Maybe you’ve been asking yourself, “Man, I really wonder what it’s like having a baby,” or perhaps even more specifically, “Man, I wonder what Courtney does all day while on maternity leave. Shouldn’t she be working with her horses? Surely she’s on vacation?” Well, wonder no longer! As here is my typical day.
Between 2 – 4am – The first feeding. Bridgette will sometimes sleep through the night. Those nights are wonderful. But her current normal is to wake up in the middle of the night and be hungry. Sometimes she’s not actually awake, she just starts talking loudly and persistently in her sleep, making it impossible for us to sleep. I’ve experimented with putting in the pacifier, and sometimes that helps, but she’ll usually spit it out after a few minutes and go back to talking. I usually just get her bottle and feed her.
It takes her about 15 minutes to drink the bottle, and I burp her/prop her up for another 10 minutes before putting her back in her crib. Sometimes she goes right back to sleep. Othertimes I have to sit with her for the next twenty minutes, holding her little arms to soothe her back into sleep. Then it’s back to bed for me.
Between 6am – 8am – I get up. Sometimes Bridgette wakes up again, other times she sleeps until 9am. But I’m not able to sleep in as my dogs usually wake me up to be fed. Then I stay up, as this is the only time I’m actually able to get some “me” time. Surfing the internet, being with the horses, but I can’t stay out long because I need to be nearby when she does wake up. I also clean and sanitize all her bottles, and try to clean up the house.
9am-10am – Bridgette wakes up for the day. She needs her bottle, a diaper change, and fresh clothes. More recently she’s been all smiles during this time, which is a very nice change from her screaming the whole time. But, she’s well rested, so she’s happy! As the day goes on, she gets progressively grumpier.
Once she’s fed and fresh, she wants to play. She goes on her play gym for a maximum of 20 minutes to get out that energy. I keep getting told she’s a very energetic little girl. I do not have anything to compare her to, but she likes to kick and flail all day. She gets sick of her gym after a bit, and starts to get cranky. Thus begins the first effort to try to get her to nap.
(If I’m lucky) Between 10 and 12, we go to the adult gym. There’s a daycare service there, so I can have them watch her for one hour. In an ideal situation, the car ride puts her to sleep and she will nap the whole time. Usually not though, the car ride puts her to sleep and then she wakes up after 15 minutes at the gym and cries.
12 and onward – Another feeding, and the desperate attempts to get her to nap. She cries because she’s tired, but she is too upset to sleep. This is baby logic. Sometimes the rest of the day will be spent trying to get her to sleep. We go for walks in the stroller, drive her around in the car, put her in the baby swing, and just hold her. If we are lucky, she falls asleep for more than just 20 minutes. If she does fall asleep, it means I will get some time to do chores, or get some work done. Otherwise, she requires our complete attention to soothe her.
5pm – Another bottle, and lots of holding. She doesn’t like to be left alone at this point. If she napped, she’ll be pleasant, but not in the mood to do much other than be held. She likes being walked around outside. Dave takes her so I can tend to the horses.
8pm – Another bottle, and bedtime. I dress her for bed, and hold her until she falls asleep. Sometimes it takes just a few minutes, other times it takes an hour or so. She usually starts out by screaming her head off. Once she’s asleep, I have some time to get things done, until I’m too exhausted to do anything but sleep myself.
That is a typical day, and they all start to blend together. They are all centered around trying to get her to sleep. She’s a very happy girl if she gets enough sleep. If she doesn’t, she’s tired and cranky. If she’s awake, she requires someone to be with her, interacting with her, and it’s very hard to multitask, even just to eat a snack. When she’s asleep, we hurry to eat a meal. Sometimes we end up missing meals if she needs attention. And this isn’t to say it’s not enjoyable to spend time with her, it definitely is. But she’s a full-time creature so it’s difficult to get much else done.
I’ve also noticed that’s it’s easier to get her to sleep when we have a jam packed schedule, like when we were in Tennesee. She slept lots while we were there, in the mornings, in the afternoon, in the car, on her pillow, in her bassinet… I seriously don’t get it. It’s like the less time we have, the easier it is to put her to sleep. If we have nothing planned for the day, she’s wide awake. Why are you like this, baby?!
Overall she is a good baby, but I am definitely looking forward to the day when I can easily clean the house again… and spend more time with my horses. As she gets older, I’ll be able to take her outside with me to see the horses. I’m really looking forward to that!