I was looking back over my post of Life with a Seven Month Old and it seems like everything has changed. I felt I had my life all put together. For the past couple of months I remember thinking, "This mothering thing isn't as hard as what people make it seem". Well, I would say it has started to get harder no that our little boy is on the move.
Our little guy has learned to crawl. Yay! But, with that crawling, comes independence and lots of messes. It seems like I spend hours each day cleaning up the messes that he creates. I look forward to the day when I can expect him to help me clean up those messes, but for now it is my job. I am choosing to enjoy this phase and know it will not last long. I am soaking up every minute.
Our daily routine has not changed much since last month. If you want a better look at what each day looks like, check out my post from last month. With some vacations and our busy schedule, his daily routine has been messed up frequently. Since I can't control the changes, we just roll with the punches. We try to get a good morning nap and afternoon nap in each day.
Pain & Comforting
I love watching Preston explore our house and find new things to keep his curiosity raging. He has discovered that drawers can really hurt fingers. The floor is slippery after I mop and he is going to fall. He has been hurt multiple times and we have heard real cries for the first time. Obviously our little guy has been crying since he was born, but not this type of cry. This cry is not complaining that he is hungry, or tired, or needs a diaper changed. This cry is a cry of pain as he clings to my neck and he wants me to make everything better, and I can't. I don't encourage our Preston to get hurt, but we also don't always prevent it. When he falls gently, instead of rushing to him we simply say, "You're okay" or "Oh no, let's get back up!" There are other times when there is a hard fall, instant pain, and that requires comforting. As parents we aren't capable of preventing our kids from being hurt. It is our job to teach them about things that are dangerous, warn them, give them the freedom to choose, and comfort them when they need it.
In one of my child development classes in college, we learned about natural consequences. If a child touches something that is hot, it is going to burn them. They learn there are consequences for their actions. We can warn them all day not to touch because it is hot, but many times they won't learn until they feel a little heat.
Since our little guy has been eating baby food in a high chair (we started at 5 months) we have been doing sign language. We mostly do "more" and an occasional please. He hasn't started doing it back, but the more he is exposed to it the more likely he will learn it.
I am in the process of weening Preston from breastmilk to formula. I normally nurse him in the morning and then once in the evening. Breastfeeding has been such a beautiful thing. I NEVER thought that I would enjoy it, but I do! As school is starting up in August, I do not want to pump again at school. My supply has really started dropping as I keep cutting back on my demand. But, I am going to hold out for as long as I can :)
As I am sitting here typing I CANNOT believe that our little boy is seven months old already! Part of me misses those sweet newborn days, but yet the other part loves these precious giggles, smiles, reactions to goofy faces, and eyes filled with curiosity.
This post focuses on two different components of life with a baby. I am going to walk you through a typical day at home hour-by-hour with our seven month old. I will talk about what I do and what baby does at those times. All babies are different. All days are different. All schedules are different. This is just meant to be a small glance into our life.
I do want to also mention that I am a first time mom. I am not a doctor. I have no medical training. I am not a child specialist. I am just a mom sharing what has worked well for our family.
Also, I am going to warn you, this post is pretty lengthy. Feel free to skim, or just check out this snapshot of what life with a seven month old looks like.
5:00- I start my morning routine.
As I am still breastfeeding, I pump first thing in the morning. While I am pumping, I am drinking my preworkout that I get from Walmart. (I only drink it on days that I am doing cardio. I find it gives me an extra energy boost to push myself during my workout.) I am also doing my devotions during this time. I write 2-3 things I am thankful for, read my Bible, study some scripture, and work on memorizing our family memory verse.
I have recently started running in the morning while my husband and baby sleep. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this time. Yes, I am burning calories, and that is part of the reason that I am doing it. But the bigger part is that is my alone time. I don't have to worry if the baby is sleeping. I don't have to worry about what he is getting into. I don't have to take care of him for the 20-30 minutes I am gone. I get to just be by myself. I use this time to think, pray, or even talk to myself :) I think it is definitely worth it for me to get up an hour early so I can fit this into my day. If you are more of a night owl, go for a walk after your kids are sleeping. This is called SELF-CARE and it is VERY important for mothers!!!
When I get back around 6, my husband is getting up and starting his own morning routine. I start my morning workout routine through Beachbody. I am currently doing Morning Meltdown which is a 100 day program. It focuses mostly on weights and core. They have a cardio day once a week, so I won't run on those days.
6:30- Baby wakes up
This is one of my favorite moments of the day. It is always fun to open the door and see him get so excited to see you and start his day. I try to be done with my workout by the time he wakes up, but that doesn't always happen. Normally he will sit and watch me finish working out. Then I nurse him.
We change his diaper when he first wakes up. Sometimes he will have peed through his clothes so then we change his outfit. Otherwise, he stays in these pjs till after breakfast.
I am so blessed to have a patient and helpful husband. Most of the mornings, he is in charge of breakfast. When school is in session, I try to have something quick and easy in the fridge so we just need to throw it in the microwave for our busy mornings. Egg casseroles and oatmeal bakes are two of our staples. During this time of summer though, we are not as rushed so we spend a little more time on breakfast.
