I'm becoming a dad. Parents, what is your daily routine?

I am becoming a Dad!

I am interested in learning what other Indie Parents have done to work around the extra time constraints a newborn baby poses.

What's your routine? Or perhaps you don't have one and work on an ad-hoc basis. Either way, I'd love to know.

  1. 4

    Early on the only routine that matters is your baby's routine. Once you nail that, it will create the space to think about other things.

    The times when you can do extra work will vary depending on their age / sleep / feed routine. You'll just need to feel this one out.

    I've got three kids all under 4. It's very easy to be hard on yourself about not moving projects forwards when you're on IndieHackers watching everyone nail their side hustles.

    The reality is that having kids is amazing. And your kids and your partner need your support. Plus it's super fulfilling being a rock for your family when they need you.

    Your side hustle time will come, just take it slow, manage your energy and if you're like me, put your family first until you have more capacity.

    Be open with your immediate and extended family about the things you want to achieve and they'll help create the space for you too.

    As others have said, once your family routine kicks in, use early mornings, late nights and holiday time to push things forwards and be super disciplined about your focus.

    Massive congrats and best of luck! Feel free to reach out for support!


    1. 1

      Thanks for the advice @mikeyh. Will definitely focus on babies routine first. "use early mornings, late nights" seems like a good way forward, I have noticed a few of my colleagues using slack at ridiculous hours once they had newborns.

  2. 4

    Learn to be ok with whatever experience your child brings. Each child is different. Parents across the world struggle and pull their hair out, but often don't talk about it.

    One of my kids struggled to get to sleep on his own, often I would stay with him to help get to sleep him until he was 8.

    Another one wouldn't leave my side for the first full year. She pretty much cried at everyone else. She would not sleep without being by my side, or being pushed in a buggy. When she turned one she changed over night and has been the best sleeper since.

    My almost 3 year old still wakes up most nights and demands me. Only me. She has bad dreams. She also refuses to eat anything that is green.

    My 5 year old is turning into a vegan. Help.

    My 9 year old will eat anything. Brussel sprouts, blue cheese, you name it.

    My 15 & 16 year olds are still a pain in the butt. 🤣

    1. 1

      Wow! Thanks for your insight, Rosie. This is a reality check for me. I don't yet appreciate the road ahead of me.

      From what I can tell so far, it's a constantly evolving set of problems & challenges with great ups & downs along the way, but an incredibly rewarding experience overall. Much like starting a business or a side project 😂

      I guess I will find out in the next 8 weeks.

      1. 3

        Yup, I pretty much feel unqualified all the time. As soon as you start to feel comfortable life throws in another curveball just for fun! 😬

  3. 3

    Hi Dan -

    First off, congrats! It is a wonderful albeit challenging first few weeks. My wife and I just had our baby boy going on week three now.

    There really is no semblance of a routine. It's even harder since my wife breastfeeds every 2hrs or so. Babies are antithetical to routine at least until 3 months old. My best advice would be to have a small hit list of your single most important task for the day.

    Then when the baby is down for a 2hr nap, hit that sucker as hard and furious as you can - total ninja focus. Because you just don't know when you'll get that quiet and calm again.

    1. 1

      "hit that sucker as hard and furious as you can - total ninja focus" → Love it!

  4. 3

    One thing I started to accept since I am a father (of a currently 8mths old) that you need to be flexible with your routine, welcome change and accept things as they are.

    The reason is simple: They grow too fast. As soon as you get used to your babies "routine" or think you have established a sort of routine, they already changed. Just when me and my wife got used to three naps a day, he started to begin to nap only twice a day. There seems to be a big change in behaviour every few weeks, especially in the first year. They might be asleep for most of the day during the first month, but than start to demand more and more of your attention as well during the day. So what works in the beginning might not work afterwards, and so forth.

    Fixed schedules don't work for me neither. The days do have a rhythm, but it usually slowly shifts between 1 and 2 hours forwards and backwards during the course of a typical week. (So on a Monday bedtime might be 6 pm, while till Friday it has shifted till 8 pm). So setting "fixed" hours (as something I liked to do before) makes little sense right now.

    That being said this is what worked for me so far:

    First few weeks (4-6): Forget about work at all. You really don't want to put any more pressure on yourself beside what you are already going through. I only started to get back to work once I felt "settled" and confident enough, which was around 6 weeks. That was as well when we kind of figured out how to get him and have him stay asleep and when he started to sleep more consistently through the night. (Which is indeed something you should work towards first).

