5 Weeks Old and a Day in the Life

Yesterday our little Baby Middle was 5 weeks old!

This is one of those posts that will end up in a baby book, so I apologize now for the annoying details and lack of entertainment, but this is life as we are living it! 

I think that 5 weeks must be the turning point in babyhood, at least for my babies.  For me, the first week is a blur of sweetness and visitors and hormones.  Weeks 2-4 on the other hand, those days tend to be rough.  Thankfully around weeks 4 or 5 the clouds part and I begin to feel like I’m going to make it.

Last week was extremely chaotic due to Poppyseed’s virus and Oatmeal’s absence, but I have to give Middle props and mention that actually he became a much easier baby.  He seemed to take better naps, was much more content when awake, and became more alert.

He also began taking his paci - thank you thank you!

He also began taking his paci – thank you thank you!

If you knew me back when Poppyseed was a baby, you know she was only a few weeks old when we began following a Eat-Wake-Sleep routine.  I recently started following that same type of routine with Baby Middle, and it’s going well.  I get him to sleep, then he wakes up and I feed him.  Sometimes I even wake him to feed him if it’s been more than 2.5-3 hours since he nursed.  After that he is energetic enough to “play” with us for a while.  We can set him down on his play mat, hold him in our laps and let him look at us and coo, or put him in his bouncer so that he can watch us.  Once he begins to get fussy I know that I have about ten minutes to check his diaper and get him swaddled for a nap.  If we are at home he naps in his swing, and if we are on the go he does pretty well in his carrier.  It usually takes him about 5-10 minutes to get settled, and during that time I have to give him his paci a few times and just be patient while he settles in.

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I love following the Eat-Wake-Sleep routine for 2 reasons.  First of all, it has helped him to take much longer feedings.  As a nursing mom it is so nice to be able to sit down and really fill up your baby’s tummy.  When he nurses for 10-15 minutes per side, I don’t have to worry that he may be hungry if he begins to cry twenty minutes later.    I can immediately assume he needs something else such as a burp, diaper change, to be held, or whatever.  The second reason I love this order of doing things is that he is already getting a little better every day at going to sleep on his own.  I’m not ready to do the whole cry it out thing with him (and some people never do that, which is completely understandable) but I do like that with a swaddle, pacifier, and some shushes, he can drift off on his own without any trauma.

Before we began following this, I was nursing on demand.  Now I know that’s what you are supposed to do when you breastfeed, but I found that I was always having trouble getting him to eat for more than a few minutes.  He’d always fall asleep on me, and then when I tried to set him down he would scream, and then I’d wonder if he was still hungry since he hadn’t eaten for very long, and then we would start over.  Doing this little dance (with a two year old) was beginning to feel like a bad dream, so I’m much happier now that we are following a predictable schedule!

All cuddled up after his bath.  He loves his bath - sometimes if he is inconsolable I will just bathe him and it calms him immediately.

All cuddled up after his bath. He loves his bath – sometimes if he is inconsolable I will just bathe him and it calms him immediately.

Currently here is sort of what our day looks like…

5am-6am: I wake up drenched in sweat.  Baby Middle – aka a 9.5lb human heater – is full as a tick and cuddled up against my belly.  Usually I find that my bare breast is serving him well as a pillow, ha.   Inevitably Poppyseed is already awake at this early hour as well.  Usually she is downstairs with Oatmeal while he eats breakfast and gets ready to leave for work.

6am-7am: I nurse Middle and then do the following as quickly as possible:  shower, brush my teeth, put on lotion and deodorant, throw on a combination of cotton and elastic, dress Poppyseed, do her hair, and make my bed.

7am-8am:  It’s time to move everyone downstairs and put Middle on his play mat.  I cook breakfast for Poppyseed and serve her.  I inevitably eat standing up while I pack her a lunch and snack to take to preschool.  During this time I probably walk from the kitchen to the living room and back again an average of 37 times in order to give Middle his paci, move him to the swing, then back to the couch, then over to the play mat, repeat, repeat, repeat.

8am-8:45am: Load the car with preschool necessities, diaper bag, etc.  Nurse Middle for a good half hour while trying to entertain Poppyseed without the use of the iPad or computer.  (Sometimes this works and sometimes not!)  Clean up the mess that will inevitably ensue and wonder why I don’t just hand over the iPad each morning.  (Today it was markers on her dress, hands, and bow.)  Get both kids into the car and head to either preschool or the gym.

9am on a school day:  Drop Poppyseed off at school and head to either the gym or to run errands.

10am-11am: The man child is hungry again and he lets me know!  Nurse nurse nurse… this will happen either at the gym, at home, or P’s gymnastics class.  Where have I not fed my baby, that is the question.

11am-1pm:  On “school days” this is a down time for me.  I put the baby down for a nap and do housework, chop and prep for dinner, or just relax.  When Poppyseed is at home I’m doing all of the same and also entertaining her and making her lunch.

1pm:  Middle is hungry again, so I feed him.  Milk milk milk!

1:30pm-3pm:  Pick up P from preschool and put her down for a nap.  Tell her that even if she wakes up before 3pm she may not come out of her room or make a peep.  She has a light in her room that turns on when it’s time to come out and play again.  Play with Middle until he is sleepy and attempt to get him down for an afternoon nap.

3pm-6pm.  THE HOME STRETCH.  This is the remaining 3 hours before Oatmeal gets home, aka the hardest part of my day.   I nurse the baby at least once, usually at 3:30. I attempt to keep Poppyseed occupied using a variety of techniques to include stickers, playing outside, painting, puzzles, reading books, and then yes, finally handing over the iPad at 5:45pm so I can nurse one last time before dinner.

Obviously this picture was taken around 5:45pm.  ;)

Obviously this picture was taken around 5:45pm. 😉

6:15pm-7:15pm:  Oatmeal walks in the door and helps me get dinner on the table.  We eat and then work together to get the kids bathed and dishes done.  Oatmeal usually focuses more on Poppyseed while I handle the baby.  Our aim is to have Poppyseed in bed, reading her bedtime story and saying her prayers, by 7:30pm.  We’re pretty good at this part, but what we are still figuring out is what time Middle should go down.

7:30pm-9pm:  Inevitable battle to get Middle to sleep.  I lie him down in his crib and he screams.  I walk in and out of his room 17 times to return his pacifier to those sweet little lips.  Frustration sets in and I let him cry for longer than I should.  Guilt overcomes me and I ask Oatmeal what to do.  One of us goes into his room and works with him until we get him to sleep.

9pm:  We each feel relief that the baby is asleep.  The house is picked up, wine is poured, chocolate is consumed.

10pm:  Sleep.

1am:  Baby wakes up.  I nurse for a half hour and read too many online articles on my phone before putting him back in his crib.

4am:  He wakes up again.  I walk zombie-like to his crib and then carry him back to our room.   We cosleep, aka I let him have his way with my milk supply until 6am.

So, that’s our life right now!  I know that it will change over and over again as each child grows and moves from one stage to the next.  I hope I’m as flexible.

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