I firmly believe every baby is different and what works for some will not work for others. But it’s always fun to hear what IS working for someone. Here’s a few specific things that make our lives a little easier with our baby under one.
Story time in the mornings. I’ve discovered the best time of day for reading with The Wee One is right after he wakes up. After I nurse him in our bed The Scottish heads to the shower and I grab a few board books for the little guy to
eat read. It’s great because he’s in a good mood and very alert, and it allows me to wake up slowly and groggily. It’s also easier than fitting in story time at night because there is so much to do in the hour and a half between The Scottish getting home and The Wee One going to bed.
It looks like The Wee One is taking a selfie, haha!
Daddy cuts nails, Mommy cleans out nose. The Scottish is more patient with trimming The Wee One’s nails and I’m more comfortable using the Nose Frieda and the sucker thingy from the hospital. We can do each other’s jobs but it’s been easier for us to get better at one and not the other.
One bottle per day. The Wee One is exclusively on breast milk and most of the time I nurse him, but since he’s been two months old we’ve been giving him one bottle per day for a few reasons. We use it to give him his probiotic in powder form (crucial for keeping the yeast at bay) and his Vitamin D drops. We also like having the opportunity for other people to feed The Wee One.
Ferber Method of sleep training. Based on very little research (and LOTS of blog posts about sleep) we chose to let The Wee One CIO (cry it out) with checks after 3 and 5 minutes. We don’t sleep train when he is sick and we still go in to give him his pacifier when he first fusses but after that we let him put himself back to sleep using this method. Many times we don’t get to the second check-in because he’s fallen asleep. For some babies, the extinction method works best because having mom or dad come in the room escalates their frustration but for The Wee One he seems to feel comforted knowing we are still nearby and that is usually enough for him to fall asleep.
No nursing in the middle of the night. The Wee One showed us a long time ago that he could get all his nutrition during the day and make it through the night without milk.
Bath time every other night. We have found that a really warm bath calms The Wee One down before bed and puts him in a good mood when he’s getting crabby and over-tired. We’d probably do one every night if it made sense schedule-wise and wouldn’t dry out his skin. From what a few friends have told me, some babies seem to be more awake after their bath and it makes more sense for them to wash up during the day so they don’t get overly excited before bedtime.
Pacifiers are for sleep and car rides only. OK, sometimes we slip up and let him have one if he is being extra fussy or we are in public but the goal is to keep paci’s for naps, nighttime, and car rides. We want it to be a treat and not a given when he’s awake. Our relationship with the paci started when The Wee One was one month old and I’m hoping to wean him off after a year but who knows, we might change our minds depending on his sleep habits at the time.
Oops, we’re not sleeping or in the car here, it happens!
Pumping twice a day. I pump during the previously mentioned bottle feed, which is around dinnertime, but I also pump around 10 PM before The Scottish and I go to bed. I discovered long ago that it was too painful for me to go from 7 PM to 7 AM without a nursing session. Thanks to the extra pumping session we’ve built up a nice freezer stash to use when I’m away, for mixing into his oatmeal cereal, and more recently, to donate to a working mama friend.
Lots of toys. Some days I’m embarrassed about how many play things The Wee One has but when I think of a daycare and how many items they must have, how many items were gifts, and about how much time we spend inside the house (thanks to the one car situation); I don’t feel so bad anymore. I call them his activity stations and I like to rotate him through the spaces throughout the day so he doesn’t get bored and so he’s always working on different skill sets.
The Wee One playing at his first station with Auntie Tape.
Those of you with little ones or with little ones in your future, I hope some of these things work for you as well!