    Afterwards I tried to work during naps (if I wasn't in charge of "safeguarding" babies sleep) and especially at night (from 7 to 11pm). Which is weird because before the baby I used to get up as early as possible (6am) and have the most productive hours early in the day. Before I usually required as well at least 8 hours of sleep per night, but now try to get away with anything between 6 - 7 hours plus a short nap during the day while the baby sleeps as well.

    1. 1

      Hey man, really appreciate the great advice.

      This makes a lot of sense. I have had friends who have also turned into night owls after being "morning people".

      It's interesting because it seems to be productive with a baby, it's important to be good at context shifting. I normally need a few hours to actually get going into a task! So, this is something I'll need to focus on improving.

      1. 2

        I actually feel that I am almost as productive as before, the reason being that I really try to make every hour I have count as much as possible. So having a baby actually helps with focus and setting priorities. Context switching is always hard and probably the main reason why I can barely get any work done during the day, but only once the baby is asleep at night. So during the day I try to do busy work where frequent interruptions won't matter such as email processing or research. It's as well important to have everything setup so that once you have 30 minutes of "free" time, you can actually make use of them without having to think about what to work on next or loosing 10 minutes due to having to start up your whole development environment.

  5. 3

    Hey! I have three kids, just had my third a month ago. I've been refining my routine over the last 5 years.

    First and foremost, get your/the baby's sleep figured out. Once a good sleep schedule is in place, then you can start to reintroduce a normal schedule (can take anywhere from a week to several weeks, once they hit ~11 lbs they can sleep better through the night).

    I find that once you have children, when other people (kids + mom) are awake it's really hard to get anything done at home. I like your current routine of getting up early to work, but you might want to bump it up an hour to ~5 AM (depends on your situation, that's what I had to do). Then, obviously you'd need to go to bed earlier.

    I somewhat doubt your evening side project time will continue, unless your spouse is totally cool with having the child from 6AM to 6PM (very realistic that they'll want a break by that point), so keep that in mind.

    The last thing is, though you're having a kid, they don't take up a ton of time for the dad until they start walking/talking/playing. Then they want all of your time. So enjoy the first year!

    Lastly, if you can, at your day-job, consider possibly working on your side project during lunch time, as it is time you would already not be spending with your family.

    My routine as a full-time Indiehacker is:

    5AM: Wake.
    5:30: Write/side-project.
    7:30: Kids get up / breakfast.
    8: Take kids out to park/hike/swim/etc.
    10:30: Get kids home and get ready for the day.
    11: Leave for the day for work.
    4PM: Come home from work.
    5: Dinner.
    7:30: Start getting kids ready for bed.
    8:30: Kids are down.
    10: Bed.

    1. 1

      Thanks, that is great advice.

      I and my partner have actually just bought a few sleeping courses/routines to make sure we establish a routine early. I also currently work at home, so I may need to think about working in a shared space for my day job hours.

      I'd love to wake up at 5 am every morning. My only problem is occasion social events and unforeseen things, end in me having a late-night which tends to have a knock-on effect throughout the week. I will certainly give it a try though 👍

  6. 1

    I didn't have a routine until my daughter starting sleeping through the night, which was about 6.5 months old.

    And even still, our routines change.

    I'd share my routine, but yours will look nothing like it. However, the only thing I consistently do is that I'm awake before everyone else. I have at least one cup of coffee alone. It's lifes little luxury these days.

    My only advice to remain open and flexible. Don't set a rigid routine, otherwise you'll drive yourself crazy trying to stick to it...and give yourself a lot of grace.


    1. 1

      P.S. - I saw you made a comment on this thread about a sleep routine. Do you or your partner have Instagram? If so, follow @takingcarababies...she is an expert in sleep & routines for babies. We followed her teachings and still do, and my daughter sleeps 10-12 hours a night.

  7. 1

    Forgot to add, here's my current pre-baby routine (on a good day):

    • 6 am: Wake up
    • 6 - 6:15 am: Meditation
    • 6:15 - 8 am: Side project
    • 8 - 9 am: Dog walk
    • 9:15 am - 4 pm: Day job
    • 4:15 - 6 pm: Side project
    • 6 pm - 11 pm: Exercise, Food, Chill
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