Baby's perfect day
Eat, sleep, play, repeat. What REALLY makes the perfect day for all babies out there?
When you think about what goes into a baby’s average day, it might not seem like very much. Wake up, eat, play, sleep, wake up, eat, play, sleep, wake up, eat, play, milk, bath, sleep… or something like that anyway.
If only it was that simple!! The fact is, the mood at wake-up times, the amount of sleep had, the success or otherwise of the eating bit and the added extras like going out, meeting people etc, all add up to billions of possibilities for how the day will pan out. Days can be blissfully straightforward or mind-bogglingly difficult.
Fred has reached an age now where you have to throw his personality into the mix as well. His moods fluctuate just like anybody else but there are a few things guaranteed to bring out the smiles. So here is how the key bits of Fred’s perfect day might look...
1. Wake up around 8am surrounded by all of his favourite toys
This does happen and chances are, if it does, you’re in for a day towards the easier end of the spectrum. We’re often woken by the sound of him chatting to himself or giggling as he plays with Eric, George and the gang.
2. Drink a full bottle of milk
Another key indicator for whether it’s going to be a terrific or testing day. He’ll normally chug at least 200mls in the morning to set him up for the day. If he doesn’t, or if he’s whinging while he tries, reach for the hard hat and strap yourself in.
3. A) Play time
If one and two have gone well then three is a doddle. Fred loves his toys, in particular his stacking cups and his ‘Dear Zoo’ wooden shapes. Throw in a dog to torture and a mobile phone to destroy and play time can be so rewarding for all parties. As Fred approaches his first birthday his play is getting much more intelligent and it’s just wonderful to see him trying to figure stuff out.
Or B) Swimming
If it’s during term time then Fred loves nothing more than to go for a swim! His little face in the pool is an absolute picture!
4. Morning sleep time...zzzzzzzzzzz
This is vital for both Fred and for us. An hour to have a tidy and take the weight off is just enough to recharge our batteries. We had been letting him sleep in his pushchair but we’ve just started making sure all sleeps are in his cot. I’m hoping that’ll pay divdends when he’s a bit older.
A testing time for all concerned. Fred has never been the best eater and often prefers to feed the dog or re-colour the carpet rather than feed himself. If I’m being completely honest, I don’t always enjoy the feeding bit. If he’s in a good mood and you’ve selected the food wisely, it’s a piece of cake… if he isn’t and/or you haven’t, it’s anything but. Favourites for that perfect day would be pasta with tuna, cheese and peas and yoghurt with mango.
6. Play time pt 2 – walking the dog/trip to the swings/play in the paddling pool!
In Fred’s perfect day there would be a trip to the swings, a long dog walk and, on a hot day, an hour or two in the paddling pool. In practice there isn’t always the time or the suitable weather for all three… in fact, sometimes there’s no time for any of them! He seems to enjoy it more, the higher and faster he goes on the swings, so much so that we’re planning on buying him his very own set for his birthday. But he’s equally happy in the pool or watching Bodie chase his ball. He sits in the backpack as we walk and I can just hear him giggling away to himself.
7. Afternoon sleep
Before you have a baby, you don’t quite realise how important this bit of the day is to your life. We’ve found that if he has a good hour or so in the afternoon, bedtime and the evening will be fairly straightforward. If something disturbs him and he doesn’t get long in the afternoon, it means getting him to bed can be challenging!
8. Play time pt3!
Mood-wise, this is where Fred’s day will peak. Post afternoon sleep he’s full of the joys of spring so we often head out for a/another dog walk or if the weather’s dodgy, play with his toys inside or chase him around the room. The boy never stays in one place for too long. He’s not walking yet but he can crawl at an incredible rate of knots so you have to have eyes in the back of your head.
After night-time milk, a story and playtime in his cot, the perfect day ends with a relaxing bath. It’s not so relaxing for mummy and daddy at the moment because Fred has just figured out that it’s hilarious to tip a cup of water over the side of the bath all over us. He’s also really into splashing which is brilliant to watch, but must be enjoyed with the appropriate waterproof clothing.
10. Off to Bedfordshire
After a busy day, Fred’s head normally hits mattress at about 7.30ish, depending on the success of seven and nine (above). I appreciate that this isn’t the case for everyone and we do know how lucky we are but he normally has a little wriggle, chats for five minutes and then drifts off into a deep sleep, all ready to start all over again the next day.