Friday, January 18, 2008

Getting a Consistent Schedule

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Many Babywise moms find themselves in a schedule where the baby gets up about the same time every day, and they follow the eat/play/sleep pattern, but the times of each nap and each feeding every day vary considerably. If asked, "What time does baby take a nap in the afternoon?", many moms will respond with, "well, it depends on what time he eats in the morning and how long his morning nap was..."

I was there. I understand it. I remember when Brayden was 4 months old and my parents were coming through town. because we lived in a studio-type apartment with no bedrooms (yes, I have great, understanding, and cooperative parents). My response was, "I don't know!" Naptime varied from day to day. It depended on how long his earlier naps lasted and how long he stayed awake. In retrospect, I was on a "pattern" rather than a "schedule."

As he got older and I got more experience under my belt, we did get a predictable routine to where he ate, slept, and played in the same hours every day (minus your typical disruptions). So how do you get there? How do you set a schedule? Here are some hints.

  • Pick your waketime. Depending on your baby, there may need to be some compromise between you two. Some babies are early risers, so mom is going to have to go with that. Others will sleep in a bit and you can choose the waketime better. I have one of each. Brayden (2.5 YO) has always been a 7 AM kid. In the winter I can get him to sleep until 7:15 because he rises with the sun. Kaitlyn (9 months) will sleep later. I have chosen her waketime as 7:30 right now so I can get Brayden fed before I get her up to nurse. Once she feeds herself and eats the food the family eats, I will set them at the same waketime. I will likely try to split the difference and go for 7:15. Your waketime is up to you (and baby). There is no right or wrong time. Keep in mind the number of feedings you want to get in and the bedtime you want so you can get the necessary feedings in before bedtime.
  • Pick your bedtime. Bedtime should fall naturally based on your schedule. Bedtime should be 10-12 hours before waketime. Kaitlyn's bedtime is 7:30. Brayden's bedtime is 8:00, though we start the bedtime routine at 7:30. 10-12 hours is the rule for sleep from your young baby on up to your toddler, preschooler, and older.
  • Once you have those two things picked out, stay consistent. Set your alarm if you have to so you can get baby up on time. Make the effort to be home in time in the evening to get baby down for bedtime. Remember, your schedule serves you, but it won't serve you if you completely ignore it--it will have nothing to serve! Sure, you can have days when you sleep in. You can have nights you all go to a friend's house and get home a little late. Just keep these as the exceptions rather than the rule. In comparison to your lifetime, your children are not young for very long.
  • Next, pick your feeding times. This decision might vary from your original goal after some evaluation. When Kaitlyn was first born, I did a 2.5-3 hour schedule. I started her at 7:30 AM. I knew I wanted her to eat at 1:00 PM because that is the start of Brayden's nap. He was not yet two and I wanted to be able to focus on Kaitlyn dudring each nursing as much as possible because she was so sleepy. My original goal was a 7:30 feeding, a 10:30 feeding, and a 1:00 feeding. At first, it worked great. After a few weeks, however, she started to need to eat at 10:00 instead of 10:30. After eating at 10:00, she could still make it to 1:00. I recommend that you write down the times you want baby to eat and shoot for that. You will, however, likely notice patterns in when baby can go longer between feedings and when baby needs the feedings closer together. Adjust as necessary. Write down the new times. Don't just think them in your head, write them down. This is advice given in every book in the On Becoming series that I have read thus far. In setting your feeding schedule, remember that combo schedules work. You don't have to be on straight 3's or 4's--you can do a combo.
  • Figure waketime. This will depend on your child. At 6 months, Brayden could stay up for 2 hours with no problem. Kaitlyn, however, couldn't go longer than 1 hour 15 minutes. Each child is different. Different times of day will have different waketimes, and that is okay. Both of my children had shorter waketimes before their morning naps than they had for the remainder of the day.
  • Next, figure out naptimes. By this I mean the time baby will go down for a nap. This will be dependent on a couple of things. One is how long baby can successfully stay awake. This means happily. It also means baby goes down for a nap and the crying (or lack thereof) is consistent and naptime length is appropriate. Another thing it is dependent on is the amount of time before the next feeding. Depending on your schedule, baby will sleep anywhere from 1-2.5 hours.
  • Write down all of your times.
  • Finally, and again, stay consistent. Remember that it is dynamic and will change as your baby gets older. Whatever schedule you are on, stay consistent. If you eat at the same time every day, you get hungry at the same time every day. If you go to bed at the same time every night, you get tired then. If you wake up at the same time every morning, your body does so without an alarm clock. Consistency pays off. You want to go by the time on clock as well as the hours that have past. If baby slept in that morning and ate a little later, work to get on the normal schedule by afternoon. Of course, we always are flexible and adjust the schedule as necessary when baby is in a growth spurt or is otherwise hungry.
Can you be a mom who says, "My baby naps at 1:00" with confidence and honesty? Yes! It will take time and consistency. I would commit to staying home for a week or two and really nailing the schedule down. You don't have to completely shut yourself in, but try to stay in and keep in mind you are helping baby get stabilized. I think Winter is a great time to do it because there is often not a lot going on, at least in my life.
Take note that these same steps can be followed for a consistent schedule with a toddler, also. I find it much easier to have a consistent schedule with a toddler than a baby, but perhaps that is because my toddler has been on a consistent schedule for over two years. The same importance is applied to waketime, bedtime, and naptime. I find mealtimes to be a bit more flexible, but try to keep them about the same time, also.
Reader Questions:
  • brisnicki said...
    Helpful post, thanks!My 11 wk old is on a 3-hour schedule starting 7 AM and ending at 8PM with a night feed whenever she wakes up. (Lately about 4-6 AM so I am thinking of adding 10 PM feed again). Other than that, our schedule is like clockwork and working great! My issue lately though is she wants to sleep longer in the arvo so when I wake her for 4 PM and 7 PM feeds she is still half asleep (especially 7 PM feed). I was going to try letting her sleep a bit longer at those naps - I usually put her down for 1.5 hour naps, was thinking of letting her sleep for 2 hours. What do you think?
    January 19, 2008 3:38 AM
    Plowmanators said...
    I am truly undecided. She is about to the age when you can start extending feeding times. You can always try it and see how it goes. If you did that for both naps, your last feeding would move to 8 PM, and that is why I am undecided. It could be a good thing because perhaps she would sleep a little later in the night (but also perhaps not :). I love having an early bedtime from the beginning because it is already there and you don't have to work toward it. If you think that is the best thing for your LO, do it. It usually doesn't hurt to try--though sometimes it can mess you up for a bit.
    January 19, 2008 5:14 PM
  • Krystal said...
    My daughter is 4 months old, and has been sleeping from about 10-7 for two months. Just recently however, she has started waking up at 5:30am, wanting to eat. I have tried to just leave her, but she won't go back to bed, so eventually I feed her. Then my whole morning is messed up. How can I get her to stay on the same schedule (7,10,1,4,7,10) if she doesn't get up at the same time every day? Sometimes she gets wakes up at 6:00am or 6:30. I don't know why she has started to wake up all of a sudden.
    January 19, 2008 6:47 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    Krystal--I have found that babies get hungry at 4 months. I have read a growth spurt happens. If you bottlefeed, you can try offering more formula. If you breastfeed, you can move to a 2.5 hour schedule for a few days to increase your milk supply. You could also talk to your pedi about starting solids. That would be my first guess, and remember, feed your baby if she is hungry. It is always okay to get off schedule to feed your baby if she is hungry :).
    January 19, 2008 9:09 PM
  • Kate said...
    Thanks for this very helpful entry. I read your blog almost everyday!I am definitely on a "pattern", but would love to be on a schedule.I look forward to putting the things you wrote about into practice this week. My son and I consistently start the day at the same time. I have goal feedings (about 3.5 hrs apart)-but the actual feedings end up being inconsistent. I am going to take your advice and keep a log in hopes of finding a schedule that not only works for me, but also for my son. The most challenging aspect of developing a schedule for me is napping. I still am struggling to get him to nap for longer than one hour. Reading your blog gives me confidence that one day my son will master the art of napping.Thanks again!
    January 19, 2008 8:05 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    Kate--good luck in your getting on schedule! Even just a pattern is great with BW, but a schedule is so nice!
    January 19, 2008 9:10 PM
  • Carlee said...
    I have just found your blog, and I am so grateful because I lost my copy of BW, and I am not sure what to do. I have a four month old girl, Tessa, who has never slept through the night. I started BW - eat, wake, sleep - after the colic ended at three months. She is awesome at following this schedule, and is currently on a three hour schedule. We start each morning at 8 and end at 8, however she has started consistently getting up at 12, 3 and 5:30am. I am going crazy with this! I have been successful in getting her back to sleep at two of these wake times without a feed, but I haven't been consistent in which ones. I guess I've been experimenting with which feed she could do without. I am unclear as to what feeds I should try to drop, or how I can go about getting her one step closer to STTN? Thanks so much!
    January 20, 2008 3:48 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    Carlee, my advice to you would be the same as to Krystal in the comments above. She may be hitting a growth spurt or just need more food in the day. I am amazed at how many moms have this "issue" arise at 4 months. It is very common. You might consider adding a "dreamfeed" around 10 or 11 PM to see if that helps. This is a feeding where you get her up, feed her, and put her right back down. Many babies don't fully wake up for this, but do eat. See my post to Krystal above. I am glad you have found this!
    January 21, 2008 10:21 AM
  • Mom2Cohen said...
    My almost four month old has been sleeping from 7:30 to 6:30 with one feeding at 2-3 for almost three weeks flawlessly. However, the last week he keeps waking up earlier and earlier. He is now waking up at 5:00. I am not sure how to fix this....should we just let him cry until it is "time" to get up? He doesn't seem hungry when he does wake so I still feed him at his normal time...which helps. However, I really want my mornings to go back to the way they were...any suggestions?
    January 24, 2008 5:15 AM
    Plowmanators said...
    Wow! I am amazed at the number of moms who find trouble at 4 months. If he isn't hungry, do you think he is cold? I don't know where you are in the country (or world), but I have noticed much of the country is quite cold right now. Or, he could be too hot if your furnace is kicking on more often since it is so cold.
    January 24, 2008 10:37 AM
    Mom2Cohen said...
    We keep a little thermometer/humidity reader in his room and it reads the same now as it always least within a couple of degrees.
    January 24, 2008 10:49 AM
  • bethers21 said...
    I could use any advice about what I should expect from a 4 week old. He is a major sleepyhead--I have to work over half of the feeding to wake him back up and then again after he is done. Fifteen minutes later, he is ready for a 2 hour nap after the majority of feedings. Does that sound about right? Also, how often, if at all, should I let him nap in a swing or while someone's holding him at this point?
    January 30, 2008 11:45 AM
    Plowmanators said...
    I still had to work really hard with Kaitlyn to stay awake at that age. 45 minutes of waketime (including feeding) would not be unheard of. My first was the opposite. I had a hard time getting him to sleep, so I much preferred the sleep-head way! :)I would avoid the swing unless it is necessary. I would also avoid being held to sleep as much as necessary. You can make exceptions, but be sure his routine is that he is usually in his bed. They can only bounce back if they have a place to go back to. If life was too random to start, they don't know where to go.
    January 30, 2008 7:06 PM
  • eva said...
    I have a 14 week old that is trying to sleep through the night. He was waking 4-5am, but has moved it to 6:30am the last few nights. My problem is that I wake him for his scheduled feeding at 8:00, and if I feed him at 6:30, he wont eat at 8:00. I have tried feeding him half a meal at 6:30, and tried offering his food all the way up to 9:00, but he still wont eat. Then he naps, but wakes up for his next feeding starving.Once I even tried cio at the 6:30 waking, but he never went back to sleep, so I feed him at 7:45 - but he was so tired the schedule got all messed up for the rest of the day.Any suggestions for fixing this and staying on schedule?
    February 1, 2008 12:15 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    Yes, see this post: me know if you have further questions!
    February 1, 2008 1:35 PM
  • eva said...
    How did you know your son was a 7 am boy? Did you try to make him later and he just never would? I have been trying to make my 15wk old son's wake time 8 am for 2 weeks now, but he still keeps wakeing at 7 am. All he does is babble, and I wait to go in there till 8:00, but I cant sleep while he is talking even when its happy talk. I know it has only been two weeks and he is young - so how long do I keep trying to make it 8? Will time extend with age?
    February 2, 2008 9:09 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    He has just always been 7. In the winter, he will sleep until 7:15, but he has always just been 7 AM. I don't know that it will extend with age. It is possible, but it is also possible he is a morning person :)
    February 2, 2008 10:10 PM
  • Alison and Chris said...
    My almost five month old is a great sleeper but I'm confused about the scheduled wake up time. Lately she has been going down at 6:30pm and waking at approx. 6:30am for a feed but then wants to go back to sleep. Sometimes she sleeps until 9:30 other times 8:30. Clearly she needs more sleep than getting up at 6:30 though. So how do I schedule a wake up time then? Also if I feed her at 6:30 when she wakes do I feed her again when she wakes for the day or should I stick to the three hours between feeds? (she's super easy going and could really care less either way)
    February 5, 2008 11:37 AM
    Plowmanators said...
    You have yourself a little sleeper! This is a tricky situation. My first thought would be to have your wake time be 6:30 because she is sleeping 12 hours prior to that. She might have a really short waketime, but it would still be a waketime. If you don't like the idea of waketime being that early, I would try shifting back to 7AM (or whatever time works for you). Just remember that nighttime sleep should be 10-12 hours. Adjust bedtime according to your wake up time. I would pick a wake up time and then do your intervals from there. If you are on a three hour schedule, then go three hours. But do it from your official wake up time, not from her "night feeding." Other posts that may be helpful to you are:Time Change Strategies (for schedule-shifting ideas): morning feeds before waketime: Time Should I Start My Day: sounds like you are lucky to have a content baby!
    February 5, 2008 1:03 PM
    Alison and Chris said...
    Great advice. But one more question. If I keep her wake up time at 6:30 which is fine with me and then she goes back to sleep for 7:30 she's on track to have at least four naps a day. Is this ok? I was under the impression that the goal was only three naps. She generally naps for about an hour to 1.5 hours when she sleeps. She tends to only have about 1-2 hours of wakefullness.
    February 5, 2008 2:07 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    Alison,If she is as big of a sleeper as she seems, she might need that 4th nap for a bit. For example, my daughter is also a sleeper. She is coming up on 10 months, and still takes that 3rd nap most days. BW says that nap is dropped around 6 months. A month ago I started to wean her from it. It was still a good 1.5-2 hour nap. I now have her down to a 1 hour nap. She isn't thrilled when I wake her to eat, but we are getting there. At 5 months, I did have Kaitlyn down to 3 naps and she was on a 3 hour schedule. I just didn't have her sleep between those last two feedings. She often could only go 2.5 hours between them, but it worked out just fine until she moved to a 4 hour scheudle.
    February 5, 2008 2:30 PM
  • bethers21 said...
    It would be so helpful to me to review the goals of napping and schedule transitions. For instance, at what point do babies usually go from a 3 to a 3 1/2 hour schedule, and at what point do they typically stop napping before each feed? I know it is so variable, but I'm still so sleep deprived with my 5-week old I can't remember what to expect when. I know a 4 hour schedule is around 4 months. If only babies could follow a chart that gives their age and describes how long between feedings, how long naps last, and how many naps a day!
    February 5, 2008 2:16 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    Bethers21,Do you have the BW book? That is a good idea for a post--I will work one up! [ed. here is link to that post: Babywise Milestones:] At 5 weeks (a blur in my memory :) ), you don't really have much change to expect until 7-8 weeks when baby might start sleeping 7-8 hours consistently. I will get that post up in the next couple of days. I will have to do some reviewing. You are correct, it is dependent on each baby.
    February 5, 2008 2:34 PM
  • Alison and Chris said...
    Is there any reason that tha maximum for night sleep is 12 hours. Last night for example Bailey went to bed at 6:30 and woke at 7:30. Why would I wake her up at 6:30 just because she's reached 12 hours?
    February 6, 2008 9:07 AM
    Plowmanators said...
    I honestly don't know--the books just say 10-12 hours. I don't know if there is a reason for it, or if it is just because few babies would sleep past 12 hours.If you are breastfeeding, I would not sleep more than 12 hours because it would put too much time between nursings.Once you move to 4 hour schedule with 4 feedings a day, it wouldn't be possible to get 4 feedings in ina 11 hour stretch. Even if you took your last feeding at 3 hours, that would happen at 6:30, which is her current bedtime. You would have to feed her at 2.5 hours in order to get her fed and in bed by 6:30 (if feeding at 7:30, 11:30, 3:30, then 6:00). If you fed solids after the 3:30 feeding (once you start them), she wouldn't be hungry in 2.5 hours. If you fed solids at 6:00, she likely wouldn't be able to nurse/bottle and then eat solids that fast, but maybe. I will look into it and let you know what I find out.
    February 6, 2008 9:16 AM
    Plowmanators said...
    Alison, I have some information for you. I consulted with Ann Marie Ezzo (Gary's wife), and here is what she had to say:One thing to be sure of is that you are aware of her hunger cues. I don't know what she does when she is hungry, but not all babies cry (like my Kaitlyn). First and foremost we want enough nutrition in the day. For some babies, crying is a very late cue if they do cry at all.Ann Marie said that if your baby is eating at 6:30 and then going right back to sleep, she thinks that is fine. She is then getting both her need for nourishment and her need for sleep. She agreed with me that some babies just need more sleep than others.She also agreed to make sure if you are BF-ing to get 4 good feedings in, and perhaps 5. If you are bottlefeeding and Bailey goes 13 hours at night and then does only a 3.5 routine to get her in bed by 6:30, then that is fine. The breastfeeding is when you want to be mindful of milk supply.Ann Marie thought that if she is usually only taking 1 hour naps, that is perhaps the reason she is wanting to go 13 hours at night.Basically, she agreed with everything I had said earlier. Just watch the milk supply if you are breastfeeding. If she is alert when she is awake and on track weight-wise, then she should be fine. Some babies do sleep more than others. It is a nicer "problem" to deal with than the converse. So you are her mom and if everything seems to be fine with 13 hours of sleep at night, go for it :-)
    February 8, 2008 11:15 AM
    Alison and Chris said...
    Thanks for the help. For the last three days things have been going great. This has been our day:7:30 -wake, feed, play8:30 -sleep10:00-wake, feed, play11:15-sleep1:00- wake, feed, play2:30- sleep4:00- wake, feed, play5:45- bath6:15- feed6:30- sleepIt is a combination of a 2.5hr and 3hr schedule. For now it is working well for us and I hope that once we starts solids (tomorow!) that in time it will become a 3.5hr schedule and we will probably drop down to four feeds instead of having the current five. We'll see how it goes though. Her weight gain is fantastic. At birth she was 7lbs 3oz, one month 9lbs 6oz, two months 12lbs 6oz, four months 16lbs 1oz. She's more than doubled her birth weight!Thanks again for all the help. I guess I just have a little sleepy head on my hands. She has extended her naps a ton this week too.
    February 8, 2008 3:51 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    I am glad things are going so well for you!
    February 8, 2008 4:21 PM
  • kindra said...
    The "pattern" completely describes me and my baby, and I am thinking it would be nice to have a schedule so I know everyday when my 6 month old is going to take her naps and stuff. My question is a two-parter:My husband works 4pm-12am, so my baby is on our schedule. Her last feeding of the evening is somewhere between 11pm and 1am (depending on her other feedings and naps)and then we put her to bed. Since my husband and I want time together, we go to bed around 2am and we like to sleep in. Because our baby goes to bed so late, she sleeps in until 9:30am - 11:30 am. I want to sleep as late as I can, so I just get up when she wakes me up. We don't have a set wake-up time or bed-time, which means her naps and feedings are different every day as well. Now that she is on solid food, I would like to have her meal times coincide with ours. Also, my husband is now working days, and we don't need that late schedule anymore (we've been on it for about 3 months). How do I go about getting my baby on a schedule that is hours earlier (like 9am-9pm)? Should I be working on a more definite schedule and the time change at the same time, or work on one and then the other?
    February 7, 2008 11:13 AM
    Plowmanators said...
    I would bet you can kind of mesh the two goals together. I would focus on moving times first, though. See the Time Change Strategies for ideas on shifting schedules: post does not cover such a wide change, though. I would work on it slowly. The nice thing is that you are working the easier way. You want to get her up earlier. It will be much easier to start her day earlier. I would just wake her up earlier and earlier over time. That will be easier than trying to go to bed earlier. Wake earlier and the rest of the day will fall into place easier.See the Traveling with Baby post. This might give you more ideas, and there is a good comment on there about big time changes in the comments section:
    February 7, 2008 3:18 PM
  • kindra said...
    I posted a comment earlier this month asking you how to move my baby's bedtime back a few hours, and how to get a consistent schedule at the same time. I just wanted to let you know that I just did it all at once! She had gotten her 6 month shots at the same time, and was waking up in the middle of the night anyway. I figured "Why not put her to bed 3 hours earlier? She's going to wake up anyway?" And it worked! I put her to bed at 10pm, she woke up one or two nights in a row, and she's been back to sleeping through the night ever since! Only now, we have the added bonus of a consistent schedule. It's amazing how they really take to the schedule! Right now we are doing 10am wake time and 10pm bed time, but I figure that daylight savings can move back the other hour for us!Anyways, thanks for your advice!
    February 21, 2008 3:36 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    I am so glad things worked out! Just as a reminder, since you said you want 9-9, the time change will make it so clocks are moved ahead. So 10 will become 11. Unless you live somewhere that does it differently.Congratulations on your success! Babies (and children) really do thrive on schedules and routines.
    February 21, 2008 8:50 PM
    kindra said...
    Oh! Good call! I was thinking this whole time that because we lose an hour that that would put her schedule back an hour...but I've been thinking about it all wrong. Hmmm....something new to figure out!
    February 21, 2008 10:29 PM
  • laura said...
    I have a 6 week old little boy and I am trying to implement babywise. I've been doing a basic 2.5-3 hour routine since he was born. He is still waking at random times all throughout the night so it's hard to find a good schedule for us. I was wondering what your schedule looked like when your little ones were newborns. Also, what was your bedtime for your newborns -my goal is to establish a 8pm bedtime and an 8am waketime, but right now he wants to play until 10. He also wakes up at night sometimes wanting to play instead of go back to sleep. Any advice??One more question, what did you do about nighttime feedings when they wake up at sporadic times and aren't consistent with when he wakes to eat. It makes it hard to establish a set waketime when he eats at different times throughout the middle of the night. Any advice you can give would be greatly appreciated! Thanks so much, Laura
    February 23, 2008 5:54 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    I started BW at 9 weeks with Brayden, so there was no schedule with him! But here it was with Kaitlyn. I will just show eating times. Naps were between:7:30 waketime/eat10:00 eat1:00 eat4:00 eat6:30 eat8:30 eatFor a while, those were our daytime feedings and she took two night feedings. She would not wake up for a dreamfeed until she was older. Once she would do the dreamfeed, she moved to once a night wakings.How are his waketimes? Is he getting that time to play in the day? If not, continue to work on having him stay awake after feedings. If so, just feed him then put him right back down in the night. Also, don't interact with him at night. This is so hard! But with both of my kids, I didn't so much as crack a smile toward them in the nighttime. It was business. When they tried to get my attention (and they do), and I had to smile, I would turn my head so they couldn't see it. For night feedings, I just started my day at the same time each day. It didn't matter what time she woke in the night, morning started at the same time each day. When she got to the point of eating really close to "breakfast," I would let her sleep in an extra 30 minutes, but no later. Good luck! And let me know if you have other questions!
    February 25, 2008 10:24 AM
    laura said...
    Thank you so much for your response. It helps to see the schedule that Kaitlyn was on. Our 6-week old has kept to his schedule very well during the day and he will eat at 8, 11, 2, 5 and 7 and a dream-feed at 10. About half the time we are able to keep him up to play (up to 1 1/2 hours including feeding) before putting him down for a nap, but at other times he will fall asleep right after eating and it is impossible to keep him awake. Also, at times I have to wake him from his nap in order to feed him at the 3 hour mark. In the evening he has a fussy time after his 7 o'clock feeding and it takes some time and effort until he sleeps. I wake him up at 10 for a dream-feed and he eats well and will go straight to sleep until 1am. After his 1am feeding the trouble starts. He sometimes cries until 2-3am. He then wakes up again to eat at 4, 6 and 8. Also, it may take him a while to fall back asleep after these feedings. It is very stressful. Any suggestions on what may help him go longer between feedings at night? It seems that he has his nights and days mixed up a little... Any suggestions?Thanks so much,Laura
    February 25, 2008 5:11 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    Babywise says the way to teach your child the difference between day and night is the eat/wake/sleep cycle. I would continue to work to keep him awake for his waketimes. Kaitlyn was also very sleepy as a baby, and believe me that it is a preferable "problem" to a baby who doesn't have an interest in sleeping during the day (like my son was). With Kaitlyn, I set a goal to add one waketime per week. So I would pick one waketime each week to focus on that I was really going to try to keep her awake. I would start there. Also, continue with the self-soothing. Good luck!
    February 25, 2008 9:16 PM
  • Christina said...
    hello BW mom--I have to first thank you for this very helpful blog! I have been using BW concepts since the time my daughter was born 2 months ago. However, I did not follow ALL of it and now need some advice. I didn't follow the advice about doing a dreamfeed and then letting her wake naturally b/c I worried about not feeding her often enough, until I went to the doctor and now know she is doing great with her feedings. Soo...She eats on a 2 1/2--3 hr. combo schedule starting at 7 am first feed, 8 pm last feed. She is 9 weeks old and I need advice getting her to sleep that long stretch of 7-8 hrs. at night. Here's where I didn't follow all of BW--for the past 2 weeks, she has been eating at 8 pm, 12 am, around 4 am, and then at 7 am. My questions: I guess I should change her 12 am feed to 10:30 pm or 11 pm--any advice on whether one would be better than the other? Then, I need to let her wake naturally for the nighttime feed and see what happens, BUT I am 99% sure that she will wake at 3-4 am as I've been watching this the past couple of nights. I think her body is "set" to do this. How do I repair this? Also, she is eating little at the 4 amish feed. She is a good sleeper and has a good disposition in general. I'm frustrated that I wasn't confident enough to follow all of BW. I fell for the myth that she would get dehydrated if she went for 7-8 hrs. at such a young age. But surely 9 weeks old is not too late to get her back on track! Thank you so much.
    March 2, 2008 6:32 AM
    Plowmanators said...
    I started my oldest on BW at 9 weeks, so that is definitely not too old to get on track.Remember that 15% of BW babies don't start sleeping 7-8 hours until they are 10-12 weeks old, so she isn't necessarily "behind." And don't feel bad--you have been doing what you have felt to be best for your baby, there is nothing wrong with that. If you have new things that you think are best, you are free to change your methods and move forward.If it were me, I would do a 10:30 dreamfeed because I would want to be able to go to sleep earlier. But if you are going to sleep before the dreamfeed, eleven might be better for you. Whatever works for you. The earlier might be better so that she has more continuous sleep opportunity. Either way will work, though.To move that time back, I like the slow method. I move back by 15 minutes at a time. See Time Change Strategies: the 3-4 AM feeding, you might need to do CIO, but I would only do it once you are sure she doesn't need it. One way to know is if she basically wakes at the exact same time each day. Another way is if she eats little at that feeding or doesn't eat well for breakfast. Here is some advice a friend of mine gives: You could try rocking her back to sleep one night. If she sleeps well after that, you can assume she doesn't need to eat and only wants help getting back to sleep. My guess is over time she will gradually extend that night waking. If you have been waking her, she will continue (like when you have an alarm set all week and still wake up on the weekends at that time without the alarm). But she might just come to sleep longer on her own. I would give it some time to see what she does on her own. If she doesn't fix it, you can consider next moves. If she does, then happy day. Of course, CIO often only takes a few nights, so if you are sure she doesn't need it, it is a faster solution. Good luck!
    March 2, 2008 9:34 AM
    Christina said...
    Hi again,Thank you so much for the advice. I'm going to continue to watch and see what she does.Just one more question, though. I do go to sleep right after she eats at 8 pm. Is it against all BW ways to try for the 7-8 hrs. of continuous sleep after the 8 pm feeding? I guess so b/c the idea is that the extra dreamfeed will get her to sleep longer?
    March 2, 2008 3:18 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    Ideally, you will have a feeding somewhere between 10-11 PM. Baby will first sleep 7-8 hours, then move to 9, then 10-12. For example, let's say you fed at 10:30, done by 10:45. Let's also say she is now sleeping 8 hours. That would put her sleeping until close to 7 AM. That is nice for you!But not all babies will wake for it. I tried with Kaitlyn (she at at 8:30 PM). She wouldn't wake up at 10:30, no matter what I did. So I went to bed after 8:30. Over time, that feeding naturally moved back until it reached 10:00 PM and became a real dreamfeed. Remember to let your schedule serve you. If you would rather feed her at 8, then go to bed until she wakes, go for it.
    March 2, 2008 9:52 PM
  • Christina said...
    Hello again---I wrote a few days ago with a question on the dreamfeed and letting 7-8 hrs. of sleep. First, I have to thank you for your encouragement and for your post yesterday "word to the weary." I have just been reminding myself not to stress and to enjoy my beautiful daughter, so this was good timing.I wanted to give you the update on my situation--my daughter was not set to wake at 12 and 4 am as I had feared. I have tried the dreamfeed a couple of nights and she wouldn't eat, so I went with my gut to skip it. Last night, she slept for 7 hrs. after her bedtime feed, so I am very pleased. It does prove the point that sometimes moms need to go with their instincts, not always by the book.Anyway, my follow-up question is about Kaitlyn not doing dreamfeed. Could you clarify what you meant by the 8 pm feed becoming the 10 pm feed naturally? Did she not eat at bedtime at all? Was she moving to a longer schedule? What age was she? Just curious, because I think I will be moving in that direction later. Thanks so much!
    March 6, 2008 4:24 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    Congrats on your success and following your gut. It is always the best thing to do.The 8:30 PM feeding became the 10:00 PM feeding just as she could go longer between feedings in the day I don't remember the exact age (something I wish I would have kept track of), but I do remember "abouts." I will type out the feeding schedule times so you can see what I mean:At fisrt:7:3010:001:003:306:008:30then there were two night feedings.As she got older, he schedule extended, but the number of daytime feedings stayed the same. She dropped one night feeding around the same time. My guess is she was 8ish weeks when this happened?7:3010:301:004:007:0010:00So you can see that I hung on to the same number of feedings when she could go longer. So we did adopt a "dreamfeed" time.
    March 6, 2008 5:40 PM
  • Catherine said...
    Hi Valerie,Thanks so much for all your help! I can't seem to find the right category for this- so I'll ask it here- what is the best way to help babies through the time change happening tonight? Do you need to do anything different at all? Anything to just be aware of? Thanks a lot.
    March 8, 2008 3:13 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    This is the easier of the two time changes. Here is my post on it:Time Change Strategies:
    March 8, 2008 6:19 PM
  • Christina said...
    Hi again---it was so helpful to see your schedules to see how you made changes as Kaitlyn could go longer. My daughter seems to be at this point where she is able to do mostly, or all 3 hrs. instead of mostly 21/2 hrs. I am wondering if it's okay for a 10 week old to eat 6 times a day? I would be more comfortable to do 7 a day but it is mathematically hard to work that out given that she is doing just 1 nighttime feed around 3-4 am. Thank you again for all your help!
    March 9, 2008 4:34 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    You are ultimately going to have to decide what your daughter needs. Keep in mind that BW says:Between weeks 5-8, your baby might be able to go down to 7 feedings in a 24 hour period (but only after she starts sleeping 7-8 hours at night)Starting at 13 weeks, your baby should be at 5-7 feedings a daySo my assumption would be that weeks 8-12 should be at 7 feedings a day. You are in a transition period, so if you think she is fine with 6, go for it. If you are breastfeeding, you might either want to squeeze a 7th in, or pump right before you go to bed so you get some extra stimulation.
    March 9, 2008 4:47 PM
    Christina said...
    Thank you so much, yet again! I meant to tell you too that I like your blog entry today--I keep a notebook next to the glider where I breastfeed and keep track of eating, naps, etc. It really helps me to see when she is going through certain patterns, like a growth spurt, or a sleep spurt! The data has also shown me that she could likely be good with 6 feedings a day, but I don't feel comfortable changing it just yet until she has a couple of weeks with the longer night sleeping, so that will work out perfectly to what your assumption is for 7 feedings until week 13 or so.Thanks again for answering so quickly, too!
    March 9, 2008 5:06 PM
  • Johnny Grimes said...
    This site is so awesome! I wish that I would have known about it earlier. I have a 16 week old son and I need to change his schedule soon due to my work schedule changing. Normally his schedule is as follows: wake up 8:15 amfeed 9:00 amnap 10:30-12:30pmfeed 12:30pmnap 2:00pmfeed 3:30pmnap 5:00pmfeed 6:30 pmbedtime 8:00pmnightfeed 6:00amWith a schedule like this how can I adjust it if I want to make his new wake up time 7:15 am? The reason I think it might be hard is becuase he has a "nightfeed" at 6:00am. I really don't want this to be his new wake up time. I know he won't take a feeding this close together. I already have to wait a little while before giving him his first feeding of the day because these times are close together.
    March 15, 2008 8:09 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    See this post for ideas on dealing with that issue. It is a normal problem to run in to.Early Morning Feedings Before Waketime: sure to let me know if you have any questions beyond that.
    March 15, 2008 10:16 PM
  • adrienne said...
    I have been trying to get my baby on the babywise schedule for three weeks now and I need some help! Latley he has been waking up at 5 am for his middle of the night feeding. And then when I get him up at 7 he is not hungry or is so tired he falls asleep eating. Also he crys for the whole hour he is suppose to nap still! Then when I go to feed him he is so tired from crying that he falls right to sleep. So then I put him down and then we are all messed up on the schedule. And any time we go anywhere he gets off schedule. I really want him to get on the babywise shcedule. I need help!! What is the most important thing? For him to go to sleep and wake up the same times, to eat the same times, or to have the feed/wake/sleep schedule starting at whatever time he wakes. Please help! My son is 6 weeks old and time is running out! Thank you Adrienne
    March 19, 2008 2:02 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    Adrienne, First, let me assure you time is not running out. I know (believe me) that those first 8 weeks feel like an eternity and you feel like you have to have everything perfect by 8 weeks. Let me tell you, however, that in several months, those first 8 weeks will not seem to have been so long. Also, you have a lot longer to get things down. So just keep working on it, but try not to stress and let things happen as they come.When he wakes that close to waktime, I suggest moving waketime back by 30 minutes in the morning so he will eat more. See this post for more on that idea: Early Morning Feedings Before Waketime:

