This post is more for the sake of my own records...I have a feeling these days will be a blur when I try to look back and remember what our life was like during these early stages.
There are elements of our day that I try really hard to keep consistent, and then there are elements that are different every day. Consistently, I try to start the day at 7:30. This is a baby wise concept - pick a start time and stick to it. I implemented this around 6.5 weeks. I couldn't bring myself to do it any earlier! What this means is I wake her up and feed her around 7:30 each day, regardless of when the last time she ate was. This was hard to do in the beginning. If I fed her at 5:45 and laid her back down at 6:30, it was really hard for me to wake her back up at 7:30. If she wakes between 5 and 6, I feed her half as long as I normally would. If she wakes between 6:30 and 7:30, I do my best to get her back to sleep and hold her until 7:30. Another consistent element - during the day I feed her every 3 hours, with a 15 minute flexible window. If she is sleeping and it is time to eat, I let her go 15 minutes longer. If she is really upset and it isn't time to eat, I feed her 15 minutes early. The main inconsistent elements of our day - where she takes her naps and how long she will go at night. Getting her to nap in her bed is tough! I attempt it as much as possible, but when she wakes up early, I just hold her for the rest of her nap. An over tired baby is no fun! So at this stage, it is more important to me that she gets a long nap, rather than for her entire nap to be in her bed. We try to get out once a day --- usually around lunch. And oftentimes, we have visitors in the afternoon.
During the night: She ate at 10:50, 2:00, and 4:30. The one good thing about our nighttime routine is that she goes right back to sleep after I feed her. During the 10-11 feeding, I leave her swaddled, and do not change her diaper. Sometimes I give her a bottle for this feeding, because she is so sleepy. The bottle is easy and quick! During all nighttime feedings I keep the light off and do not talk to her. The middle of the night feedings, I change her diaper, but swaddle her right back up.
This morning I heard her wake up at 7:00am. I went and got her, easily got her back to sleep, and held her until 7:45. Ideally, she would sleep in her crib until 7:30. But secretly, I enjoy this time with her. I get her out of her crib and I get back in the bed (sitting straight up, don't worry!) until 7:30. I get to wake up slowly, and enjoy the morning snuggles. This morning she was sleeping hard, so I let her go until 7:45.
7:45-8:30 --- Eat, Burp, Diaper Change
8:30-9 --- Time in her swing/time with Fletch. She spent half the time in her swing and then spent half the time sitting with Fletch. If he hasn't left for work yet at this time, he usually plays with her for a few minutes so I can get my breakfast, put in my contacts, etc.
9-9:15 --- Swaddle her up, turn on her music, and work on getting her to sleep. Sometimes this takes 5 minutes, this morning it took 15. Usually, I just turn on her music and rock her, but sometimes she is in a high maintenance mood and I have to walk around and bounce her to sleep.
9:15-10:15 --- Slept in her Crib
10:15 --- She woke up and I rocked her back to sleep
10:15-10:45 --- Slept in my arms
10:45 -11:30 --- Eat, Burp, Diaper Change
11:30-12:15 --- Today we went to the grocery store. She loves the grocery store! The only problem is she doesn't leave me much room in my cart.
12:15-12:20 --- Rock to sleep
12:20-1 --- Slept in crib
1-1:55 Slept in my arms. This time I had to wake her up to eat at 1:55.
1:55-2:35 --- Eat, Burp, Diaper Change
2:35-3 --- "Independent Play time". At some point each day she "plays by herself" on her mat and I sit close by.
3-4 --- Nap in swing. If we are at home for the majority of the day, she usually takes one nap in her swing.
4-4:40 --- Nap in my arms
4:40-5:30 --- Eat, Burp, Diaper Change
5:30-5:45 --- Tummy Time
5:45-7:15 --- Tonight we went to my sister's house for family dinner. She slept for the majority of our time there.
7:30-8:15 --- Eat, Burp, Diaper Change
8:15-8:30 --- Bath. I give her a bath every night. She spits up A LOT during the day, so by the end of the day she needs it. I also like having a bedtime routine and hope that the bath will work as a bedtime signal for her.
Right after her bath, we swaddle her up in the miracle swaddle and I pass her to Fletch.
8:30-10:20 --- Fletch always takes over during this time of night, He gets her to sleep and I get to have at least an hour of sleep before going in to the nighttime feedings.
I am really hoping she turns a corner soon and drops one of her middle if the night feedings. I hope as she continues to gain weight that she will then go for longer stretches at night. I'm hoping to look back at this post in a few weeks and see that we have made progress! Newborn days often feel like one step forward and two steps back. The progress is SLOW, but I know we are moving in the right direction!