Today’s day, life is busy! After having a child, sometimes you may feel like you can’t do anything or go anywhere, because everything is narrowed down to a strict schedule.
It doesn’t necessarily have to be that way, but it’s also good to keep your newborn on a schedule. It just takes getting used to juggling life and getting other things done.
After first getting home with your baby, just rest! Nothing is more important right now than enjoying time with your baby and resting your body. Ask people to help you if there are things that can’t wait. Take your time getting out and about. These precious times go by quickly, so enjoy cuddling on the couch with your newborn.
When I got home with Kate I had to determine what schedule was going to best suit us. I found myself on Pinterest (like I always do for any ideas) searching for schedules and the quickest way to get my child sleeping through the night. I asked several experienced mama’s who had their kids sleeping through the night quickly and a lot of them all had different ways of getting there.
I found the E-A-S-Y method on Pinterest and decided to try that. I’ve mentioned several times already that Kate was a pretty easy baby, so whether this would work on every baby, I don’t know. But I think its worth a try.
E- Eat >> When your newborn wakes up in the morning feed them. Don’t let them fall asleep while nursing or drinking a bottle. You want to teach them that when it is time to eat, that is what they are doing. Babies will start to fall asleep, so just rub them or gently bounce them to keep them awake until they are finished eating. We all know how tired we get after eating a meal and getting full. In the beginning, this might take them about 30 minutes, if nursing. If your baby is getting enough to eat during each feeding, you should be able to go 3 hours in between each feeding.
A- Activity >> Once they are finished eating, continue to keep them awake and play with them for about 45 minutes-1 hour. This allows their food to settle and really get tired. It also teaches them that eating is not a way to fall asleep.
S- Sleep >> Now it is time to put them down for a nap. I recommend not letting them sleep on you all the time. I know you want to just stare at your baby while they sleep.. I did and loved it! But I didn’t do it every time. Lay them down in their crib with something that gives them security(Kate’s was a blanket her Bomy made her) and makes them feel cozy. Hopefully your baby will sleep about 1-2 hours.
Looking back at pictures, she slept on me a lot 🙂
But she slept in her bed too and looked so tiny in that huge crib!
Y- You >> While they are sleeping, this is your Y-O-U time. Take a nap yourself, get some chores done, catch up on some TV shows, watch a movie, read a book, anything that allows you to relax for a little bit.
Once they wake up it should be about 2 1/2 hours from the time you started feeding them and now the cycle repeats.
This is your routine all day on repeat!
Once it is time to start your bedtime routine, follow the same pattern. Feed them an hour before their bedtime, give them a bath, put their pajamas on, read them a book, anything that is quiet and winding down for them to get ready to sleep through the night.
Kate slept through the night at 6 weeks. She was a great sleeper from the beginning though. She normally woke up every 4 hours to eat and then go back to sleep.
I had her bedtime at 9:00 p.m. I know that sounds late, but at the time I was working until 7:00 p.m. and I didn’t want to come home from work at the same time she was going to bed, so we started her bedtime routine at 7:30- 8:00 p.m.
I put her down at 9:00 p.m. and she would wake up anywhere between 2:00 – 3:00 a.m.. I would get up, nurse her for 15 minutes on one side, burp her, change her diaper, 15 minutes on the other side, burp her, and put her back in her bed. Then she would wake up anywhere between 6:00 – 8:00 a.m. and repeat that same pattern. (I still wanted to sleep in for a little bit lol)
At about 3 – 4 weeks she was only waking up once around 4:00 a.m. to nurse and then go back to sleep until about 9:00 a.m.
By 6 weeks she was going to bed at 9:00 p.m. and waking up around 9:00 a.m.. Sounds pretty good right? I got my night feeding routine down to about 20 minutes each time and I was back in bed asleep.
When we first brought Kate home she slept on her changing pad on the floor, because originally we were going to put her straight into her crib so we didn’t buy a bassinet. My mom and sister suggested doing that, because it forces you to get up and focus on feeding rather than nursing in and out of sleep, for both you and your baby. But once I had Kate and saw how little and cute she was, I was like “I just want her to be a little closer” haha!..
So that’s what we did for the first week, and then when Joel went back to work we felt comfortable enough and trusted the monitor to wake us up when she made a noise ha! During that first week, I tried getting her and putting her in bed with us while I nursed her, and of course I would fall asleep so her feedings lasted about an hour and a half! I didn’t really sleep great during that time, because I was so worried I would suffocate her while feeding.
So after that first week, I got out of bed and sat in a rocking chair to feed her and put her back in her crib and I went back to sleep. By doing those things, I felt a lot more rested in the morning and didn’t feel a great need to have to nap during the day unless I just wanted to.
Thankfully, I never had to let Kate cry herself to sleep. I don’t know if I could have handled that. Most of the time, I enjoyed getting up in the middle of the night with her. There was something so peaceful about the world being quiet and it was just Kate and I spending a little more quality time together.
There are situations that may happen that don’t allow you to keep this EXACT schedule. That’s okay! Don’t worry about it. Enjoy what is happening, and get back on your schedule when you can. Don’t lock yourself up in your house to keep your child on this schedule either. Get them out and about, have fun, and go with the flow!
Leave a comment below, sharing your experience of scheduling and how you got your baby to sleep through the night! We can all learn from each other. Who knows, I may need a COMPLETELY different plan for the next child!