Ummm how do you fill your days? — The Bump
Babies: 6 - 9 Months

Ummm how do you fill your days?

I am currently on a year-long leave with my son, who will be 8 months on Nov 1.  Some days I struggle to figure out what the heck to do with him!  He wakes up around 6 but I try to get him to stay in bed until 7ish (he is a lousy sleeper, never has slept through the night, so he often wakes up tied, rubbing his eyes, etc)....on a good day he naps 2 x, no more than 20-30 min at a time. Soooo I don't get much of a break.  We read a lot of books, take our dog for walks around the neighborhood, do errands when needed but what can else can I do?  I have tried to find playgroups, story time, etc, but they are always in the AM when I am trying to get that first nap of the day in.  When Ive tried to go he conks out in the car on the way over and I won't wake him up when we get there.  So I have given up on AM activities.  I def. leave him on his activity mat with some toys for bits of time by himself (he is safe, I can visually see him) to do some laundry or housework b/c, as I mentioned, I don't exactly have time to do that while he catnaps for 20 min.  What is a typical day like for other moms with babies this age?  How much independent play time do you give your little one- meaning, you aren't engaging them and they are entertaining themselves?  I play with him, read to him...but I need a break and I also think it's important that he develops the ability to self-regulate and not have me in his face all day.  My little guy isn't crawling (yet).  Im hoping once he gets moving the nap time will increase.  The days are long and hard with no nap breaks, especially considering he doesn't sleep well at night.

Re: Ummm how do you fill your days?

  • What about going to those activities during the day instead of the morning nap, (because they aren't working as well anyways) and see if the activity wears him out so he will sleep better after? I got my son a jumperoo and after 20 minutes or so, he's tired and ready to relax. I think it also depends on his sleeping environment. Is it too dark or too bright? Does he need music or a white noise machine? It sounds like you've been doing a lot of things already and have a good plan to keep yourself and him active during the day. Keep trying different things, you'll figure it out. :) 

  • Right now my day with my 6 month old looks something like this:

    6:00am- She cries, I nurse her, she goes back to sleep
    8:00ish- she wakes up, I nurse her then I lay her on my bed and take off her sleep sack and sing some songs with her. I give her her stuffed bunny to play with, tickle her, talk to her, get some laughs/smiles.
    8:30ish- Take her in the living room, open the blinds, get an outfit, change her diaper and get her dressed. Give her a d-drop. Give her some kisses and put her in her pack-and-play with some toys. I put on some music and she entertains herself for a while and I eat breakfast, do some housework, check computer, etc.
    9:00ish- Move her to her exersaucer to play there for a while by herself.
    9:15sh- When she's all done in her exersaucer I pick her up, do an action song and then put her down in her playgym to play by herself. She plays for 5 mins or so and then I sit her up in front of me to play with her playgym sitting up. When she's all done with that I get out her toys and start playing with them. At some point I usually lay her down on the rug on her back or tummy and put some toys around her for her to play with laying down.
    9:45ish- I put her into her bouncy chair and read some stories while she chews on her Sophie giraffe.
    9:55ish- change her diaper, put her in her halo, rock her back and forth and sing a few lullabies then put her down for a nap.
    11amish: She wakes up and I nurse her and repeat the morning routine all over again. Everything you see above.
    1pmish: Put her down for her second nap (I put her down 2 hours after she woke up last time)
    3pmish: She wakes up from her nap, repeat the morning routine all the way until she has played in her exersaucer, then I take her outside. We go for a stroller walk around the block, or sometimes we pop into the drugstore/grocery store/library.
    5pmish: We get home, i change her diaper, we start the playing routine starting with the playgym.
    Starting at 6pm, everything happens on time and on schedule so these times are all accurate. I am really strict with her evening routine being super consistent. 
    6:25- diaper, I make her solids dinner
    6:30- her dinnertime
    7pm- bathtime
    7:15- bedtime stories
    7:25- put on halo sleepsack, turn out lights and say goodnight to the rooms, turn on twilight ladybug in her room, nurse her (long nursing session)
    by 8:30- she is asleep

    She generally naps for one hour in the morning and two hours in the afternoon but every day is different. I always leave her in her crib for one full hour even if she wakes up before the hour is up (she normally doesn't.) And I do not let her nap after 5pm, or start a nap later than 3:30pm. 
    "It's always better when we're together." -Jack Johnson
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  • Do you baby wear? That'll open up a world of options. I work 4 days a week with Friday's off, so I'm trying to go on little Friday adventures more. Esp around late afternoon when he gets a little fussy, if we're entertained or to and from in the car he skips the fussy time. Wear that baby and go for a walk, the museum, shopping, library, go look at the ocean (if you're on a coast), I just think about how every experience is new to him! Plus you can get out and change the scenery too. I find the day is so long and I get stressed out when I'm just at home trying to fill time between naps or nursing, but if we get out for even an hour it's such a nice time. I'm not sure how this'll go in the winter as I don't plan on driving him in around in the Maine winter for safety's sake, I'll have to find other adventures at home!

    Also, wow a year!! You're so incredibly fortunate to have this time!! Do you have any family or childcare options to take the baby once a week just so you can have some you time, too? It's important I think to still have moments for yourself as a woman :)
  • Also! I do a baby & mama yoga class once a week and love it. I'd never done yoga but it's just a gentle stretch kind of class mostly just for bonding with baby and to be around other moms. Maybe see if there's one in your area!
  • I do stroller fit twice a week, baby and tot swim once a week, joined a books and bounces group at the library once a week. a lot of dog walking, books, singing, exersaucer, jolly jumper when we aren't out and about. My daughter doesn't nap much during the day either so I just keep her active until she decides to nap (which like yours is only 20-30 minutes on average)
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