    If he is crying through the nap still, my guess is that he is overly tired. How long do you keep him up for waketime? See these posts to help you with that:CIO Bootcamp: Waking Early From Naps/Won't Fall Asleep For Naps: Easy Nap Fix: Naps: Troubleshooting:

    I would make a list of goals you want to accomplish, then work on one at a time. That will cut your stress levels down. First, I would make sure he is used to eat/wake/sleep. However, if he is waking before it has been 2.5 hours, I would try to hold him off (Waking early from naps post will help you). Also, note that 6 weeks is a growth spurt age. See this post:Growth Spurts: I would then work on getting him to fall asleep on his own. Naps will not be as long at first during sleep training. While you are working on this, it will really help your baby to have as few disruptions as possible. See this post:When Does it Get Better?: Please believe me when I tell you you have time. I didn't even start BW with my oldest until he was 9 weeks, and he turned into a model BW baby and not a model Toddler. You have plenty of time. See the index to find several more solutions:
    March 20, 2008 10:44 AM
    adrienne said...
    Hello again! Well I have been pretty inconsistent because of family visiting and Easter and we went out of town. So I am trying to get back on track. I just read your blog on consistency and that really helped. I am so glad I found your blog site!! So Shane (my almost 8 week old son) is still waking at about 5am most mornings and I have a hard time getting him back to sleep unless I let him fall asleep nursing and I fall asleep too. It is hard to get a consistent schedule because he wakes usually at 5, sometime 545, last night he woke at 3. His nap times are aweful for me still. He cries still almost the entire 1-1.5. He will cry 15-20 mins, then be quiet for 5-10mins, and that is ususally the cycle the whole nap time. I was only having him up for about 30 mins of wake time, then my friend suggested to move to a 3 hour routine and keep him up longer and put him down for longer. He still cries the same pattern though. How long should I keep him up? I also have a hard time putting him down for after the last wake time because I am scared he will not go to bed at bed time. For his naptimes, I was keeping him up untill he got fussy and then I put him down. Should I not wait for that? Also he falls right to sleep in the car, so if I have to go anywhere I usually wait until his naptime is that ok? Thank you and please help!Adrienne
    March 31, 2008 11:52 AM
    Plowmanators said...
    First, be aware that he is young enough it will likely take him a bit longer to get back to where he was (relatively speaking; an 8 month old might take no time and just bounce back, while an 8 week old might need a week). See this post for your 5AM issues:Early Morning Feedings Before Waketime: At 8 weeks, my guess is he could handle a total of 30-60 minutes of waketime before needing to go back down. If he isn't napping well, it will likely lean toward the 30 minute end.Nap cues vary for each child. If what you are using isn't working, I would look for something else:Nap Cues : And yes, that is fine to have him sleep in the car while you run errands or whatever. As you are training, I would try to keep that the exception rather than the rule. Going Out : Establishing Consistency--Make Sacrifices: Good luck!
    April 1, 2008 2:03 PM
  • Firecracker said...
    First of all I want to thank you so much for all the help and advise you have provided. I am so grateful that this blog site exists....However I have yet again another question. I have successfully gotten my son's day schedule down like clock work, but nighttime is another story. He keeps waking between 2-4 to eat. Last night he woke at 1:30 and I tried to let him cried it out. He did that on and off until 3:30 and I caved and feed him for like 5 minutes. Then he turns around and wakes up at like 5:50 for the day. (6 is his normal time. I wish it was 6:30) I do I get rid of this night feeding and how do I extend the morning? P.S. he is 4 months old (tomorrow).Thank you so muchDanielle
    March 20, 2008 7:11 AM
    Plowmanators said...
    Did he fall asleep after eating for 5 minutes, or did you stop him after 5 minutes?1. Keep in mind that 4 months is a common age to have disruptions for seemingly no reason.2. If he fell asleep during eating, he was likely too tired by that point to eat a full meal even if he wanted to.3. He could have woken at 5:30 from being overly tired.4.He could have woken at 5:30 because he was hungry.Here is an idea for you. When he wakes in the night, try to soothe him to sleep without food. (not a swing, but like you rocking or patting his back). Do it as soon as he wakes. If he falls asleep and makes it to his normal waketime, then you have good idea that he doesn't need that night waking and you could do CIO at night with more condidence. If he falls asleep but wakes again before waketime, then he likely really needs to eat in the night still. If he won't fall asleep, then he likely needs to eat in the night.I wouldn't try to extend mornings until night is down. But if you want to try, you can try to just extend him each day by 5-15 minutes by not feeding him as soon as he wakes. This would train his metabolism to not need to eat until a later time.
    March 20, 2008 11:11 AM
  • hunter'smom said...
    My son wakes at 7:45 am and eats at 8am. He lays down at 9am. He wakes at 10:45 or 11 am. He eats again at 12 so when should he lay down for a nap because at that point he has already been awake for an hour and fifteen minutes? This is the common problem we have all day. I read the part that you talked about being on a pattern rather than a schedule and I read about how to establish a schedule but it doesn't explain how to avoid the problem of too much wake time, like I'm having.
    March 27, 2008 4:44 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    Will he not eat earlier than 4 hours? One reason you don't want to move to a 4 hour schedule before he can sleep until the next feeding is because of what you are experiencing. Would he go down to a 3.5 hour schedule so you wouldn't be so off? Keep in mind that the longest you can expect a nap to last is 2.5 hours, so if he goes down at 9, the longest he should sleep until is 11:30, and most babies sleep 1.5-2 hours rather than 2.5. You baby is sleeping long enough for his nap. As his waketime can be longer, he will be able to make it the 4 hours. Only you can decide what time he should go back down. Each baby is different. If his waketime is 1 hour in the morning, then that is likely his length for that time of day also. It might be able to be a little longer. Some babies can have a longer waketime if they stayin bed rather than get out and play before the feeding.
    March 28, 2008 10:15 PM
    hunter'smom said...
    I think he will eat before 4 hours. He is a very big baby (20 pounds at 4months) so he will eat almost anytime I offer it, however, he never complains for food before the four hours. He also would stay awake as long as I let him, but I tried cutting back the wake time because he was waking up 45 minutes into the nap. I will try moving him back to 3 1/2 hour schedule. Let me know if there is anything else I can do. Thank you so much for the help.
    March 28, 2008 11:19 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    Your situation should get easier as he gets older. Once he gets older and can handle a longer waketime and still have a succesful nap, he should be able to do the 4 hour schedule without a problem. It sounds to me like you kind of just need to wait for that to come :)
    March 29, 2008 10:46 AM
  • Plowmanators said...
    Karen, I saw you deleted your post. Let me know if you still have questions.
    April 20, 2008 6:38 PM
    Karen said...
    Thank you. It is definately time for a schedule change. My 16 week old is needing less sleep during the day and is eating more. I have tried to think through how to best rearrange her schedule to accomplish this. She was on a 4 hour feeding schedule (6, 10, 2, 6, 9-ish) with naps between each and that seemed to be too much since she started waking early out of them and not sleeping as well at night. For the first time today I tried this feeding schedule: 7, 11, 3, 7, 9 and tried to keep her up as much as I could between feedings. Do you have any suggestions on this or other ideas that might work better? I realize the last two feedings are only two hours apart but I put her down right after her feeding at 9 with hopes that she'll sleep well throught the ngiht. I know this is out of the feed/wake/sleep cycle too. I don't know when I can drop one of these last two feedings and still make sure she is getting enough and hope that this time out of the cycle will not be a bad thing. Anything I should be doing differently? Thanks for your help!
    April 20, 2008 7:17 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    Karen,I am guessing you have four naps a day? With both of mine, we went down to three naps a day at four months old. See the section on naps on the index fo more on nap dopping. It sounds like you are abotu ready to drop that 9 PM feeding (which would be considered a dreamfeed). If she has been sleeping from 9ish to your waketime for two week or more, you could try it. If you are breastfeeding, you might want to pump right before you go to bed for a while just to ensure you maintain milk supply. Though many women (like me) do fine with 4, many others find they really need 5. Only extend her waketime if she continues to sleep 1.5-2.5 hours (any range in there is fine). Good luck!
    April 21, 2008 6:36 AM
  • David and Joelle Turner's Blog said...
    Hi. I have found your website to be VERY helpful! I have spent all morning looking for a resource on Babywise like this. Thank you! I have twin daughters that are 8 weeks old. I tried really following a schedule about 6 weeks ago -- I feel like since I've really focused on sticking to a schedule everything has gone down hill. Their first 6 weeks they pretty naturally followed a BW schedule -- eat, wake, sleep and were on a very consistent 3 hour schedule -- but it varied day to day because I did not have a set wake or sleep time. So, I have determined they would wake at 7:30 and go to bed at 8:30 -- The day varies between 2 1/2 and 3 hour feeding, they need them more frequent in the mornings.My biggest problem is I can't keep them awake after a feeding! I never had a problem with this when they were younger. It takes everything in me to keep them awake for an hour from the start of their feeing to the start of the nap -- then I put them down and they are awake again (wide awake!) within half an hour! I then try to soothe them for the next hour and a half until their next feeding. They aren't hungry, they are just awake. This is much more of a problem wit one of my girls than the other -- P will lay awake (or cry) and L will be sound asleep. This is not so much of a problem in the afternoon, they are a little more alert then, but it is still an issue. They were not preemies, they were born full term and have consistently gained the right amount of weight, so thats not a problem. What am I doing wrong? Or, what do I need to do to keep them awake when they need to be awake?Thanks!!
    April 28, 2008 11:11 AM
    Plowmanators said...
    I would say they are having a hard time staying awake because they have been awake for an hour and a half at the beginning of the feeding session.I would recommend this post:Waking Early From Naps/Won't Fall Asleep For Naps: sure to look through the blog index to find the many posts. I am glad you found us! I am sure troubleshooting two at once can be quite difficult.Here is a post on Twins. It has advice from a few moms of twins I know:Babywise and Twins:
    April 28, 2008 9:09 PM
  • Kelly said...
    Hi, I am not sure where to post this question so forgive me if this is the wrong spot. I am a new mom of twins. They are almost 9 weeks adjusted (13 weeks unadjusted). We have always been on a 2.5/3 hour "pattern" but are just now starting babywise (as of Monday). They still eat 8 times a day (3-4 ounces) but during the night sometimes they are only taking half of that. In the book it mentions that they should start to drop the (what would be for us) the 4 am feed. How does that happen? Do they just sleep through it? If they wake up does that mean they still need the calories or do I need to proactive (moving to swing, soothing, etc.). Should I wait another week before I try that as we have been on a "pattern" up until Monday? Please help! What is my next step! Thank you!
    May 1, 2008 9:15 AM
    Plowmanators said...
    I would start working with things all on the same day. Personally, I wouldn't mess with night yet. I would work through daytime first--night usually fixes itself once day is done. If not, it will be easier.See this post: Starting Babywise Late: look through this one: Babywise Milestones: also wouldn't mess with nights until your babies are 12 weeks unadjusted.See this post also: Getting a Consistent Schedule:
    May 1, 2008 9:48 PM
    Kelly said...
    Okay, thanks for the info. I am still a little unsure about a couple of things.
    1. Before starting the day at the same time my girls could go 3.5-4.5 hours at night without eating. Now they are waking up about every 2.5 hours almost on the dot. We df around 10, then they are waking at 1230. One of my girls weighs almost 11 and the other almost 10. I KNOW they can go more than 2.5 hours. After 1230 they are waking around 330 and then 615. How is it they they have "regressed" in not sleeping longer at night? Thankfully they usually just eat and go right back down (which tells me it is hunger right?)
    My other question is I would like a 7 am wake up time. So, if their last feeding was around 4 they "should" be able to wake around then. However they have been waking around 6 (only 2 hours since their last feed!) Just last night I put thicker curtains up in case they are getting up with the sun. I am trying to be patient but I am going on almost 5 months (not to mention the months before they were born) of 2-3 hour increments of sleep. I am exhausted! I would mind if they could do a df around 10, then wake up at 6, I could do that, but every 2.5 hours at 9 weeks adjusted (they spent no time in the NICU, came home with me and in fact their Ped. does not adjust age). I just want to make sure I am doing the day right:I let them cry until 645 (I go in and check on them). Then at 645/50 I open the curtains and actually talk to them. They eat at 7, usually back down by 8, 8:15, after wake time. Then nap until 9:45ish. So we do that at 7, 10,1,4,7 (give or take half hour). Then at 6:30 they are given a bath, feed at 7 and are down by 7:30 for bed. Thankfully they do not cry when I put them down, but if they wake I let them CIO especially if it has only been 30 minutes or so. They usually fall back asleep. Is there anything different I should be doing?
    May 3, 2008 10:38 AM
    Plowmanators said...
    It is pretty normal to have a rough start when you first start. Things have changed, so they are disrupted. It shouldn't take long for things to get better. It could also be a growth spurt. You could try adding a 10 PM feeding to see if that helps. Things do improve, but it can take some time.
    May 4, 2008 4:00 PM
  • Kait said...
    I'd really appreciate your input on my schedule right now. I'm roughly on a 3 hr schedule and am feeding 7 times in a 24 hr period. They are at: 7am, 10am, 1pm, 4pm, and then cluster feeds at 6pm and 8pm. Then my son wakes up once at 3:00-4:00am to feed and then sleeps through until morning at around 6-7am. I have tried a dream feed at 10-11pm and he wont do it. He's way too sleepy and it takes me an hour of trying and I'm only every marginally successful that it's not really worth it and waking up once a night isn't too bad. He's been so tired at the 8:00pm feed that he'll hardly take a full feed these past few nights so I'm wondering if I should move that last bedtime feed to earlier, say at 7:00pm? But if I do that then I would need to do more of a 2.5 hr schedule throughout the day, or drop one feed entirely. So my questions are: 1) Do you think I should wait until he drops the 3am feed before dropping a daytime feed? and 2) Do you think I should move bedtime earlier and if so, how should I adjust my schedule?Thanks in advance!
    May 6, 2008 10:47 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    1-Yes, I would wait to drop a day feed until a night the night feed is dropped.2-You could try it. If you moved one feeding interval to 2.5 hours, you could move bedtime up by thirty minutes.
    May 7, 2008 9:06 PM


