Tuesday, September 4, 2007

:: Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? ::

Um, so, I don't know how to ask this. It's embarrassing on the level of being thirteen and having to ask your mom how to insert a tampon. You feel like you're supposed to know, right, but the instructions in the box seem so confusing. And here I am, parenting without instructions. So my question is this:

What do you do with a baby all day?

Now that Evan's sleeping way more at night (ten to eleven-plus hours a night for the last seven nights!!!!!) and less during the day (three or four hour-or-less naps scattered at intervals throughout the morning and afternoon), I find myself befuddled. He's ten weeks old, so it's not like he's got all that much he wants to do other than (a) look at me then smile, stick his tongue out, coo, or grunt, (b) look around whatever room we're in, and (c) look at his favorite toy. Oh, and eat. But all that looking around has got to get boring, right? Sometimes we get in the Baby Bjorn and do some chores, but honestly, I can't get all that much done while wearing a 12 pound baby in front of me. Maybe I've got short arms. Most days, we go for a morning walk. But other than that and the occasional errand or playdate, we do this:

Wake. Change diaper. Feed. Burp. Feed some more. Burp some more. Stare at each other while Evan's in the upright position to avoid spitting up. Lay on the floor and stare at each other, and at Evan's toy, some more. We often do about ten minutes on his tummy (less if he keeps rolling over and I get tired of/feel bad about rolling him back onto his tummy) and up to half an hour on his back (this is also known as Photo Shoot Time, as my Flickr pics attest). Rock. Read/sing. Swaddle. Sleep. Repeat.

Am I missing something?



a. pinkroom September 5, 2007 at 3:48 PM  

My friend Neal, whose son is 8 months old, calls this the "blob stage." He says they get much more exciting in a few months. My mother (who does Early Head Start 0-3 years) would say you are doing exactly what you should be doing. Go Julie! Maybe you should take more pictures (the silly and embarrassing kind) that you can use as blackmail when he's 17.

Christina September 5, 2007 at 4:42 PM  

Yep, you're doing all the right things. It's a little boring at this stage - they don't need a lot of stimulation yet, but they still need a lot of your attention, even if it's just staring at each other.

I'd recommend taking him out to run errands. Go to the bookstore, a coffee shop, or somewhere interesting to you. He'll find the change of locale interesting to look at, and you'll both enjoy the time out.

PS - That's awesome that he's sleeping so well!

bubandpie September 6, 2007 at 8:20 AM  

It's a comparatively short window, actually - after a few more months, you'll have to start organizing around nap schedules, figuring out places to go where he can crawl, play with toys, etc. Enjoy the freedom - go to Starbucks, go shopping...this is a really expensive stage, actually. It's cheaper once you're stuck at home twice a day for naps.

Tere September 7, 2007 at 10:26 AM  

When Max was around that age, I was still napping whenever he napped. Also, I could NOT stand being home all day, so I would run errands, stroll around the mall, etc.

Otherwise, not much else. There was lots of me sitting in front of the TV with a baby attached to my boob.

Julie September 7, 2007 at 11:01 AM  

Thanks, all, for the reassurance. It's funny because I am actually much happier, most days, when we just stay home. Taking Evan on errands feels very limiting because he's good in the car but impatient and fussy in stores. Sitting in a Starbucks would turn into me sitting there with my finger in his mouth or pacing from bathrooms to front door, which seems like a drag. At least at home I feel like we have options, things to do and look at, etc. But I guess this is probably because I've been a Ph.D. student for four-plus years now and am very used to ten-hour days at home all alone. (See my January 2006 archives...)

Toni September 9, 2007 at 4:47 PM  

I agree with the other comments. There just isn't a lot to do at this stage. I did want to comment on the Baby Bjorn though. I too loved the idea of wearing my baby but couldn't reach around well enough to actually get very much done. I was much happier once I discovered the ring sling. It was a little daunting to use at first but having baby to the side instead of right in front worked much better for me.