She Says… The New Normal

Today was Owen’s due date. Since last November I burned “August 4th” into my memory as the day my baby was going to be born. At about 36 weeks, I began to have a funny feeling that he was going to pop out earlier than expected. Lo and behold, I was right. Instead of being born today, Owen is 11 days old. And boy am I glad I’ve already gone through the labor and delivery part and now I can just enjoy my little man!

I can’t quite believe it’s been almost 2 weeks since my water broke in the middle of the night following a relaxing evening eating Chinese food with Benjamin. Part of me feels like it’s gone by in the blink of an eye. On the other hand, we’ve learned so much in the past 11 days, trial by fire. We’ve had so many “firsts” that in some ways it feels like we’ve spent months figuring it all out. The cliche is 100% true: I can barely remember my life before my little guy arrived.

Although the word “schedule” can only be used very loosely with a newborn, we seem to have found a pattern in the last week that keeps us all happy and as rested as possible. And that’s really all you can hope for in the first weeks, right? Give or take an hour, this is how the last few days have gone. Who knows what the next few will bring!

7:00am – 8:00am It’s hard to say when our day really “starts”, since it kind of just keeps going all the time. There’s not a “bedtime” or a “waking up” time… it’s just one big cycle. But for the sake of explaining our daily schedule, I’ll start at the first feeding I consider morning. I open the shade in the nursery and let the morning light in, and change and feed Owen while singing some little songs.

8:00am – 8:30am I take a milk-drunk Owen into our bedroom and hand him to a sleepy Daddy who burps him and hangs out while I shower/dress/tidy the nursery/pick out clothes for Owen/start laundry, etc.

8:30am – 9:00am Owen has some quiet awake time, opens his eyes for awhile, and makes some cute cooing noises. I gaze at him in my arms and try to eat breakfast with one hand.

9:00am – 10:00am Diaper change, nurse for 45 minutes, burp.

10:00am – 11:00am Nap. Usually after his awake period in the morning, Owen falls asleep while being burped, so I put him down for a nap (for now he’s sleeping in a little bassinet in our living room during the day so I can watch him sleep, instead of in his crib up in the nursery, which is on a different floor of the house).

11:00am – 12:00pm Diaper change, nurse for 45 minutes, burp.

12:00pm – 1:00pm Depends on the day — maybe a walk with the dog, quick trip to the grocery store, another nap, more quiet awake time…

1:00pm – 2:00pm Diaper change, nurse for 45 minutes, burp.

2:00pm – 3:00pm Nap and/or quiet awake time.

3:00pm – 4:00pm Diaper change, nurse for 45 minutes, burp.

4:00pm – 5:00pm You got it: Nap and/or quiet awake time… or maybe a bath.

5:00pm – 6:00pm Diaper change, nurse for 45 minutes, burp.

6:00pm – 7:00pm Hopefully Owen sleeps while Benjamin and I eat dinner… so far he seems to have some sort of radar for when it’s dinner time and he likes to fuss just enough so that one of us will hold him.

7:00pm – 8:00pm Diaper change, nurse for 45 minutes, burp.

8:00pm – 9:00pm Hopefully quiet awake time for Owen so he is even sleepier for the next “nap time”, which is my bed time. Usually at this point in the evening this feeding is pushed to 9:00pm – 10:00pm due to little extensions of nap times throughout the day. If that’s the case, Owen and I get ready for bed.

9:00pm – 10:00pm One last diaper change, hopefully a good long nursing session and a loud burp. Then I wrap Owen in a swaddle and sway/rock him a little before putting him down in his crib.

Then we all go to sleep and let Owen wake us up for the next feeding. The last few nights this has been a 4-5 hour stretch. He’s such an awesome sleeper! Around 2:00am or 3:00am I’m usually woken up by him making noise. Not crying, exactly, but fussing and making angry noises from the crib. Then you know the drill — a diaper change, 45 minute nursing session and a burp. Then I lay him back down for one more “long” sleep (4-5 hours), and then it’s morning time and we start all over again!

So far it seems we have been blessed with a very relaxed baby who eats and sleeps very well, and on somewhat of a schedule too! Don’t worry, I’m not getting cocky… I am well aware that this wonderful, relatively quiet newborn stage could end at any moment. So I’m savoring every minute of my 2 1/2 – 3 hour sleep sessions. But a girl can dream, right?

