Saturday, July 19, 2014

Getting baby on a schedule: "A Slave to the schedule?"

At 12 weeks we have a  pretty consistent schedule thankfully. I have been asked many times "isn't it a pain to have the baby on schedule? Doesn't it make you a slave to the schedule?" 

My answer is yes. and no. 

The schedule allows for me to know when my baby needs what he needs. 

Now before you start thinking "He's a baby, you cant tell a baby when he's hungry or tired, he just is!" ...hear me out.

To implement a schedule you need start with the basics for an infant. You know a newborn cannot go more than 4 hours without eating, therefore they must be woken up to eat. You also know that a baby NEEDS sleep. If you have a baby like my little guy who hates to sleep and has a serious case of FOMO, then you know you need to put baby down for naps to teach him to sleep. 

Believe it or not, these basic principles are the building blocks for a schedule for baby.

At 3 months old I know Hunter needs to eat about every 2.5 to 3 hours. As the day progresses he needs to eat closer to every 2.5 hours (I believe a moms milk supply isn't as plentiful in the late afternoon and early evening as it is in the morning.) Therefore, all my feedings during the day will be spaced out like this:

3 month old Feeding times:

10:45pm (wake him up for dream feed)

In order for baby to have a full and satisfying feeding, a great nap is a MUST! How much sleep your baby needs will really depend on your baby. Like I said, Hunter does not require much sleep only sleeping about 12 hours a day total. Some days he's more like 13, other days he's more like 11 1/2 hours. Regardless, a great nap will naturally follow a great feeding and adequate awake playtime. 

3 month old sleeping schedule goes as follows **(note nap times vary from 40-70 min for Hunter)

7:45am -8:45am morning nap
10:45am -11:40am late morning nap
1:25pm -2:10pm early afternoon nap
3:50pm -4:45pm late afternoon nap
6:50pm -7:30pm evening nap
8:45pm down for the night until 6:30am (dream feed 10:45pm)

The next phase of sleep training will be to eliminate the Dream Feed. I have not done this because of my milk supply issues ( click HERE to see Low Milk Supply post) so I will have to maintain this 10:30pm feeding for a little while longer until I can be sure that Hunter is getting adequate milk calories AND that I am getting enough feedings in to keep my milk supply where it should be. 

So for now, I am a "slave" to the dream feed, but its necessary so I make the sacrifice of 
sleep for a little while longer. Its only for a season and its an important investment into 
my little ones life!

It's no secret that with this schedule I am home mostly all day everyday. When we have our outings I still try to stick to the schedule as best possible.

For example we had a play date yesterday where we went on a short walk to one of our favorite coffee spots. Me and the other momma arranged for this to be done at 9:00 am. Hunter had just woken up from his nap. So we walked there and got to the coffee shop and made it back in time to feed him at 9:30. That way baby schedule is not compromised and this momma got her much needed coffee fix! Now I know this isn't always feasible, I mean life happens and you can't always keep the little ones on the regime, but we stick to it as much as possible.

Please remember this is my style of parenting and everyone will do things differently! You need to do what's best for YOU and your baby.

Shoot your questions to