Preston normally eats baby oatmeal for breakfast. If we have eggs, I will give him some. If we have fresh bananas on hand, he will eat 1/2 banana. He also likes 1/2 piece of toast. But I would say most mornings are oatmeal. This is also a really cost effective breakfast!
TIP- I normally try and feed him while I am sitting there at the kitchen table. Then, once my husband and I are done eating, I will give him his toast, banana, etc. that he can eat himself. (If I give him banana, I take his pjs off and just have him eat in his diaper. Bananas are really messy and sometimes stain his clothes. ) He only has one tooth so it is a lot of gnawing and sometimes he doesn't actually eat most of it. This does make a bigger mess than if I was feeding everything to him, but it really helps his motor skills develop which is so important! While he is eating his hand held foods, I clean the kitchen. Our kitchen and eating area are combined, so he is always in my eye sight. It is important to always watch your baby as they are eating because there is a high risk of choking.
7:30- Daily Chores
This is where it starts to vary based on the day. Many times Preston is still eating independently in his high chair as I am finishing cleaning the kitchen. Some days we will go on a walk during this time. I will start a load of laundry, picking up around the house, etc. I try to get most of my cleaning done while Preston is awake.
Once he is done eating, I get him cleaned up and put his clothes on for the day. Then, I put him in his play area in our living room. He is very good at playing independently. It is good for children to have independent play time, even starting at 4-5 months old. With that being said, I am always close by if he needs me. I am constantly peeking around the corner to make sure he is safe and doing okay.
After about 20-30 minutes of him playing by himself, he starts to need a little more attention from me. During this time I try to drop everything and soak up time with my baby. I grab some toys, read him books, tickle him, etc. This is also a great time to start teaching some basic vocabulary words. I try to keep him entertained for about another half hour.
Both independent and adult lead play are very good for child development so we try to fit both into our morning and afternoon routines. So, he eats, plays independently, plays with me, and then takes his nap.
9:00- Nap Time
Sometimes Preston doesn't make it till 9:00 before he goes down for a nap. I can tell he is tired when he is yawning or not able to stay happy even when I am holding him. He normally goes down for his nap really easily. I change his diaper, turn on the sound machine, give him his pacifier, and put him in the crib. He cries when I leave the room, but only for about 1-2 minutes. If he continues to cry longer than that, I go back into his room, give him his pacifier, and put my cheek next to his face and comfort him. Once he is calmed down I leave the room again. Normally that is all I need to do.
While he is sleeping, I like to get things done that are hard to do while he is awake. I do my devotions first thing in the morning, but I like to sit and read a book during this time. I am currently reading "Purpose Driven Life" by Rick Warren. I try to do most of my cleaning while Preston is awake, except for the bathrooms. I normally clean the bathrooms during his nap time because the chemicals make me a little nervous. I don't want him in the bathroom while I am cleaning, so I choose to do that while he is sleeping. If I am tackling a big cleaning project like washing windows, cleaning baseboards, washing walls, etc. I would do the majority of that during nap time. On a normal day though, I keep it to a minimal. Again, this is part of my self-care. I don't want to spend all of nap time cleaning.
Again, we follow the basic routine here. I will nurse him when he wakes up. He can sleep anywhere from one to two and a half hours for his morning nap. We will eat lunch. I give him homemade baby food, about 4 ounces and then handheld foods towards the end as I clean the kitchen.
12:00- Play Time
Again, we start with independent play while I get a few things done. Once he starts to get a little fussy, I sit and play with him.
1:00- Nap Time
Again, I try to already have my cleaning done in the morning while Preston is playing. Sometimes I take a nap, watch a TV show while I fold laundry, work on school things, blog, etc. Remember, nap time is PRECIOUS, so make sure you are using it wisely and how works best for you! I know some moms use nap time to clean. Some use nap time to workout. Whatever works best for you!
3:00- Snack Time
I nurse Preston when he wakes up and then give him a little snack. Normally this is a few crackers or graham crackers. He also has a sippy cup with water that he will drink in the afternoon. I also grab a snack during this time too. Some of my favorites are a fruit parfait or carrots and hummus.
Normally Preston plays really well by himself when I am making supper. If he isn't, my first trick is a snack. If that still doesn't work, I put him in the carrier so I can keep getting supper ready. Most days I have supper ready and on the table when my husband comes home from work. (I always do meals under 30 minutes and rarely follow a recipe). There have been a few times though that my stress level is through the roof, baby is crying and supper isn't ready when he walks in the door. I try to give myself grace, and my husband does too. It is OKAY. Nobody is going to starve.
Preston will eat another 4-5 ounces of homemade baby food for supper. We are starting to introduce table foods, so depending on what we are having for supper, we might give him part of our supper instead of his pureed food. I try to give him a little something to chew on while I am eating, typically some sort of bread. Again, this is just a little bit of self care. As mothers we make many sacrifices, but let's not make more than what we have to :) Sometimes he is really hungry or fussy and I feed him first, but most times a little bread will give me enough time to enjoy my meal. Once I am done, I will feed him with a baby spoon. We do family devotions at the dinner table. Many times that is while I am feeding Preston his food.