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Amy said...

I have a question. My 10wk old sleeps through the night, but likes to wake @6am every morning. He will take a bottle (I'm not BF anymore) then he will go back to sleep for 2-3hrs. Then we start our feed/wake/sleep cycle the rest of the day.

Should I be keeping him awake after that 6am feeding?

Plowmanators said...

I wouldn't keep him up unless you want waketime to be 6 AM. See this post for more on this situation:

Early Morning Feedings Before Waketime:

LEM said...

I have a question about the bedtime routine. My 5-week old is on a three hour schedule: 6, 9, 12, 3, 6, 9 and wakes up around 3am for another feeding. I want his bedtime to be around 7:30 so after he feeds at 6pm and have some short playtime, we start our bedtime routine at 7pm. He gets a bath, then we pray and then to bed. So essentially, his 9pm feeding is the dreamfeed I guess.

My question is, I've noticed he sleeps so much better after the 9pm feeding since he gets to go straight back to sleep. Sometimes between 7:30 and 9pm he cries on and off and I give him his pacifier to soothe him. I know many people who have a bedtime routing of bath, feeding then bed. I think this would work so much better for my son but I'm not sure if it goes against BW principles. Could you clarify this? And if it doesn't, how can I adjust my schedule to make this happen?

Plowmanators said...

The routine is great. My guess is he is just fussy because he is 5 weeks old. Most babies have a fussy time of day, and that is it. He should outgrow that before too long (relatively speaking), though some do stay cranky in the evenings for a while. At the very least, it will improve ;)

Christine said...

Hi there. My son is 7w and is on a 4-hr schedule. We had him on a 3.5 and it was like waking the dead. Now he is alert and takes a full feeding. My question is he sleeps pretty good at night..last feed is at 12am and then sleeps till 5-6am but during the day he wakes up early usually out of 1 or 2 naps and wont go back down. I am very consistent with his feed, wake and sleep times but I dont know why he is doing this. I am bottle feeding and he takes a full feeding every time. His schedule is 8a/12/4/8/12 and then whenever he wakes. I have let him CIO but it doesnt seem to be working. We have been at it for over a week and it doesnt seem to be getting better. I am not sure what to do. I dont want him to get attached to a swing but sometimes that is all that works. I try not to rock him to sleep very often. Let me know what your advice it. Thanks.

Christine said...

I wanted to add to the previous note that when he would wake I thought he was hungry but when I have tried to feed him he only takes a little and not a full feeding so it seemed that he was just snacking. He had a problem with severe gas but we fixed that by changing his formula. Also I do give him a pacifier. Thanks again.

Plowmanators said...


There are several possibilities. First, I would try a shorter routine. A 4 hour routine is too long for a 7 week old.

Between weeks 5-8, your baby might be ready to eat every 2.5-3.5 hours

Between weeks 5-8, your baby might be able to go down to 7 feedings in a 24 hour period (but only after she starts sleeping 7-8 hours at night).

It looks like you are having 6 feedings in 24 hours, and you should be having at least 7 right now. Also, there usually is a growth spurt around 6 weeks, so if he hasn't had that yet, watch for it. See this post for a breakdown of how frequently your baby should be eating:

The pacifier can contribute to sleep problems for babies. See this post:

Pacifiers :

See also this post:

Waking Early From Naps/Won't Fall Asleep For Naps:

Amy said...

Hi, i have a question. My 7 month old daughter sleeps from 6:30 pm to 6:30 am, which is great for us so I'm not complaining, but she only takes about 45 minute naps. She wakes up after 45 minutes happy and playing in her crib. Always has. But i know that Babywise 1 and 2 say that a 45 minute nap is unacceptable. So i don't know how to get her to nap longer. She has 3 45 minute naps. Any suggestions on what to do? I want her to get healthy naps.??

modsquads said...

Hi! I'm so happy to find this site..I need HELP. I'm sure the book or this site addresses my situation, but I certainly don't have time to read! My son Noah is 10 weeks old, and has yet to sleep longer at night than a 4 hr. stretch. We feed him 4 oz. every 3 hrs, alternating formula/breastmilk. He has a bottle & goes down at 8pm, then we'll wake him at 11, then he'll usually wake at 1:30 am, then 4:30 am. My concern is, that I go back to work in 4 weeks, and my goal is to get him to sleep till 5:30,(so I can nurse him before leaving for work) and eliminate the 1:30 feeding. Usually after the 4:30 waking, he'll sleep for another 1.5 hrs, I just put him in the vibrating swing b/c I know he'll sleep till its time to eat again. Its total chaos! Not to mention he doesn't nap for more than 15 minutes during the day, and that of course is in the swing (or car if I'm out with him). Napping in the crib just doesn't happen. I can't imagine him sleeping the 7-8 hours at night that you say he should be doing at this age!! Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Plowmanators said...

Does he self-soothe? My best advice would be to teach him to sleep in his bed rather than other places. If all you are getting is 15 minutes out of it, it certainly is not worth the disruption it is causing to his ability to sleep on his own. See this post:

CIO Bootcamp:


Getting a Consistent Schedule:

Tomlinsons said...

Hi! I'm new to this blog and am LOVING going through all the topics that I'm dealing with right now! And this is one of them! Since reading through your different posts I have realized that my 10 month old son and I are on more of a "pattern" than a "schedule".
His wake time varies some. He'll do great and wake up right at 8 for almost a week, then all of a sudden he'll wake up at 7 for a couple of days, then 7:30. It's been usually between 7-8 the last few weeks. I would like it to be 8 but since he gets up earlier a lot I'm thinking it should be 7:30. What should I do when he gets up at 7? If I leave him in there he starts to cry after a little bit, it doesn't seem like a good way to start the day! Do I have to just let him get used to it for a few days? Then, if he isn't awake at 7:30 would you wake him up?!! Thanks!!

Plowmanators said...

If he wakes early, I would leave him until 7:30, unless he starts to cry. Then I would just get him. Keep your target time from 7-7:30. If he isn't awake at 7:30, I would for sure get him up.

I always did a morning waketime at a time I knew would be successful. So my son just wouldn't sleep past 7/7:15. I would have loved a later waketime, but I went for what was reasonable for him. For my daughter, she would always sleep until 7:30. She would usually sleep later, but I got her up at 7:30. It was a target I knew we could easily reach.

Shay's Mom said...

I first would like to thank you for creating this site. It has been extremely helpful in answering my many questions about bw. My son is 8 weeks old and on about a 2.5-3hr schedule. We put him to bed at around 730/830 after bathing and bottlefeeding him. We dreamfeed him at 11 with a bottle but he wakes again at 1am. After unsucessfully trying to soothe him back to sleep, I bf him and put him to bed. But he is up again at 4/5am. What might I be doing wrong? I really would appreciate any guidance. Should I be bottle feeding him at 1 to make sure he gets a good feed in?

KJackson213 said...

Hi, my baby is now almost 14 weeks, but Tuesday night (13 weeks and 2 days) she started waking up after 9 hours when she had previusly been sleeping for 11. (10hrs at 9 for the last 4weeks). Im assuming its because my milk suply dropped (Monday night I was up sick from 1 until morning and EXHAUSTED for the next two days). I could feel my milk supply being lowered. So I fed her in the middle of the night and I can feel my milk supply being back up. But she is still waking up. She used to wake up at 7 like CLOCKWORK, to the minute when going to bed at 8. Also, her naps were shorter during the day- It started happening about a week after I got her naps fixed...1.5 hrs each instead of 45 min each.
So #1- is it possible for a 14 week old to have too MUCH sleep during the day that it will effect her nighttime sleep? She just cant handle more than an hour waketime without being fussy.
Or #2: do you think that she has become used to waking up in the middle of the night now and is doing it automatically? (5 am)
The past two nights I have not fed her, and she has gone back to sleep, but she will make little noises for about 45 minutes (when she originally wakes up she does it screaming). If you think this is a possiblility, when will it END? haha

Thank you for your advice!

Gina said...

I have a 4 month old baby, his first wake time in the morning is between 6 and 6:30 a.m. Is there any way to change his wake time after it has been established? My goal is to put him down around 8p.m. at night and then have him wake up around 8 a.m. Right now is his going to bed around 9:30p.m. and is waking up at 6 a.m.

Gina said...

I took my baby to his 4 month appointment. I am now starting him on solids. The Baby wise books say to nurse one side then feed solids, and then end with nursing. I have only been feeding him solids for 2 days, but after I feed him solids he doesn't want to nurse on the other side.
Should I try nursing him both sides, and then feed him solids. I don't want to keep changing it on him; however,I am not sure what I should do.

Plowmanators said...

Shay's mom, I apologize, I never saw your question until now! Please let me know if you are still having trouble.

Plowmanators said...

KJacskson, I saw your comment about taking fenugreek and fixing things. Did it solve this, or are you still having trouble?

Plowmanators said...

Gina, I would apply the principles in this post:

Time Change Strategies:

Plowmanators said...

Gina, I would either feed him less solids or try BFing both sides before the solids. The reason for starting that way is to be sure baby will eat the solids, but if he likes them and will eat them, BF both sides first. You would eventually move to doing that anyway. See these posts for more:

Creating a "Good Eater":
Feeding Your Pre-Toddler:
Finger Foods:
Highchair Features:
Introducing a Sippy Cup:
Juice vs. Water:
Making Babyfood :
Picky Eaters:
Poll Results: What age did you introduce solids? :
Solids: Aligning Meals with the Family:
Solids: How Much Food Will Baby Eat?:
Solids: How to Start?:
Solids: What do they eat at each meal?:
Solids: What's the Schedule:
Solids: When Do They Master the Spoon?:
Solids: When Do You Stop Babyfood and Move to "Real" Food?:
Solids: When to Start:
Toddlers and Spoons :

Gina said...

Thank you so much for your help. This blog is such a great idea. I have found so many answers to so many questions that I have. However, I do have another question for you. I have both of the first two baby wise books. I have noticed how it talks about dropping naps and how a eventaully the goal is to get to 3, 2, and then 1 nap.
So how do you keep the eat/wake/sleep pattern down. How does it not turn into a eat/wake eat/sleep?
I know if I could get to a 4 hour schedule then that would make 3 naps. However, my little guy keeps on going back and forth between 2.5and 3 hours.
SO is it ok for him to be still taking 5 naps a day at 18 weeks old?

Plowmanators said...

Gina, as he gets older, it wont be an eat/wake/sleep thing. For example, when you have one nap, you get up, eat breakfast, do whatever, eat lunch, take a nap, eat dinner, go to bed.

There will be a good post tomorrow on dropping naps, so be sure to watch for that! Most babies drop the 4th nap around 4 months, so he should be fine.

Plowmanators said...

Wait...check out the post tomorrow and see if you still have questions about the 5 might be defining naps differently than I do, but the post will explain all.

Shay's Mom said...

hi there!!! my 3month old has actually gotten better. He has a wake time of 6am(which i usually have to wake him up for), i feed him and he's sleeping again by 730am. he takes a nap until 930(when i have to wake him up bc i feel he should not be getting more than 2hrs???). He then takes a nap usually from 11-12. I feed him and he has his play time then naps again until 330. The next part I'm not quite sure about. He may take a short nap and by 5pm 1 feed him again. He plays for a while and around 7 he takes a nap for about half an hour. We give him a bath at 8, feed him and by 9 he's in bed. He hardly eats anything at his 8pm feeding. Should i just be trying to skip the 5pm feed and do the whole bedtime ritual at 630? If so how do I go about doing that? Also, should I be waking my baby up from his naps like the 730-930 nap? I know he could probably go 3 hrs if I didnt wake him up. I was afraid that he may get too much sleep and not be able to sleep at night. Thank you for any advice you may have for me.

Gina said...

My 4 1/2 month old is eating cereal 3 times a day. He eats at the most 1.5 Tbsp. In the book it says not to move to vegtables until they are at 1/4 cup of cereal 3 times a day. Can I start before that or should I wait? He has been eating rice cereal for 2 weeks now and I would like to start veggies if it is fine to do.

Plowmanators said...

Shay's mom, you should always wake your baby to stay on the feeding schedule. I think at his age 2 hours is a long enough nap.

I am not really clear on your schedule. Are you feeding at 3:30, then 5 again, or is he waking at 3:30, not eating until 5? In the evenings sometimes you have to go 2 hours between feeds, but I wouldn't do shorter than 2. If he wakes at 5, you can have him wait 30 minutes to eat.

Plowmanators said...

Gina, I wouldn't get hung up on the total amount of food your baby is eating. I would wait until he has been eating rice cereal 3 times a day for two weeks before starting something else. You can always do what you want to, but I personally would wait.

The Wise Family Blog said...

I have a question. My baby is 16 weeks and I started transitioning her to a 3 1/2 hr. routine a few weeks ago. The transition was very rocky and was more of an unpredictable 3-3 1/2 hr. combo. I aborted it when my daughter went through a growth spurt last week (going back to a 3 hrs.) and am wondering if I should start trying again now that the spurt has passed. I see above you said this: "At 5 months, I did have Kaitlyn down to 3 naps and she was on a 3 hour schedule. I just didn't have her sleep between those last two feedings. She often could only go 2.5 hours between them, but it worked out just fine until she moved to a 4 hour scheudle." So I'm wondering why Kaitlyn was still on a 3 hr. routine at 5 months instead of 3.5 to see if I should wait longer to transition too. Did she have a dreamfeed still at that time or eat at 7:30 and then go to bed until the A.M.? When did Kaitlyn move to a 4 hr. shedule? My daughter is not a sleepy head. Her wake time is 90-95 mins.

Plowmanators said...

The main reason she was still on 3 hours at 5 months was because that is what she needed. She wasn't showing any signs of readiness for the four hour schedule yet. I didn't move her to 4 hours until she was almost 7 months.

My theory for the reason she wasn't ready for a longer schedule yet was that she had reflux. I think if she hadn't had reflux she would have been ready earlier.

We did move to a combo 3-3.5 and later 3-4 hour schedule before we moved to straight fours. See the sample schedules post for ages on that. See also the four hour schedule posts to help determine if your LO is ready or not. See also the Combo schedules post.

Skipperg84 said...

Hi there! Let me just say that your blog is so helpful and is a great supplement to reading the BW mom picked this book up for me when I was visiting for the holidays with my 4 1/2 month old son. She could see how exhausted and frustrated I was with the attachment parenting style I had adopted for him - he literally decided everything about his day, when he would eat (sometimes every hour!) when he would sleep (for 45 minutes only, very rare to have more than that and only with my boob in his mouth!!). I felt so relieved to read BW and realize that it was possible to have him on a schedule where he was eating and sleeping enough and have more than 5 minutes a day to myself!!

