How important is it to get your child on a schedule? Well, if you want raging infant, I would say it’s pretty dang important. Babies need sleep. LOTS of sleep. I’m no baby raising expert, but I can tell you from my own personal experience that if your child doesn’t get enough sleep, exercise, stimulation, and attention- they are raging beasts and they will let you know all about it. Even in their first year of life. Who the heck do these little humans think they are, ruling our lives like they do?! I read so many articles, and did so much research on this topic, but I decided to try a schedule for myself. Obviously not everyone can do the same things, and not every child is the same- but this is what worked for us. Keep in mind, I’m also still pretty much exclusively nursing my daughter, and she eats about every 2.5/3 hours. I fit those feedings into this schedule too. You need to find a schedule that works for you!
Jamie is almost 4 months and this is her schedule:
Sleep- 9:30-10pm. Up again around 2-3am/5-6am. The times she is awake is solely for nursing purposes. She will nurse (dream-feed) and go back to sleep right away.
Awake- 6:30-7:30/8am. Nursing/Feeding. This is a great time to use your play mat, or for tummy time. I’ve found that my child likes to stretch and wiggle in the morning, so getting her wiggles out on her play-mat is ideal. This also gives me time to shower, shave, and just starting trying to look like a human again.
Nap- 8am-9am. This is usually while I am sitting at the computer working on things, or eating breakfast in the morning.
Awake- 9/9:30-noon. Another feeding time. This again is a good time for her bouncer, play mat, tummy time. I will also read a book or 2, let her watch something visually stimulating, or play with her toys. I use this time to help with sensory learning, and just talk, sing, dance, and play.
Nap – 12pm-1/2pm. Feeding before nap. Also a good time for me to sit, have lunch, and accomplish tasks that need to be taken care of. I also use this time some days to let her nap in the car -seat while I’m running errands. She is good at sleeping in the grocery store, or Hobby Lobby, wherever I need to go.
Awake – 2-3:30/4pm. Feeding again. More play time, book reading, learning and development.
Nap – 4-5/5:30pm. I will nurse Jamie to sleep, and let her sleep in her crib during this nap. I will start prepping dinner, tidy the house, dust, finish laundry, or tackle any tasks that have been left from the day before/current day.
Awake- 5:30-7/7:30. Once she is awake, I use this time to begin cluster feeding her for night-time. Husband is usually home by now, and he is able to help. He will spend time with our daughter, and I am able to complete dinner, get some sanity back, and get myself ready for the next day.
Nap 7:30-8. This little siesta is only for the purposes of eating dinner. We usually put Jamie in her bouncer chair and she will doze off for a little bit. I will wake her up and allow her to play, and bathe her, and get her ready for bed after I’m finished with dinner.
Awake until bedtime.Still continuing to cluster-feed as best as I can until it is time for bed.
Any other ideas on schedules out there that could be helpful?