This was how life with a newborn was described to me at my prenatal class for DS1. You have 24 hours in a day. This is an example of crazy early baby days.
- Baby needs to feed 8-10 times a day, needs changing etc, and each feed time takes around an hour. I have shown this time allocation on the graph with yellow.
- You need to sleep 8 hours a day. This time is dark blue
- You need to eat. You’ve got 30 minutes to make and eat breakfast, 30 minutes to make and eat lunch, and 1 hour to make and eat dinner. No time has been allowed for snacks. This time is green
- You need to exercise 30 minutes every day. This is dark pink
- You need to clean the house as usual, plus all the copious amounts of washing that babies create. It’s not just them that need to be changed 3+ times a day – you won’t believe how much bub will spit up / wee / poo on you – and then of course you’ve got the leaking boobs on top of that. All this is to be squished into the allocated 2 hours per day. This is orange
- You need to have a shower and get dressed. You have 30 minutes. This is light blue
- You will have visitors. You have 1 hour – broken into two 1/2 hour sessions This time is light pink
- You need to spend time with your partner. You have 2 hours. Your partner may be exhausted due to broken nights sleep, and want to go to bed early. Therefore this time can be used for more cleaning, or for yourself. Or maybe you would like to educate yourself on how to care for your baby. This time is light purple.
Please take into account that the time allocated for activities is completely up in the air – it depends on your baby. You may have a baby that has colic and screams for 5 hours straight in the evenings. You will have family and friends who want to visit and see your bub, and it is basically guaranteed that they will stay longer than 1/2 an hour every time. And I am sure that I have forgotten things off the list. I know that I didn’t have that much time for cleaning in the early days – it just kept piling up. And while this is all going on, you need to recover from birth.
But, even though you have interrupted sleep, no time for yourself, and soooo much washing, babies are such a blessing. Have fun!
For hints and tips on how to deal with visitors, see After the Birth: What a Family Needs.
For hints and tips on how to recover from birth, see Recovery from Birth
Oh, and please don’t think I’m dictating a schedule of how your life should be after a baby! This is just meant to show how you only have so many hours in a day, and a baby eats them all up!