Quarantine life is hard. I know you feel it too.
In the first few weeks I found myself binging on both Netflix and potato chips, grieving all my cancelled plans and really struggling to adjust to my new “normal”. With so many changes coming so suddenly, my life felt out of control, and the Virgo in me was ill-at-ease. Each Sunday, I’d check my calendar for the week and feel a surge of anxiety at the vast chasm of nothingness ahead. Eventually I was pulling the sheets over my head every morning, dreading the terrifying start of another day.
It was time for a change. I made a commitment to pull myself together and break through this bleak existence. No, I’m not planning on running a marathon or losing 30 pounds or becoming a professional chef. None of us need that kind of pressure right now. But I am planning on getting through this with my mind, body, and spirit in tact. Below are the strategies and schedule I’m using to get through quarantine with baby.
Tips for Quarantine Survival
- Change scenery frequently.
- We change up our location as often as we can. You can find us in the nursery, living room, kitchen, front yard, back yard, or playroom depending on the time of day. I keep different toys in each room so there’s always something novel to play with.
- When you go for walks, try to change up your route every so often.
- Get outside every day.
- This is non-negotiable. Even if there are torrential storms all day, find that 10-minute window when you can get out into the fresh air.
- Move your body.
- You don’t have to take up a new HIIT program. But DO move your body every day in a way that you enjoy. Walk, run, do yoga, or sure- do something more intense if it brings you joy.
- Try something new.
- It may be difficult to do this every day, but try to do something new as often as you can. Have fun with a new play idea for baby or a new recipe, workout, book, or TV show for yourself.
- Video chat with a friend or family member.
- One exception to the “no screen-time” rule for babies is interactive video chat with family and friends. Schedule in a quick call every day to keep in touch with loved ones.
- Rotate toys.
- Don’t keep all of your toys out at once. Choose a few select items that baby enjoys, and put the rest in a closet. Each week (or every few days) assess what baby has grown tired of and swap it out with something else. The novelty will keep them engaged, and eventually they’ll be excited for the old toys again.
- Read before and after every nap.
- I know my baby is most willing to sit and read a book with me when he’s a little sleepy. Otherwise, he’s on the move! Plus, this equates to about 30 minutes/day of well-spent time.
- Follow @musicwithdrew and @babyplayhacks on Instagram.
- Music with Drew does a free music class on Instagram Live every weekday at 11:00am. You can watch any time that’s convenient for you, and all the songs are fun and interactive. If you’re concerned about screen time, just flip the phone so baby can’t see the screen. We love to take our instruments out and dance and sing along with our pal, Drew.
- Baby Play Hacks is constantly coming out with new sensory play ideas to try with babe. I also appreciate that so many of them are taste-safe for those who are still mouthing everything, like Alden, who has developed a troubling appetite for dog kibble….
Our Daily Schedule
- A couple important things to note:
- I am not a child development expert, a baby sleep expert, or really any kind of expert at all. This is just what works for us based on our lifestyle and Alden’s needs and preferences.
- Alden is 10 months old. Older and younger babies may need more/less meals and sleep.
- Not every day is exactly the same, and that’s okay. This is just a rough outline of what our days typically look like.
Bottles (x4-5)= Blue
Solids (x3)= Red
Sleep (2 naps + bedtime)= Green
*** I know I’m the luckiest woman on Earth, because my husband wakes up with Alden most days so I can get a little extra rest and take care of myself in the mornings. What exactly they do, I don’t know and I’m not about to intervene.
Video call with Grandma in Connecticut
|9:00||(Small bottle if Alden is still hungry. He can eat A LOT in the mornings!)|
Swing & play in FRONT YARD
|11:00||Music with Drew in NURSERY|
|12:30||Play in PLAYROOM|
Play in BACKYARD
|5:00||Mom cooks dinner |
*** Usually, John is able to help out while I cook. Otherwise, (depending on Alden’s mood) I’ll either babywear or he’ll play in his Jumperoo, on the kitchen floor, or in his highchair.