Baby: Florence's 5 Month Routine

Up until around 4 months, Florence didn't have much of a daily routine and many books (and friends) say that it's difficult to establish one until 3 months onwards regardless. We have had a bedtime routine from when she was just a few weeks old but now her day is a lot more structured and I have to admit, I love it. I'm a big fan of routine and knowing what is happening when. And am also obsessed with hearing about other people's routines and what works for them with their babies.

Here's what a typical weekday usually looks like...

7am: Florence tends to wake up around 7 but it can vary between 6.30 and 8. She'll have her morning feed although if she's fed at 5ish she'll hang on until a bit later (she definitely doesn't need that 5am feed but that's a whole other story!). I haven't included her other feeds really as I tend to still feed on demand.

If Chris is working from home he will take her downstairs and play whilst I get some extra sleep. If it's just me we'll chill in bed for a bit before going down. She'll go on her playmat, or sit in her highchair and watch me unload the dishwasher whilst we listen to some music- 5 months old is great as she's so easily entertained!

9am: She'll be ready for a nap a couple of hours after she wakes up so we'll either put her in her swing chair, or put her in her cot for a sleep. She is having more naps in her cot now but the swing is handy for when we need her to nap before going out as she falls asleep more quickly. 

9.30-9.45: Her first nap of the day usually lasts between 30 to 45 minutes which gives me time to get ready for the day and have a quick tidy.

In the morning we sometimes go out to a class or to a baby group, or if we have a home day we'll just play on her mat, or in her inflatable play nest. She likes me singing songs to her and dancing too. 

12: Around midday she's ready for her big lunch nap which tends to be in her cot. For naps, I'll put her in her sleeping bag, I'll read her a book and then give her a feed to get her nice and sleepy. We'll put on some white noise (usually a fan or hoover sound!) and she's getting really good at settling herself to sleep. I find it fascinating to watch on the baby monitor.

1.30 - 2.30: This nap really varies but is generally between 1 and a half to 2 hours.

In the afternoon we will usually be at home, or will go to my parents who live down the road so they can play with her - they have two dogs and she loves watching them.

3.30/4ish: Sometimes she will need a third nap to get her through till bedtime - sometimes she'll just fall asleep on my boob and have ten mins there, other times she'll go in her cot for half an hour. We don't let her sleep past 5.

5/5.30: We have started giving her some purees so I'll usually give her one around 5.30 - sometimes I'll do this before her lunch nap. She is really enjoying trying everything - current faves are courgette and parsnip.

6 - 6.15: She is starting to get ready for bed earlier and earlier but we try and stick to starting the bedtime routine at 6ish. Chris will bath her (or I will if she's away) and she absolutely loves the bath - it's definitely her favourite part of the day. Sometimes we do some baby massage too. We'll then get her into her sleeping bag and read her a book (by this point she's usually so tired that she couldn't care less about the book!) before giving her a final feed and putting her down.

7: She's usually asleep by 7

Nights are a different game - wake-ups vary from 1 on a good night, to 4 on a bad night. We're trying to cut out feeds gradually so hopefully by 6 months we'll have her sleeping all night long (ahaha).

Daisy x

Baby: How Hypnobirthing helped my labour

As I mentioned in my birth story, during my pregnancy I bought the Positive Birth Company digital pack which is an online course all about hypnobirthing and as Siobhan says 'gives you the tools needed to create a positive, empowering and calm birth'. I was tempted to do a course but they were so expensive and I really liked the taster videos on Siobhan's YouTube channel. Both Chris and I watched the whole set of videos and it made a huge difference to how we felt about the birth and the birth itself. I think a lot of people think hypnobirthing is all about having a natural birth with no pain relief but it's really not, and is instead giving you the tools to deal with whatever happens - whether you are induced, go into labour naturally or have a c-section. I had gas & air and a water birth but would have gone for more pain relief if I'd needed it.

I thought I would share 5 points of how hypnobirthing helped me....

1) How I felt leading up to the birth - before becoming pregnant, I thought of birth as a really scary thing and didn't really know much about it. The course taught me all about the different stages of labour and what your body is doing and why (it's pretty incredible). It completely changed the way I felt about birth and I went from thinking I would have as much pain relief as possible, to wanting to do it with the least possible (which was a tens machine, gas & air, and the pool).

2) It gave me some great ways of dealing with labour - in a nutshell, the more relaxed and calm you are in birth the more helpful it is for your body as it is focusing on doing what it needs to. If you're feeling scared of it then your body will be producing adrenaline and taking away the blood from where it needs to go. The course gives you lots of ways of keeping calm and the ones I used most were the breathing exercises which I did for most of the 36 hours! It really helped to have breathing as something to focus on. I also found that because I knew what was happening with my body, I didn't freak out as knew it was all happening as it should - although I did have one panic during transition (which is when you move to the pushing stage) and said that I couldn't do it anymore! 

3) It gave my husband a role - Chris enjoyed watching the videos and it really helped him to know what was happening and what he could do to help me. He counted my breathing constantly and also knew how important it was to keep hydrated and to keep eating food. He kept making me drink water and fed me grapes to give me as much energy as possible.

4) It gave me a great birth preferences template - the template is brilliant and makes your preferences really clear. I just amended what Siobhan had used in hers so it saved me a lot of work too! The midwives commented on how helpful it was and once they saw that I read that I was doing hypnobirthing they bought a diffuser into the room, and also added some essential oils into the pool.

5) Access to lots of positive birth stories - when you buy the course you get access to the Positive Birth Company's private Facebook group which is filled with people's positive birth stories. I really enjoyed reading these and it helped put in a good frame of mind when thinking about the birth. I still like reading them now!

I hope you found this useful. For £35 the course is such great value and I think it's so worth a try, even if you just come away feeling more informed about labour! Do get in touch if you have any questions for me.

Daisy x