I started responding to Kathryn’s comment, and quickly realized that it’s going to be a blog post on it’s own.
Going from Henry being with me 24/7, to him being enrolled in daycare was emotional, difficult and took some major adjusting. But, he’s been in daycare for about a month now and things are getting easier. A lot of people are going to read this and just think “duh,” but none of it occurred to me until after Henry had been going for a couple of days.
- Plan ahead. For everything. Lay out who is going to take the baby to daycare and who is going to pick the baby up. This might change from day to day, or stay the same, so always know who’s doing what ahead of time.
- Plan the night before. Pack up as much as you can the night before. Have the diaper bag packed. Have your pump parts washed, packed and in their carrying case and ready to go. Have the baby’s bottles/nipples packed and ready to go. If applicable, have your lunch packed and ready to go. The more you can get done the night before, the less crazy your morning will be the next day.
- Plan for the morning. J and I now have a routine that’s as follows:
- 6:00 we all get up. I nurse Henry while J gets ready for the day.
- 6:20 I pump (this pumping session started as a means to create a freezer stash, but Henry’s started eating everything that I’m pumping now – so now I need it to make sure he has enough) while Henry plays next to me and J finishes getting ready.
- 6:30 J takes Henry to get dressed, and a diaper change etc. I continue to pump.
- 6:40 Henry and J are eating breakfast, I finish pumping and get dressed/make up/brush teeth
- 6:50-7:00 Pack anything that wasn’t packed the night before and load the baby in the car seat and all accouterments in the car.
- 7:00 out the door, and I drop Henry off at daycare at 7:10 and then I’m off to work.
I don’t know if I’ve used the word “plan” enough in this…..
Here are some things I’ve learned from our evenings, which is where our biggest struggle came from.
- Leave work as soon as you possibly can so you can spend more time with your baby and hubby.
- Most days I pick Henry up at daycare, the only exception is when I have Zumba after work (on these days J cooks, cleans and gets the baby put to bed on his own). While I’m picking Henry up, J gets home and starts making dinner so that we can eat as a family before Henry goes to bed. We aim to have dinner on the table between 6:00 and 6:30. Now, when Henry was younger and didn’t really have a set bedtime, we had to eat dinner in shifts – so one would eat and the other would hold the baby to keep him from crying. It sucked. We hated it, but we got through it and the important lesson in this is that it will eventually stop and you will have relaxing dinner time back again.
- If possible I try to wash the pump parts and Henry’s bottles and nipples while dinner’s cooking, so that after dinner we can actually relax. If it’s not possible then it happens after dinner when we’re cleaning up dishes.
- J and I give Henry a bath (this doesn’t happen everyday), and get him ready for bed. J reads Henry a story, and I nurse him and put him to bed. He’s usually down by 7:30, and is now sleeping through the night, and by that I mean sleeping from 7:30 until 6:00. No more middle of the night nursing sessions, and no more getting up to help him go back to sleep. He’s been doing that since about 5 months old. I STRONGLY recommend following the advice of putting your baby to sleep drowsy, but AWAKE. This will save you from having to do major sleep training later, and I mean sleep training and not CIO.
- Clean and pack anything else that needs it and relax for the rest of the night. I’ve also started showering at night to save time in the morning, cause I don’t do too well if I see a 5 on the alarm clock when I get up.
So, overall it has been getting easier. It takes a lot more finesse and teamwork than I ever thought it would, but it is so much easier now than when we first started.
The thing is to make a routine that fits your life and that you’re comfortable with. It took a little bit of time for J and I to find a routine that worked for us, but we did it and now we’re doing so much better. I wouldn’t say it’s perfect yet, but we’re getting better at it everyday.
If you have any questions I’d be more than glad to help. I’m by no means an expert, but I’d be more than happy to tell you what worked for me and what didn’t.
Now take a deep breathe and repeat over and over “I can do this.” And eventually you’ll believe yourself.