A typical day for me starts between 5.30 and 6am. I pump, feed the cats, then try to write with one eye on the monitor. Lady Jr wakes up between 7 and 8am. As soon as I see her eyes pop open, I hurry in and greet her with a song and a smile.
If it’s Monday or Tuesday, we take our time and play a bit. I make breakfast while Lady Jr sits in her high chair in the kitchen, explaining everything I do – this is an egg! – or listening to NPR. She usually watches quietly with big eyes. Then we wake up Dr Lady. I feed Lady Jr while Dr Lady gets ready, sometimes we play on the floor for a bit.
By 9am it’s time for her first nap, so I read her the Nap Book, swaddle her/put her in the magic sleep suit, put on white noise, and hold her until her eyes start to flutter. Sometimes she fights. Not usually the first nap, though. I put her down before she’s completely asleep and watch her until I’m sure she’s going to stay that way. Sometimes I have to pick her up again or hold her hand or re-apply the pacifier. Sometimes not. Then I tiptoe out and write with one eye on the monitor.
If I’m lucky, she sleeps past 10am. I’ll try to settle her back to sleep if she wakes before that. Then it’s naked time on the playmat while I do some sort of household chore in the same room. Eventually she fusses and it’s food time. Or she poops all over her playmat (like today) and it’s Run Up and Down the Basement Stairs time. No matter what, after an hour and a half it’s naptime again.
This time (12ish), we go for a walk. Around the nearby lake, which takes almost exactly an hour. She stays awake for a while and I point out the trees and the birds, but inevitably by the time we actually make it to the park, she’s completely out.
When we get home, I usually leave Lady Jr in the carrier until she fusses. Then it’s back on the playmat, but she’s fed up with that quickly. We try tummy time and then lap time and then sit-up time and then we tickle and read and make faces at each other until it’s nap time again (2.30, 3pm). We repeat the book-swaddle-white noise-put down naptime routine, usually with a little more fussing. I try to write with one eye on the monitor, but this late in the day she’s wiggly and fussy and I’m back in there settling her down before I know it. This time I hold her for 20, 25min while reading news on my phone.
She’s up again by 4, 4.30pm and then it’s the last leg of the day. At this point she’s only happy doing something for a few minutes, so I have to switch it up constantly. Around 6pm we start the bedtime routine. This involves wiping her off with a warm washcloth and playing with her toes (which she tries to eat). She gets fresh clothes and a diaper, then I feed her one last time, we read her a book, and then we take her into the bedroom for one last swaddle-white noise-hold-put down. Screaming is most likely at this point, but it only lasts a few minutes. We just pick her up again if she fusses until her eyes start fluttering.
And then it’s quiet time for the parents. I like to try to write or watch something stupid, but I need to start reading again. Until 8ish, when Lady Jr usually wakes up enough that she needs some help getting back to sleep. But then I just usually go to bed at 8. Especially lately, as Lady Jr likes waking up every 1.5, 2 hours at night. Thankfully, she goes right back to sleep with a pacifier and someone holding her hand, but I miss the 4, 5 hour stretches she used to do.
That’s life with a 16 week old. Not so shabby.