Monday, December 20, 2010

Life with a Newborn - Tips Included

As anyone who has ever had a newborn knows, they take a lot of your time and mental/emotional focus. We are big on scheduling our babies as soon as possible. I am a huge proponent for the Baby Wise series. The books tell you exactly how to take care of a newborn, how to get them on a routine, and down the road how to deal with bigger issues like discipline, potty training, and eventually the teenage years.

Basically you put the baby on a 3 hour rotation (which is what they do at the hospital anyways) and you feed them, keep them awake (if they will stay awake after), and then put them down for a nap. It discourages feeding them until they fall asleep as well as using props (like rocking to sleep, co-sleeping). When you follow this eventually they will learn to sleep through the night.

It worked beautifully with Luke because we started from the beginning. He slept through the night (8 hours at 2 months and 12 hours at 3 months) really well and never looked back. At almost 5 years old he still sleeps great (10 hours at night and a 2-3 hour nap each day).

Nathan has taken longer for 2 reasons: 1) I held him and didn't really work on the schedule/sleeping alone thing for 7 weeks and 2) he was 5 weeks premature so it has taken longer. But now he is doing pretty good. He is almost 12 weeks (7 weeks adjusted age) and he does a 2 1/2 - 3 1/2 hour routine all day and goes 4-7 hours at night (average of 5 hours). He is getting there.

So I have about 1 1/2 to 2 hours between feedings and playing with him to do all the other things - eat, personal hygiene, workout, homeschool, play with Luke, cook, clean, do laundry, etc. I have learned to work fast and use every minute of time that I have.

If I have 5 minutes, I will quickly wash bottles and pumping supplies (I nurse but pump for when we are away from the house and middle of the night feedings since I sometimes fall asleep during his feedings) or unload the dishwasher. I might quickly prep something to eat for later. I might go through a room and straighten up. I might quickly start/change out laundry. I might make beds.

If I have 10 minutes, I will maybe prep some things for dinner that night or wipe down and sweep the kitchen or run a vacuum in the living room. I might quickly fold some laundry (even if I can't get it put away).

If I have 15 minutes, I might wipe down a bathroom or vacuum a floor. I might take a quick shower and throw on some clean clothes. I might iron a few items of clothing.

If I have 30 minutes, I might quickly workout. I might do an art project or craft with Luke.

I am learning to use every bit of time that I have. It helps a lot to not worry about doing something perfectly or getting it completed but taking whatever time I have and using it to make things run smoothly. By the end of the day I've usually gotten quite a lot done once I add up all those 5, 10, 15 minute increments. It's really paying off.

1 comment:

  1. Just wanted to say I've been following your blog for a while now and really enjoy it! I am so deeply sorry to read about the loss your of Alexis. May God bless and keep her and your family and may she rest in peace in a perfect place.

    I have a 7 month old and have still not really gotten the hang of staying organized as a stay-at-home mom so I look forward to more of your tips! I need all the help I can get!

    As a side note, I have never been able to get my baby on a schedule, as hard as I've tried. He's just not a great sleeper. My best friend got me the Babywise book when I was pregnant, seemed great but then I read a ton of negative things about it (, so quit following it after that. My son is pretty flexible and easygoing so it's worked out fine, I just need more motivation in the homemakeing department!