Since becoming a mum, I’ve adored reading about others’ experiences with their babies, devouring ‘day in the life’ posts and watching mummy vlogs while Nino naps and I work out (true life, sad but true). I appreciate this post may not be for everyone, but life is speeding by so quickly at the moment that I wanted to capture this sweet time for my sake as much as anyone else’s. If baby stuff is your bag, I hope you’ll enjoy these random ramblings; if not, I’ll back next week with a cake you’re not going to want to miss 🙂
05.55am: I wake to the sound of Nino wriggling around. Our little Duracell bunny starts his day raring to go, and we recently dropped the cot mattress to its lower setting after a slightly scary 3am escape attempt. Some mornings he’ll be awake from 5.15am (joy), others he might snooze til 6.15am, but Luke gets up for work at 5am several times a week, so anything after six is a positive luxury for us.
6am: Our day officially starts. I’ll say good morning and give Nino a kiss before pulling up the blackout blind. The ginormous grin I’m greeted with more than makes up for any night wakings we may have had; this baby boy’s endless enthusiasm in the morning never fails to charm me. We’ll play a couple of rounds of peekaboo as I disappear below the cot edge – if Luke’s not yet left for work he’ll join in the fun – before sitting Nino up and practising standing by pulling up on the cot bars. Then it’s out and onto the changing mat for a new nappy before we head to the kitchen to make a start on breakfast.
6.30am: Once breakfast is prepped, we’ll head back into the nursery for Nino’s first feed of the day. As long as he’s head down and concentrating on the task at hand, I’ll work through a quick Duolingo session on my iPhone – I’m trying to learn Italian in five minutes a day and multitasking during feeding is a nifty way to fit it in. I’ll then take Nino through to our bedroom where he’ll roll around on our bed and try to eat his various board books while I throw on some clothes.
7am: Time for some solids! I sit Nino in his high chair, pop on a bib and we settle down to eat. I tend to spoon feed him his breakfast with some sort of finger food on the side as he doesn’t yet have the dexterity to (and I’m not zen parent enough to let him) spoon sloppy mixtures into his mouth. Favourites are oat or quinoa porridge cooked with a little fruit plus some full fat yoghurt and a little nut butter on occasion. I’ll scoff something similar with the addition of a few nuts and seeds and we usually end up sharing a spoon, my large metal one being infinitely more attractive despite the fact its far too big for his mouth. Click this link for a more detailed account of our weaning experience so far.
7.30am: Baby-led breakfasts, or indeed all of Nino’s meals, tend to take a while as we eat, tiny toes are tickled, peekaboo is played and industrial cleaning action is taken. Once we’ve finished, I’ll pop Nino into the Ergo 360 and head out for a short walk. There are a few dog walkers and a neighbour’s cat who we’ll regularly bump into, plus pigeons to stare at and flowers to be smelled. There’s nothing like an early morning injection of fresh air to set us up for the day.
7.45am: Back home, into the nursery and I’ll check Nino’s nappy again before popping him into his ZipadeeZip sleepsuit. He’ll sit on my knee for a story – currently loving this, this and this – before I shut the blind, sing him my special personalised version of twinkle twinkle and pop him in his crib with some pats to the bum. He’s usually asleep within ten minutes, although lately separation anxiety has started to kick in and if I don’t time it right he can get pretty fussy. Once he’s down I try to use this time to do something for me – a YouTube workout if I’m not too knackered from the night before, writing up a blog post or testing out a recipe. Breastfeeding is hungry work: the perfect excuse for baking (and tasting) cake at such an early hour.
9.30am: Nino usually wakes an hour to an hour an a half after going down for his first nap. This next stretch of awake time is one of my favourites as he’s (hopefully) well rested, alert and at his most talkative. Once he’s dressed we’ll jump in the car to do the weekly shop, catch up with local friends and their babes over coffee, or head to the swimming pool or swings in the park. In the midst of all this, Nino has a second feed around 10.30am and sometimes I’ll offer him some cucumber or celery sticks as a snack that doubles up as cool relief for his gums.