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16 responses to “She Says… The New Normal

  1. Little Owen sure eats (well, drinks) a lot!! What a life–eat, drink, sleep, and cuddle with the rents πŸ™‚

  2. That’s great that he’s sleeping that long already! Eli is 8 weeks and is just now starting to sleep more than 3-4 hours at a time (meaning going 4-5 hours between night feedings). Let’s hope Owen just improves on that!

  3. You do have a good routine going, I hope it continues. Sleeping through the night sounds like it’s just around the corner πŸ™‚

  4. I just found your blog recently and am LOVING it. I’m 20 weeks pregnant now and reading your experiences is like a futuristic view at what life post-baby will be like. (I know everyone has a different experience, but the generalities will be the same – nursing, lack of sleep) so thank you for your candid words!

  5. Sounds like all of you are doing great! I have really enjoyed watching you go through your pregnancy, especially since I was pregnant at the same time with my second. Good Job Mama!

  6. Question: are you waking him to feed/be changed during the day, or does he wake himself? I know some moms wake their babies to keep them on a regular schedule.

  7. Great job momma! My baby is a good sleeper and can do 9 hours in a row at 9 weeks, so look forward to that! Although the first few times, it will feel like your boobs are going to explode….

    Don’t forget to add in tummy time, it’s never to early and if you don’t do it, your kid can grow up to be a serial killer πŸ™‚ The main benefit I can see is that it tires them out!

  8. Sounds like you and Owen have a good plan! It’s hard for me to imagine that my life will resemble something like that in the very near future. I can’t wait though!

  9. BethT, We do a little of both. During the day, I wake him up to stick pretty close to the 2 hour feeding time. That way we’ve reached the recommended 8-10 feedings before “bed time”, and can let him sleep until he wakes up at night. If he fussed for awhile and only fell asleep like 20 minutes before a feeding, however, I let him sleep a little longer so he doesn’t wake up angry πŸ™‚ I’m already learning that my little guy likes to wake up SLOWLY… just like his Daddy.

    Kara, Good call! I haven’t really been doing any of that (except when he’s got a bad bubble of gas and I try to put him on his stomach to work it out). I think I’ll try to fit some tummy time into his awake periods during the day. Thank you!

  10. Oh yeah this is SO familiar! Our little girl is only 11 weeks old, so I’m here to tell you it gets better and SOON. Our girl has been sleeping from 10:30 – 6 for the last 2 weeks and it makes SUCH a difference.

    I just did a post today about packing the diaper bag and I thought you might enjoy it…feel free to add your own suggestions! Congrats again on your cute Owen (p.s. That was the name we had chosen if it would have been a boy!)
    http://happilyalawmama.blogspot.com/2010/08/dont-leave-home-without-it-butt.html

  11. I’m jealous of your sleep times!!! lol
    My little guy is 12 weeks old and is just now starting to sleep a little better at night, sometimes…
    I love your blog as well, I was ahead of you in my pregnancy but it was really nice to follow you during yours!
    One thing I’ve learned now that this is my second, is that in the middle of the night I don’t do a diaper change so that he doesn’t get stimulated to wake up. My guy used to be wide awake in the middle of the night every time I changed him!

  12. So what you’re sayin’ is that I should have ordered leisurely chinese for supper tonight?! πŸ˜›

    I am impressed that little Owen is giving your 4-5 hour stretches through the night already! The value of that is 10 fold for the rest of the day!

  13. Kate, glad to hear that you have a good routine going for you with little Owen πŸ™‚ I hope that his sleep sessions extend to longer hours in the future.

  14. This bit made me smile –
    “… so far he seems to have some sort of radar for when it’s dinner time and he likes to fuss just enough so that one of us will hold him.”
    – because that’s exactly what we used to think about our son when he was new. We would put him on a pillow between us on the couch while we ate, and we got very good at one-handed eating. πŸ™‚
    He still has a ‘Mum and Dad are settling in to do something’ radar…

    It’s so nice to hear you’re enjoying your time, and have a routine going. And he is a great sleeper! We didn’t start getting 4-5 hour stretches until about 5 months, so I hope Owen just keeps getting better for you. Every baby is so different. πŸ™‚

  15. I’m echoing everyone else here: 4-5 hours at night is AMAZING!!! You are very VERY VERY blessed!! Happy due date πŸ™‚

  16. oh my goodness you are making me so excited!!! I’ll be 36 weeks in a couple days and I’m soooo ready for this! I’m almost crying I’m so ready. I can’t wait to meet the little guy.

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