So here we are, at the halfway point of my maternity leave. I can't believe I'll be back at work in 6 weeks. It's gone by so fast. I have been treasuring every minute with my new daughter and while it will be difficult going back to work and leaving her all day, I get this little person in my life FOREVER which makes me smile and forget about how hard it will be. She and I have been bonding so much, and really getting into a good routine. I haven't read a lot of books about dealing with infants (most of what I read was about DURING pregnancy and how to deal w/childbirth) so a lot of this has been a learning experience for me.
I have been doing some reading online about routines and getting into a set schedule with your baby. For the most part, we have been just letting baby dictate the schedule and it has worked just fine. However, since I have to go back to work soon, getting a schedule in place is going to become more of a reality for us. One thing I have tried to do is when baby gets up in the middle of the night to nurse, I don't say a word to her or turn on any lights (unless I have to change her diaper, then I turn on the small light near the changing table) and I don't take her out of the nursery. What I was doing previously, was taking her out of the nursery or letting her sleep wherever she ended up. The new routine, involves moving her directly to the crib at night, and if she stirs or wakes up, nurse her back to sleep and leave her in the crib. I did this the other night in Kokomo as Matt's parents have a crib in their spare bedroom for Elise's cousin Ashlyn, who stays the night there frequently. Elise woke up twice to nurse and went right back down to sleep in the crib afterwards. Last night we tried this again, Matt moved her to the crib around 10 pm and she woke up at 2 and 4:3o to nurse. I woke up at 8 this morning and she was still fast asleep! If this had been a workday for me, I would have had to wake HER up!! I think it's working out great so far, but of course I'm sure she'll hit another growth spurt soon and throw this whole theory out of whack for me, lol. I just feel like the crib is a good, safe, secure place for her, where her neck and limbs won't be all sore like they would sleeping in the car seat or bouncy all the time. Plus the crib was a big investment, the mattress, bedding, etc was not cheap-let's get some use out of it! I think the problem before with the routine we were doing was that I would go watch TV, get on the computer while nursing and before you know, I had lost 90 minutes of sleep whereas now, Elise nurses quickly and gets right back into the crib and sleeps. I hope this lasts. We'll see how it goes!
I'm also a little concerned about how the routine will change once she enters daycare. I hope they don't let her sleep all day...then I won't get ANY sleep at night!! Remind me to ask about that... :)