Some mommies have their baby on a schedule from day one, others never put baby on a schedule- I fell somewhere in between. I didn’t want to put him on a rigid schedule where o was fighting to put him to sleep when he wasn’t tired or forcing him to participate in tummy time when he wasn’t feeling it. Instead I let him determine our schedule for a few days, then I came up with a plan that had only a few adjustments to help us stay on track. Here’s the schedule I followed and how you can create and transition onto a schedule:
Creating the Schedule
Let your little one take the lead for two or three days and just take notes- When are they eating? When are they sleeping? What times of day are they most alert? Getting a basis of what your baby is already doing will help you create a schedule specific to their needs. Basing your schedule off of their natural routine will help make the transition easier.
Write out a Plan
Get a plan going based off of both babies and mommies needs- also take into consideration when you will be going back to work and what the schedule will look like then. Try to make the transition between the two schedules minimal.
What you think might be the perfect schedule could turn out to be a battle between you and baby. Don’t get disheartened, stay flexible and make adjustments where necessary.
Transitioning to the Schedule
Be consistent with Morning Feedings
The best way to help your newborn adapt to a new schedule it to be consistent in your morning routine. Even if your baby ate 30min ago, go ahead and feed them at the Wake Up time you are aiming for, eventually they will naturally begin to rouse and want to nurse at this time.
Map out Night Time Feeds
Plan for night time feeds working backwards from the wake up time. I set alarms for these times and I would wake August up for a diaper change and feed. After about a week he was naturally starting to stir at these times and was no longer waking up an hour before it was time to start the day.
Engage in play
Even when your baby is a newborn you can engage in play with them. Talking, making faces, playing with their hands or feet are all ways to connect and engage your baby. During their alert times it is important to engage them so that later they are tiered and ready to sleep.
Create nap-time routines
There is no way to ensure that your baby also goes to sleep when you would lie for them to or that they eat a certain number of naps a day. My son went from sleeping all the time to fighting to see if he can make the whole day on one twenty minute nap. Your baby will have good days and bad days when it comes to napping, but creating routines definitely helps. When my baby was a newborn I used a similar blanket to swaddle him each nap-time and I would walk around bouncing him. After he fell asleep I would then lay him down. This is the routine that worked for me and eventually when I would start walking he would get settled much sooner because he knew it was time to take a break.
Here’s the Schedule I followed with Baby A: