Getting your baby on a schedule is one of the best things that you can do for both you, your baby and your family. Your goal as a mom is to be able to manage your baby's day so that his or her needs are being met. I'm going to show you exactly how to do that today.
Please note: For this lesson I will be referencing the book "On Becoming Babywise: Giving Your Infant the Gift of Nighttime Sleep" by Gary Ezzo. If you would like to see other books that I recommend for new moms, you can check out my resource library.
I highly recommend purchasing the book as there are so many moving parts to getting your baby on a consistent schedule. No time to read the book? I totally get it. You can also listen to it on Audible. AND if you're a first-time user, you'll get a free 30-day trial and you can listen to the book FO' FREE. Sign up for your free trial here.
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MANAGING YOUR BABY'S DAY
Why You Need To Get Your Baby On A Schedule
What if I told you that it was possible to get things done around your home and not be totally worn out from having a newborn brought into your life? This is just one of the many benefits of having your baby on a schedule. A schedule will not only afford you time to manage your home well, but it will also increase the overall well-being of your baby.
Babies thrive off of routine. They love to know what's going to happen next and don't like for things to look different everyday. Introducing a schedule to your baby early in their life will create a healthy foundation for you to build off of as you continue to meet the emotional, physical, and spiritual needs of your baby.
Identify The Elements of Your Baby's Day
There are 3 main aspects of your baby's day that I would like to highlight. Those 3 aspects are:
- Feeding - The times where you are feeding them. This will include nursing, bottle feeding, family meals, etc.
- Wake Time - The time that is spent when they are awake. This will include diaper changes, play time, bath time, running errands with parents, etc.
- Sleep Time - Naps and bedtime.
All of these aspects are key elements to your baby's day and all of them require attention and priority.
Track Your Baby's Patterns
The next step you're going to do is track your baby's patterns. In order to do this, you'll first need to download your baby schedule planner that has a template where you can write down all your baby does in 3 consecutive days.
When tracking your baby's activities you're going to write down what time they wake up in the morning, what time they go down for bed, what time they take their naps, and what time they are eating. I recommend doing this for 3 consecutive days because by Day 3 you should have a general idea of what your baby typically does on their own.
Create Your Baby's Schedule
Next, you're going to create a schedule for your baby. To make things a lot easier for you, I've created a post where I've written out sample schedules that you can use as a guide to create your baby's schedule. These schedules were adopted out of the book, "On Becoming Babywise: Giving Your Infant the Gift of Nighttime Sleep" by Gary Ezzo. I've found them to be a really, really good guide for creating a schedule for Judah and most of the time he fell write on schedule with what the book recommended. You can view the schedules here.
Once you've tracked your baby's day you'll have a great idea of when they typically fall asleep and when they eat. Now that you know these things about your baby, you can start to plan their day and also certain events around the times they'll be eating and sleeping so you can be as productive as possible in your home.
Know When To Be Flexible
It is possible to be flexible when you have your baby on a schedule. The main thing I want to highlight is the importance of establishing a consistent routine for at least 2 weeks. This will not only help you, but it will be extremely beneficially to your baby. By about 2 weeks in, their bodies and minds will have adjusted to the schedule, making more room for flexibility.
Keep in mind that when something is flexible, it returns back to its original form. So with that being said, it's okay to be flexible 1 or 2 days out of the week or maybe you're traveling with your family. Keep in mind that you should be returning back to your original schedule after the changes have occurred. Establishing your baby's routine must take place first, before you introduce flexibility.