My question right now (we have been trying to follow the eat/wake/sleep pattern for a week now with ok success....he still cries before naps that are ALWAYS only 45 minutes, this was true before starting the schedule as well) should I just focus on keeping up the pattern or start a schedule all at once?? We are having so many issues right now that I don't even know what to focus on and I feel like I am still all over the place with him and confusing him more....I think he can definitely handle a 3-hour schedule, but in working on the 45 minute intruder, I find myself feeding him before that scheduled time, then the pattern is thrown off for the rest of the day. Then he is still eating every 2 hours since he wakes only after 45 minutes!

It's also hard to judge his optimal waketime because I feel like he is constantly tired from not getting good naps...sometimes I am putting him down 30 minutes after waking because he is already yawning and getting fussy! Then he just cries in his crib (I am still having a hard time listening to him cry even though I know it's best for him) for 30-40 minutes and I feel like I am just putting him away in his crib all day and not spending enough time with him! Was it silly to start at this age since I know 4 months is a tough transition time?

He is still waking 3-4 times at night, I always feed him and put him right back in his crib (we used to hold him for an hour to get him back to sleep!) he is doing well going back to sleep on his own, but I'm not sure how much longer I can handle him waking at night so frequently - I know in your blog you mention tackling the day stuff and the night should fall into place....I guess I just need reassurance that I'm doing the right thing and maybe just need some pointers on where to start?

The only thing I feel really confident in is the going-to-bed-routine...he has always fallen asleep earlier, his bedtime is usually around 6:30pm and he goes down like a champ and is usually out for 4 or 5 hours...his waketime in the morning is also around 6:30am - 7am...where should I go from there? TIA!!

Skipperg84 said...

Ok just wanted to update here - DS's naps are still only 45 minutes despite putting him down earlier, later, making sure he is not overstimulated or understimulated, etc. etc. But I did want to mention we moved to a 3-hour schedule since it seemed too much to be feeding him every 2 hours since he was just snacking! He has been doing fine with this (we just switched a few days ago and I don't think he even noticed that we did it!) So now he isn't on a eat/wake/sleep cycle anymore since his naps are still so short....He really is a very good baby and is very easygoing, but he just isn't a sleeper at all and seems to constantly be overtired!! I've been reading some info on the Baby Whisperer and getting good tips on how to get through the 45 minute transition so I will start working on that tomorrow...

Just wanted to update, oh and say that last night he only woke up twice to eat! HUGE improvement....hopefully one day we will get on the schedule, but for now I can just ask for baby steps....if you have any more advice for getting through the 45 minute nap thing, I would really appreciate it!!

Plowmanators said...


I think it is good to start the pattern of BW, then move toward more of a schedule. I started with my first at 9 weeks officially, but I started the pattern at about 4-5 weeks. I knew of it from a friend. I got the book at 6 weeks and slowly started implementing more before starting CIO at 9 weeks. See this post for more on starting late:

Starting Babywise Late:

See the blog lable "45 minute intruder" for all of my tips in that department. For your son, it might be that he just needs to learn to self-soothe to make it longer than 45 minutes, and that is 100% normal. Good luck!

Beckamsmom said...

I have a 9 week old baby and Im confused about what would be the best schedule for him. We usually start our day with a feeding at 8:00 and end our day with a 9:30 feeding. He sleeps until about 5:00a.m. then goes straight back down until 8:00. Here is my question: I feel like he should be on a 3 hour schedule (he usually wont eat much if it has only been an hour and a half) but there are not enough hours between 8 and 9:30 to do that. Im afraid to move his last feeding to 8:00 because Im afraid he wont get enough feedings or he wont sleep until 8:00. Should I wake him up earlier to start our day? I dont really want to start our day before 7 and I dont think he does either! I worry way to much about having a "schedule" but i want to do whats best. help! :)

Plowmanators said...

you could do a 2.5 hour feeding earlier in the day so that the last two would be 7:30-9:30. You could also move the 9:30 feeding back to 10:00 PM to get more time in if you need to.

MRW said...

I have a few questions about my 8 month old. Lately she has been waking up at all different times in the morning. Originally it was around 6:30 - so I would get her up and start her day then. We're on a 4 hour schedule, so I feed her around 7, 11, 3, and 7:15, with bedtime at 7:30. Her wake time was about 2 hours, so I'd put her down around 8:30, 1:00, and sometimes for a late afternoon catnap. But I can't seem to get a consistent wake time for her lately, which throws the whole day off. She woke up happy this morning at 5:20 and talked in her crib for 20 minutes, then cried off and on for about an hour. My husband and I went in there a few times to check on her and calm her. She did fall back asleep until 7:20. I'm just at a loss with her right now. If I set a wake time of 6:30 or 7, and she wakes earlier than that and is happy in her crib, do I start her "wake time" from that point and then go about our day? I thought I knew her wake time to be about 2 hours. It seems no matter how long she is up, she usually goes down for a nap without a problem. So it's hard to pinpoint her optimal wake time. Yesterday after waking, I put her down 2 hours later and she woke after an hour of sleeping. Today, since she woke up later, I put her down at 9 (the time I really want her napping) and she went down fine (only 40 minutes into the nap right now). So my question is how to establish a wake time in the morning when she varies so greatly? It seems hard to pick a consistent wake time, would it be easier to pick consistent nap times, say at 9 and 1 or so, regardless of when she wakes in the morning (as long as she had at least 10 hours of sleep). Would her body adjust over time to that schedule and then get the sleep she needs, with longer naps? I'm very frustrated and really need the structure and consistency for myself, as I'm sure she does as well. She continues to sleep about 10 hours or so at night without a problem, it's our day time schedule that's a mess. Please help!

I'd really appreciate your help on this. I value your opinion and suggestions. Thanks in advance!

Plowmanators said...

MRW, she is close to an age where nap times can be pretty consistent even if previous waketimes were longer than they should have been, but exactly when she will get there will depend on her.

If her waketime is supposed to be 6:30, you can wake anywhere from 6:30-7:00 and be in the 30 minute window.

If she wakes earlier, I would wait until 6:30 to get her. Then I would shoot for the 8:30 nap, but watch for a need to go down earlier. If she needs to and doesn't, her nap will be short and throw the whole day off. It would be better to be 30 minutes ahead of schedule because you put her down 30 minutes early than to be over an hour off and have terrible naps all day.

I suggest you keep a log. Note the times she wakes, times naps start, and how long they are. You can then better evaluate waketime length needs for different times of day and circumstances. Looking at it on paper is really a lot easier than trying to remember. Keep the log for at least a week, perhaps two, then evaluate.

Also, check out this post:

5-8 Month Sleep Disruptions :

The Westrates said...

I have a 8 week old boy whom I can't get to sleep longer than 5 1/2 hours at night in one shot. We have a two year old girl also who successfully did the Babywise sleep schedule and slept through the night for 8 hours at a time starting at 7 weeks. I don't feel that our little guy is anywhere close though. We have consistent wake-up times (within a half an hour), consistent nap times and feeding times with wake time in between, and a consistent bed time every night. Our little guy is just a really hungry boy and I wonder if he is really capable of sleeping yet without eating once in the middle of the night. I give him a really late dream feed at around 11:30 p.m. and I am luck to get to 3:30 or 4:30. Otherwise, during the day he is on a 3 hour feeding schedule. Any suggestions?

KJackson213 said...

Hey Val. We have recently moved from the west coast to the east coast, aka 3 hr time change. I got her down to 630 CA time before we left, and then slowly moved it back to 7 central time over the course of two weeks, since we were on vacation. (ended up being a 1.5 hr difference total...30 min the first week, then 1 hr the second week). We just got to the east coast and I just decided to go for it, and do 7 here, which is another hour. It's the 4th day that she's gone to bed at 7 and her night waking is worse, partly bc her naps are worse again. I had finalyl fixed them!! They're 45 min again, and she is waking every hour at night. THe waking started on vacation though... just got progressively worse. Shes always had 2, 1hr 40 min naps (sometimes her second one will be 2 hr 15 min), and a short catnap of 45 min, with 11-11.5 hrs of sleep at night with no wakings. On vacation it slowly crept to 10 hrs at night, woke up screaming, good naps, then just got progressively worse. One night she woke up every 30 minutes. I gave her tylenol which I thoguht had corrected the problem, bc it got better for a bit, but now is just awful, even with medicine.

Do you have ANY suggestions?

KJackson213 said...

By the way, she's 6.5 months old.

Plowmanators said...


Remember that not all BW babies sleep 7-8 hours by 7-8 weeks--especially boys. Most boys are older. Just go by his cues. He will get there when he is ready.

Plowmanators said...


This is a hard call. She could be really disrupted right now. Moving, vacation...those can really throw them off. She just experienced a MAJOR time change. See these posts:

Time Change Strategies:

5-8 Month Sleep Disruptions :

See also the "disruptions" blog label for thoughts.

Eve said...

I am having a hard time with being consistant. My baby is just 4 weeks old should I be expecting consistancy? She feeds at the same time every morning 6:45 and we try to start our day. I have been writing down times of feedings but I can't seem to find even a pattern. I want to go three hours but the morning time is the worst. In the afternoon and evening I can go three hours. Also my nap times aren't consistant either should I just try to work on one thing at a time or work on both?

Plowmanators said...

Eve, you have to remember that feeding patterns affect sleep and sleeping patterns affect feeding. So you want to try to get both things down.

Four weeks is a major growth spurt, so this is a hard time to establish consistency.

Some things you know are that she can't go 3 hours in the morning. That is totally fine. My daughter was that way for a morning feed. It is highly a-typical, but it happens. So have it be a 2.5 hour interval instead.

Since you start at the same time each day, you should be able to be fairly consistent. If you are feeding at 6:45 and she can only go 2.5 hours, you know feeding #2 will be about 9:15.

At four weeks, her waketime lengths should be about the same for each waketime that she can stay up. For a 4 week old, this can be as short as 30 minutes but no longer than 60 minutes. This includes feeding time.

So you know she is eating at 6:45. By 7:45, she will be back in bed. By 9:15, she will be ready to eat again. Keep working on your day like this. See the blog label "optimal waketime" for help figuring this out.

Eve said...

Today she ate at 1 and then went straight to sleep should have I tried harder to get her to wake and have a little bit of wake time? She has slept the entire time and it is now 3:23, I will be getting her up for a 3:45 feeding to get her back on the schedule. And are you saying that I should be doing a 2.5 hour schedule instead of a 3 hour schedule? If not then how do I get back on to the three hour schedule? I want to be 6:45, 9:45, 12:45, 3:45 ect. Also when getting her up from her naps should I be getting her up a few minutes before the feeding time or not?

Thanks so much for this blog!

Plowmanators said...


With waketime, you take it as baby can handle it. See this post:

Adding Waketime to Your Newborn's Day :

You can be on a combo 2.5/3 hour schedule. You said she can't go three hours in the morning. If that is the case, then you just can't do a 3 hour interval. It needs to be 2.5. There isn't anything wrong with that. Then perhaps for the next interval, she can do 3 hours. So you do 3 hours. That is perfectly fine.

When getting up for naps, I just woke them up at feeding time. So if a meal was for 1:00, I woke them at 1:00.

Carrie said...

Thank you so much for this website! It is great. Several weeks ago (age 4 months), I decided that it was time to move from the BW "routine" to a "schedule" in order to provide consistency. I am a breastfeeding working mom and having a schedule makes our lives much easier. However, since starting the schedule, bedtime has been a disaster! Previously, I would nurse around 6:30, 9:15 (almost always waking her up from nap that started about 8:30 so I could BF before work), bottle 12:30, bottle 3:30, nurse 6:00, 9:00 and bedtime to follow (SSTN - very minimal crying with bedtime routine). Naps were usually between each feeding time (although erratic - and this is why I wanted to change to a schedule). Now waketime/nurse at 7 am, nap 9-10:30, bottle 10:30, nap 12:45-1:45 or 2, bottle 2pm, nap 4-5:15, nurse 5:15. She then gets fussy around 7:30 or 7:45 and I nurse - sometimes she falls asleep for a few minutes while nursing. If I try to put her down for the night, she cries & cries and clearly is not ready. It seems like the feed gives her a second wind. If she stays up until she has clear sleep cues, it is 9:15 and sometimes she goes to bed ok but most times she screams and I feel like she is overtired. I reinstituted the dreamfeed at 10:15pm because otherwise she wakes up hungry - seems to need 6 liquid feedings a day & is not yet interested in solids, but ready to space out her feeds to 3-4 hours during day. I am trying to avoid an evening nap so that we can spend time with her after work. I feel like perhaps I need to readjust everything so that her last feeding is more like 8pm and then it's bedtime...and maybe waketime a little earlier...I'm just not sure. My goal is to only have 2 feeds between 9:30am-5:00pm to maximize BF'ing when I am home. Any suggestions? Thank you so much!

Plowmanators said...


A few thoughts. One is that four months is often a rough time anyway, so problems you are having might have nothing to do with the schedule change.

Another thing, I understand you wanting to spend time with her, but I don't think I would do it at the expense of her resting if she needs it. She won't need it much longer.

You can only have the two feedings between those hours if she is ready for a four hour schedule. If she is ready for it, you can do it. Otherwise, it will be hard to do.

See the blog lable "four month sleep problems" for more info on this age.

gloria said...

Hi. Thank you for your blog. I've been trying to read through to find out what I need, but I think I just need to ask you. My daughter is 3 months old and has been great on her 730,1030,1,4,630,10 (overnight between2-3) schedule. Last week, I let her cry out her overnight feed to see if she was stuck in a rut. She then woke at 530, so I fed her and then started her at 730 again. The next night she slept until 630. Praise the Lord, I finally got 8 hours of sleep :) My sister and I were the talking that maybe now she will just be on a different schedule, 630 starts the day. But now for the past week it's been getting earlier and earlier. Last night she even woke up at 445. She ate a little but not a full feeding. So I laid her back down and then started the 730 again. So, my questions for you are: Did I just screw her up for a week? Should I get her back on her schedule that she had before and let her cio overnight? (a problem too is that we are all in the same room for another couple weeks, so we all hear everything!) Shouldn't she just drop the feeding overnight instead of move her waketime? This last week too she's been getting funny with her feeds, almost taking longer to eat, but gets fussy when I take her off the first side. This is my first baby, and I'm uncertain of what to do, when to let her cry or not, when she will do things on her own or when she needs some encouragement. (it's one thing to read and quite another to do) I'm going back to work in a couple weeks too, working an evening shift (3-12) so I really want to make sure things are squared away so I don't have to worry about that part of leaving her. But I've read where the 4th month is a good growth spurt time, so it will probably be rocky no matter what. God will provide...I just need to focus on this first.

Thank you for your help.

okrochkova said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
okrochkova said...

Thank you for your blog. I live in Kazakhstan, have an almost 8-month old and have used your blog on a regular basis as a resource for helpful, fresh ideas =)
My son (Max) is similar to your Brayden. He's now a great napper and nighttime sleeper, but is a sun riser and doesn't need 12 full hours of nighttime sleep. He just started staying awake 2 hours and sleeping 2, so now we're on a 4 hour schedule. The problem is...a 7 pm bedtime is way too early for him. I've been letting him take a third nap when he can't make it to 8:30, which is his current bedtime, but on those days, he isn't ready to go back to sleep at 8:30. However, without it he gets so fussy before bedtime. We start the day at 6:30 or 7, depending on what time Max wakes. Now that the sun comes up so early, he's usually awake before 7. I've ready all through your posts for ideas...maybe I missed something? What did you do about this huge gap before bedtime? Also, I read that you suggested not moving to 4 hours before the baby is sleeping 12 hours at night, but he moved to it himself and I'm pretty sure he's just not a 12 hour sleeper.
Thanks again!!! God bless!

Lisa Hardy said...

OK. I have a question. I have an 8 week old and it is now springtime and the weather is getting very nice. So, I like to take him out for walks whenever possible. However, my dilemma is that he falls asleep on the walks. Lately it is taking him longer to fall asleep, but he ultimately does. So, I try to have waketime where we play first and then get him into the stroller when it is time for a nap. But, again, lately he is staying awake during the beginning of the walk and when he does fall asleep it isn't sound. So, we get home, he usually wakes up and when I transfer him to the crib, he won't sleep. So, my question is should I take him on the walk right after he eats as waketime even if he does take a cat nap? Or, continue to do it at naptime?Usually I end up putting him in his swing to try to get the most of his nap when he won't sleep in the crib after the walk. He is starting to sleep longer in the swing, but doesn't always stay asleep there for the full nap.

Plowmanators said...

Gloria, I do appologize that I have taken so long to get to you.

It is totally normal for a baby to go back and forth when first sleeping through the night. Some start and never look back. Many sleep through, wake in the night, sleep through, etc. That is how McKenna has been.

If she is really good at going down for naps in the day and you know her cries, then by this point (4 month old) I think you can do CIO at night. If she fusses going down for naps, then you might want to wait until she is good at that so you know she has the skill for night, also.

Plowmanators said...

Okrochkova, At that age, Brayden had a later bedtime. When we dropped the third nap, we moved bedtime up.

You want baby sleeping 10-12 hours at night before four hour schedule.

If he wakes at 7, try out a bedtime 10 hours before that--so 9 PM. That is what we did with Brayden. When the third was dropped, his bedtime went up to 8:00 or 8:30. Then when the first nap was dropped, he went to 7:30. Good luck!

Plowmanators said...

Lisa, we always do walks during waketime. Walks are as long as they can be for the waketime, but no longer. I always have baby home in time for the start of the nap. Waketime is the walk :) As he gets older, you will be able to take long walks. Before you know it he will be a year old and you will walk to the park, play, and walk home all before naptime :)

sj_hansen said...

Thank you so much for the time you take to share this information with us. I have found so many answers to my questions and visit your site most days.

My son is now 11 weeks old and has been sleeping through the night from his 10pm dreamfeed until 5.30 - 7.30am for the last two weeks. On the days he wakes at 5.30am I feed him from one side and start our day at 8am (2.5 - 3.5hr cycle with 6 feeds incl dreamfeed). On the days he wakes from 6.30am onwards I treat that as the first feed of the day and try to extend his feeds to reach my normal bedtime of 7.30pm after a 7pm feed.

My trouble is that instead of being able to extend the schedule he seems to be reducing it to the point where he is either coming in to a growth spurt or I need to add another feed in to the second day to get him through. Either way there seems to be nothing consistent on every second day except the sleep/wake/eat cycle. Any clues?

Plowmanators said...


I have found that to be true with McKenna, also. My thought is that perhaps she isn't really ready to go down to fewer feedings yet, so every other day she needs to have some extra ounces. I am not sure if it is true or not, but it is my current theory :)

sj_hansen said...

Thanks Valerie,

It ended up being his 12 week growth spurt and after that settled down he is now waking between 6.30 - 7.30am. My desired waketime is 7.30 - 8am but I am happy to treat these as the first feeds of the day and extend his mornings a little as it is now getting too close to 8am to give him just one side and put him back to bed. I am pretty sure he is almost there anyhow as he has woken up 20mins later each morning for the last 4 now.

I can't tell you what a relief it is to have your blog to come to when we are having difficulties. Even if I can't find the answer I find other first time mums who can't find the answers either!!! Its nice to know I am not alone in my confusion. I really appreciate the immense effort you put in - cheers Sue x

Plowmanators said...

Thanks Sue! I am glad the blog has helped out; it is always good to hear :)

MamaGaz said...

Help! I am newly a mother of 5 (6, 4, 2 and 7 week old identical twins). We are SO blessed with these children, but I'm a little surprised at how differently things are working out with the twins. My other children slept 8-10 hours each night by the age of 8 weeks with no scheduling involved so it was not something I was going to implement this time around either unless needed. WELL IT'S NEEDED! I'm starting from scratch it seems. The boys are eating every 2 hours (since they were born) and have acid reflux issues (which has made me hesitant to delay feedings so they eat more later since eating more causes them pain and TONS of spitting up). The 2 hour feedings continue through the night - but sometimes they will sleep for 3 hours, and a couple of times 4 (usually during the day though). When I try to wake them to eat during the day if they are sleeping for too long it seems as though they cannot be persuaded to eat no matter what I do. When I try to give them awake time they stay up for no more than an hour happily - then it takes me a while to get them BOTH to sleep (usually one goes right to sleep while the other fusses and cries, then when he falls asleep, the other wakes up!) We are now starting homeschool with my two daughters while my 2 year old seems to be everywhere he shouldn't I'm becoming more and more anxious about my time management (since it seems I'm constantly holding or feeding a baby or chasing after my 2 year old) - NOT to mention the very extreme sleep depravation I'm experiencing due to NO naps during the day and very little sleep each night! Is there any help for me!? After reading what seems to be simple, I'm having a hard time deciding how to actually implement this advice with two babies at once since it is seeming to be harder and harder to keep them on any kind of schedule at this point! THANK YOU!

Plowmanators said...

It sounds like you have a lot on your plate right now and could benefit from some help.

First, I would see if you can have someone help you. A relative, friend, a teenage girl you trust...twins would be hard enough without trying to also homeschool. That by itself is a full time job.

With the two year old, get some structure in the day. Even if all you get is naptime and have her play independently each day, that will give you some big chunks of time to do other things and to help prevent mischief.

With the twins, 7 weeks is still young. If they were early, remember to keep their adjusted age in mind. If they are small, they will need to eat more often. Reflux babies need to eat more often. Be sure to see the blog label "reflux" for lots of info on it.

1 hour is a long time for a 7 week old. Even now at 9 weeks, look to be 45-60 minutes total including a feeding.

I have a good friend with 6 under the age of 7. Her last two are b/g twins. Her advice is to not expect to have any sort of life other than caring for twins. Twins are really hectic and take a lot of time. You will get back to having more time eventually, but if you keep your expectations in the right place, you will be a lot happier :)

lincma said...
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lincma said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Plowmanators said...

lincma, I am sorry it has taken me so long to get back to you. I hope you got things figured out!

lincma said...

I've gotten some things figured out, but I still have some questions. My son is 14 weeks old and I haven't been able to get naps down. Just within the last week I've actually gotten in a lot of naps longer than 45 minutes so that's coming, but it doesn't seem to matter on the waktime length he nearly always takes about 1/2 hour to fall asleep. Is it probably the waketime length and I need to just keep trying things or might it be something else? I've been trying between 55-70 minutes of waketime. He tends to stay awake a little longer if I keep him up 70 minutes. Thanks!

lincma said...

Another question. :) He is a very active little boy and he is very happy most the time. Do you think that he just has a hard time winding down after playing so much? When I put him down he just plays the whole time until he finally falls asleep. I try to have a little wind down time before naps and I've tried doing the babywhisperer "sit", but I don't feel his body relaxing. He also doesn't have very good sleep cues so I feel like it's a shot in the dark as to when to put him down. Should I be doing things during waketime that are more stimulating? BW has not been an easy thing for me. I started at 5 weeks and I think I have yet to get a full completely successful day with naps. I am so ready to get him to sleep!

Shram3 said...

My 7 week old has bad gas, and just started meds for reflux. He doesn't sleep well during the day. I try to stay to eat / wake / sleep, but sometimes he skips a whole sleep cycle, and then is hungry again and overtired, and I end up doing eat - sleep because he needs the rest so bad. THEN he wakes himself up with gas or pain. What do I do?

Shram3 said...

Oh and weight is definitely not a problem, he's 14 lbs already. He just won't sleep!

Rebecca said...

Hi. I love your blog! It has given me much insight to things I found very confusing earlier. I have the same problem as "shram3" accept she is not on any meds. She is 7 weeks old and has bad gas. Again, she also has a hard time napping during the day, and I end up doing a feed/sleep cycle sometimes because she needs it so bad. she is 10 lbs and I try to feed at 8, 11, 2, 5, 8, and 11. Do I need an extra feeding during the day? Sometimes, when I do manage to get her to sleep, she could go longer than 3 hours. Other times, it seems as though she could only go 1 1/2 hours. I am bottle feeding, so I know she gets anywhere between 2 1/2 to 4oz per bottle. That is also never the same though. Any suggestions?

lincma said...

Okay...sorry I keep adding things but it seems like things don't stay consistent very long. :) This week (mostly because I had family around for a couple days) he had wake time of 1.5 hrs. and he actually fell asleep pretty quickly. Yay! I'm going to keep playing with it a little but that's seeming to work much better. He does fuss a little when I put him down and that's not normal so I think I might try shortening it a little and see if that helps but I think it's coming! Another problem... :) He is still not STTN. He did on and off for a few days and actually went about 4 days in a row once, but he hasn't STTN in several weeks now. I feel like I've tried everything. Feeding more, making sure evening feeds/df weren't closer than 3 hrs., dropping the df, sticking in the paci... Last night I tried CIO. It did not work! I was wondering for a while if maybe it could be a growth spurt, but it just keeps going on. The reasons I think he doesn't need to be waking anymore is because 1.A couple mornings I fed him at 6 and he didn't seem that hungry 3.5 hrs. later still. 2.He's STTN before. 3.He's 15 wks old and 17 lbs. (he does seem really solid though and isn't quite as chubby as he sounds). :) I've also considered over-feeding??? Or maybe feeding even more??? He doesn't stop a feed very often but I always make sure he's content. I feed him formula and it's usually 6.5 oz/feed. He usually has at least 43oz/day which would be 2.5 x weight. My schedule has been lately: Wake up/eat-7:30, 10:30, 1:30, 4:30, 6:30, 9:45(df) with bedtime at 8-8:30 and waketime apprx. 1.5 hrs. He doesn't wake at the same time every night. Last night when I finally fed him he fell back asleep, but other nights he still is sometimes restless after I feed him. He also was using a paci, but I'm fed up with it because I'm suspicious of everything possibly causing sleep issues so as of last night, he's done with it! :) He would spit it out before falling asleep though. I was also wondering if I should maybe switch to a 3.5 or 4 hr schedule. He's not STTN or sleeping past feedings, but from what I've read on baby whisperer it seems like that sometimes helps sleep issues. I'm just at a complete loss and I would appreciate any suggestions you might have. I appreciate your blog a LOT because I don't know of anyone around me doing BW. Thank you so much!

lincma said...

Well, I think I'm getting things figured out slowly here. I also discovered and joined the yahoo group and that's been tremendous help! What a great idea! You don't have to worry about replying. Your time is precious! :) Thanks so much!

Debbie Nash said...

Thank you for keeping this blog, it really has been a big help! Now that I say that, I need help or clarification. My so son is turing 4 months this week. He sleeps an average of 15 of 24 hours. We get the feed/wake/sleep cycle, but can not seem to get out of a routine and onto a schedule. (I've tried to read all post related to these questions, but am still stuck). Two things seem to keep us from a schedule. First, I can not get a wake time the same and secondly, if he wakes 30 minutes early from a nap, our schedule is off. I can hold off on feeding him, but then our next time is way off. I've been writing down every detail from his day for the past 2 weeks, and have, within ten minutes, a consistent last feed (7:15) and Dreamfeed (10:15). He wakes anywhere between 6:15 and 7:00 am. My baby is happy and healthy, about 20 pounds and seems ready for a 4 hour schedule (not interested in breastfeeding at 3 hours, even if waking early), but I'm concerned about moving to it before we drop the dreamfeed. His morning two naps are fairly consistant, but the 3rd nap is sometimes 45 min. going back to sleep in 15 min., sometimes does not going back to sleep . And the 4th nap, the only one he still has to CIO, is normally only 30-40 minutes. Well, I didn't mean to write so much, if anything this blog is "just" a great way for moms to "vent" to someone who seems to be listening. Thank you, thank you, thank you. By now all three of your little ones are running around, and one in school? How wonderful!

Plowmanators said...


My experience is that if it takes them a long time to fall asleep, something isn't right. At that age, it can be that waketime is too long or too short. It can also be that waketime activities aren't stimulating enough.

However, the Baby Whisperer says the average baby takes 20-30 minutes to fall asleep, so it might just be that your baby is average.

Plowmanators said...


It is a hard thing to know for sure, but he might need more sitmulation or less.

Just be sure that your sleep routine is consistent for each nap. At his age, you won't feel his body relaxing really. I still stand and hold McKenna for a minute or two before naps, but she just grabs my face and kisses relaxing :)

Plowmanators said...


The gas and reflux would disrupt sleep. It is totally normal.

I would put him in a swing or somwhere he can be comfortable sleeping. See the blog label "reflux" and also the post "waking early from naps/won't fall asleep for naps"

Plowmanators said...


If she is waking because of gas pain, I would give her either gripe water or mylicone drops (you can use a store brand).

Plowmanators said...

lincma, I am glad you are getting things figured out.

Plowmanators said...

Sorry, I entered too soon. I am glad you are finding the group useful too! It is a great group.

Plowmanators said...


With McKenna, I went to four hours before dropping the dreamfeed. But if he sometimes wakes up early, then it would make a four hour schedule hard.

Julie said...

I have a 3 week old baby, and we are doing very well with the consistently of 2.5-3 hours for feedings throughout the day...but my question is about his schedule. It is currently- 6, 9, 11:30, 2:30, 5, 7:30 (bedtime), and 10 as a DF. Then he wakes up naturally between 1:30-2:30 and again around 5:30. Since he is waking up at 5:30, could I move 9 to be the waketime and count the 5:30 as the 2nd night feeding? (I also thought that would be good for the weekends.) I haven't been giving alert time at the 10, 2 and 5:30 feedings. I originally wanted the waketime to be early due to having to go back to work; however I won't go back until he is 12 weeks old, and by that time he will be on fewer feedings, in turn on a different schedule, correct?
Also, he is still quite fussy when I put him down for naps after about 1 hour of waketime. He stays awake, very alert, and doesn't cry until 10-15 minutes or so and then it takes 30 minutes (sometimes longer) to finally go to sleep. I feel like I'm cheating him of waketime because he is so alert. I almost think a longer waketime would make him go to sleep faster instead of making him too tired. Thoughts?
One last thing...last night he wouldn't go back to sleep after his first middle of night feeding. He would "sleep" 10-15 and then cry on and off. I didn't think he was hungry so I let him CIO. He cried until it was time for the 5:30 feeding and I don't know why!
Thanks so much for your help. I've become obsessed with your blog! :)

Plowmanators said...


It is possible that he will be on a different schedule by 12 weeks, but also possible that he will be on the basic 3 hour schedule and sleeping from DF to waketime.

If it were me, I would set waketime now for how you want it long term. This is training period, and by 12 weeks you are starting to live what you trained.

BUT you could also do a waketime around 7ish and just move it back to 6 when you do start working so you can sleep an extra hour until then.

Definitely do not do a longer waketime than 1 hour for a three week old. The crying is a sign that he is up too long. Even now at 5 weeks, do not move to longer than one hour. It should still be 45-60 minutes. Then can vary throughout the day, with the first waketime length being the shortest.

the crying in the night is tricky. When it is an uncommon ocurrance, I think it is best to check on them and make sure they are warm enough/not too hot, clean diaper, comfy, not in pain, etc. Check all of those things.

Good luck!

Tiffany said...

I don't know why, but my brain is having hard time setting a schedule for my son. He is now a few days past 6 weeks. Also, we didn't start trying to implent the Babywise method until middle of last week. (I guess I shouldn't have second guess myself just cause noone understood what I was talking husband has finally started reading the book.) We started out with a wake time of 7am then other feedings at 10, 1, 4, 7, 10. I would let him wake me up, which was usually around 2am. But he was usually hungry before the 7 am feeding. So I added a 4am feeding. I guess I should have fed him at 4am and put him down...for some reason I was trying to make it just another feed/wake/nap cycle. I think what confused me was the example schedule that was in the book. It has 7 feedings from Early morning till Late evening with only one nighttime feeding. So my husband and I changed it to a 7, 10, 1, 3:30, 6, 8:30, 11 schedule...but I was still getting woke up twice at night. Plus, I was having a hard time getting him up to feed at the later feedings during the day..and he would either want to go straight back to sleep or would finally wake up and then cry the entire "wake-time". I guess my question is should I stick out the "new" schedule a few more nights, or is it okay to only have 6 daytime feedings and two at night as needed? I know I am probably over-thinking the whole thing...but I just want to get Ethan on a schedule that is best for both of us. I only have two more weeks before I have to go back to work. Oh, and I am breastfeeding.

Plowmanators said...


You can do that (six day and two night). The downside is when he drops one, you still have one night feeding.

Another option is called cluster feeding where you feed every two hours in the evening, but if you are having a hard time keeping him up, that might not be a great option for you.

One thing to make sure of is that you have NO waketime after the 10 or 11 PM feeding (aka Dreamfeed).

Also, there is a good chance he won't need any waketime after the 7 or 8:30 PM feeding. If you are feeding at 8:30, defintely do no waketime following. Just feed and back to bed. If he needs a diaper change, do it betewen sides. If he is eating at 7, he might need waketime but he also might not.

anaana said...

Hi there, I'm a new user and hope I am asking this question in the right place. I tried looking up the answer but I think my situation is unique.

My daughter is one week shy of 9 months. She normally went to bed around 6pm and woke up at 6am but on the day she turned 8 months she started waking at 5am. I waited a few days thinking it was a one day wasn`t. I tried extending her bedtime to 6:30 but she still woke up at 5am (I didn`t want to put her to bed earlier since 6 seemed early). I tried changing her and feeding/changing her at 5am and putting her right back to bed but she will not go back to sleep...once she's up, she's up for awhile. So I just keep her in bed till 6am and she's fine in there.

Also, around this time she would no longer fall asleep for her third nap...she's in bed for an hour and no nap (she used to nap fine). So I figured she was ready to drop the third nap and it`s been over a week she's been sleeping 2 naps and she's still waking at 5am. The first day of the time change she woke at 4am but every other morning since then she woke at 5am so she seems capable (minus one wake at 3:30am but after 1.5 hours of being in bed after a change she fell asleep till 7am).

How should I go about getting her to sleep an extra hour in the morning, if possible. It`s throwing off the whole daily routine. I would prefer 7am but that seems like such a longshot these days. Her schedule`s all messed now so I`m not sure where to start. She wakes at 5, gets up at 6, gets tired at 7 so naps now between 7:30-9:30 (instead of 8:30-10:30) which means she needs another nap at 11:30 (her lunch used to be at 11:30) and with no third nap she has 4-5 hours waketime which is a lot for her. I`ve been putting her to bed at 5:30 this week and I`m planning to get it back to 6pm next week.

What would you do. Let me know if you need more info. Oh and the reason she goes to bed so early is she was superfatiqued at 3 months and I had to put her to bed at 5pm till she caught up on sleep (she wasn`t by the book and my dr and lactation specialist insisted I feed her at least 8 times per 24 hours) but she needed way more sleep and one less feeding...then a trip to the granparents where she didn`t nap for 2 days played a huge role in it too...I guess cuz she was already overtired she just couldn`t catch up on missed sleep after that trip)...once she caught up (2 months later) we moved her bedtime to 6pm and we can`t seem to move it any later...6:30 was fine when she had 3 naps but 7pm would take her till 8pm to fall asleep. Anyway, I need more outside perspective. Thank you so much for any advice anyone has to offer. Jean.

Plowmanators said...


First, unless she is crying, I would work toward getting her up later. 7 is a reasonable time. You said you are getting her up at 6. I would start at 6:15 for a week. Then move to 6:30 for a week. Then 6:45 for a week. Then move to 7. Start your day at 7 each day after that.

Then you need to figure out your bedtime.

I would feed her at 7. Have a nap by 9. Get her up and feed her at 11. Then have another nap by 1. Then get her up at 3. Offer a liquid feeding. Then do dinner at some point. Have her in bed by 7. If she can't make it until then for bed, then have a third nap. Keep that nap to 30-60 minutes.

violeta_arranz said...

Hi!! I really love your bolg. It's so helpfull! And I have a desperate question for you.
I have a 3-year-old boy who always went to sleep well, but always woke up at night several times. Good routine, but he doesn't need much sleep. It was a true nightmare, for months he would weak every hour!! I finally managed to make him sleep through the night when he has 2 1/2. I told him I wouldn't be happy if he woke me up and told him off the first 2 nights and it worked!!
Now I have another baby boy who's 7 months. He doesn't need much sleep either (9.5-10 hours at night & 2 naps of about 1.5 hours). He eats cereals for dinner (8 pm) and goes to sleep at 9 pm. Then at 3.30-4 am he wakes to nurse and when he weaks at 6.30 & he's not hungry(not until 8). (This is too early for me) I've tried CIO for over 2 weeks but it didn't work. He's very stubborn!
During the day he eats every 4 hours, and although he eats the cereals with a spoon perfectly well, he rejects purees! (When we had to bottle him occasionnaly because I had a meeting, he'd rather not eat for 10 hours, than drink from the bottle (with my milk inside!!) He really is stubborn and I feel he's doing the same thing with purees now.
I'd love to sleep the whole night or make him wake up at 7.30!! I'm too tired because I only slept well for 6 months (from the moment my older kid started sleeping through the night till the baby was born), and I was at the end of my pregnancy! I feel I haven't slept well for nearly 4 years, and really feel I am about to crack!!! I'd love to have more children, but both my partner and I are suffering too much from this lack of sleep. It's even affecting our relationship and making things very tough for us.
Could help us with some kind of advice?? Thank you SO MUCH.

Violeta said...

An update of my desperate post. When I wrote it (on the 13th), my baby had been doing all those things for nearly 2 months. I don't know what happened, either it was time for a change or he saw he had beaten me and decided to give me a rest.

He's now doing two long naps and an evening short one, going to bed at 9:30-10, waking just for a feeding at 3:30-5:00 and then waking up at 7:30-8:30 (and I'm happy with that).

And I also found a way of preparing his vegetable purees so that he'll it them.

It seems we were in a sort of impasse and finally found a kind of way out! Thanks for listening and for the hope!


Plowmanators said...

Violeta, I am glad you could figure it out!

An idea for you, he should be able to go to bed in the 7 PM hour, and there is a good chance if you do that, he will sleep through without waking up, so when you are feeling brave, give that a try :)

1st time mom said...

Hi! Your blog has been a lifesaver for me. Thanks for all the great info. I had a question regarding my son. He is 7 weeks but was 2 1/2 weeks early. One is it too early to put him on a strict BW schedule?
I have been trying to follow BW since he was born. He currently does a combo 2.5/3 hour combo with an occasional 2 hour. His schedule is inconsisitent and is a pattern vs a schedule.
He is a sleepy baby when breast feeding and always falls a sleep. He nurses for about 10 minutes on each breast with burping and letting his tummy settle ( he is a spitter)the whole routine takes about 45 minutes to 1 hour. In the day time I always change or check his diaper on the changing table after his feedings. He falls asleep right after that or maybe about 20-30 minutes later. The problem he only naps for about 30-45 minutes and wakes up crying. Sometimes I am able to rock him back to sleep but other times he just seems to be fussy. Do you know why he is doing this- are his wake times too short?
Also, we do our bedtime routine at 7 with a bath , eat ( about 8 pm when he done bathing and eating) and he supposed to go to sleep but he always is wide awake and won;t sleep until after his next feeding at 10- 10:30 pm. He then goes to sleep for about 3-4 hours until his middle of the night feeding. Do you have any advice on what I can do to make him sleep between his 8 and 10:30 feeding? Thanks again for your amazing blog!!!

scarlett's mom said...

I have a three week old today, and I have been trying the BW sch. since we came home from the hospital. We are still trying to get the 2.5-3 eat cycle down, but sleeping is horrible. She wants to fall asleep nursing, and when I put her in her crib awake she always cries. I have tried the CIO method, but sometimes this continues for an hour or more. I make sure nothing is wrong, clean, fed, etc. but she likes to be held. Naptimes are a little better than nighttime, but not much. I've read all the post and I'm looking for sleep cues, but I don't know how to teach her to self soothe. She hates a pacifer, and I don't know how young too young may be for CIO. My husband and I are weary.
Also, for a week now she has been having a horrible time from 8:30pm-1am. Wanting to eat every hour or so, Crying while being put down. I just don't know what I'm doing wrong. We burp her as best she will, she does have some gas, but we're doing gas drops.
Any suggestions? Thank you so much

Plowmanators said...

1st Time Mom,

I am not sure what you mean by strict BW schedule. You don't want to have the mindset that you are on a strict schedule because that will cause interference for growth spurts and other issues.

If you mean consistent and predictable, he is not too young. You can definitely work toward that.

Waking early at that age will likely be: 1.Growth spurt 2.Waketime was too long or 3.In pain or otherwise uncomfortable

For bedtime, he might be overstimulated at that point. He might be up too long--especially if your feeding and such routine is usually 45-60 minutes.

Some babies get wired from a bath, so I would try the bath at a different time of day to see if cutting the bath helps.

Be sure to check out the "optimal waketime" label to make sure waketime is where it needs to be.

I am glad you like the blog!

Plowmanators said...

Scarlett's Mom,

There are a few things you can try. One is swaddling if you are not swaddling. Since she likes to be held, swaddling will help her feel cozy. Also, you might consider the SnuggleU that I sell, see the top left of the page for a button--click on it and you will learn more.

She also might have reflux. She also might have witching hour, and there is the chance for colic. See "witching hour" blog label for more on that.

And be sure to check out the CIO bootcamp post and the 4 S's label for help and guidance on teaching her to sleep on her own.

liz22 said...

So glad I found your blog!
I have been using BW from birth with my second child now (used it with the first since birth, too). She is almost 6 weeks old now and we are on a flexible 3 hr schedule. Her schedule is morning wake-up at 7, then usually eating at 10, 1, 4... then comes the problem... 6 and a dreamfeed somewhere around 10, then the middle of night sometime. She has consistently been waking up after only two hours from her 4 o'clock feeding. She then starts her fussy time when she wakes up at 6 (or witching hour as you refer to it). She is extremely fussy until about 7:30 or later when I can get her to calm down. She is also very hungry when she wakes at 6 but has eaten well throughout the day (she is bottle fed and eats 4 oz at each feeding without any trouble)... I can't figure out why she won't sleep past 6...HELP!!! It's not gas, noise from sibling, diaper...not sure what to do or is it ok??

liz22 said...

