Baby life – Routines and Rituals Pt 3 – The Thick of It, weeks 12+

At this stage, both of us are back to working full time and Siena has entered daycare full time from 8-5pm.  Fortunately we have a daycare down the street from our house that makes it convenient for both of us to and from work.  Because we’re both working, we have a routine and a bit more sanity during the day (overnight is still a joke).

Here are some quick hits on things we’ve introduced to help with food, cleaning, organization and just keeping things in order.

Daily Routine:

6am-7am: I usually get up with Courtney around the same time.  She spends the first 30 minutes with Siena getting her breakfast while I get coffee and oatmeal going.  Once that is ready to go I begin packing lunches.

8am: Daycare Dash, one of us makes sure Siena gets there.

5pm : Daycare Dash, one of us makes sure Siena gets picked up.

5-6pm: If we’re both home it’s less stressful because Courtney is normally chomping at the bit to see Siena and get some baby time in.  That gives me an opportunity to prep dinner or on occasion hit the gym and be home by 6:30.  If the weather is nice we get out with the dog and Siena and go for a walk around the neighborhood.

6pm-7pm: Courtney feeds Siena consistently around 6pm, so that she is ready to eat again around bed time from 7:30-8pm.  **Special note we recently introduced actual food, which add to the mix  at 7pm.  Follow your doctors suggestions on tackling this.

7pm-8pm: This is when I’m watching Siena exclusively so that Courtney can prepare the bedrooms and begin getting ready for the next day.  May include her getting a shower, setting up the noise maker in the bedroom or humidifiers based on weather.  But it’s a break for her and an opportunity to prepare for the next day if needed.

8pm: Courtney gives Siena her last feeding before bed, hoping it ties her over for awhile and helps  to put her to sleep. This process normally takes around an hour before Courtney resurfaces.

8pm is another opportunity for me to catch up on home front activities.  This is a great opportunity to revisit blog post #1 and #2 of the Rituals ;-).  CLEAN!!  One thing in particular that’s new is I’m usually loading and unloading the dishwasher.  I also have a lot more cleaning of baby bottles nightly now.  Courtney pumps throughout the day and needs clean bottles, plus the dirty bottles we provide daycare need washed so I make sure everything is cleaned and sanitized during this window.  I’m usually sitting pretty good by 9pm or as late as 9:30pm if I also take a crack at meal prep for the next day or week.

Yes, this picture is from a single child, and a single mother.  Organized by an OCD project manager father.  😂

Usually by 9:30 we have a glimmer of hope to watch a episode of whatever trendy series we are currently into, such as House of Cards, Orange is the new Black, Homeland, Blacklist, Game of Thrones, any excuse to chill.  Occasionally I stay up later than Courtney but that’s only because she takes on the burden of 95% of the nightly routine due to feeding (or we watch a scary movie).

Meal Prep Ideas and Suggestions:

  • Breakfast: Batch cooking Steel Cut Oats.  This is an easy thing to nuke in the morning for a minute and a half, add some almond milk, nuts, raisins, and honey and your good to go for the morning.  This helps both of us squeeze out a few extra minutes of sleep and Courtney can be eating while nursing Siena in the mornings.
  • Lunch: I meal prep lunches for both of us.  Costco is my go-to for a variety of nukeable dishes, carrots and hummus, sandwiches, etc. Couple pictures below for reference of some ideas.  Courtney is busy with the baby in the morning and she doesn’t have time for lunch at work due to pumping so this helps her get through the day.
  • Dinner: Again, most people don’t consider Costco as a one stop shop but I really do. I’m pretty comfortable getting everything from ready made meals to meats and products for home made chili and other things easy to cook in bulk for the week.  That way Sunday when things are less stressful I can get in front of the week and cook a few batch items.
  • Courtney Approved Snack: One thing I fix for Courtney often are these “bars” that are designed to help her milk production while she is pumping and busy at work.  She eats a couple of these a day as snacks usually while she is cramped up in a dedicated pumping room at her office.  You can mix these by hand with a big spoon or in a blender (I prefer Kitchenaid mixer!).
    • Ingredients:
      • 2 Cups Old Fashioned Oats
      • 1/2 Cup Ground or Milled Flaxseed
      • 3 Tablespoons Brewers Yeast (go for 4 if it doesn’t bother you)
      • 1 Cup Peanut Butter, or Almond Butter, or a fancy Costco Variety
      • 1/2 Cup Honey
      • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla
      • 1/2 Cup Dark Chocolate Chips
      • Occasionally I add some shredded coconut flakes!
    • I typically make a double batch and once mixed, stick it in a 11×13 glass pan.  Once cooled you can cut up and put in zip lock bags (2-4 small squares/day).

Don’t be like this :

Key Baby Stuff that gets us through the days:

  • Baby Swing – This continues to be a mainstay until Siena starting being able to flip from her back to stomach.  Then she quickly became less interested with this.  If she is really tired occasionally she is happy using it.
  • Baby Bouncer – This is in our bathroom, it helps when we’re solo getting ready in the morning to keep her in place and entertained for short periods of time. Its cheap and compact so I’m not tripping over it too often.
  • Baby Jumper – Siena can play in this for 20-30 minutes at a time and be completely entertained. It’s great if you’re cooking or cleaning at the same time.  They have several different models and designs.  We have one in our living room and another one in our office because they are a little difficult to move through doorways.
  • Chew Toys are excellent entertainers, I hate to admit it but she still seems the most entertained with mauling the feet of Sophie the Giraffe.  She has not started to teeth yet (approaching 7 month at this point).  I’m sure we’ll fine other toys to accommodate that phase soon enough!
  • Side note- she is already incredibly fascinated by all things electronic, and we don’t even give her anything! This includes TVs, cell phones, and Apple Watches.  If you look away for even a minute she is randomly sending messages to friends, so be careful!
  • Dr Browns Sanitizer, I use this a couple times every night to sanitize bottle and Courtney’s pumping accessories. 

Fortunately weekends I have a little more time to catch up on life when baby is sleeping throughout the day!

Good Luck,


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