Wednesday, December 22, 2010

New Baby Advice - Establishing a Schedule

You might start to see a schedule form early on, but generally I would not worry about it or even look for it until sometime between 3 and 4 months. And even then, you will have to go with the flow because baby will do something to "mix it up" daily or weekly. Or you might have two similar schedules that vary only slightly, depending on when baby wakes up every morning.

Your goal in life after baby is born is to work towards getting him/her to sleep through the night. So, you want to try to feed baby 6 times during your wake hours and twice overnight. And ideally, that first middle of the night feeding will disappear, followed by the second.

And, once baby is sleeping through the night, you have graduated to what one friend calls "The Blockbuster Phase." This means that you can watch a movie on the couch after baby goes down without falling asleep ten minutes into the film!

Here is a schedule that worked for me:
7am - nurse/formula8am - nap #1
10am - nurse/formula
11:30am - nap #2
1pm - nurse/formula
2:30pm - nap #3
4pm - nurse/formula
5:30pm - nap #4 (usually very short and maybe even just 30 minutes in the swing)
7pm - nurse/formula
8:00pm - bedtime!
10pm - nurse (dream feed - take baby out of crib while still asleep and get a few ounces in her. Don't wake her, burp her or change the diaper unless it has poo.)

This is a rough guideline, meaning that he might wake up at 6am and then you adjust everything. Or maybe his middle nap goes until 2pm, so that 1pm feeding is at 2pm. You can push everything slightly or cram nursings by doing them every two hours to get caught up.

And then, as baby gets older, you eliminate feedings. At about 6 months, I did cereal at 10am instead of nursing. I did this because I noticed baby was not nursing much at the 10am and 1pm feedings. He would continuously get distracted and probably only nurse a couple of minutes each side. So, for about 10 days or 2 weeks, I pumped at 10am and gave him just cereal (to make sure it wasn't just a phase.)

Bottom line - every baby is different, so don't stress the day-to-day.  Just look at the overall picture, what baby does most of the time.  And remember that the newborn phase is the shortest phase of your child's life!  GO WITH THE FLOW!

Easier said than done, right?

No comments:

Post a Comment