Oh I also wanted to add, she is waking up on her own for the dreamfeed always between this really considered a dreamfeed then? She does go right back to sleep after. I don't really want to wake her any earlier because then she will be waking up by 12:30 to eat (she seems to wake like clockwork every 3 hours during the night).

Plowmanators said...

As for the fussy evenings, that is totally normal. There is nothing you can do other than help her be as calm as possible and wait for her to get older.

For the "dreamfeed"--that is fine if she wakes for it. It is still a dreamfeed.

hammerick said...

Thank you so much for creating this blog. It is the best! I am a first time mom and so confused about a couple of things. I have a 3 month old daughter and she is NOT STTN yet (according to me). She nurses at 6, 9, 12, 3, 6, and 9. After the 9:00, we will do bedtime routine and at about 10:15-10:30 I will give her a bottle of formula (as part of bedtime routine...and hoping that it will make her sleep longer). She will go to sleep at about 10:30-45 and wakes anywhere between 3:30-5:30. The 5:30 is GREAT!!! Close to "wake time" at 6:00. But she has only done that's usually more toward the 3:00 end. I know she's not hungry because I can give her the pacifier and it will last for 30-60 minutes before I have to put it in again. BW says that she SHOULD be sleeping 7-8 hours...and she isn't. We are into the 3rd month now and BW says she should be sleeping 9-10 hours. I feel like she is NEVER going to get there. :( Also, she is so hard to wake for the 9:00 feeding. She will eat just fine, but wants to sleep right after. She will fuss and cry when I try to get her to wake for bedtime routine. Is that a sign she is trying to tell me something? Help! So here are my questions...

1. Should I make bedtime earlier? HSH,HC says to go to bed earlier to sleep longer. Should I have 6:00 be the last feed, then do bedtime routine and a bottle after that? Should I not do that bottle as part of bedtime routine? Should I do a dreamfeed and if so...what time? I'm heading back to work in 2 weeks and getting really nervous (FYI-my husband works out of state, I will be doing all of it on my own...I'm getting stressed). If I drop that last 9:00 feed, I'm afraid she won't be able to make it through the night.

2. She isn't a long napper. I've been putting her down for the last hour of our 3 hour cycle. Is that enough nap time? I found in the past that when I put her down earlier, she would wake and not go back to sleep. Is that acceptable? I thought she was supposed to sleep up until the next feeding. Do I let her cry? which lead me to my next question...

3. When she wakes up at naps and in the middle of the night do I let her CIO? I don't rush in when she starts to stir, sometimes she just whines and puts herself back to sleep. But shen she starts full out crying, it's hard for her to go back down. I've let her CIO a number of times...she will go for up to 2 hours. It's KILLS me! I'm supposed to be consistant with naps and night time, right? If she CIO at night, she should CIO at naps too?

I know these questions hit a number of different posts...I've read a lot on your site, but just don't know where to go next. I'm so frustrated. Thanks!

Plowmanators said...


For the STTN, my guess is she is overly tired. If you want the results at the time BW says they will come, then you need to do things more closely to how BW says to do them. So she should be going to bed closer to 7 PM. That means you will do the bedtime routine at that time rather than after the 9 PM feeding. Since your baby is being fully wakened, it is disrupting normal nightime sleep.

So, 1- Yes, bedtime earlier. You will still want to do a dreamfeed at 9 most likely, though.

2-You want her to be napping for 1.5-2 hours per cycle.

3-I would not let her cry mid-nap at this point, though.I would give her about 10 minutes, but then go in and help her get back to sleep.

Sarah said...

I am so sorry to bother you. I hope i do not sound redundant asking this. Okay i too have a 4 month old who slept 7 hours at night until 3 weeks ago. we were always more on a routine than a schedule so now i am trying to make that transition. My question is If i make her awake time 7:30 am and her sleep time 8:30pm than what time do i feed her the last feeding? she is on a 3.5-4hr. routine. so it goes feed at 7:30 am. 11-11:30,3-3:30pm 6:30-7pm ... so is the 6:30or 7pm feeding her last feeding before going to bed at 8:30? does this make sense? It seems like 6:30/7:00pm is a little early for her last feeding. Can 4 month olds go from 6:30pm all the way to 7:30am? does this make sense?

clare said...

Hi there,

My 4 month old was sleeping 10-7 am for a while, but recently started waking earlier and earlier. I have had to adjust our morning wake time several times due to this, but try to stay as consistent as possible.

My question is, if my ideal schedule is 7, 10, 1, 4, 7, 10, does that mean 7 pm is "bedtime"? From the book, I thought that there was still an optional wake time before the late night feed at 10 pm, so I was very surprised to learn that I must establish a bedtime. I must have not read something clearly in the book!

Also, my dilemma is that after his 4 pm feed/wake time, he only does a catnap of 45 mins, so his feed is never at 7 pm, usually somewhere between 6-6:30 pm. Then, he consistently wakes 45 mins after being put to bed at this bedtime or "nap" and will cry very hard, sometimes as long as 1.5 hours. I couldn't figure out whether it was overtiredness or hunger, and so if I fed him, it would also consistently be earlier than 10 pm. Because of this, and because I know my son can't sleep longer than 8 hours without food, he has been waking earlier and earlier, and I have had to feed around 5-6 am, which has been throwing off our 7 am wake time. Do you have any advice? Thank you so much.

Plowmanators said...

Sarah, I would do one of the following:

1-Make 7 PM her last feeding--but she might not be able to make it past 7 AM if you do that.

2-Feed at 6:30 (or switch so she is eating at 6 PM), then feed again at 8:30 right before bed.

3-Extend to a full 4 hour schedule, ending at 7:30 with the last feeding.

4-Continue as you are except add in a dreamfeed around 10 PM to make sure she gets through the night.

Good luck!

Plowmanators said...

Clare, yes, you want bedtime happening after that 7 PM feeding.

When he wakes early after his 4 PM feeding, I would try to distract him to get as close to 7 as possible. See if you can push him 5 minutes a day until he can make it closer to your feeding time. Good luck!

The Beagles! said...

Can anyone help? I won't dare go into the book that is my history of sleep issues/training with my now 7month 1week old boy. Basically now, to keep things short he is still most often taking short naps. What was 20 and 35mins is now the 45 min intruder. I've tried everything. He has ALWAYS been this way. So where we are now is he naps short most the time and goes down easily for 3 naps a day. His waketime is about 1.5-1.75hrs. But he REFUSES a 4th nap. (althought he clearly needs it). He will scream for hours for it. So after several attempts we have pretty well dropped it leaving him with usually around 4 hours of waketime before bedtime. Which I KNOW is NOT RIGHT! ....Therefore he is ready for bed early and we begin bedtime routine at 5pm and he is asleep by 5:30-5:45pm. He sometimes wakes randomly around 8pm. And sometimes around 10p-12a. Typically I let him work that out and he goes back to sleep. Then he wakes around 3-4:30am. He eats vigorously for this waking. Then goes back to sleep, but wants up at 5:30am. QUESTION: I am glad he is sleeping 12 hours, especially with his terrible naps but how can I get his bedtime later so we can change his wake up time? Am I doomed until naps and/or waketimes magically lengthen, if ever?
Thanks for any help. This blog and the support within are just a priceless blessing!

Plowmanators said...


I would start by having a consistent morning waketime. See the post Early Morning Feedings Before Waketime:

and treat the 5:30 AM as an early morning feeding. Start your day at 7 AM for now. Then shoot for a 7 PM bedtime. If he is asleep by 5:30 PM, wake him up after a short bit to get him going to bed. See the "time change" posts to get his clock changed--treat it like a time change. Good luck!

Time Change Strategies:

Time Change Strategies (again) :

Rlynn said...

Timothy is 11 weeks old and has slept for 7-8 hours (11 pm-6am and lately 10.30pm-6.30am) since he was 8 weeks old, but I always had to wake him up completely for his last feeding (9.30ish) and keep him awake until at least 10.15, otherwise he would wake up at 5.30am to nurse, and would treat that as his first meal of the day (he won't go back to sleep).

He nurses 6 times a day (6.30am and every 3 hour afterwards). He still hasn't slept longer than 8 hours. Should I extend his last feeding to 10pm and let him sleep immediately afterwards?

Rlynn said...

An update to my previous post:
This past three days, he's been consistently waking up at 5.15 even though last night I put him to bed at 10.15.
The first night, I gave him his pacifier and after 15 minutes he fell back asleep for another hour and a half. The second night, he wanted to nurse so I breastfed him, and he refused to go back to sleep afterwards so we played, and we managed to get back to our schedule. Last night, though, he pooped a little so I changed him and he was rooting a bit so I nursed him but he refused the second breast (unlike the second night). After that he pooped again (big one this time), I changed him, he showed sleepy signs, and I put him to sleep at 6.15.

I'm confused! Is it a growth spurt, should he sleep earlier (as dr. Weissbluth says), or what?

Thanks for having a wonderful resource blog and for making yourself available for people :)

~Nate and Laura~ said...

I am so happy to find this blog!! Thank you so much for the support and facts to help my baby thrieve with Baby Wise. My baby girl and I are still working on getting a daily schedule down. However, I do know that I want her bedtime feeding to start at 7:30. You say to first stay consistent with this bedtime, so if LO's schedule had me feeding her at 6:00pm (because like I said no established schedule yet) should I still feed her again at 7:30 to keep the bedtime consistent? I would most likely have to wake her to do this. Or push bedtime back 30 minutes? Suggestions?

Erin said...

I've been working on a BW schedule since we brought my LO home. He's now eleven weeks and following daily a schedule pretty well. Although we're having some issues with the 45 minute intruder, my biggest issue is his first morning feeding. My goal wake time for him is 7:30, which he had been doing. However, he's now sleeping from 9 pm until 6/6:30. I have tried to let him CIO but he is hungry. How can I extend his sleep? Any suggestions as to how I can get back to our 7:30 waketime?

Plowmanators said...


First, a lot of babies still aren't sleeping 7-8 hours at 11 weeks, so I wouldn't be doing anything to try to extend it past that yet.

Second, I would say an earlier bedtime is important. Most babies should be in bed for the night in the 7 PM hour (7-8). Then a dreamfeed, but don't wake for the dreamfeed fully.

Good luck!

Plowmanators said...

Nate and Laura,

You can flex within thirty minutes total. I would still feed her close to 7:30, but would probably wait until 8.

Plowmanators said...

Erin, See the post titled "early morning feedings before waketime"

If you go to the blog index and look under "dropping things" index, you will find it. Good luck!

Gwyn said...

we've been doing more of a pattern with our 7 week old - with the first morning wake time being always the same(7am) and her bedtime being the same (after feeding at 11pm). what i didn't realize is that i should back up her bedtime to be 10-12 hours before her first morning wake time. so, do i understand this correctly... i should feed her at 8pm, and instead of doing awake time, put her straight to bed, then wake her up at 11 to feed her, and then allow her to sleep until 7?(she's been sleeping from 11:30-7 straight through for the past week). just want to make sure i understand this. thanks!

Crissy Melaine said...

HI! I really pray that this works and I am leaving a question correctly because I am at a loss of where to begin with how much trouble we are having.

My son is 12 weeks this Thursday (so 11 weeks 4days) but he was born 5 weeks early. So I never know where I should really be because in some ways he acts like an 10-11 weeks old and in others and 6 weeks old.

I have been struggling on getting out of just a pattern and onto more of a schedule. First I can not get our day to start at waketime. He always wakes earlier and I know hes hungry because he takes a full feed most of the time. Sometimes I can get him to fall back asleep but usually not all the way until wake time. This is even after we wake in the middle of the night to eat still. Again for a full feed. I am BF and my supply has been very good so I don't think that is that.

My next problem aside from still waking up in the night and having an early morning feed around 4-5 is his napping. I can't get him to stay asleep for longer that 30-45 minutes. I try to let him fall back asleep on his own but most of the time I have to move him to a swing as you suggest. He sometimes takes forever to fall back asleep in the swing and I have to wake him for his next feed. I have tried to shorten awake times and lengthen. Which leads me to my next issue. I am a little the babywise plan is have him napping within every 3 hr period. So if his wake time is 45-60 min. I basically can never leave the house. When does this stop? I have to admit that we are pretty miserable because we have NO life. We anticipated being at home more and life taking a total turn but this is a lot more than we expected I feel like I am doing something wrong. My husband thinks that we are napping him way more than we need to but I feel like if he falls asleep at all then he must have been tired. Right?

Do you have suggestions as to where is should be and what I should try?
Thank you!

Plowmanators said...

Gwyn, that is right. So 11 would be your dreamfeed. Look up info on dreamfeed for more on that.

Plowmanators said...


I would put his age as five weeks younger in expecting him to reach milestones.

The time spent at home will get better over time. I think there is a significant change 3-4 months. Then again at 6 months, and from there it just gets easier. Around four months, they go to three naps a day so you open up your evenings a lot more.

Crissy Melaine said...

Thank you and it has gotten a little better. My new challenge is that he wakes early from naps but will not cry. He just stays happily in his crib! Sometimes after just a 30 minute nap! I don't know what to do. Pick him up play until he gets tired again? Try the swing sometimes that works but sometimes again he just swings wide awake and happy. I go over to him and he smiles. I feel guilty just leaving him there to be awake! Also the last couple of days he been refusing both afternoon naps. He sleeps well and long in the morning and then when I put him down on the afternoon he will just stay awake! Not really CIO just awake. Then he crashes and burns at 6:30 (which is before our final feeding at 7) so I feed him early and put him down early. He then wakes in the middle of the night (not hungry) but tosses around until he falls back to sleep. I feel like I am doing something wrong. Maybe he doesn't need to sleep as much in the morning then he would nap better in the afternoon?

Potter's House Choir said...

my baby is 4 weeks old and can't seem to get on a schedule. Some days she does great but most are not good. Her wake time is 7 am which she does fine at. She does start waking up at 6:30 so I could probably start her earlier. Her late night feeding is 10 pm, and she usually goes down fine at 10 and does well at night. However, during the day she doesn't go to sleep until about 8:45 am and won't wake up for her 10 am feeding with out about 15 minutes of working on it. After her 10 am feeding she won't go alseep again till about 11:30. Even then she is sleeping she is just calmed down. She seems to wake up well for her 1 pm feeding but again has slept through her 4 pm feeding. What am I doing wrong? Do I let her sleep through those feedings? Change the schedule? She is feeding about 10 mintes on my left side and between 8-12 minutes on my right. Then she refuses to eat after that. New mom in need of help.

bluesweater said...

I had my girl on a great 3 hr routine from 3 weeks old till 8 weeks old. I knew when she would eat and sleep because I chose it.
Her wake time is pretty consistant, but naps are a different story...
Now she's inconsistant because sometimes she'll nap for 40 min, and sometimes 2 hrs and anywhere in her unpredictable napping makes for an unpredictable day.
I still do eat, wake sleep, but because of the inconsistant napping, her feedings are 2-4 hrs depending on how long she sleeps....
It's easy to wake a baby from a nap because its time to eat, but not so easy to make a baby sleep longer because it's not time to eat yet..
it's a bit frustrating, but Im learning to roll with it.
Would you say that at about 6 months I should be back to some predictability?

bluesweater said...

I just wanted to give you some hope..
I felt the exact same way as you...I THOUGHT MY LIFE WAS OVER! I was stuck at home all day because of al the napping! I was going crazy. But yes, they do need to nap that much.
My LO is almost 4 months now and it's amazing how life changes when they have a longer awake time. I now have time to do 1 errand while she's awake for 1.5's glorious!
It will get better for sure, I promise.
Something else I wish I did more was not feel guilty if I wanted to do a car nap, or stroller nap once a day. Once a day isn't going to ruin them in my opinion. If you need to get out, then get out for a walk or whatever and let LO take 1 nap out of the crib. It's not going to wreck what you've been working so hard for.
I needed to take care of myself too and keep my sanity to be in the best condition I could be in for my baby, and that meant doing one nap out of 5-6 out of the house.
HOpe this helps :)

bluesweater said...

one more thing.....
My LO sounds much like yours where she'll take one long nap in the morning, and then the rest of them are 30-40 min no matter what I seem to do.
I've learned to just roll with it, not stress about it too much.
If the baby is happy, then don't stress.

lilacindy said...

Hi there - Thanks so much for the tips on your blog! I am a mom who unfortunately has not successfully followed a truly consistent schedule since day one. My biggest hurdle right now is trying to get my 16 month old (only child) to wake up consistently at the same time every morning. His waketimes can range anywhere from 5:15am-7:30am lately. Sometimes it is dependent on his bedtime; othertimes not. His bedtimes are fairly consistent-between 7-8pm (with some crying, of course). The problem is that he is a kid that wakes up unhappy/crying/whiny about 95% of the time--whether it's in the morning or after naps (this is a whole nother issue). Ideally I'd like to start our day around 7:30am.. but if he wakes up at 5:30am whining/crying-turned screaming... what should I do? Once he's up in the morning, he will not go back to sleep, and lately his waketimes are about 3hrs or more until he'll go down for a nap. I am ok with letting him cry/whine for a bit when he wakes in the morning, but not more than 20mins. Thanks so much for any help/advice you can provide!

Plowmanators said...


I have a post called "Waking Early from Naps/Won't Fall Asleep for Naps." Be sure he isn't having a growth spurt. Also check out the "Naps Troubleshooting Revised and Updated." Good luck!

Plowmanators said...

Potter's House, Just keep working at it. If she won't wake up, you can give her another 10 minutes and see if she is easier to wake up. Consistency pays off so keep at it. She is still young :)

Plowmanators said...


I would say at that age some predictability should be coming. That is the age Brayden really became more consistent.

Plowmanators said...

Oh, and be sure it isn't a growth spurt going on. Six months is a growth spurt age.

Plowmanators said...

lilacindy, I would shoot for 7 AM waketime. I would leave him in bed until as close to 7 as possible. If you do have to get him up a lot sooner, do your best to not feed him until 7. Then at that age, I would do naps at certain times each day, so at 10 every day do nap no matter what time he woke in the morning.

BWinOR said...

My first baby was the ideal BW baby. She was awake for an hour, slept for 2, and I woke her to eat again. My second baby did not fall into a schedule the way #1 did. After reading this article I'd now say that I'm working with a pattern, not a schedule (with #2). So now I'm trying to turn this pattern into a schedule.

In establishing a schedule, what marks the beginning of nap time: when you put baby down or when baby falls asleep? Does your answer change if baby is awake happy in crib as opposed to CIO? I just put my LO down after 2 hrs awake, even though he wasn't fussing, because I want him to get enough sleep before trying to feed him again (7 weeks old, so not more than 3.5 hrs).

Plowmanators said...


I start counting nap time when I put them down--but nap length would be when she actually fell asleep. But if he/she is up for an hour, then put down, I would consider that the start of "nap" time.

The Myers Family said...

THIS IS LONG - SORRY - i have a 3 week old and we started him on the 2.5 hour schedule. i typed out a schedule on Word - maybe i'm a little to crazy on sticking to time frames with our son. besides that so i'm feeding him every 2.5 hours - he only feeds for 15 minutes at a time...all i can get him to eat - i breastfeed and he spits me out after that point. he is awake for around 30 minutes then goes back down. bad thing tho is now after his 15 minutes he spits up and not just a little, he soaks the both of us - he is on zantac and has been for a week or so. i'm wondering if he is eating too often and i need to push his feedings back 30 minutes and start him on a 3 hour schedule...i can't see only letting him eat for 10 minutes at a time. if i put him on the 3 hour i'm having a hard time figuring out a schedule where he'd have a 4 hour sleep stretch at night...any suggestions

BWinOR said...

Myers Family..
When my daughter was on a 3 hr schedule she had a 5 hr and a 4 hr stretch during the night. Doesn't matter which comes first. Of course, this is only if your baby can/will sleep that long. It means only 7 feedings in 24 hrs. My son, now 10 weeks old, was waking 2x during the night on a 3 hr schedule. A wise friend of mine told me to move to a 2.5 hr schedule, which adds an extra feeding during the day. Obviously this does not address your eating issue, but if your baby won't sleep 4 & 5 hrs at night, I think you should stick w/ a 2.5 hr schedule (or maybe a combo 2.5/3 hr).

jogilvie said...

I have an almost 5 week old daughter (she will be 5 weeks tomorrow). I have been bottle feeding her every 3 hours (same schedule each day), but the past few days she has gotten off her schedule. Although she still eats at the same times, she has consistently been leaving almost an ounce of her bottle at each feeding and falling asleep when she eats. Although I try to keep her awake, she falls asleep after she eats and then wakes up 30 min. to an hour afterwards. She had been pretty consistent on her awake and nap time, but for some reason it has also seemed to go out the window. She sleeps great at night, only waking up 2 and 5 and then going right back to sleep. We start our day at about the same time each morning. I am wondering if maybe I should stretch out her feeding times??

Plowmanators said...

Myers Family, you can always try it for a few days and see how that works for you. If this is a reflux issue, monitor Zantac closely. That is not the strongest med out there, so if the Zantac isn't working, talk to your pedi about possibly trying something else.

