Thursday, July 20, 2017

How Schedules Impact Sleep for the Baby and the Entire Family

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by Elisabeth

During the months leading up to the birth of our first baby, my husband and I received a variety of advice from friends, coworkers, and even people we didn't know regarding how to best prepare for life with a newborn. We generally listened with open ears as we were excited but also a bit apprehensive for what would lie ahead of us. One thing was certain, though: I loved my full night's sleep and was committed to getting our soon-to-arrive baby sleeping long stretches as soon as possible!

How Schedules Impact Sleep for the Baby and the Entire Family
This is where Babywise entered the picture for us. Multiple people recommended reading the Babywise books before our newborn arrived and we are still incredibly grateful for this. Perhaps the most valuable concept that we have gained from these books has been the importance of schedules and how they dramatically influence a baby's (and parents!) quality of sleep well into the years ahead.

We can attest to the slight inconveniences of prioritizing our babies' schedules in order to instill outstanding sleeping habits in them. This predictability has, over the course of time, produced long afternoon naps and 11 to 12 hours of undisturbed nighttime sleep in a nearly two year old and four year old. While there have certainly been minor setbacks due to sleep regressions, baby growth spurts, illnesses, etc., we have noticed that the kids bounce back quickly as their bodies seem to crave the rest they are used to having. The same goes for traveling. If our family loosely adheres to our normal sleep routines while on vacation, the kids adjust well to their new circumstances.

While organizing your day with a baby's schedule in mind can definitely be an adjustment compared to life before a baby, you will find that the predictability and stability have many benefits to you as well. The confidence of knowing that you have established times for your baby to eat and sleep, opportunities to plan your daily outings a bit in advance and, our favorite, a solid, restorative night of sleep for the entire family creates an environment that everyone will enjoy!

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