I am a mother of three and a half-month-old beautiful baby girl and one thing that makes my day is all the baby smiles I receive throughout the day.
Well, I am definitely blessed with a happy baby but then I would also love to share my experience and give you little tips on how to ensure your baby has the best day and night routine.
Birthing itself is an overwhelming experience and with all the new emotions it is definitely challenging to take over newer responsibilities. It takes time to process in the fact that you are already a caregiver and a whole new life is dependent on you.
Let me be honest, the journey is not easy, but that does not mean it is not enjoyable. I would like to use this platform to share my experience with you all and maybe while you laugh and cry as I do, you may like what I have to say.
I would like to describe our first week as Owl’s Week. Nothing can actually prepare you for what is going to happen in the first week. Your pain meds kick in, you are tired and clumsy, but all you want to do is prioritize your baby and most importantly there will be a lack of sleep at night.
One advises- sleep when the baby sleeps!!! It definitely works. I would sleep as soon I finish my feed and put her to sleep. I did not use a rocker from the beginning and from the very first night she sleeps in her own crib. Letting your baby sleep in a crib is very safe and the habit is really rewarding as now for my three months old all I have to do is place her in her crib at night and she sleeps. No rocking is necessary.
My feeding schedule is every two hours and if your baby sleeps longer, let it nap. They are very sensitive to hunger and any physical discomfort. If they need anything you will definitely hear them say it. My daughter would feed for at least 45 minutes every two hours in this week. One thing that has helped me to overcome the feeling of being alone or an emotional downturn, is reading a book. I have placed a kindle near my feeding station, which is basically a recliner chair with good back support.
Sometimes, the baby during the first week refuses to sleep alone and starts crying as soon you separate it from yourself and try to put her down. One trick that really worked for me was I would lay down and place the baby on top of me and as soon as she goes into slumber shift her gently into her crib.
If you start rocking the baby or use a cradle, then getting rid of the habit at a later stage becomes difficult and also you need to spend a lot of time pushing the cradle in order to put the baby to sleep.
The idea of using a crib seems a little difficult in the beginning as you have to put the extra effort of lifting the baby for the night feed but it is worth it after a month.
For the first one and a half months, the timings are never the same. Every day the baby sleeps and is up at a different time, but be patient, just record the time and each time you find a similarity you can set your routine.
Now for my daughter, the routine is pretty simple. We are up by 7 am. Then till 7.30 am we feed and change and go for a little sun time in the park nearby.
At 8.30 am again she feeds and takes a small nap till 10.00 am. From 10.00 am till 11.00 am it’s her message and shower time. Sometimes, she sleeps immediately after a massage.
A Pro-tip is to plan the massage during the time of the day when you need a long break. Since I work in my family business, I take her with me and she sleeps from 12 to 3 pm, allowing me ample time to do my work.
After one big nap and feed, give them some time to play, either a play gym or you can entertain them with classical music or lullaby.
I generally play Hariprasad Chaurasia’s flute playlist. It is very soothing and she enjoys the music too.
Ensure that you leave the baby alone at least for an hour every day. Under supervision but keep a distance so that they are not able to visually maintain contact with you. This will develop creative skills in your child from the very beginning when they learn to entertain themselves and be independent.
I did this from the very beginning. I would request all the family members to not entertain her during that hour every day and soon she has now become so independent that I get a lot of free time. Once I am done feeding her and changing her, she enjoys her self playtime in her play gym.
Now, play gym is something I would highly recommend. It encourages movement in your child and eventually your child will love kicking the piano and also looking a little rattle hanging from above.
At night, give your baby a massage right before you want her to go to sleep. I massage my daughter at around 7 pm. Then we read a story together, like peter pan, three little pugs, wizard of OZ, Alice in Wonderland or anything that you have lying around. Once you spend an unconditional hour and a half and then feed, your child will sleep peacefully for least 4 hours in the first two months and it will increase to 6 hours by the time it turns 3 months old.
The trick is to spend time at night and massage the baby yourself. It loves the touch of the mother.
You can read the same story every time so that it will wire their memory and a routine will be set that as soon as they hear the story or a song the next step will be to sleep.
Lots of love to all the mothers around. Always remember your happiness matters.
– Pritha Shah