Lately, Hannah Mae has been trying to set her own schedule, which is great because I'm terrible at trying to make her follow a schedule, but I do think she needs some predictability in her days.
We usually get up around 8-8:30 and have a diaper change and breakfast. She sometimes falls right back to sleep after this, but some days she'll want to play for a half hour before her first nap. She naps for about 45 minutes to an hour and is awake for her second breakfast or elevenses. We have another diaper change and put our clothes on for the day before eating and then we play.
So, playing for a 4 month old seems like it would be mighty boring to me, but apparently it's super fun to watch your mobile spin, listen to mommy sing and dance around, sit in your bouncy chair while 'talking' to your blue owl, and play in your new exersaucer (which does look kind of fun, actually).
Sometimes she'll cat nap before her next meal (lunch) which is usually around 1-2.
After lunch, we read or she plays on her floor mat and 'talks' to the strange looking octopus hanging over her head. Sometimes, the crazy octopus head with dangling arms makes her mad and she yells at him a little bit. That's something new she's starting doing and it's really entertaining listening to her yell. It's this fake mad (or maybe it's real) yell that usually turns to real fussing to be picked up and cuddled. We also try to do tummy time after lunch settles in her tummy. She doesn't always like it and is still not rolling over consistently, but she's getting a lot stronger and loves the new freedom she's found.
She usually eats every 2-3 hours during the day, so we're still going strong at about 6-7 feedings per day. We haven't started rice cereal or anything yet. I'm planning on waiting to start solids at 6 months and skip cereal all together. She has her 4 month check up next week, so I'll consult her doctor about it then.
In the afternoons we do a little playing, reading, cat napping, and sometimes we'll take a walk with daddy. Around 4pm, she eats an afternoon snack and then she'll usually go down for a nap for about an hour. I try to organize my thoughts on dinner at this point, but sometimes I just sit on my butt for a few minutes and veg out. When she gets up from her nap, I try to finish up dinner while she plays in her exersaucer in the kitchen. This new toy has been such a helpful tool for me and we've been eating more healthful dinners because of it. Around 6-7pm, we all try to eat dinner and then wind down for the evening. Hannah has been very clingy with me at night lately and won't let Chris hold her for very long before she starts fussing, and then all out crying. Evenings around here have been full of cuddling, reading, and watching something fun on Hulu.
She still has a fussy time during the evenings, but usually it can be solved with some nursing/cuddling. She starts to put her sleepy face on around 8:30-9 and at that point, we have our last diaper change and put our pajamas on. She usually nurses to sleep around 9-9:30 and is down for the night. (This is clearly not always how our days go- case in point: last night, she wouldn't nap at her normal 4-ish time, so instead she took a big nap at 6 and then wouldn't calm down for her normal bedtime, so she was up until 11.)
Hannah has been sleeping through the night for over a month now. Occasionally, she'll wake up at 4am or 5 or 6, but mostly she sleeps all night. Her little internal clock is set for around 8am though. It's so funny- no matter what time she gets up in the night, she'll still wake up for her 8am feeding.
I have no idea if I'm doing her a disservice by not having a more rigid schedule, but it seems to be working well. I read in a child development book yesterday that babies aged 4-7 months should be napping twice a day for 1-3 hours each, and then sleeping at least 8 hours at night. Um, there's no way Hannah would take a three hour nap. It's a good day if she'll nap (on her own) for one hour!
I still let her catnap on me in the afternoons. It's one of my most favorite things in the world. I love nursing her to sleep and then cuddling her in my arms or on my chest. If I have to put her down to sleep (other than her morning and late afternoon nap), she'll wake up exactly two minutes later. But if I hold her and let snooze on me, she'll get a good hour of sleep in. It's a lovely way to spend your time. Though, admittedly, it makes doing laundry and other chores hard. It all gets done though. Maybe not right away and maybe not exactly how I wanted it done, but it does get done- at least the important things do anyways (my house hasn't been dusted in about 3 weeks, but that's okay). And this is more important anyway...
notice the strange octopus head smiling down on her
So, that's how Hannah Mae spends her time. Lots of eating, sleeping, playing with mommy and daddy, with a little fussing thrown in because, well, she's a baby and that's what babies do.