The Babywise 4 Hour Schedule: More Thoughts


The Babywise 4 Hour Schedule: More Thoughts. Tips for knowing when and how to move to a four hour daily schedule.

Close up of baby eyes

I have done a post entitled “When to Move to a 4-Hour Schedule“. Here are some more thoughts on the topic.

When I moved to 4 hours with my two older children, I just decided one day to let it happen. We went from 3 to 4 hours just like that. If you are initiating the change rather than just giving in to it, you will likely have to gradually move things over time.

When I first let 4 hours happen with Kaitlyn, I still fed her at 7:30, 11:30, 3:00, 5:30, 7:30 because I wanted to keep five feedings (for milk supply), but knew she was ready for 4 hours. She went along with it, but I knew it was silly, so after a few days of that I moved it to 7:30, 11:30, 3:30, 7:00 (because I want her in bed by 7:30. Sometimes I start this feeding at 6:30 if I have to be somewhere in the evening and that works just fine).

If it were me, I would not push the 4 hour schedule. Eventually, baby will start being able to stay up longer and will also sleep longer for naps. He will start to sleep past the 3 hour mark. You might only have one time-slot a day like that. Take it! It is okay to have combo time periods (3-3.5 hours for example). He will gradually shift things and you will sense he is ready. It will come.

We didn’t move to 4 hours until Kaitlyn was just before 7 months old. Brayden was even older, though I don’t remember exactly what age. There is no rush. It is lovely to be on four feedings a day, but it is more lovely to be able to enjoy your baby and not stretching and working to get him to go longer between feedings. It is more lovely to not be frustrated because he woke up after sleeping 1.5-2 hours, but it is too early to eat at 4 hours, you know? 4 hours will happen. Remember, don’t measure your success by whether or not your baby is on a 4 hour schedule. Relax and enjoy the life of your baby.

With my two younger children, we moved to a four hour schedule at a younger age, but kept the dreamfeed (read more about the dreamfeed here Dreamfeed FAQs).

Reader 4 Hour Schedule Advice

  • John and Amanda said…
    I just wanted to comment briefly on my experiences with this, too! For me, I started with Caden’s morning nap. He started sleeping for 2 hours consitently with every morning nap. (He was 5 months old and had started solids so I knew he would likely be able to go 4 hours). Once he was napping two hours on his own I decided to see if I could keep him awake and happy for 2 hours during his waketime. It worked! I just watched the types of activites I allowed him to do. Nothing too stimulating in the morning. Playpen time, floor time, reading books, etc… No jumperoo or exersaucer or anything crazy like that at first b/c those would make him overtired and not able to stay up for 2 hours. Still, on rare occassions he won’t make it to two ours of waketime and that is okay! If he is tired sooner, I always put him down! Better to be rested than grouchy and sleepy!!!Once we got the morning nap and wake time at a four hour interval I just went cold turkey one day and did them all… He was almost 6 months old when I did that. I think I do somethign similar to you with dinner as well (from wahat I remember from a previous blog). We only do two naps a day and after the 2nd nap I offer milk and a snack (introducing finger foods here). Then two hours later when he is getting tired and ready for his nap, I feed him dinner to “distract” him, then we do calming, soothing activities in preparation for bed! And then it’s down for the night! Hope my somewhat different experience is helpful to someone! Really, you will know when your baby is ready… trust your instincts!~Amanda
    January 24, 2008 3:57 PM