12 noon: Time to start winding down for Nino’s lunchtime nap. Because he’s such an early riser, it’s hard to push him much past midday for this second sleep. As with his morning nap, I’ll change him before a story, song and – with any luck – a good stretch of sweet sleep.
1.30pm: We’re currently storming through some major developmental milestones including crawling, pulling to standing on anything and everything and cutting new teeth, all of which makes for one hungry baby, so when Nino wakes from his lunchtime nap it’s time for another feed before we head to the kitchen for a second round of solids.
2pm: If I haven’t already eaten – it’s hard to last til 2pm when you’ve been up since six – we’ll share some lunch. Crusts of bread smeared in avocado or homemade hummus, well-cooked veggie batons or a few bites of homemade frittata are current favourites, plus fruit and, even though the weather is starting to turn cooler, homemade ice lollies which are lovely for sore gums. Even if I have had some food, I’ll still sit at the table with Nino and nibble some of what he’s making his messy way through that day. It makes it more of a social occasion and the importance of eating together at the table is something I want to instil in him from an early age.
After lunch we’ll often head out for a walk in the buggy before settling down to some athletic activity on the soft matting we’ve laid down throughout our living area. This is a lovely age when Nino is big enough to enjoy more adventurous activities (swimming, trips to the zoo, feeding the ducks) but is also just as content sloshing water round a washing up bowl or playing with a loo roll. Tipping out the entire contents of his toy box, attempting to eat the TV remote, dangerous abseiling down the side of the sofa and licking his reflection in the mirror are some current favourites.
3.45pm: Time for the final nap of the day, with the offer of a quick milk feed beforehand which he usually greedily accepts. I think that now’s around the time that some babies start dropping this afternoon catnap, but given Nino’s nocturnal nature and early rising, I think we’ll need it to push on through to bedtime for a good month yet. This nap lasts anything between half an hour and an hour, depending on how his sleep has been earlier in the day.
5.30pm: Nino’s final solid meal of the day and the one we have most fun with. Because it’s close to bath time, this is where I let baby led weaning run riot and we squeeze oranges until their juice runs through our fingers, wear spaghetti strands as hats and smush bananas into hand cream. Food should be fun and this is an opportunity for Nino to play as well as experience new tastes and textures.
6pm: After a quick clean up (although likely still sporting some remains of supper on his trousers or in an eyebrow), I’ll pop Nino into the sling for our final walk of the day. We’ll trot down to the river, watch the boats and ducks go by and sniff lavender from the plant outside our flat on the way back: I’ve heard the scent can make you sleepy and, while it may be wishful thinking, every little helps . . .
6.30pm: Nino has his bath, which is so much more fun now that he’s sitting unaided. We slather up bubbles, pour water over his head (something we’ve been doing in swimming class to practise underwater breaths) and play with toys. I love how he tries to catch the water drops with his pudgy fingers and giggles when they hit his tummy. After a good rub down in a fluffy towel we’ll ceremoniously brush his two little teeth – he loves the sensation and will open his mouth wide before I’ve even picked up the toothbrush. Then it’s into the bedroom for a mini massage (which always makes him giggle, especially when I tickle his toes and thighs) and bedtime change. We usually read two stories at night, have a final feed then shut the blind before I gently lower him into the cot. Sometimes he’ll fall asleep unaided, but more often than not he’ll need a good ten minutes of lullabies, bum pats and the occasional rock to reassure him to sleep.
7.15pm: All’s quiet in the little loaf house and I dash to get a shower and pop dinner on before Luke gets home from work around 8pm. On a good night, Nino will only wake once for a feed around midnight – others (a few times a week or worse or if he’s teething) we’ll have two feeds plus a 4am hour of wakefulness where all he wants to do is play and escape from the cot. Not cool, if you’re reading this future Nino, but if the world was as new and exciting to me as it is to you, I’d probably want to play too.
So there you have it. An uneventful but somehow still so special day in the little loaf household. We – or I at least – tend to chart the milestones, the big events and birthdays and memorable occasions, always looking forward to the future, but it’s these little moments and mundane tasks in the here and now that truly make up a life well lived. Never stop growing and learning and exploring little Nino, but let’s pause time with this blog post, just to take a moment to appreciate today.