Plowmanators said...

jogilvie, you can try it, but it might not work if she isn't taking a long enough nap to stretch. I would work to keep her awake while she is eating.

javabean8 said...

I continue to LOVE your blog. I have managed to get my daughter on the BW pattern and was wondering where to go from there. This was very helpful and I plan on starting tomorrow morning by choosing the wake time. Thanks!!

Plowmanators said...

Keep us updated Javabean8!

Lenon said...

I know part of a consistent schedule is having the same wake up time each day. This use to be pretty easy. I would set my alarm for 7 and get her up. Now she wakes between 6:30 and 7 on her own so we don't have the same start time each day. Should I be getting her up at 6:30 so that I wake her and we start at the same time each day and have a consistent schedule? Because right now we have a pattern. Of course this is all on hold right now because we are going through the lovely time change...yippee!

Plowmanators said...


So long as she is happy, I would leave her in her bed until 7. You want to feed her at the same time each day. She should start to sleep closer to 7 if you consistently feed her each day at the same time.

Colleen said...

My 11 wk old son has never slept through the night. He usually eats at 10PM, 2AM, and 6AM (our wake time is 6:15AM). He eats every 3-4 hours. I have followed the principles of Babywise, but the one thing I have not done is wake him up from his naps during the daytime. In Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child he clearly says "Never wake a sleeping baby"! I'm so confused about what to do! I did try waking him every three hours a few weeks ago, and it just made him overtired and cranky. I'm going back to work next week so I'm getting a bit desperate. I thought he would just magically drop the middle of the night feeding (as it says in Babywise), but that hasn't happened. I stopped dreamfeeding for a week to see how he would respond, and he slept from 7PM to 2AM, so I know he can go that long without starving. Should I start waking him during the day? If I do this, should I keep him awake after eating if he wants to continue his nap? Should I continue to let him nap as long as he wants and CIO at 2AM? I practice CIO for all other naps and bedtime, but have never done it at night. I'm so confused because if I feed him (30 min) have 1 hour waketime, and he cries for 30 min before falling asleep, his nap will only be 1 hour. Thanks for any assistance!

Plowmanators said...


He does say that, but also says to wake a sleeping child if it means you are preserving nighttime sleep. He really needs some edits in that book for stuff like that.

It really isn't fair to expect the outcome of Babywise if you don't follow it. So if you don't want to wake him from his naps to feed him in the day as Babywise says, that is totally fine and your decision, but you can't then expect to have the STTN Babywise promises if you aren't actually doing what it says. Does that make sense?

I would suggest you start feeding him every three hours in the day and that you have waketime after each feeding before putting him down for a nap--he is old enough he doesn't need to go right back down as newborns do sometimes.

You will have to decide on the 2 AM and CIO. It does sound like it is possible he is waking out of habit since that is the time he wakes with or without a dreamfeed. It is also possible he is cold or something, so I would look at all possibilities.

See also the optimal waketime posts. He should be awake closer to one hour total at that age, not 1.5 hours, before his next nap. That should help with the crying. Good luck!

Abi Spencer said...

I would really appreciate some input. My little boy is nearly 5 months old. After reading this post - I realize that we are in a great pattern but I don't know how to get to the consistent place. The inconsistency comes with his nap lengths. We have a set wake up time but honestly the last feeding of the day can vary up to an hour depending on how naps went. We are still on a three hour schedule because I am working to drop the dream feed next week and have started weaning back the length of the dream feed. But back to our inconsistency: I would say 30% of the time Liam wakes up early from a nap. By early - I mean around the 1 hr mark. I have read about the 45 minute intruder and nap issues but honestly don't think it is a feeding problem. He seems to nurse very regularly. My big question is: If he wakes early - should I go ahead and feed him (thus the varying schedule and last feeding of the day)? Or - wait it out until we are at the scheduled feeding time? Thanks SO much!

Alison said...

I am no expert, but I had the same exact problem. At my daughter's 4 mo appt (she will be 5 mo in a couple of days) my pediatrician, who is also a lactation consultant, said to stick to the feed schedule and let the naps happen however they happen. I put her on a 3.5hr schedule the next day with a wake up time of 7am the and last feeding at 9 pm. I allow her sleep cues even if that means she naps right after she eats (this usually happens at least once s day). I stick to that unless there is extenuating circumstances and its been such a relief. Sometimes she naps for 2.5 hrs and sometimes she only goes for 1hr four times that day. I don't stress because she sleeps through the night and is happy when she is awake. I have discovered that the eat, play, sleep just doesn't work for my baby along with a schedule (though it did for my first 2 kids perfectly). While I don't have absolute consistancy, my days go a lot smoother and I can actually make plans now.

Hannah said...

Alison, I have the EXACT same thing happening with my son. He is 5.5 months and I thought I was doing something wrong because his naps are never at exactly the same time, even though the feeding times are. He seriously does the exact same, most days are 3-4 1hr naps. Can be annoying if you're trying to get things done outside the house, but I decided to stop stressing since he STTN pretty well (aside from occasional waking, but he always falls back asleep within minutes on his own). It's nice to know that I'm not alone! Thank you for posting this.

Plowmanators said...


I would stick to more of a feeding schedule no matter what time naps happen. But at 5 months you do need to be careful if you do that because he is very young and will still have growth spurts that might need more frequent feedings. So do that if you think you can catch the need for more food.

Katy said...

A friend just recommended this site, and I'm overwhelmed and excited by everything I'm reading. BUT, I don't know where to start. My 7 month old still insists on being nursed at least once a night (wakes up and puts himself back to sleep other times) and only naps 45 minutes at a time (occasionally up to 2hr, but it's rare). He has virtually no schedule, and the biggest problem is that he is at daycare every other day. At daycare, he often is so over stimulated that they have sent him home with as little as 10 MINUTES of napping in a day, because he won't sleep while other children are awake. Where do I begin? And how do I solve sleep problems at daycare?

Prim19 said...

I know it's early...but I'm trying to get my 4 week old on a consistent bed time schedule. He wakes up at different times each day and the feedings are never fitting into the bedtime i can I change this?

Palmer, Kim, and Henry said...

I need some advice on possibly changing my 7 week old's schedule. He is formula fed and is currently on the following schedule:
6:45 wake 7:45 nap
9:30 wake 10:30 nap
12:15 wake 1:15 nap
3:00 wake 4:00 nap
5:45 wake (experiences witching hour and will not nap again after this)
8:15 bottle, bedtime
11:15 dream feed
He has slept through the night for over a week until we wake him at 6:45 am

My concern is that he does not want to eat at the times of the schedule. It is a struggle every time. Since he is formula fed and has slept through the night consistently for a week, do you think it'd be okay to move him to a 3 hour and 15 minute schedule and drop a feeding. That would mean he would only eat 6 times a day. Ideally, I'd like that schedule to look like this:

6:45 wake, eat, nap at 8:00
9:45 wake, eat, nap at 11:00
1:00 wake, eat, nap at 2:15
4:15 wake, eat (he will probably experience his witching hour somewhere here, so probably won't nap after this.)
7:30 eat then bed
10:30 dream feed

Please let me know your thoughts.

Lenon said...

I'm sorry, I asked a question about going to a by the clock schedule with my LO who is now 9 mo old, but I have another question to go along with it. I know in the morning you are suppose to have a set wake up time. However, my LO's varies by 30 min. Usually between 6:30-7. I have tried setting my time to be 6:45 and leaving her til that time if she wakes early, but she continues to vary her wake up time. The problem with this is that I have to calculate her waketime from the moment she wakes vs when I get her up. So if I set her wt to be 2 hrs, her nap could be at 8:30 or 9 depending on when she woke that no real consistency. I have seen where other moms say their morning wake up is 7 and nap is at 9 no matter what time baby really wakes up. So I guess my questions is, how do I go to a set nap schedule if her morning wake up varies by 30 min? Do I just set nap time at 9 and at this age (9 mo) it doesn't matter if she woke at 6:30 or 6:40, or 6:50 etc? Will she just eventually realize nap time is at 9 no matter when she actually wakes in the morning? Thanks!!

Plowmanators said...


Is there anny way for you do do a nanny or an in-home daycare? I don't have experience in the daycare department, but see my posts on it that were written by guest posters.

Start with consistent feedings at regular times each day. Get him up at the same time each morning and feed him regular meals. Then do your best to have your days consistent--as outlined in this post. I think your daycare issue will be a tricky thing to work with.

Plowmanators said...

Prim19, I have at least a couple of posts addressing the topic. See the blog idex under "Waketime--Start of day":

Aimee said...

My 12 week old was doing so well with a schedule until we recently dropped a feeding, we are shooting for 6 a day. She is about 14 lbs now and wasn't eating much at some of the feedings so I knew it was time. We have a waketime of 7 or 7:30 somedays. She then will does 10 or 11, then will wakeup after 45 min everytime but is not hungry but is very fussy during this time. For a week now I've been trying to just hold her off til the 1:30 or 1:45 and most of the time she will go back to sleep until I wake her for this feeding. Then we do 5,7 and 9 at night. She still wants to do these short feedings but her last naptime between 7 and 9 she hasn't been sleeping. How do I possibly keep the eat,play,sleep when she isn't hungry after she wakes?

Laura said...

My daughter is 11 weeks old (almost 12) and she has somewhat of a routine, but not a schedule. I'm ready for a schedule so that I can plan outings, etc. I have been trying to keep to the eat/play/sleep schedule, but she will not nap longer than 45 minutes, so then the whole cycle gets off. By the time it's been 3 hours and she's supposed to eat, she's falling asleep and then sleeps after the feed. She also does not really fall asleep on her own. Is making her cry it out for longer naps the only option we have?

Laura said...

Also, she sleeps great at night, usually for about 12 hours and only wakes up once to feed. Thanks for your help!

Plowmanators said...


You can do as few as 6 if baby is ready for it at 8 weeks, so if you think he is ready at 7, I would say that is close enough to try. Of course at this point he is 9 weeks, so you can definitely go for it.

Plowmanators said...


If you want it to be 6:45, you can definitely control that if she is waking 6:30-7:00--you can at least only be varying by 15 minutes.

However, keep in mind a variance by 30 minutes total is okay.

9 months is old enough to have a set morning nap. Keep a log and see what time she usually wakes up. If it is 6:45, say naptime is 8:45 and that is naptime even if she slept until 7 that morning. and if she woke at 6:30 and you can tell that she is super tired at 8:30, the extra 15 minutes of sleep won't hurt her. Put her down early.

You can also just not get her up from her bed until 6:45 if she is awake but happy.

Gabriela said...

Need some advice! My almost 12 week old STTN pretty consistently, but his naps during the day are a bit hard to kick off. His sleep cues are pretty obvious (yawning, crankiness) and I put him down when he starts displaying them, usually between an hour and an hour and a half after waking up. The problem is that he ALWAYS wakes up 30 minutes after falling asleep, like clockwork. I leave him alone while he whimpers or sometimes cries, and within 10 minutes he's asleep again *most* of the time. I find that if I go in at all, it's more disruptive and he thinks it's time to get up. I can't figure out WHY this happens. I've tried upping how much he eats thinking maybe he hasn't eaten enough to sustain sleeping through that pesky half hour, but it hasn't changed anything. If he makes it through that half hour, he sleeps pretty well, usually between 2 and 3 hours (he naps 3 times a day with the first one being the longest). Is there anything I should be doing to ease him through that half hour? Maybe put him down sooner? Or maybe he's not tired enough yet? Does this happen to other babies?

kerryzoe said...

Hello! I love your blog!
Okay, here are the stats:
My LO is 12 weeks this week. At 6 weeks he started resisting the breast and we started giving bottles during the day. Breastmilk, supplemented with formula to make it go a little further. Prior to this change he was waking only once a night usually around 3-4am. He then began to wake two to three times a night. I treated this like a growth spurt and fed him because of the food change. He is just now to the point that he will take 4-5oz per feed (he's not a fan of the bottle) and I only breastfeed at night. Just in the last week he has gone back down to waking once a night ranging between 3-5am. It does seem we are moving in the right direction tho.
My question is his scheduling. His original wake time was 7:30, but with the early morning feedings he has been sleeping til eight. Which I normally wouldn't let happen except him sleeping til 8 coincided with him napping better during the day. It seemed that on the days i let him sleep til 8, he naped better. (We were dealing with the 45 min intruder until last week and he seems to have turned a corner on that, thank God)
So this is our previous schedule:
7:30 feed
8:30 nap
10:30 feed
11:45 nap
1:00 feed
2:15 nap
4:00 feed
5:00 nap
6:30 feed/ bath
7:45 bed
10-10:30 dreamfeed
I'm having a hard time keeping the 8am wake and getting to bed by 8pm and having enough feedings in a day. His nights have no rhyme or reason right now, so I'm having a hard time planning the day. I feel like I'm missing something, like with just a couple adjustments, maybe he will start sttn, I just don't know what to do. I'm okay with a combo schedule, but I'm also looking ahead. Should we be trying to drop a feeding around 4 months? Thank you so much for your help, your blog has truly been my life line. Thank You, Kerry

kerryzoe said...

Hi, it's Kerry again. I feel like I didn't include a couple of important concerns in my previous comment. Because of the 8am wake up, it moves all of his feeds later, and we end up with a very short nap at the end of the day, which my LO does not deal well with. He doesn't wake up happy at all, or we have several 2.5 hr EASY cycles. With the shorter cycles he never takes a full meal. We struggle to get 4-5 oz in him some days and with a 2.5 hr cycle sometimes he will only take 2 or 3oz. I would stretch out his cycles to 3.5 or even 4, to get him to take full feedings, but then we cut out a feeding. I didn't think I should do that until he is sttn. What do you think? Thanks again, Kerry

Plowmanators said...


I would consider "bedtime" to be after the 7 PM feeding--so that isn't a nap but is bedtime.

The trick you need to find is figure out why she is waking early from naps (it sounds like that is the problem you are having?). Also, see the post "eat, wake, sleep cycle" for somse insight into the cycle when baby isn't hungry.

Plowmanators said...

Laura, your solution depends on why she is waking early. If she is waking early becuse she can't self-soothe and so she wakes at the transition, then doing CIO at the beginnnig of a nap should eventually lead to her sleeping through the transition. If you don't want to do CIO, there are other methods of teaching to self-soothe without CIO if you want to try those first.

Plowmanators said...


Most likely, he is too tired when you are putting him down for his nap. I would try putting him down 5 minutes sooner, if that doesn't fix it, 10, if that doesn't 15.

It is also possible he is just waking up like babies do--all babies wake about every 45 minutes--even the great sleepers. They just go back to sleep quickly. So he could be learning to transition, but waking at 30 minutes is a bit early, so I would try moving naps a bit sooner.

Plowmanators said...


Typically, you don't want to extend the day schedule until baby is STTN--however, some moms say their baby did not STTN until they extended the day. So always go with your gut. If you think going longer is what your baby needs, go with that. You can always go back to three hour if it dosn't work.

also, if your baby needs to just have a bedtime later than 8 due to the later morning wake up time, go for that, also. Good luck!

Jessica Teplicek said...

Question/needing advice.
I have had my 7month old on BW since birth. He has always been a bad napper (45 min max until about 6 mo old where now the best is 1.5) anyways I feel like we are more on a pattern than sched. His metobolism is right on. He eats at 7/11/3/6:40 and sleeps11 hours at night. If he wakes early I don't want to feed him bc he isn't hungry if you try feeding him it's a battle. My question is how do I get him set to nap at 9 and 1? Sometimes he wakes after 30 minutes and that messes up the rest of the day. Also with the 3rd nap he doesn't go to sleep so I end up having to put him to sleep so it doesn't affect bedtime at 7:05 but if I don't put him to sleep he is too tired to make it to 6:45. Thanks in advance! I want so bad to plan my day and be able to say he naps at x time instead of having to play everything by ear!

mahshee said...

hello there,

first off, thank you for this site! it's awesome.

i have 2 questions:

my son is 7weeks old and on the baby wise schedule starting at 7am. his dream feed is at 10:30pm and then he wakes up arond 3:30am for a night feed and naturally gets up around 7am again. however, he's starting to wake up later for his night feed 4:30am and am wondering as this gets later and later, how to keep starting the day at 7am? i really like the 7am start and the 10:30pm dream feed and wondering what happens when he starts waking up at 5:30am for his night feed. 7am seems to early to feed again. what do you think?

2nd question: he's now topped up with formula because of my milk supply and he's been easy to put on a schedule because of the supplementing. however, he often has to be woken up during the day for his feeds. he's usually hungry but quite sleepy. is it okay to wake him up to keep him on a schedule?

mahshee said...

Just wanted to clarify something related to my 2nd question. now that he's topped up with formula after breastfeeding, if left alone, he usually sleeps long and can go 4 hours from the last feed but that would not get enough feeds in the day so I have to wake him up. He never gets up naturally for his schedule.

Kathryn Heerema said...

I've been using babywise since day one with my son and at first things were pretty good. He would sleep 4-6 hours and at night and then another 4 after that.
But things aren't where I want them to be (or where BW says we should/could be)

Right now Hudson schedule is basically:
7am - wake, breastfeed
8:30 nap
10am - wake, breastfeed
12pm - nap
1pm - wake, breastfeed
2:30 or 3pm - nap
4pm - wake, breastfeed
6pm - nap
7pm wake, breastfeed + 4Tbsp rice cereal
8pm - bath, story, singing, bed at 8:30pm
Then if I dreamfeed at 10 or 11 he sleeps until about 2 or 3 and then feeds and then back to sleep until (hopefully) 7am

I've read on your blog to not go to a four hour routine until he's STTN which he has only ever done a handful of times. But I've also read to drop his fourth nap, which is hard to do when he's on a 3 hour routine. So what step am I supposed to do first? Do I do CIO in the night to get him to drop his night feeding and stretch that time to go from 10pm - 7am? That seems so far off from him right now where he doesn't sleep longer than 3 hours at night without waking...My hubby and I are comfortable with CIO. We used it to get rid of the soother at night which he was waking up and asking for. If that's the first step (CIO at night), and I can get him STTN then do I change to a 4 hour routine and drop the last nap? I'm just not sure of the order of steps to get him to the typical 5.5 month BW baby schedule.
Thanks for your help. The first 6 weeks he took to BW perfectly, but since then its never really seemed to be quiet right and i"m sure its because I'm not following it quite right. :S

mahshee said...

Hello there,

It's me again. I've been reading through the comments and have answers to both my questions from your responses to others so don't worry about responding to me!


mahshee said...

Hello there,

It's me again. I've been reading through the comments and have answers to both my questions from your responses to others so don't worry about responding to me!


Hannah said...

Kathryn Heerema,
I struggled with my son taking hour naps during the day for awhile. I think some of it was his age and the phase he was going through, but I also think it was because I was keeping him up too long in between naps. I discovered that his optimum waketime was only an 1hr 45min instead of 2 hours, and when I dropped it back, it helped him to take longer naps. It really helped for me to do a nap journal everyday for him so I could watch exactly when he woke and went down, etc. Bad day sleep can result in bad night sleep.(The journal is something Valerie suggested- thanks Val!) Also, he may be needing more solids during the day, which will help him stretch at night. All of these things I figured out the hard way! Anyways, Valerie might have better advice, but I thought I would give my two-cents :) Hope it is helpful!

Hannah said...

Oh, also I would suggest maybe he needs to have bedtime at 7 instead of 8:30. Just a thought. That way it's easier to cut out that 4th nap.

Jessica said...

Hi! My son is 5 1/2months and has been so inconsistent sleeping through the night since 4 months. I can get him on a 3hr nursing schedule during the day (sometimes its 2hrs!!), but he seems to have inconsistency in napping too.
Here's what we have going thus far:
7am nurse
7:30/8 solids (doesn't eat much)
9:30 wakes
10 nurse
(Sometimes he is so tired he naps earlier, but I try to get him to at least 12:30)This is the part of the day that tends to be so inconsistent. If he naps earlier, he eats earlier. :

12:30 nurse/nap
2:00/2:30 nurse
3:00nap (He typically needs another nap soon after b/c he didn't nap well beforehand)
5pm solids (eats very well)
7pm bedtime
10-10:30 df (sometime he wakes, sometimes not)
5-6am wakes, returns to sleep, but is often awake after nursing. He then falls back asleep since I return him to his bed. He then wakes at normal waketime.

Any suggestions???- Jessica M.

Plowmanators said...

Jessica, I would try just to put your baby down at the same time each day and see how it goes.

Plowmanators said...

Kathryn, So to drop the fourth nap, just don't put down at 6 and keep up between the two feedings.

If you think your baby is ready for a 4 hour schedule, you could definitely try it before dropping the dreamfeed. Don't worry so much about what is "right" as what you think is best for your baby. If you don't think a four hour is right, I would definitely drop that fourth nap and just stay up between feedings. Otherwise, do what you think is best.

Plowmanators said...

Hannah, thanks for offering your advice! It is great to hear what worked for other moms :)

Kelsey Curtis said...