Reader 4 Hour Schedule Questions

  • Charlotte’s Momma said…
    Charlotte is 5 months old, STTN consistently 12 hours and is moving herself away from the 3 hour schedule, which is great! We are currently doing a combo 3/3.5 schedule. I know nutritionally she could make it 4 hours because we have done it on occasion and she doesn’t eat much at her last feeding of the day but I worry about my milk supply AND, more importantly, she cannot stay awake very long. I know you have said Kaitlyn was/is a big sleeper and Charlotte is the same way. Were you ever proactive about trying to stretch the wake time or did you just let it come? I thought we were moving closer to 1 hour, 15 minutes but today she had a major meltdown at 1 hour! Maybe that was because of a busyThe Babywise 4 Hour Schedule: More Thoughts. Tips for knowing when and how to move to a four hour daily schedule. weekend? Anyway, just wondering if you ever tried to extend wake time in combination with extending cycles or if it all just came naturally.
    April 14, 2008 10:26 AMPlowmanators said…
    Something many moms do is add a pumping before they go to bed once they move to a 4 hour schedule. That is an option for you.I never stretched Kaitlyn’s waketime, but I did Brayden’s. For Kaitlyn, it has been better to just let it come on her time table. Also, I learned to not try new things on Monday. The weekend is busy and we miss a nap for church, so Monday is not the best day for us to switch things up or try new things. We even often have shorter waketimes and longer naps than usual to make up for the weekend.
    April 14, 2008 2:30 PM
  • April Nix said…
    I just have a quick question,I’m new at Babywise and have a 5.5 month old daughter. Before babywise, she was able to eat whenever, nap whenever, needless to say I am very greatful for some structure!Currently out schedule looks like this:
    Wakeup: 6:30am
    Feeding 1: 7:00-7:15
    Feeding 2: 11:00-11:15
    Feeding 3: 3:00-3:15
    Feeding 4: 7:00-7:30
    She usually wakes up around 2 or 3 everynight, wanting to feed. I feel like she is ready for 4hr schedule because sometimes I have to wake her up to feed her and even then she doesn’t act overly hungry. I am wondering if I should do a dream feed at 10:15 or 11:15 or if maybe I should incorporate another feeind during the day. She never is really interested in the 7:00 feeding, and will only eat a little.Also, so takes a longer morning nap (2.5 hrs) and I’m wondering if that is effecting her not sleeping through the night.Any thoughts on how I can get her to sleep through the night??? Thanks!-April
    April 15, 2008 6:28 AM
    Plowmanators said…
    First, my daughter took 2.5 hour long naps for a long time (months). I don’t think I would try a dreamfeed, nor would I feed later. I think I would try dropping the feeding in the night and go from there. See this post: Early Morning Feedings Before Waketime
    April 20, 2008 4:49 PM
  • momtobobby said…
    Do you think that my 14 week year old is ready for a 4 hour routine? He is having longer playtime, is taking longer naps and is not waking to eat. He also just went through a growth spurt and ever since then I can tell that he is trying to extend his schedule. Sometimes he doesn’t make it a full 4 hours, so the schedule is kind of screwed up. Like today, his schedule has been 7, 10, 1:45, 5:30, and I will proabably feed him at 7:30pm and then put him to bed. Is it okay that the last to feedings are so close together? Also, I would rather feed him at 7pm, so should I cut him back to 4 feedings and mske sure that he is only eating every four hours? Thanks for your help!Tami
    April 21, 2008 2:45 PM
    Plowmanators said…
    It sounds like he is ready, but remember a combo schedule is okay (see Combo Schedule is Okay). You can try to keep those last two feedings close together, but he will soon likely need it to be dropped all together. If you want to feed at 7, then I would just cut back to four feedings. I wouldn’t push him to four hours, though. You could try the longer schedule at times of day you know he can go longer and shorter at other times of day. He likely is close to making it four hours easily. Good luck!
    April 21, 2008 8:51 PM
  • mommytoisabella said…
    I have been reading the information on this blog for quite awhile and have gained some valuable information. I started to do some research when my daughter Isabella had some problems with waking early from her naps. By reading some of the information on this blog I realized that she was overtired and I needed to start putting her down earlier which really helped. She just turned 9 months today and it seems as if she is in between a 3 1/2 to 4 hour schedule. Is that normal for her age? She is an early riser she wakes anywhere between 6 and 7, it is my desire for her to wake between 7 & 7:30 but that just doesn’t happen. It seems as if in the morning she can handle less then 2 hours of wake time and more in the afternoon. This is the schedule that seems to work best for her when she wakes between 6:30 and 7nap at 8:40 usually wakes between 10 to 10:30nap 12:40 till 2-2:45 max now here is where I am a bit confused. When wakes between 2& 2:30 she goes down for a 3rd nap around 5 and sleeps till 5:30 but if she naps after 2:30 it seems as if it is harder to put her down for a 3rd nap and it interferes with her bed time. Her bedtime is normally 7:30. When I put her down any earlier she wakes several times in the evening and at 4:00. Should I try to lengthen her wake times? Now she is napping well. It is my desire to see her nap longer in the afternoon. People who have done BabyWise have advised me to try to drop the 3rd nap being that she goes down so early for her 2nd nap I don’t think she is ready to drop that 3rd nap. If she naps till 5:30 should her bedtime be 8 in order to get her to sleep till 7?April 30, 2008 6:05 PM
    Plowmanators said…
    See this post: Dropping a Nap: A Weaning Process: can have a third nap some days and not others. If she needs it but takes a longer afternoon nap, I would just try putter her down for it a little later than usual.
    May 1, 2008 10:00 PM
    Plowmanators said…
    A later bedtime might get you a later morning waketime, unless she is waking early for another reason.
    May 1, 2008 10:02 PM
    mommytoisabella said…
    Thank you so much for your advice. Recently she has been napping till 2:30 or 2:45 and I have been trying to put her down for the 3rd and she just hasn’t gone to sleep for the 3rd nap. I have been putting her down at 4:30 and this afternoon she stayed awake till 5:15 which she is normally asleep by 5 if she wakes at 2:30 from the 2nd nap. Is that too much wake time? She basically has been staying up till close to her dinner time. Because she hasn’t been going down for the 3rd nap this past week I have been putting her down at 7:30 and she is been going right to sleep. I could try a later bedtime but would that lead her into being OT?May 2, 2008 2:56 PM
    mommytoisabella said…
    When she wakes early for other reasons, it is normally around 4:30 because of a really wet or messy diaper. When she wakes after 6 she is happy, playing in her crib.
    May 2, 2008 2:59 PM
    Plowmanators said…
    It is only too much waketime if she can’t handle it. I don’t think I would do a later bedtime yet, and perhaps not for quite a while. They really just rearrange sleep, not really drop it. So she will need an earlier bedtime to make up for the lost nap.
    May 4, 2008 3:32 PM
  • Emily said…
    [My daughter] just turned 7 months and I don’t see us moving to a 4hr schedule. She gets tired quickly but will only sleep 1.5 hours. She can be awake 30min before eating but if she wakes at 11 eats at 11:30, needs to go down 12:30 then will wake at 2:00 so we’re back to 3 hours or at most 3.5 hrs. Is this normal? I feel like she’s kind of old to be eating so often, especially since she eats a good amount of solids. Thanks!
    Plowmanators said…
    For the 4 hour schedule, most babies can stay awake longer at that age, but not all. My daughter couldn’t, she just took really long naps. I wouldn’t worry about it. She should extend waketime before too long.
    Anna said: Emily– I wouldn’t worry about it too much. I have a friend who’s baby was the same way. I think she was a year old before she was able to do the 4-hour schedule. Some babies just get so overstimulated that they need to nap more often. Also I know it’s cliche, and I didn’t believe it when people told me, but it will happen naturally. My baby just naturally transitioned to the 4-hour schedule. It took her a couple days to get used to taking a nap more than 1.5 hrs but once she did she was much happier. So let it just happen and don’t worry that your baby is a little older than others already on the 4-hour schedule. 🙂
    Ivy said: I too have a 6.5 mo old that seems like we will be on a 3 hour schedule (or less) forever. We still take 4 short naps rather than 2-3 long ones. I was just wondering how your daughter is doing now Emily and if she has changed any thing yet.
  • Heidi said:
    HiI have a 4 month old who is on a 3.5 hour schedule. he seems happy on it, but his napping is inconsistent. I usually get at least 2 good naps (1.5-.5 hours) from him. I was wondering how to go about moving him to 4 hourly. do i need to wait until he is older and can handle longer wake times, or start anyway and expect him to stay in his bed until later???I am also confused about 3 -4 hour combination feeding, can anyone tell me what this looks like? I was told by someone from BW that you need to be as close to what you want all the time i.e. if you are going 3.5 hourly then all feeds need to be around that if possible. Help! =)
    Plowmanators said: Heidi, you can have combo schedules.I would wait until he can stay awake longer or naps get longer, which might both happen at the same time, but naps might always stay about that length. His napping is totally fine. Just wait for him to be able to stay awake longer.You don’t need to stick to 3.5 all day. You can do some at 4, some at3, some at 3.5…by 4 months, he should be established and staying consistent with feeding times all day is not really necessary.
  • HJHatch said:
    I think my daily schedule needs tweaked for my 4 month old for two reasons:1. She is waking early in the morning (an hour or so early) consistently for the last two weeks. I have tried darkening her room but she still wakes up early when before she would sleep until I got her up.2. The last stretch of the evening is tough on her. She is pretty fussy and seems to be done with the day. She is awake from 5:30pm to 8:30pm but won’t nap – only chill in her swing.Here is our schedule:8:00am Wake/nurse (although it’s been 7:00am as of recent)9:00am Nap11:00am Wake/nurse12:30 Nap2:00pm Wake/nurse3:30 Nap5:30pm Wake/nurse – usually no nap, I put her in the swing to ‘rest’8:30pm Nurse to bedShould I switch to a 4 hour schedule…?How could my schedule be improved to eliminate evening fussiness/waking early in the morning?Any help would be great! Thanks!!
