A Day in the Life- Eight Weeks Old pt.1

Tomorrow, my sweet boy will be 8 weeks old…. Eight weeks! Already!  I can’t believe it!  A lot has changed in the past eight weeks from the time I was an overwhelmed, exhausted and, yes, terrified brand new mom (I’ll be blogging about those days later, so you’ll get to hear all about it).  I’m not trying to say that I’m seasoned now or anything- far from it!  I’m just saying that I have gained some confidence as a mother and that I do have a much better idea of what to expect as I go through each day with my little man.

So, what is life like with an eight week old?  Before Alex was born, I had no idea.  If you’ve never had a baby, or if your baby is younger than mine, you might not know either.  Or, you might just be curious to know what someone else’s day looks like- I know I am.  In fact, one of my favorite things to google during those late-night nursing sessions is “day in the life of …”.

After getting really fed up and frustrated early on with all the parenting books and advice about what a day with my baby “should” look like, I quit listening to strangers and began listening to my baby.  By following his cues for sleeping and eating and being awake, we’ve developed a pattern to our days.  Not a schedule, but more of a routine the flexes a bit each day.

Here’s what happened yesterday, starting in the wee morning hours…..

12:38 am– Alex wakes up hungry!  He has been sleeping for just over an hour.

12:39 am– I nurse him sitting in our bed propped up with some pillows- our usual night-nursing spot.  I have tried side-lying nursing, but it seems that we have trouble maintaining a good latch that way, and I always end up with very sore nipples the rest of the day so… we’ve given up on that position for now.

1:16 am– Alex is asleep again.  I hold him upright for awhile after he is asleep to help the milk stay in his stomach, then I lay down beside him and go back to sleep too.  For now, Alex sleeps cuddled next to me in bed.  It’s the arrangement that lets us all get the most sleep.  It’s nice because I’m right there to settle him when he stirs and to respond when he’s hungry.  It’s not nice because I sleep mostly in one position all night, which can get uncomfortable.

3:00 am– Alex wakes up again after an hour and 45 minutes and wants to nurse.

3:05 am– I change his wet diaper first.  Usually I do diaper changes before nursing (especially at night so he can fall asleep right after).  It’s also good because then he doesn’t spit up on the changing table.  It’s bad because he always screams and cries because he’d rather be nursing.  There’s really no perfect choice.  And then sometimes he poops while he’s nursing and I have to change him again…

3:12 am– Alex nurses for 28 minutes.

3:42 am– Alex falls asleep and sleeps for 2 hours and 45 minutes.

6:27 am– Alex is awake again.

6:28 am– I change Alex’s wet diaper.  I lay him in his crib with his wind-up giraffe playing (our post-diapering routine) while I use the bathroom and gulp down some water.

6:35 am– Alex nurses for 45 minutes. As per usual, my wonderful husband brings me a plate of waffles topped with almond butter and fruit before he leaves for work.  Breakfast!  I eat in bed.

7:21 am– Alex falls asleep again.

9:00 am– Alex wakes up again after an hour and 40 minutes.  I was hoping he’d sleep a little longer because I’m exhausted.  We didn’t have any really long stretches of sleep during the night (he has slept 5 hours at a time before, but by no means does this happen every night). I half-recline on the bed and doze while he nurses for almost 45 minutes.  After that we lay in bed and “talk” for awhile.  He’s smiling and happy.  I make a short “good morning” video of Alex to send to my parents and sister, who live in other states.

image

I don’t know why his toes look like bird claws in this picture. They are completely normal in real life, I promise.  Also, this outfit is a little too redneck for my tastes, but it was a gift from the grandparents, so I had to put it on him… and I also have to admit he looks pretty cute in it…..

