This is actually an idea that we got from one of our commentators who had just become a dad for the first time; to do a post about a typical day in the life of new parents. So what would a typical day be for a new parent of an infant who is say 8 weeks old?
A parent who is constantly learning new things about nurturing new life, dealing with sleeplessness and swinging between frustration, irritation and delight constantly?
We are presuming that this is a new mother who has the luxury of staying home with her baby at least for the first few months of life. So she probably gets up to a lusty cry from baby who is now hungry and is demanding a feed. Barely awake and distinctly bleary eyed, she starts to breast feed the baby, who mercifully shuts up the minute he latches on.
Meanwhile the mother looks at the clock and realizes that it’s time to get up any way and there is no time for any more snoozing –
so what if baby had her up three times in the night once at 12 because he needed a snack, then at 2 because he wanted to coo and gurgle for a few minutes and then at 4 because he had a bowel movement.
A frantic morning
Baby wanted only a snack and he’s fallen asleep at the breast.
The mother thankfully and gently returns him to his cot – the diaper is reasonably fresh and should last for a while; meanwhile she can get on with some chores.
She hops in the shower for a much needed shampoo and scrub – there are still some residual remains in her hair from baby spitting up late last night. She just has time to start a laundry cycle and to grab a wake-me-up cup of something warm, when that little voice indicates that someone is up and wants company.
A special smile for mommy
As he sees that special face, he breaks into a smile – it could be random but mommy likes to think it is a special one just for her. The morning suddenly looks bright, cheery and wonderful. She spends some of the best, most precious moments of the day chatting with baby, some gurgling, some drooling and lots of cuddling.
After a bit the mother decides she needs to change and freshen up baby; deciding to just give a sponge today rather than a full bath. When she starts to dress him she finds to her horror – this was the last diaper she had.
Unscheduled trip to the store
Running out of diapers is undoubtedly and emergency and a quick trip to the store is unavoidable. She loads baby into his car seat and sets off. On the way she remembers that she has had no breakfast – oh well never mind. One the way back, baby has mercifully dozed off and she has time to fix herself a good brunch.
Baby wants company
It is now past noon Baby is up now and is ravenous. A long feeding session ensues followed by the inevitable bowel movement and there is more changing. Mommy thought she would catch up with friends on Facebook and so on but baby wants company.
He is not content with the little mobile over his cot. Finally he tires and wants a nap, and after much rocking and soothing he settles.
Mother longingly thinks of joining him but there are several chores that need doing, so she is back to work.
Mommy is worried
When baby wakes up he has the hiccups – feeding, burping, nothing seems to work, and the hiccups go on.
What could be the reason? Mommy is now anxious – she calls up her husband who reassures her – dad read that hiccups are normal and nothing to worry about; they subside on their own.
She is relieved, but still decides to do some checking on the net.
So with baby in her lap she proceeds to surf the net for information and in the bargain catches up with friends and checks comments that friends and family made about baby’s pictures. It is a gratifying new minutes as she reads comments about how adorable baby is.
She wants to make sure that there is a nutritious and filling dinner after the impromptu brunch so baby is now in a sling while mommy fixes supper. This is followed by another long feed and a small nap. Mommy smartly grabs the opportunity to get a small nap herself.
Longing for adult conversation
Baby’s been good as gold all day but when daddy gets home mommy is desperate for some conversation, particularly conversation consisting of words and not gurgles. Baby is still napping so there is time for a nice chat. But baby decided that the new parents have had enough time for themselves. He lets out a wail and then proceeds to cry his lungs out.
By now the parents know that this is his evening bout of colic – he has it at 7 each evening and they could almost set their watch to it. They try to soothe him as best they can but he cries heartrendingly for fully 25 minutes before the herbal remedy that the pediatrician recommended has its effect.
The parents make a discovery – baby is most comfortable when laid stomach down across the knees. Finally baby passes some gas, and seems content again but is now very hungry indeed. Supper has to be postponed in favor of baby’s feed.
Then the parents have time to eat, and baby is quite content to be present in the kitchen while his parents eat, crowing with delight when he sees his favorite rattle.
He is just learning to grasp but cannot do it very well and he drops the rattle right on his face, much to his own consternation and proceeds to cry in pain – the parents don’t know whether to laugh or to commiserate with their clumsy little infant.
The parents are sleepy themselves but baby is bright as a button. Some more playtime, a change, a long feed and baby finally settles for the night. The parents agree that this was a really good day, and keep their fingers crossed about the night ahead.