Sunglasses // Earrings // Sweater // Jeans // Wedges // Bag
Good morning everyone ! Totally taking this post a different direction today and talking about how to develop healthy sleeping habits in kids/babies. You may not know this about me, but back in the day when I was popping those little monsters out, I was the go-to on sleep advice from my fellow Mom friends, so I thought I would go back in time and dedicate this post to those that might need some guidance. I started thinking about writing this post a few weeks ago after offering my cousin some advice on getting her then 5 month old to sleep longer stretches at night.
Now if you are a “go with the flow” “let the baby choose the schedule” type of Mom ( I envy you) but just stop reading here! Ha! I seriously do envy all of you! I was not with the babies. I am a total schedule person, but I also didn’t want to be completely rigid like the book Babywise. Have any of you read it? It was definitely my guide, but I was not nor wanted to be that hard core. I do feel strongly though that our bed is for Mark and I and never allowed the boys to sleep with us when they were babies. From day 1 they were in a swing, pack n play, or the crib. Anyway, those first 2 weeks you get home you can’t go wrong so don’t stress about creating bad sleep habits or any type of schedule, just focus on getting to know your baby and lots and lots of round the clock feedings. After the first two weeks, you definitely want to begin trying to attempt some kind of schedule. I always woke them up during the day every few hours to eat. I cluster fed in the evening, meaning I would feed more frequently. Bedtime was always about 7:30. I would then feed them in their sleep at 10pm or 11 before I went to bed. At about 6 weeks old they would then sleep from that time to 5:00 ish am. At 5 I would feed, then put back to bed. Then I would always wake them up to start the day between 7am and 7:30. Starting the day at the same time helps you plan naps and feedings! For the first 4 months they had 4 naps a day. So a sample schedule –
7:00- wake & feed
8:00- 1st nap ( I fed them when they woke up from naps, not before putting them down for a nap)
10:00- wake & feed
11:00 – 2nd nap
12:30 – wake and feed
1:30 – 3rd nap
3:30 – wake and feed
5:00 – 4th nap
6:00 – wake and feed
7:30 – feed and then bed ( the only time I fed before going to sleep)
10:30 – Dream Feed ( I would usually pump this around 9:00 and have Mark go in and do this feeding. This helps make sure if you are nursing full time that they get used to taking a bottle) . I didn’t do this with Ely and he started refusing a bottle at 6 months… so that was no fun. I would not change their diaper unless I felt it was absoutley soaked. I highly recommend Huggies overnights when your baby can fit into them. We did not use Huggies during the day, but they make the best overnights hands down.
After that 4th nap is dropped at 4 months here is what our schedule looked like – basically everything just shifts. They still needed to have an evening nap.
7:00- wake & feed
9:00 – 1st nap
11:00 – wake and feed
1:00 – 2nd nap
3:00 – wake and feed
5:00 – 3rd nap
6:00 – wake and feed
7:30 – feed and bed
I stopped doing the dream feed at about 3 months old. They were at that point sleeping from 7:30pm to 5:00 am or even stretching longer.
You will go down to 2 naps around 6 or 7 months. There won’t be an evening nap just a morning and afternoon.
I hope this was helpful! Sleep is so important for babies developing brains (and parents sanity) so I just wanted to give you some insight on what we did.
Very wise and I did very similar! That’s why had the sanity to have three boys 🙂 xoxo april
Hi Jaime! Such an insightful post- thanks! I don’t have kids yet, but planning on it:) How would this schedule work if both parents work full time? I know whenever I have children I will get 12 weeks off for maternity leave, but then I am back to working full time and think it would be helpful if that kind of schedule you laid out could be consistent. Thanks!
Hi Megan –
If you get 12 weeks off that would be such a good start in laying out a great baseline schedule for whoever will be taking care of your baby when you go back to work. Whenever someone watched my kids I would right out the schedule for them 🙂