    Plowmanators said: One hard thing is that four months is a typically normal stage for fussiness (see label “4 month sleep problems” and “wonder weeks”).So I would actually probably wait a couple of weeks (which would be now) to see if it has improved. If not, look at label “four hour schedule” fo guidance there.
  • Krstin said:
    Hi! I have a almost 6 month old and he is just struggling lately 🙂 He has been on a four hour schedule since he was about 4 months- he just naturally went to one because he wanted to be taking 3 hour naps and wasn’t acting hungry any earlier. He has been doing perfectly until recently when he has decided that napping isn’t any fun anymore. He has started waking like he did when he was a newborn after 45 minutes and either playing until falling back asleep or crying really hard. He RARELY has made it to his next feeding for the past 3 weeks or so. We haven’t changed anything in the cues we use to put him down, so it doesn’t seem like he would be overtired/overstimulated. He also had stopped crying when he went down and when he woke up, but often times wakes and cries now. I know that he is still tired and needs more sleep, but don’t know how to get him to take his good long naps anymore. It just throws off the day a lot when he wakes at 10 but eats at 11- then our next nap is pushed back and then by the end of the day we just have a really long period to stretch through, resulting in him needing two catnaps at the end of the day. He also just is unable to stay up very long, it is similar to McKenna’s schedule at this time- 1 to 1.5 hours at most. I’m just so confused why he has changed so drastically and never wants to sleep anymore! He also doesn’t love nursing too much anymore which has been frustrating. So..those are all of the many things we are dealing with. He is a very happy and great baby, so this is just all so weird. Thanks for your help! I really appreciate your blog!
    Plowmanators said: Kristin,one thing to do is check the post “5-8 month sleep disruptions”.I would wonder if he is going through a growth spurt? Are you on solids at all? If not, I would get started if you are okay with that. Be sure to check the post. Good luck!
  • Sondra Kay Allen said:
    Hi there everyone! My 4 month old has been sttn for 2 months…11 hours. He eats on a perfect 3 hour schedule… 7:30, 10:30, 1:30, 4:30 and 7:30. His first nap is awesome, 2 hours and could go 2.5. The next one also goes great, 2 hours, and I have to wake him up again. The third one is pretty good and I usually have to wake him up. The last nap usually doesn’t take and I end up getting him and keeping him up. So I would like to move to 4 hours in between feedings to get to 3 naps instead of four. I dont’ care personally that I am feeding him every 3 hours, but I just think he can’t do 4 naps. He only stays awake between 50 minutes and an hour, I tried to make 4 hours work for a couple days, but he just can’t sleep that long(3 hours). So anyone have suggestions? How long can I keep him on 4 naps a day??
    Mrs. Martin said:
    Hi! I am in a similar situation to what Sondra is going through. STTN since 7 weeks, perfect 3 hour schedule, great naps until evening when he just takes a catnap from 6-7 (he gets his final feed at 7). Then bedtime at 745 and he’s good until 7 the next morning. He dropped the dreamfeed on his own about 3 weeks ago (refused to wake up). He is really acting like he is ready for a 4 hour schedule. Today I stretched out one of his feedings for 4 hours and he didn’t even notice- I still had to wake him up from his nap. So I guess I’m just wondering if, at this early age, he would be ok to get only 4 feedings a day, or should I return to the dream feed for a while to make sure he gets enough calories?Thanks so much for your blog, it has helped my husband and I more than you know! We tell everyone about it; my husband is a pediatrician so all of his new moms are hearing about you too! Sorry, I forgot to mention his age. He is 3.5 months old (14 wks).
    Plowmanators said: Sondra Kay Allen,What I did was just drop the fourth nap but keep a 3 hour feeding schedule. So between 4:30 and 7:30 there would be no nap. You might need to feed at 7 instead of 7:30 and will likely need to put him to bed earlier than 8:30 (7:30 or 8:00).
    Mrs. Martin, you can always try it and see what happens. I think by now he is old enough to be okay. Watch milk supply. If you notice supply issues, pump before bed. Also watch growth. If he starts to change his growth patterns (in a slower way), add a dreamfeed or go back to 3 hours.
  • Philip and Andrea Kelly said: I love this blog!!! Thank you for creating it and offering help to everyone! I am so thankful for this! Here’s my question:I have an 11 week old boy and he just starting STTN – 3 hour schedule: 7:30-10:30-1:30-4:30-7:30 in bed by 8:30 then dreamfeed at 10:30. This schedule is working fine for me but he isn’t hungry after every nap in the day time- his naps are 1.5 – 2 hrs and I have to wake him every time and when I start to feed him he isn’t completely hungry which is why some of our feeding take an hour of off and on of waking him and feeding. Do you have any advice on how I should change the scheduled times? Thank you for your help!
    Plowmanators said: Andrea,I would either drop your dreamfeed or do a 4 hour schedule while still keeping the dreamfeed. Good luck!

