Scheduling Baby

I talked a few weeks ago about our “day in the life” and how I have been putting Miles on a schedule.  I know this is a pretty controversial issue since most physicians and experts say to feed an infant on demand and go by the baby’s cues.  However, from my personal experience, this is what has worked for us.  I also should note that I haven’t read any books on this, so I am really going off of what I have read on the internet and blogs and from prior experience with scheduling MacKenna.  Again, this is what works for me and my kids, but it might not be the right choice for you.

With MacKenna, I really struggled for the first 6 weeks.  My life felt like chaos as I tried to adjust to life as a mom with an infant.  I couldn’t seem to get things figured out and I certainly felt like I didn’t know what I was doing.  I believe it was Madeline who sent me a link about putting baby on a loose schedule based on the baby’s habits and cues.  I did a little more research and decided to try it with MacKenna.  All of a sudden, life felt much more calm.  I was happier, MacKenna was happier, and things fell right into place.

With Miles, I knew that I could not wait until 6 weeks to put him on a schedule.  Two kids is a whole different beast than one, let me tell you.  Plus, I strive off routine and schedules, as does MacKenna (hmmm, wonder if that is from putting her on a schedule so early on), so it was a non-negotiable.  As soon as we were home from the hospital, I immediately started our new routine.

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I first started him on the same schedule I had with MacKenna, but after a few weeks, it just wasn’t working for our family.  I would be feeding him at times when I needed to be doing something else, like cooking dinner.  So, I changed it up and it has been working great so far.

Our loose schedule pretty much goes like this:  eat, play, sleep, diaper change, and repeat, which for those of you who know, this is a Babywise schedule.  But, I will tell you that the only thing that is a guarantee is the eating time.  I try to keep him up after each feeding, which he is getting much better at, but the sleeping thing is still a work in progress.  He tends to be a cat napper, unless someone is holding him.  Ugh.  So, I spend most of that sleeping time either holding him or sticking a pacifier in his mouth every 5 minutes.  So, yeah, we’re still working on that.

Our schedule starts at 7 AM, although most mornings, Miles is up well before that.  I had been topping him off around 5:30 AM when he would wake up to hold him off until 7 AM, but I have figured out that if I wake up with him and hold him (or fall back asleep with him on my chest) he will fall back asleep.  (I should not that when I go back to work, I will be feeding him around 5:30, so this won’t be a big deal in a few weeks.)  So, we start at 7 AM and then I feed him every 3 hours.  10, 1, 4, 7, and then our lasting feeding is around 10 PM.  I hesitate to call this a dreamfeed because he typically wakes up for this feeding but goes back down pretty easily (although there have been nights when I’ve put him down, gotten ready for bed, and I’ll see his big blue eyes looking up at me, grinning).  He doesn’t wake up again until 2:30 usually and then again around 5:30, and our day starts all over again.  He’s gaining weight well (almost 4 pounds in one month), so 3 hours seems to be just about right – he usually starts getting fussy right around that 3 hours mark.

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So, that’s pretty much it.  I wish I could give you more insight of between feedings, but I feel like Miles is not exactly the priority during those times, unfortunately.  I would love to have his nap times all figured out (we’re getting there slowly), but when he doesn’t nap more than 20 minutes, I haven’t nailed them all down.  He does sleep pretty well during MacKenna’s nap time though, so that is extremely helpful!  And he’s sleeping at night in his crib now and is doing awesome as well!  I think I can deal with crappy naps during the day when he’s sleeping well at night (sorry Stacy – hopefully you can get him to nap better).

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Napping on the Boppy lounger.

Like I said, I know this isn’t for everyone, but it is what works for us, and has truly helped with my sanity and Kenna’s behavior.  You can find a lot more info by googling Babywise or looking on Pinterest.  (I have a few pins under my Baby #2 board.)  Let me know if you have any questions and I will do my best to answer them.  (I should also note that we won’t have as much of a schedule when I go back to work in a few weeks, so this is really only for when I am home full time with him.)