I know there have been several posts about daily schedules here, but I thought I'd ask my specific one anyway. The background info: DH and I both work out of the house. I usually pick up LO from daycare and get home around 5:30p, and DH follows maybe around 6p. Currently LO is 6 months old, and his bedtime is around 7p. When we get home, we usually play a bit, give him a bath, read, nurse, bed. Then DH and I make our own dinner and hang out for the evening. LO hasn't started eating solids yet, but we plan to over the weekend. Here's my question:
How do you fit in a family meal in the small window between arriving home from work/daycare and your LO's bedtime routine and bed? We want to start having family meals (even if he's just playing with food at first). Sadly, I don't have magic elves to make dinner appear as soon as we walk in the door.
What do you do?
ETA: I'm exclusively breastfeeding, and we're planning to do baby-led weaning if possible. Don't know how the schedule will also work when taking that into consideration. Solids are more for play now than anything.
pomegranate / 3388 posts
We have a similar schedule. DD comes home from daycare around 5:30, and at 7 we start bathtime and bedtime. For now she still eats baby food, and we don't do a meal with her before bedtime. (She eats solids 2x per day at daycare, although soon we really need to think about upping her to 3x per day.) Once she starts eating regular table food, I'm not sure what to do. We're rarely ready to eat our own dinner before DD goes to bed, so either we need to change our own eating habits, or DD will be stuck eating dinner on her own until she gets older and has a later bedtime. I am also curious as to what others do...
pomegranate / 3008 posts
My son is almost 2 years old and I still struggle to get a meal on the table for all of us at the same time. We still feed my son first and feed ourselves most often after he goes down for bed by 7pm (used to be 6pm). I have the most success with items that need to marinate overnight (prepare the night before and toss in the fridge) and can then just be thrown on the grill with some steamed vegetables and a salad or beans on the side.
GOLD / eggplant / 11517 posts
Do you have a crock pot? Dinner is ready as soon as you walk in the door when you use it
grapefruit / 4110 posts
This is a fight me and my husband have been having. Since little man has moved to one nap a day, he really needs to be in bed at 7 pm. But in reality he doesn't go down until 8 or 9 pm. It's just the way the cookie crumbles. Sometimes he eats on his own and we eat later, or we get takeout so we can all eat together. It isn't ideal, but I work nights often anyway so we don't really get that evening together.
grapefruit / 4717 posts
@highwire: yup, we have a crock pot. That means I need to be organized enough in the morning to set everything to go. Would prep the night before, I suppose.
@brownie: Really want to be able to eat as a family. Baby gets really tired by around 6:45. And we're not really hungry enough to eat at 6. We may have to look into 2 dinners or have apps w baby and dinner after he goes to sleep.
@pelikila: This is what works for us while I've been nursing now. He eats first then we do. I could try some sort of marinade. I'm just so exhausted by the time I get home.
@skibobrown: It's hard to figure out so many logistics!
hostess / wonderful persimmon / 25556 posts
@pregnantbee it is so hard. We get home at 5. I try to get dinner on the table by 6. If I make something, it's easy - chicken with rice and a veggie. Meat with potatoes and a veggie. Stir fry, meatloaf, one pot meals are all super fast to make. I'm not one to talk because I haven't cooked in forever. Know what we've been having for dinner? Frozen dinner meals that have everything in them. Healthy.
Anyways. We put lo in her chair at 6. She gets purees or now is playing with soft solids like sweet potato strips. I cooked a couple of sweet potatoes last weekend and froze them. I just pull them out, defrost in the microwave and then refrigerate for a few minutes if they're hit from the microwave. I am dealing with this one day at a time. If I start worrying about what we'll do when she is eating real meals, my head might explode.
I hear you on the exhaustion. That's why I've been resorting to those freezer meals but we can't feed them to her. Thinking of dinner timing... can you eat lunch earlier so you're hungry at 6?
cherry / 222 posts
It is hard!! My husband and I get home at 6.30 and we start bedtime routine at 7:15. I'm not willing to spend those 45 minutes in the kitchen instead of playing with my 9 month old. Sooo my husband and I eat some of our daughters food. We sit around the table and all munch on sweet potato, avocado, etc. Then we make ourselves a proper dinner after she goes to sleep. Hopefully when her bedtime gets later we can all eat a proper meal together.
grapefruit / 4717 posts
@mediagirl: Thanks so much for your reply. It definitely helps to know that I'm not alone. We have to be better about shopping and planning out our meals.
We'll start trying to put LO in the chair around 6, too. We're slooowly starting letting him try foods via Baby-Led Weaning. Will see how it goes. We're gonna try sweet potato strips today! So excited. Will also think about my own dinner timing -- I'm just hungry all day usually. I think selfishly, I like eating with DH alone after son goes to sleep b/c it allows me to relax and for us to reconnect. Will figure that out, too.
@merriment: Thanks for your reply. We'll prob. end up doing the same thing