6:30- Family Time
While Preston is still sitting in his high chair, my husband and I start cleaning the kitchen. I typically put things back in the fridge, clear the table, and put leftovers in smaller containers. My husband normally washes the dishes. (When I make supper, I play this game of "how few dishes I can use". Normally, there are 2-5 dishes that he has to do) If it is bath night, I give Preston a bath while my husband finishes the kitchen. I am so thankful that I have a husband that helps out around the house! I still do the majority of the housework, cleaning, and taking care of the baby, but he helps out whenever he can! It really takes team work, whether or not you are a working mom!
After supper I will normally nurse Preston again and then supplement with formula. We have chosen to give him formula before bed since he was a newborn. I have had some problems with my milk supply, but that is a whole other story. Preston is in a great mood, the house is pretty clean, and the three of us get to spend the evening together. I love this part of the day! Sometimes that means we go on a walk. Sometimes my husband and I work on the computer while Preston plays. Sometimes we all just lay on the floor and have fun making the baby laugh. No matter what we are doing, we are together and I love it!
8:00- Bed Time
Preston normally goes to bed really easily. It becomes pretty obvious when he is tired and we need to put him down. This bedtime can vary anywhere between 8:00-9:00. Because his nap lengths are varied throughout the day, his bedtime is affected by that also. Instead of looking at the clock, we just watch his behavior. He lets us know when it is time for bed.
9:00- Our Bed Time
We try to be in bed by nine so we can get the recommended 8 hours of sleep. Now that summer is here, it is a little harder to go to sleep so early. Many nights, especially on the weekends, we do stay up later because we were watching a movie or TV show.
Wow, you have made it to the end! I hope that you enjoyed your walk through our day with us.
It might just be luck, but I had such a great labor experience! I spent a ton of time researching ways to prepare for labor and they really proved beneficial. With that being said, sometimes things come up that we can not plan for. Your labor story might be completely different than mine. You might try these things and they might not work for you. I am just sharing what I did for my first pregnancy and it seemed to help so much that I will definitely be doing them again for our second!
I cannot say this enough. YOU NEED TO WORKOUT WHILE YOU ARE PREGNANT! At least 5 days a week you need to do something active. I know a lot of times throughout pregnancy we feel tired and lousy and the last thing we want to do is workout, but it will make you feel so much better in the long run! Having a strong heart and strong muscles will make pushing feel easier and in many cases go faster!
I knew that labor was going to be very intense. As with any race or major physical event in life, I decided I needed to "train" for labor. I decided I would take those nine months to prepare my body.
There are many prenatal workouts that you can do. Swimming and walking are great options! I bought a membership to Beachbody on Demand and loved it! If you haven't heard of it, it is basically a "Netflix of workout programs". I highly recommend it! There are a couple of different programs they offer that are specifically designed for each trimester.
Make sure you check with your doctor before you start working out!
2. Educate Yourself
There are so many resources out there to help you learn more and prepare for labor. Many hospitals offer childbirth classes. My husband and I bought an online birthing class through Lamaze. It was so helpful that it was online and we could do it when we had time. It was very outdated and definitely not enjoyable. I think that there are other programs out there though that would be better. There are a TON of videos on Youtube for free that we found very helpful! I LOVED watching Sarah Lavonne's childbirth videos. She is a doula and is so knowledge and fun to watch! Another doula I found very helpful on Youtube is Bridget Teyler. I learned so much from both of these women and highly recommend them to every first time mother!
3. Perineal Massage
I had multiple people tell me that this really made a difference in their labor experience. I did some research to see if it was worth it. I read multiple articles and watched multiple videos to teach myself how to do it properly. Starting around week 35, I tried to do these massages 4-5 times a week. The female body is complex and I am not sure that I was doing it completely correct, but I told myself a little is better than none at all. It was not painful, but not comfortable. I would break 1-2 Vitamin E capsules and use it as a lubricant for the massage. You can also use coconut oil.
4. Evening Primrose Oil
Make sure you talk with your doctor about this one too. Some say that it can help induce labor naturally. I started taking it to prepare my uterus for labor. They also say that it can start thinning your cervix in preparing your body for labor. Evening Primrose Oil is something that I started taking orally and used vaginally at 36 weeks. Sometimes I would break the capsule open and use this for my perineal massage. Again, make sure you talk to your provider as this might not be safe for everybody.
5. Eating Dates
I had never eaten dates before in my life, until I was 35 weeks pregnant. I had read in multiple places that dates help prepare our bodies for labor. They can aide in a natural induction for us and ripen our cervix, getting it ready for birth.
I thought they are healthy and decently inexpensive so why not give them a try. I ate six dates a day. Unfortunately, I didn't love them, but I made myself eat them. I would eat 2 at a time three times throughout the day. They also aided in constipation and energy! This is definitely something you should try out!
6. Raspberry Leaf Tea
During the last trimester, I started drinking Red Raspberry Leaf Tea. This tea can strengthen the uterine wall and decrease labor time. I I drank 1-2 cups a day, but they say you can drink 1-3 cups. Many people start drinking Red Raspberry Leaf tea during their second trimester.