 

10:30 am– I change Alex’s wet diaper then lay him in his crib with giraffe while I get dressed and ready for the day.  I even put on makeup because my friend is coming over later.  I’ve found that this is one of the best opportunities I have to do things.  He is generally pretty happy to stay in his crib and amuse himself for several minutes, and that time gets longer as he gets older.  He likes to look at the crib slats and at the owl mobile that hangs between the crib and dresser.  Once I’m dressed and ready, I get Alex dressed.  Sometimes he sleeps in a sleeper or gown, but lately we’ve just been leaving him in his diaper.  That way we can control the temperature he is a little better.  Because he sleeps in our bed, he gets our body heat and it’s easier for him to get too hot.  Having him in just a diaper at night also makes diaper changes a little faster (colder, though). Once Alex and I are dressed, I take him downstairs.  Usually I’d put him in a sling or wrap so I can get some lunch for myself, but today I spend a few minutes picking up some stuff around the house.  My friend also has a one-year-old daughter, so I decide to vacuum up all the bird seed and feathers that the parakeets have made a mess of on the floor around their cage.

11:16 am– Alex is hungry.  I do some crazy multitasking as I nurse him in the sling while vacuuming.  It’s extremely inconvenient and I end the vacuuming pretty quickly.  Alex nurses for 12 minutes and promptly falls asleep.

12:00 pm– My friend and her daughter arrive with some Panera Bread for lunch (yum!).  I eat lunch with Alex asleep in the sling.

12:23 pm– Alex wakes up after sleeping for aaaalmost an hour.

12:25 pm– I feel something wet and realize that Alex’s diaper is somehow leaking.  Time to change it.

12:35 pm– Now Alex is hungry again and nurses for 14 minutes while I try to finish my lunch.  While nursing, he makes a huge poopy.

1:00 pm– I change his poopy diaper, and then my friend wants to hold him.  He’s pretty happy to look around for awhile, but then begins to get fussy because he’s tired.

1:40 pm– I bounce Alex to sleep on the exercise ball.  My friend leaves because it’s almost time for her daughter’s nap.

1:56 pm– Alex wakes up after only 15 minutes because he’s hungry.

1:57 pm– He nurses for 13 minutes and….

2:11 pm– …falls fast asleep.  I’m so tired, so I take a nap in the recliner with Alex on my chest.  Yes, I know they say not to do this, but I do it anyway.  I definitely make sure Alex isn’t in a position where he can fall, get wedged in a crack, or get something over his head.

4:33 pm– Alex and I wake up.  I feel so much better after that nap!

4:34 pm– Alex nurses for 34 minutes.

5:10 pm– I change Alex’s wet and poopy diaper.  After that he happily hangs out in his bouncy seat in the living room where he can look at the lights on the Christmas tree (yes, I still have that up, don’t say anything) and listen to some music.  I take this opportunity to run around tidying up after my friend’s daughter (and myself, to be honest), fold some diaper laundry, pump milk, and fill the dishwasher.  Alex is happy as long as he can see me every couple minutes (and that usually brings a big smile to his face, which is adorable!).  My husband comes home with some Thai food for dinner (I don’t always have all my meals delivered to me this way, just today, promise!).  My husband holds Alex while we eat.  Until I had a baby, I took for granted how easy it is to eat with both hands and no one in your lap….

6:20 pm– I change another wet and poopy diaper.

6:35 pm– Alex falls asleep on his daddy’s chest on the couch and sleeps for a little over an hour.

7:45 pm– Hunger calls, and Alex wakes up.

7:50 pm– We try to offer Alex breastmilk in a bottle at least once a week so he retains this skill for when we need it.  He downs 3 ounces and is still hungry.  I guess we need to wait to do a bottle feeding until we have a little more next time….

8:07 pm– Alex nurses for 12 minutes.

8:20 pm– Asleep again on Daddy for an hour and a half.  We watch a little TV together, and I use this opportunity to snack like crazy.

9:46 pm– Awake!  Hungry!

9:47 pm– Alex nurses for 19 minutes.

10:07 pm– Diaper change courtesy of dad.

10:15 pm– Bathtime with Dad.  We need to start doing this earlier, like after dinner, so Alex can begin his night as early as he wants without really having to wake up except to nurse.