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54 thoughts on “The Babywise 4 Hour Schedule: More Thoughts”

  1. My son will is 7 weeks old. From what I am reading he shouldn’t be on a 4 hour feeding schedule until he is sleeping 7-8 hours at night. Well, he came home from the hospital on a 4 hour feeding schedule and I just stuck with it because he stayed in the hospital for a week so he was pretty consistent about eating only every 4 hours. He is on a 12,4,8,12 schedule. His bedtime routine starts at 730, has bottle at 8. He sleeps until 12, I fed him then and he usually sleeps until around 4ish, I go in and soothe and give his a paci. Usually wakes again at 5-6 wanting a bottle. How can I get him to sleep longer without waking wanting the paci or a bottle, and if I do feed him before 8, how much should I feed him so that he stays on his schedule eating a full bottle at 8?Also, your site is verrrry helpful! Thanks a ton!

  2. My son will is 7 weeks old. From what I am reading he shouldn’t be on a 4 hour feeding schedule until he is sleeping 7-8 hours at night. Well, he came home from the hospital on a 4 hour feeding schedule and I just stuck with it because he stayed in the hospital for a week so he was pretty consistent about eating only every 4 hours. He is on a 12,4,8,12 schedule. His bedtime routine starts at 730, has bottle at 8. He sleeps until 12, I fed him then and he usually sleeps until around 4ish, I go in and soothe and give his a paci. Usually wakes again at 5-6 wanting a bottle. How can I get him to sleep longer without waking wanting the paci or a bottle, and if I do feed him before 8, how much should I feed him so that he stays on his schedule eating a full bottle at 8?Also, your site is verrrry helpful! Thanks a ton!

  3. Valerie,A couple of questions regarding moving towards a 4 hour schedule. This is my 7 month old son's current schedule.7a.m. bottle & solids9 a.m. nap10:15-ish bottle12:30-ish nap2:00-ish bottle & solids4:00 nap5:00 bottle6:30 bottle & solids7:30 bedI know you suggest not pushing a 4 hour schedule. Would you recommend that since my son doesn't sleep longer than 1 hour & 15 minutes or so for naps (sometimes his naps are non-existent!), that we keep the current schedule and not move towards a 4 hour schedule? He has never napped a solid 2 hours ever and I just wonder will it ever happen?I'm also considering dropping the third nap since he mostly just rolls/sits up/talks during it. I appreciate your thoughts! It's hard to believe I've been picking your brain about BW since my little one was only 6 weeks old!:) THANK YOU!!!

  4. Valerie,A couple of questions regarding moving towards a 4 hour schedule. This is my 7 month old son's current schedule.7a.m. bottle & solids9 a.m. nap10:15-ish bottle12:30-ish nap2:00-ish bottle & solids4:00 nap5:00 bottle6:30 bottle & solids7:30 bedI know you suggest not pushing a 4 hour schedule. Would you recommend that since my son doesn't sleep longer than 1 hour & 15 minutes or so for naps (sometimes his naps are non-existent!), that we keep the current schedule and not move towards a 4 hour schedule? He has never napped a solid 2 hours ever and I just wonder will it ever happen?I'm also considering dropping the third nap since he mostly just rolls/sits up/talks during it.I appreciate your thoughts! It's hard to believe I've been picking your brain about BW since my little one was only 6 weeks old!:) THANK YOU!!!

