How We Do It

To answer Victoria's question, Zoe pretty much eats and sleeps when she wants to, but we have tried to follow somewhat of a routine.

When Zoe wakes up in the morning she gets her diaper changed right away. We go straight from the bedroom to the living room and sit down for her morning feeding. Usually, the first feeding wears her out and she fights off sleep until she's out again (swaddling helps this along). If I'm lucky, she'll take her morning nap until about 11am and I have some time to either make up for lost sleep time or sit in front of my computer.

Morning nap is followed by another diaper change and we dress her for the day. No more swaddling, her arms and legs are free to kick and push and explore. We typically do "lunch" and then she spends time "talking", smiling, laughing, posing for the camera, and staring at lights or at the sunlight from the window.

She likes to look at me very seriously when I'm trying to make her laugh and she giggles when I just talk to her and ask her if I bore her. Apparently, I am most funny when I am not trying to be. Figures.

We're basically "free feeding" Zoe after "lunch". We don't stick to an every 2-4 hours schedule; instead she is very clear about when she wants to eat by either rooting or crying. Afternoon feedings tend to be more like snacks, quick 10-minute meals instead of 20 or 30 minutes - or longer if she wants. She tends to take a late afternoon nap and wake up when Daniel gets home from work. This is perfect, because then she is rested and full of lots of smiles for him. She brightens up when she seems him.

Dinner is usually after we eat (unless she demands it sooner or we are going out to eat). Afterwards, she sits up and hangs out, watches DVD's, surfs the internet, blogs, what have you. We try to start getting her and us ready for bed by 9:30. We swaddle her for the night (tight, because she's Houdini) and then she gets another meal that (right now) 9 times out of 10 lulls her to sleep. I like to hold her until I feel like she is in a deep enough sleep that transferring her to her crib won't wake her. And then Daniel and I go to bed. Early. Like before 10:30 and on really exhausting days, 10pm because we never know when this sleeping through the night is going to end. Before last week, she was up at 2am every morning like clockwork. It was nice having at least 4 hours so we weren't complete zombies. Notice I'm saying we? Daniel has gotten up with us just about every time and has taken full nights where I just couldn't because I wasn't feeling well. He's awesome.

I'm sure someone will read this and think we're doing it all wrong. Maybe. We're not following what a specific book says to do. We just asked her pediatrician what she thought was best and she said to try letting Zoe guide us. Who better to know when she's hungry? She's certainly getting enough food (but not too much) and she's a happy baby. Oh, and her parents are pretty darn happy to be sleeping through the night. Works for us!

P.S - Happy Anniversary to my Mom & Dad! 33 years! Thanks for getting married and being so wonderful together and to your family. I love you.


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