10:30 pm– Alex falls asleep in bed next to his daddy while I take a bath and get ready for bed.  When I come to bed, I scoot him over to my side, and there he stays until he wakes up to nurse and it starts all over again.  🙂  On this particular night Alex sleeps for about two and a half hours before waking again.

So, there you have it.  It may sound kind of technical and boring (yet tiring), but don’t be fooled.  There were plenty of smiles, coos, and laughter in this day, not mention kisses.  This was a good day for me, and I felt really great at the end of it.  Alex got enough sleep, as did I.  He had naps at least an hour long each, which is usually my goal, and I nursed and changed diapers in a timely manner.  I also did some socializing, which keeps me feeling positive and less isolated.

In part two, I’d like to chronicle another day (tomorrow hopefully) to illustrate how they are similar yet different.  I’d also like to add pictures, but didn’t think of that in time to do it for yesterday.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kendra
    Feb 09, 2013 @ 20:29:44

    After I had Isla I wished so bad that I had blogged about how hard the first few weeks were, and I swore up and down that I would do it with my second. But then Gracie came and this time I focused on just what you said – listening to my baby rather than internet world or books or advice. And I stayed off the blog and worrying about it all. Its SOO hard to get those memories and feelings down because you are so busy doing nothing but nursing and eating and sleeping. I think its nature’s way of letting us forget it all so we want to do it again. Haha.

    Also, sleep on the recliner if you want to! Who cares what anyone else says. Its such a pet peeve of mine to read all these bossy moms online arguing about whatever they can. Its so easy to let yourself (at least this is how I was/am) feel guilty for anything and everything. You know what is best. You sound like you are doing a perfect job and Alex is happy and lucky to have you as his mom. You actually care and think about what you are doing, which is all that’s important 🙂

    OH – and I couldn’t get the side nursing thing down till Gracie was almost 4 months old. It was the most painful way to nurse before then, which doesn’t make much nature sense since you would think tired new moms should only be able to nurse laying down. Haha. We nursed sitting up for quite a while, and I still do in the middle of the night or else she falls asleep too fast.

    Okay I will leave you alone now and stop rambling about myself… lol. So glad to read some posts about cuuuute Alex!!

    Reply

    • travelnole
      Feb 10, 2013 @ 00:58:00

      Yeah, I’m already regretting not blogging during the first few weeks because I was so determined to post the birth story first. I read a blog yesterday where the mom wrote a wonderful post every week of her baby’s life for the first 12 weeks, and it had me wishing I’d done that. But yeah, you’re right- there really isn’t much time at first anyway because having a new baby is really all-consuming (maybe some moms are that organized, but I certainly wasn’t). I literally didn’t open up my computer for weeks after his birth; all my internet activity happened from my phone during nursing….

      Thanks for your encouragement- it means so much! Sometimes I’ve felt that I’m not doing so well as a mom, but then someone tells me they can relate to what I’m going through and I feel like maybe I’m doing ok after all. 🙂

      Yeah, I break some of the “rules” and don’t feel badly because I know I’m using my brain and always making decisions that are in Alex’s best interests. I think most moms do but don’t admit it. I guess the only reason I wrote that disclaimer was because I’d seen several “day in the life” blog posts, especially those with pictures, where readers latched onto any little no-no they saw and wrote scolding comments about them… “I hope you finished buckling that car seat before you put the baby in the car!”…. Ridiculous.

      Yeah, it’s so hard to sit up when it’s time to nurse in the middle of the night and I’m SOOO tired, but for now that’s what we have to do. I’m happy to hear that side-lying got better for you eventually. Maybe it’ll be that way for us, although I think he’d have the same issue with falling asleep too soon. The few times we have nursed that way I end up not really knowing when or how long he nursed because he fell asleep and I fell asleep…. Last night I actually fell asleep sitting up in bed nursing… and woke up two hours later super confused about what was happening, lol! I wasn’t sure if Alex was done nursing, just starting, or what! Really disconcerting.

      Reply

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