Hi, I read your blog always but I have a couple questions. My son is 7 1/2 weeks old, and usually his eating schedule is great, 7 10 1 4 7 and 10 and when he wakes up in the MON its at 330 on the dot. But for some reason we got off schedule because one night he didn't wake up till 6 in the morning. So I fed him then, and again at 8:30 so for two days we were on that schedule, 8 11 2 5 8 and 11 and he seemed fine but now I'm not sure what to do because he sleeps till 6:30 everyday. (except for when he does his dream feed at 10 he will wake up at 3:30 again) So I guess my question is, if I am on the 8 11 2 5 8 and 11 (because he sleeps longer) what time should if i feed him if he wakes at 6-6:30 or should i keep get him on the 7 10 1 4 7 and 10 and have him wake up at 3:30 and again at 7. Sorry for my confusion!!

tors040 said...

Thank you so much for your blog! I did CIO early with my son and I was glued to your blog for reassurance and tips for that whole week. He is now a fantastic sleeper!

I have an 11 week old. We have an established waketime of 7AM, bedtime at 7PM and a dreamfeed at 10:30. These three stay very consistent and he sleeps solidly between bedtime, dreamfeed and waketime.

The daytime is a different story. I have been trying to get on a 7/10/1/4/7/10:30 schedule but we are stuck in this 2.5 hour cycle which is sooo not working for us. My son cannot stay awake for more than an hour and while he is moving to more frequently taking a 2.5 hour nap in the afternoon, most of his naps average 1.5 hours (which I read in the Babywise Milestones post is typical for his age). He is a very good, efficient eater (he's gaining great at 15lbs), he eats fantastically at breakfast and I think he would actually eat best on a 3.5-4 hour cycle at this point.

My problem lies in that when he wakes at 2.5 hours since his last feeding, he is never hungry. He wants to eat because he is used to the pattern but will just suck for a minute or two then start nibbling me which drives me up the wall. I have tried feeding him right when he wakes up to stay consistent with the Babywise pattern, which results in worse and worse feedings throughout the day as he never reaches the point of hunger (and perhaps shorter naps as he never really gets full). I have tried holding him off which results in feedings always at the end of his waketime, which end up being rather unhappy as I’m trying to distract him from eating, right before he goes back down for his nap. I really want to get him on a schedule but I can't seem to get his waketime/naptime in line with how frequently (or rather, infrequently) he needs to eat. Thank you in advance!

tors040 said...

One more question...he usually wakes up from his 3rd nap of the day between 3:30-5 (depending on how the earlier cycles went). I cannot for the life of me get him to go down for a 4th nap. He only whimpers for 1-3 minutes if at all when he goes down for his other naps, but every time I've tried to put him down for this nap he cries hard for 40 minutes and then will wake after a half hour at most. I've resorted to trying to wear him in a sling during this time to get him to take a cat nap (again usually not more than a half hour). If he wakes up closer to 5:00 its not as much of an issue, although he's still exhausted when 7 rolls around. For a kid who's max waketime is around an hour, this stretch is killer. Is this normal?

Celena Daniels said...

I have been trying to wrap my head around the comments the schedules, etc and it is a lot to take in. Feeling a bit overwhelmed with scheduling, feeding, and napping. I feel like I have pretty good routine, but according to what I have read it sounds like it is more of a patterned layout than a scheduled layout for the day. I am a new mom with a daughter of 7 1/2 months. She will be 8 months on the 18 of this month. So very close to 7 months. I still breastfeed 5 times a day, and feed her solids 3 x a day, but those are not the same times every day. She usually wakes at 7am, but lately she has been waking at 6:30am. She was taking two 1.5 hour naps and then an hour nap, but those fluctuate. What should I start with to change? The solid schedule, the breastfeeding schedule? I am just a bit confused as to where to start to implement change.


Kristen said...

My 3 month old was sleeping AMAZING until 11.5 weeks when he hit his 3 month growth spurt at the same time as a cold and started waking up a TON throughout the night. I think he was also waking up for his pacifier since he didn't feel well. Now that growth spurt and cold are finally over, I have him sleeping through the night again, but he wakes up EVERYDAY this week at 5:45,5:50,6:00 am, so it SEEMS like his biological clock is stuck maybe? I know that he is waking up b/c he wants his pacifier. I tried letting him cry for 20 min this morning then finally got him out of bed to distract him for awhile. Then I gave him his pacifier while I was playing with him and he immediately tried to fall asleep so he was obviously tired. I'd like his wake time to be no earlier than 7am. Do I make him CIO? I really don't want to give him his pacifier every morning at 6am. I know that's all he really wants. Help please! THANK YOU

christine said...

Hi, we have been using babywise and our little girl is 7 weeks today. I was told when implementing babywise not to set an alarm for the late evening and middle of the night feeding. What has happened now is that she can dropped the late evening feeding at 11pm on her own. So she eats at 8pm and goes to bed and then doesn't get up until 2am. After she eats at 2am she is back on schedule for her 5am start of the day. We have to start the day right now at 5am because I want to nurse her before I go to work and we have to leave the house very early. I am curious if anyone has had the late evening feeding dropper first instead of the middle of the night and now long it takes you to drop the middle of the night feeding??? I think I am having trouble feeling confident with our schedule now knowing that it will change when we move to a 3.5-4 feeding schedule in a couple of months.

Alyssa said...

Hi, thank you for all the helpful information and time you put into this! Our daughter is 14 weeks old. We are doing BW, and she is CIO pretty well now. The last week she has been taking longer to go to sleep at night. She was waking around 6:30 each morning. Then we went camping and when we got home it was off for a few days. She seems to be back on schedule for 6:00-6:30 in te mornings. Her schedule is usually 6, 9, 12, 3, 6, and then it gets fuzzy., When we put her to bed around 9, she sometimes cries and cries even harder and wont go to sleep unless I feed her once more. I know there is the 'dream feed', but she wakes herself up or doesn't sleep before it. Do you think she is just extra hungry?

Thanks, and congrats on your new baby!

Jazzy said...

I have an 8 week old baby boy, who was born 4 weeks early. I have read a lot of your site but would still like some advice on 2 issues.

I want to work towards a 3 hour schedule but am having trouble. I get Jonathan up at around 6:30 each day. Then throughout the day he wakes at inconsistent times for feeds, sometimes after 2 1/2 hours, sometimes 3 and sometimes 3 1/2. Which means he is feeding at inconsistent times throughout the day. He will often cry desperately for food when he wakes. I am wondering if I should make him wait for 1/2 an hour trying to console him with a dummy (I don't like that idea) or should i put him on a 2 1/2 hour schedule for the whole day. Or let him go 3 1/2 hours sometimes to make up for the 2 1/2 hour feeds, the problem with the latter being his feed times aren't the same each day.

I should add there are still usually 2 wake times he just wants to sleep for during the day, and often he won't sleep between the 5pm-6pm feed and the next feed. (just in case these things impact your answers)

Also, he seems to want to suck a lot. I didn't have this trouble with my first child. He will breastfeed for 20 mins each side, be satisfied, then play a bit, then when I am settling him for his nap he will be looking to suck again & sometimes get upset about it.He's only up for around an hour and a quarter in total. So I have been trying giving him a dummy before and/ or when i put him in his cot. The problem is he can't keep it in very long, so I find myself going in every few minutes to replace the dummy when he cries. It also seems like he isn't sleeping as soundly when he has the dummy. So should I forget the dummy and just let him CIO or is there another way?
Thanks for your help.

Jessica Asire said...


Your blog is so helpful! So if you have a consistent bed time of 8 pm, are you feeding at 8 and then putting to bed, or feeding at 730 and bed at 8?

Amanda Brannen said...

Your blog is great! I have a 1 week old and read BW (reading it again right now!). I'm all about a schedule but I'm conflicted on how to work it into our future daycare schedule when I go back to work. I will leave the house at 6:30 am so should I set our day to start at 5:45 to give us enough time to wake/eat and get to daycare or should I start earlier around 5 am so we can have waketime before daycare? Any guidance?

Marissan said...

Your blog is so helpful! I'm a first time mom and trying to start BW with my 6 week old. I am worried that he is overtired and that we have set some bad habits with holding him until he falls asleep. He had a some major spit up problems so ped recommended to hold upright for 30-45 minutes after feeding. That added to his feeding time, 10-15 minutes per side is a lot of time. He always falls asleep during the time that we hold him upright. For the past couple of days he will sleep in my arms for 30 minutes and then I'll put him in his crib. He will start to cry within 20 minutes. He does not do this in the nighttime. Is he exhausted and I need to hold him thru naps until he is well rested and then try CIO? Or is it ok to try CIO now? Also, should I keep him on a 3 hour btwn feed schedule during the day even if he is not sleeping well at naps? Or let him sleep until he seems well rested and then get back on schedule?
I have not had a stretch of sleep longer than 4 hours since his birth and I'm exhausted. I have to find a better way! I have the BW book but now need to find time to get thru it :)

Melissa Chingway said...

My son is 7 weeks and has been consistent on a schedule for 2 1/2 weeks. I have been making bed time, 9:30-10 and he will sleep 5 1/2 hours. What can I do to get him to sleep longer during the night? His day time schedule he is eating every two and half hours.

Lynz said...

Great blog, it's been a lifesaver for me! I have an 8 wk old who, since about 4 wks, wakes up almost every nap after an hour of napping and plays for about an hour and sleeps for another hour which puts her on a 4 hr schedule, but she doesn't always sleep the extra hour sometimes it's 30 minutes. I feed her when she gets up the second time whether it's been 3.5 or 4 hrs. I know I could feed her at the 3 hr mark but then she sleeps right after which gets her eat/play/sleep cycle. She's happy the whole time she's awake, whether we are interacting with her or not. My question is how do I get her to take a full nap at one time? Because she wakes up during naps (and it's random when she does) this has made it hard to establish a consistent bedtime. Overall besides the waking during naps she's been good at the eat/play/sleep cycle. An example eating schedule is 7am, 11, 3, 7, 10pm, then she only wakes once in the night around 3-4am. She's up and playful during her wake times (which last an hour, possibly 1 hr 15 minutes ) and I can't see her going straight back down at 7. I guess I'm just at a loss of how to go about fixing this. Any advice would be helpful.

Unknown said...

This is a fantastic site! I'm not sure if I'm posting in the right spot since I have so many questions to get on track... My son is 19 days old and has been quite consistent about eating every 3 hours. He falls asleep while nursing, but I try to keep him up until I think he's had enough. I recently started to work on wake time after the feed and it's been going pretty well. His routine is generally 3 hours between nursings and about 1-1 1/2 hours of waketime (from the beginning of the feed) and he still wakes every 3 hours for night time feeds.
Problem #1- For some reason every day there has been a 3-4 hour wake time before bed where he can’t settle and resists every attempt I make to try to put him to sleep. It happens at different times since I haven’t established a waketime/bedtime routine yet (I just read about that so I’ll start that tonight). For the past 3 nights he was up 6:30-10:30 before I finally nursed him to sleep and last night it was 11pm-2am when I nursed him to sleep then he woke up immediately after I put him in his bed and continued to stay up until 3am.
Problem #2- He doesn't fall asleep by himself yet and resists sleep so I've been walking him (in stroller or carrier), holding him occasionally nursing him and all the other things I'm not really supposed to be doing to put him to sleep after his wake time. My thinking is that I should establish a schedule before I attempt to do CIO.
Questions: What can I do about this extended wake time in the evening? Should I continue to try to establish a routine before teaching him to go to sleep on his own? He has been sleeping in the carriage or carrier for naps because he wakes up when I try to transfer him- is there a step I need to take to get him to sleep in his bed for naps before I do CIO? Please help me!!!

Unknown said...

... another thing I should mention- it seems like his sleeps are very disrupted by arm movements but he always seems to struggle to get out of a swaddle.

Ingrid Tilley said...

Hi. I have a 6week old baby boy, Seth. We used babywise with our first baby and it worked really well for us. The second time round does not seem to be going as smoothly. Seth is on a 3hrs schedule feeding at 7am (when I have to wake him and he does not always feed well as has already fed at 5am), 10am, 1pm, 4pm, 7pm, 11pm, 2am, 5am. My problem is the 2night wakings. I would ideally like him to wake round 3am then closer to 7am and eliminate the 5am feed. DO you have any suggestions as how I could do this? What is realistic at 6weeks? THanks

Valerie Plowman said...

There are a few things you could do.

One is experiment with the dreamfeed time. I found brinley was quite particular with her dreamfeed time. A 5 minute difference would make the difference between sleeping through the night or not. I would try it at 10:30 and if that doesn't work, other times in the 10 pm hour.

Valerie Plowman said...

See my posts on "early morning feedings before waketime" for help on dropping a night feed. The dreamfeed timing might fix it. But if not, see that post for ideas.

It isn't abnormal for a 6 week old to be eating twice a night.

lmwhite said...

Hello- My 8 week old baby has had some issues since birth. I was BF, but after weeks of acid reflux, possible milk/soy allergy, we are now on the end of a 2 week trial of a RX formula. I am not sure that the formula has made much of a difference in him. I think I have hot tempered newborn on my hands.

I did babywise pretty strictly with my first son, but haven't been able to with my second because of all the issues we have had. he is currently wanting to eat every 2 hours, still wakes up twice each night and doesn't nap more than an hour at a time. I am not really sure where to start with him. I am would like to have a start time of 7:00am, but what if he isn't ready to eat at 7 because he was up at 4;30 wanting to eat? I need some guidance on what to do. I think he might be colic with some acid reflux issues.

lmwhite said...

Hello- My 8 week old baby has had some issues since birth. I was BF, but after weeks of acid reflux, possible milk/soy allergy, we are now on the end of a 2 week trial of a RX formula. I am not sure that the formula has made much of a difference in him. I think I have hot tempered newborn on my hands.

I did babywise pretty strictly with my first son, but haven't been able to with my second because of all the issues we have had. he is currently wanting to eat every 2 hours, still wakes up twice each night and doesn't nap more than an hour at a time. I am not really sure where to start with him. I am would like to have a start time of 7:00am, but what if he isn't ready to eat at 7 because he was up at 4;30 wanting to eat? I need some guidance on what to do. I think he might be colic with some acid reflux issues.

Valerie Plowman said...

A huge first step is getting the medical issues under control. Once that is taken care of, you can focus on the other things with success. I would suggest you put your focus on getting all of that figured out before you stress too much about the other. Try your best to stick to EWS routine and being consistent, but I doubt you will have sleep success with reflux problems going on.

Mollie Jimmar said...

Hi! I have several questions.

First, I am trying to set a schedule. My first feed time will likely need to be 615-645 (trying for 630). My baby is 5 weeks and we have been working to start BW for a week at this point. We average 2.5-3 hour cycles at this point.

FIrst question here is... How do I set a bed time? 10-12 hours before first feed is 6:30-8:30pm. Realistically I know he will need to eat at least twice after that (last night he had a dreamfeed at 9:45 and had a late night at 2:45). So say I make 7pm his bedtime, are all the in-betweens considered "late night" feeds? When considering "sttn" is "night" bed time thru first feed?? If so, when is it really realistic that he will be sleeping through the night?

Another question... I have 3 weeks before going back to work. My mother-in-law is going to be watching him from 7am-4pm M-F... What would be your advice on how I need to school her? Really she will be the one with him when he goes through all his adjustments... And with her, simpler is better.

I really appreciate your help. My mind is spinning trying to get a handle on all this!

Shandra Shepard said...

Hello! I would like to say that as a first time mom your blog is life saving. I wish I would have found it sooner. My baby has been very challenging with colic like symptoms since day one but since seeing a chiropractor he is a new baby and so we are ready to get better at naps and getting a more solid schedule. I have a few questions. First is regarding his schedule with wake time and bed time. My baby will be 12 weeks on sat :(. I am nursing my baby and he is on a three hour schedule. I feed at 6am put him back down and we start our day at 9 with feed, play, sleep and do this at 12,3,6 and then our last feeding is between 830-9pm. I was wondering if u thought it was ok that I feed him at 6 to put him back to sleep and start day at 9. This is nice for me cuz I get time to work out and get ready before he is up but after reading your sample schedule is 9 too late to start his day? My second question regarding scheduling is the bed time so we usually feed 530-6 and then I have been doing wake time and try to get him down for a nap around 7-30 and then feed at nine and put to bed but after reading it seems like 9 is too late of a bedtime. Would it work to feed at6 and keep him up until 8 for official bedtime? Or what would u suggest? I have no idea what is bed time and honestly have been making things up as I go with him.

My next area of question is with CIO. I am going to try it as hard as I know it will be but I had a few questions. First im finding when putting baby down to sleep he likes a little vibrate/ shake movement that I do and his paci and then he usually falls asleep. I frequently have to do this mid nap when he wakes and cries or if I have a hard time getting him to go down initially. When doing CIO will I not reinsert his paci in at all, ideally? Also I have been putting him down for naps on a boppy pillow because he hates his back. Would this be considered a sleep prop ? I don't do this at bedtime but I nurse before bed. Lastly, how long do you recommend going in and checking on him when he is CIO at 20 or 30 minutes or what do suggest? If he has kicked his covers off do u still leave him? Sorry for the million questions. Thank you for your time.

Valerie Plowman said...

9 am is pretty late in the day to be starting. I would say to have bedtime at 8 and then start the day at 8-8:30.

CIO--ideally there would be no paci reinsert--at most do 1.
Boppy isn't a sleep prop. Go ahead and use it until you can't anymore.

CIO really depends on the baby. See my CIO bootcamp for lots of info on that.

Shandra Shepard said...

Thank you for responding. I am sorry but now I have a few more questions. I'm just lost on what to do now. So I ha been trying to do the last feed at 8 and then straight to bed to get him to bed earlier and for the past week he has been waking up every two hours and sometimes every hour and not to eat just crying (maybe sleep transition issue). I'm not sure if it's overstimulation, missing my window of opportunity, the prop of feeding him
Before bed or what. I have no idea what to do now. The only things I can think to do are either do last feed at 730 and then bed or put to bed at 730 and do a dream feed at around 930. His current feed schedule is 6, 9,12,3,6 during the day and the last one I have been playing with trying to figure out but it's between 8-9. Lately I have been feeding him about two am since he is constantly waking up. One of the big reasons I think he wakes during the night is that he rolls onto his back and so he wakes up and cries. He absolutely hates his back. I try putting him on side and belly but then I get worried about swaddling, but I do it loosly with one arm out. Should I start putting him to bed on his boppy to prevent the rolling or what do u suggest? Last night I did try to make him CIO on his back and he went to bed after his feeding at 8 and it was 130 and he was still fussing :(. Do you have any suggestions for how to approach his last feeding and bedtime? I know he can make it thought the night he has done 8p to 530a once. He will be four month in two weeks now. Thank you for your time. I know you must get a billion questions.

Shandra Shepard said...

After doing some experimenting i now have a different question and then I will officially stop bothering you with questions. I did figure out why he was waking every hour or two. He was overtired. I'm finding that he can't stay up two hours or more in the evening before bed so this is where I need clarification between the evening nap and bedtime. Do babies have a wake time after their evening nap? What I'm confused on is with my current schedule (9,12,3,6,9) he usually has a 6am feeding and straight to bed I'm moving wake time to 830 from 9) I started putting him down for an evening nap at 7 but it seems like that is more of a bedtime. (I would feed at 9pm almost like a dream feed besides he is waking) but I run into the problem being his wake time is 830 but he is going down for "nap" at 7 but never really waking up so it's more then 12 hours. Do I need a wake time in between? I thought about changing his schedule to 8,11,2,5,8 to make it more consistent with his wake and bedtime but I am hesitant just because I really like his noon feeding and then I run into the problem again of him needing his evening nap. So if I changed his schedule to those times would I just have him nap from 6pm to 7pm and then wake time from 7 to 8 when he goes to bed? I'm just so confused and if I do change is schedule since it waking him sooner can I just pull it all back the hour or would i need to gradually do it? If anyone has any suggestions I am will take them! I feel like after all the reading and research I do I should probably have this figured out but I just have no idea. I'm hoping that down the road I will look back and laugh at my struggles. Thank you!!!

Valerie Plowman said...

Just like any struggle, you will look back and see you made it through :) don't worry about asking questions. I don't mind.

I think what you are doing is fine. I wouldn't have a waketime after that "nap." I would consider that bedtime. I had a couple of kids who slept 13 hours at night. They just ended more night sleep. So it is fine so long as your baby is fine.

Jen Shah said...

Hi. Love your blog. It has been so helpful in establishing good sleeping patterns with my son.

We have run into a couple problems this week id love to get your advice on. Before this last week (12 weeks) we had things running great. Our schedule was 7, 1030, 130, 430, 630 or 7 depending, dream feed at 10 (had dropped this some nights) and then sleep until 7. He was taking 2 or 2.5 hour naps during the days and had a wake time of 60ish minutes.

At 11.5 weeks all of a sudden things changed. My son would barely eat 4 oz (was eating 6+ per feed before) and wouldn't eat at the 3 hour mark. He won't nap longer than 1 hour and has a really hard time putting himself to sleep, where before he would CIO for max 5 minutes. I'm trying to eat, wake sleep but he doesn't seem to be eating enough to sleep long enough and then when he gets up he isn't hungry. Thankfully nights haven't been affected too much but i'm at a loss on what to do. i'm hoping week 13 will be better but your advice would be helpful!

Valerie Plowman said...

It sounds like classic wonder week at that age. Check out the posts under the witching hour label. Good news is it will pass.

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