Friday, 5 December 2014

Baby at 2 months: Our new normal

I write this with my baby resting on my chest, skin-to-skin, towards the end of an evening filled with pained crying - she's got colic, although it's been improving very much and crying has become a fairly rare event. It strikes me that this is my new normal... life has truly changed.

Sofa time
I'm convinced I've spent more time on the sofa in the past two months than in the entire time we've owned it before baby. The first few weeks I literally fed her all day, all the time, with breaks of up to (!) 15 minutes. She was hungry! and I was sore.  At night she'd sleep fairly well, three wakings to feed, which is still her pattern. But as the initial dust settles, we seem to have found a rhythm together, and days are beginning to be somewhat predictable.

Not that I expect that to be in any way permanent! But right now, it's lovely.

This is how a typical, new-normal day looks now.

At night, babe wakes around 2, 4, and 6am so I have a good chunk of sleep from going to bed until 2. She rarely gets to the point of crying for a feed, usually her fussing wakes me, and we're getting good at feeding in the dark - minimising the impact on Mr. although I'm quite sure he does notice most of the time.

Night being over, Mr. wakes up at about 6.30 and changes babe's nappy, then brings her back to me and I'll try to get her to settle down for a bit more sleep - with usually a 50/50 success rate. So we might be up by 8, or perhaps not until after 9. After I've fed her before getting up, I'll get dressed and start microwaving my porridge for breakfast, which my wonderful Mr. has prepared ready to eat. I feed her as I eat breakfast. [there's a feeding theme here - she very rarely goes more than 2 hours without a feed, and normally no more than 30 minutes to one hour] Then I change her nappy and dress her for the day.

In one of our favourite
dog walking locations.
This takes us to 10.30 at the latest, which is as far as I can possibly stretch our lovely dog's bladder. We get out for a walk, either on our own or sometimes with other mums with dogs from the area [Facebook is an amazing resource for finding likeminded people - I remember my worries about having to leave the hound behind, well there are others in the same boat and we're doing our own thing!]

Back home for lunch, both babe and myself. My lunch is usually very simple, something like baked potatoes with sauce or leftovers. Quite possibly a nap for us both. After that, another feed or two, a short dog walk to allow the hound to use the toilet, and then chores: the boat feels a lot less tidy than it used to, despite my best efforts, which I think is partly due to more stuff being around - babies have stuff! - and partly because I just can't do certain things [read: clean the toilet] with a baby strapped to my front. Which is how I do the chores. There are very, very few moments in the day that I am not in physical contact with babe, and we're both loving it! I really believe that the reason she is pretty relaxed about being put down when needs be is because she knows she'll be picked up again soon.

Babe & hound on a
typical evening
That takes us to the evening, various feeds throughout the afternoon interrupting chores and whatever I'm doing at the time, and we'll start cooking dinner and expecting Mr. home. He texts to say when he leaves work and we try to go out for a dog walk towards him. In the evening, babe spends quite a bit of time with dad and I get things done I can't do with her - shower time! And evenings are usually quite sedate, we'll read, go online, watch catch-up TV [QI or Mock The Week are favourites] with a snoozing or cooing babe on either of us - when she's not feeding, of course.

Bedtime routine, so far as we have one, starts at about 10: Mr. takes the hound for his last walk, meanwhile I will change babe into her night nappy and dress her for bed, get myself ready for bed and start her last feed/s before sleepytime. And then, by 11, lights off - and about 3 hours of uninterrupted sleep ahead for me!

That's our new normal.

What did I do before baby? What did I fill my days with? She takes up so much time - well, all of it really - that I struggle to think what kept me busy before. I don't remember sitting around twiddling my thumbs and I was always busy, but what with? Dog walks are one thing I know I'm doing less of now... but that can't be it, can it?

I cannot imagine my life without her. Only two months in. It's amazing.

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Thanks so much for sharing!