Friday, January 24, 2014

How to Create a Baby Schedule



This is an easy way to create a sleeping & eating schedule for your baby. So grab a piece of paper & try your best to answer the 8 questions below. If you are pregnant and preparing to make a schedule, answer as if you have a newborn. The answers you write will be the info we use to make the schedule. I used my daughter as an example.



1. How old is your baby? 4 months
2. How often is your baby eating now? She can go up to 3.5-4 hours a day and a night she can be erratic, sometimes sleeping 8 hours, sometimes waking up 2 times
3. Based on their age, what is a time between feedings during the day you can aim for? 3 hours
 4. Based on their age, what is a time between feedings during the night you can aim for? 8 hours
5. What is your baby eating during the day? Mostly formula, just began baby food
6. What time does your Consistent Wake Time need to be (account for other children's routines, getting kids to school, getting yourself to work, your morning routine, etc.)? I would like it to be at 7am, so if I want to I can take a shower before and feed her before my other kids wake up.
7. Based on their age, how many minutes of waketime is ideal? 60-90 minutes- remember this includes eating time!
8. Based on their age, how many naps should your baby be getting? 3-4 naps


So based on the answer to #6, that will be the beginning of your schedule. 12 hours after that will be your bedtime. You take the answer to #3 and use that as your goal for time between feedings. And you use the answer to #7 to gauge how long after they wake up and eat, should you be looking for sleepy cues and putting them down for a nap.

Sample Schedule

Looking at it, it seems you have SO much going on during the day, how will you ever brush your teeth, take a shower, eat a meal? It all works out and the more you get them on your schedule- you begin to have SO much time for other things! (Ask my husband how many Pinterest projects I completed last year when the twins were on a similar schedule)

Now- there are many things to adjust for and you can tweak it to fit your schedule- but for about a week or two work really hard to get them on it. This will open the door to be able to schedule the doctor visit, lunch with friends, going out of town, etc. Those things will all be much easier to plan once you have a schedule to plan them around.

I'll be back with how to set the ground work for good sleep- no matter what it takes!

As always, leave a comment below!

35 comments:

  1. Hi Jackie,
    Thanks for creating this site. After reading the book, it's helpful to have some tips by someone who has actually used the techniques and can give advice. My question is, do you actually wake the baby up at the wake up times? Thanks again!

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    Replies
    1. Hey Jaime- sorry for just getting back to you! With my twins, I did wake them because I wanted them to be on the same schedule. With my youngest, I would try and stick to the schedule as much as possible and wake her during the day of she slept longer then 3 hours. I knew that if she slept 4-5, the night would be tough because she wouldn't be as sleepy. It just make logical sense to me- so that's what I would do (despite everyone looking at me like I was CRAZY!)

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  2. Jackie,
    Thanks for all the great info! My question: is it realistic to think that you can get a newborn on a schedule within a few weeks? I'm about to be a first time mom and TREASURE my sleep which is why were are only now having a baby when I'm almost 30.
    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hey Ariel- I totally get it. I was paranoid(!!!) about getting zero sleep when I was pregnant with twins. Realistic expectations now that I've gone through this process twice (twice & single baby) is that the first month is a blur. That's not too too much you can do to get them on a schedule. What you can do is make sure they are getting full feeds (bottle or breast) and try not to get into the habit of feeding them in order to fall asleep. Feed them a good full feed, play with them, put them to bed. If you can do that and only that the first month, you're in an awesome position to put them on a schedule at around 5-6 weeks. Let me know if you have any other questions!! And good luck, honestly, if you're getting a decent amount of sleep, you're set and life is amazing with a baby.

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  4. Hi Jackie,

    Thanks so much for posting this schedule. It mirrors my 8 week old baby boy. The only difference is that his bath time is around 7:30-8 and his feeding to go to bed for the night is between 8-8:30. His dream feed is usually between 11:30-midnight. He wakes up from 3:30-4. We have been on baby wise since he's been 6 weeks and he caught on very fast. He even wakes up from naps at the times that he's supposed too! It's nuts! He's swaddled and is currently eating anywhere between 4-5oz. These are my questions based on your experience:
    -How long do you swaddle your kids for?
    -Now what? He's on the schedule so what's next? How does he now sleep through the night. Do I eliminate the dream feed and then eventually he sleeps from that last feed to 7am?

    I just started keeping him up from the 4pm feed till bath time. I go back to work in 8 weeks so I want to try to my best to have him sleeping through the night by the time I go back. I recently started putting him in his crib for his day time naps so he could get used to that bed. Right now he sleeps in a arms reach co sleeper near our bed but its not connected. Also once they reach a certain age do you start to eliminate other naps to keep them up?

    Thanks a bunch! I really appreciate it :)

    Karina

    ReplyDelete
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