done before the day starts.
8am – Amelia normally wakes up at this time as this is when my husband is leaving for work. Being entirely unable to walk down the stairs quietly his leaving wakes her up on a week day.
8.15am – I always leave her for a few minutes once my husband has left, if she is really tired she will drop off to sleep again but after listening to her chat to Ewan the Sheep for 15 mins I know she is awake for the day. I’ve just started a new routine here of getting her washed and dressed first thing. I used to this after breakfast at around 10am but she was so hyper and excited that washing and dressing her was exhausting so I’m trying it first thing in the hope she will be calmer and sit still. So wake up cuddles, nappy change, top and tail wash, hair combed and dressed for the day.
8.30am – Breakfast, at the moment this is normally a breakfast pouch although I am starting to introduce porridge and soon we will try some Weetabix.
8.45-9.30am – Jumperoo time, Amelia has always suffered from mild reflux and we’ve really benefited from keeping her upright after meals and milk to prevent it all coming back up again. So after her breakfast she goes in her jumperoo whilst I have my breakfast. Once I have eaten I will often put Baby TV on for her for 10 minutes whilst I do the washing up and sterilise her bottles. This is normally the only TV time she has during the day.
9.30-10.30am – Play time, we get all the toys out, sit on the floor and go nuts. At the moment Amelia is learning to crawl and has also discovered she can stand by puling herself up on things so most of the time is spent holding her hands whilst she stands or chasing her around the living room stopping her from knocking everything over.
10.30am – Milk, since we started weaning Amelia never wants her milk straight away after her meal. She will just refuse and spit it out so I’ve started offering it to her a couple of hours after her meal and this seems to be working out fine.
10.45am – After her milk she is normally getting quite sleepying and ready for a nap, as I mentioned earlier I like to keep her as upright as possible to let her milk settle, we have a Joie swing chair set up for her and she often spends about 15 mins just gently rocking side to side in this whilst her milk goes down before she goes up to bed for a proper nap. This is great because it really chills her out and sometimes she will actually fall sound asleep in it and end up having her morning nap in the swing.
11am – Nap time, this is always in her cot (unless she falls asleep in her swing) and without her sleepyhead pillow. I am trying to get her used to sleeping just in the cot as she will have to do this at nursery. So far so good and her naps in the morning vary from 30 mins to 2 hours 30 mins it really depends on how sleepy she is.
Nap time – this is when I do all my shit; laundry, hoovering, cleaning the kitchen surfaces, putting away all the mess from the night before. If all that is done and she’s still asleep I might risk doing something for me like painting my toes or watching some crappy TV.
1pm – Lunch, this time varies depending on when she wakes from her nap but she doesn’t normally go beyond 1.30pm as I think she gets hungry by then. I sit with her whilst she eats as she is still learning to chew and she chokes (a lot) so sometimes I don’t even have my meal at the same time because I’m too busy watching her and helping her have her lunch. Weaning is also slow going, it can take her ages to work through the food so sometimes lunch can take an hour. If I haven’t eaten then she will sit in her highchair at the table with me whilst I eat to let her food settle and avoid the dreaded throw up.
2pm – Play time again, if the weather is lovely we might take a blanket and play outside, or we sit on the floor in our conservatory/playroom where it is warmer and we play in there for a few hours. If we are going a little stir crazy being inside all day we might take a walk around the neighbour to get some fresh air.
3.30pm – More milk, cuddles on the sofa and a little wind down ready for an afternoon nap. She will probably spend another 10 mins in her swing chair or play in her ‘sit me up’ chair after this bottle to get ready for sleep.
3.45pm– Nap time, again no set time for how long this one will last. The other day she slept from 3-6pm and sometimes she will only have 30 mins and want to play again. I normally use this nap time to do some work on my blog, write a post or take some photos.
5.30pm – Daddy’s home, this is literally her favourite time of day. She gets so excited and giggles and squeals when she sees him. They often have a little play time on the living room floor before she has her tea.
5.45pm – Tea, this is normally pretty small. Maybe some fruit and a yogurt or if she slept late and had a late lunch sometimes she skips this meal altogether and just has her milk.
6pm – Whilst her milk is settling she will spend a little time in her play cot (a travel cot in the lounge crammed with toys). She’s not keen on it because she can’t crawl around the room but this allows us to get dinner cooked without having to worry about where she’s crawled off to.
7pm – Bath time, I used to bath her in the mornings because I found it easier than at night but now she is older it’s easier to do and it helps to make her sleepy for bed. After her bath I give her a full body massage with Kokoso baby coconut oil before putting her down to sleep around 7.30pm.
7.30-9.30pm – Couple’s time, sometimes we watch a movie or a TV show, or three. Sometimes I will spend the evening writing a blog post or doing some work on the site. This time is precious, it’s time we get to sit down together and chat, talk about our day, our plans for the weekend and general housekeeping things we need to discuss. It’s also time for relaxing and having fun.
9.30pm – I wake Amelia around this time for her dream feed. I often wonder if she would sleep through without a dream feed but part of me is too scared to try in case she wakes up at 3am screaming for milk. I don’t think I could handle those night time feeds again. She’s always super sleepy when she had this last bottle, sometimes she sort of sleeps through it and on those evenings she will just snuggle with me and fall asleep on my lap. Then there are those nights when she is wide awake and wants to climb on everything, throw all the remotes on the floor, wants to play with everything that isn’t her toys and is so full of energy I think she’s never going to go back to bed.
10.30pm – Bed for the night, once she’s worn herself out again with all the evening antics she goes back to bed for the last time. In her sleepyhead this time and she won’t wake again until hubby leaves for work in the morning.
11pm – Bed time for me. I am shattered, every single day.
So, that’s my typical day. As I said before it can vary and sometimes none of it goes to plan but it’s a pretty good foundation. I hope I am doing all the right things for Amelia during the day, I always hope that I am stimulating her enough, playing with her enough, teaching her enough, cuddling her enough but also allowing her to sleep enough and rest when she needs to. She needs her sleep to help her grow and process all the things she has learnt during the day.
I’m also very very grateful that she is a good sleeper, she loves her naps and she sleeps through the night. I know I am not one of the majority here so I don’t take it for granted and I just pray it continues for as long as possible.
I hope this has been somewhat helpful, an insight in to our day and what we get up to. Maybe it will help you start or adjust your own routine and if you don’t have one yet don’t worry about it. It will come when your baby is ready.