  5. I wouldn’t do a 4 hour right now. You could do a 3.5 and have him wait 15 minutes before eating. He is in the age bracket to drop the third nap if you think he is ready. You can always try it and see how it goes 🙂

  6. Hi! I'm stumped and am interested in your thoughts on this. Sarah is 22 weeks old and two days ago, she weaned herself from the dream-feed and also moved herself to a 4-hr schedule. Her days are currently as follows:7:15-7:30 – wake8:00 – feed (7oz formula)9:00-10:30/11:00 – nap12:00 – feed (7oz)1:00-2:30/3:00 – nap4:00 – feed (7oz)4:30-5:30 – nap7:00 – feed (5oz) & bed-timeI am having trouble getting Sarah to take her last bottle of the night (she only took 5oz after 15 mins of encouraging her to eat) since it isn't 4 hours from her 4pm feeding. Should I reduce her feeding amounts throughout the day, OR only reduce the 4pm feed amount? She is sleeping through the night with the feeds as-is and wakes up happy (I can hear her chatting as I type :)). Also, with her moving to a 4-hr schedule and naps still the same, her order of activities is reversed, i.e. waketime/eat/sleep. Is there any way I can help change that? Thanks a million!

  7. what do you do if baby is ready for a 4 hour schedule, but still needs the 3rd nap? My 4 month old can go 4 hours between feedings most of the time, taking two 2-2.5 hour naps. Her waketime is anywhere between 1 hour 15 min and 1.5. Sometimes she can go longer. I pretty much always have to wake her up to eat, so the last few days I’ve been playing with going to 4 hours, but she’s just not ready to drop that last nap. I’m worried if I keep the 3rd nap, she’s going to wake up from it hungry. Then I’m back to feeding 5 times a day and every 3.5 hours, which is just too often for her. She’s really not interested in one of the feedings when I do 3.5 hours. Right now her schedule is8am – wakeup/nurse9:15ish – nap11:30 – wakeup/nurse1 – nap3-3:30ish – wakeup/nurse5 – short nap, usually about an hour6- wakeup/nurse8 – nurse then bedIf I drop that 6pm feeding then I’ll move her night feeding up to 7:30 so she can be in bed by 8. Also, she’s going to start solids in about 2-3 weeks. Any thoughts on how I can drop a feeding and still keep 3 naps?

  8. Kaitlyn was on a 4 hour schedule with 3 naps for over 4 months, so it can be done! See the sample schedules post:Sample Schedules :

  9. Val,I love how detailed your posts are. I know that you are a SAHM so most of your posts are from that experience. I am struggling with coming up with a schedule for my 6.5 month old who goes to daycare fulltime. Mostly I would like for him to have bkft and lunch at daycare but I can’t figure out how to make that happen in the feed, waketime, nap routine. Here are some of the particulars: He is currently on a 3/3.5 hour schedule though I am pretty sure we could go to a 4 hour routine. They like to do bkft between 8 and 8:30 am (which is his current first nap time and the earliest they can put him down) His optimal waketime in the mornings is anywhere between 1.5 and 2.5 hours. He usually wakes up between 5:30 and 6:30am. Most likely we will be getting him up around 5:30 in the near future due to his Daddy being in charge of daycare drop offs during tax season. The only thing I can see to do is feed him (breast) when we wake him up and then have them do cereal right before he goes down for his first nap. My feeling is that he will have no interest in the cereal at that time. If we do do those two feedings before naptime would we do the next feeding 3.5-4 hours after the 8am feeding? There is no way he will sleep until noon. He usually does a 1.5-2 hour nap. Argh. Does that make any sense? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

  10. This is tricky. It sounds like you are going to have to make something work for your situation. I would nurse him when he wakes up, then see if they will put him down for a nap around 7:30 or whenever would be the best time for him. Maybe 7. Once he wakes from that nap, feed him his liquid followed by his breakfast. This is assuming they will be flexible with him.If they insist upon breakfast between 8-8:30…it could be hard for him because if he ate at 8 he would be up for 2.5 at that point, followed by a meal and would have to go down immediately. If that is the case, nurse him at 5:30, have him eat at 8:00 (or sooner if they will) and go down for his nap. But then have him have his liquid as soon as he gets up from that nap.The Baby Whisperer suggests doing solids where you nurse, two hours later feed solids, two hours later nurse, two hours later solids, etc. I don’t love that, but if it is what you have to do, know that there are many parents out there who do it that way and survive.

  11. We have started having some problems with our 5 month old. He has started waking up during the night after consistently sleeping through the night the last month. He is on a 4 hour routine and is getting EBM and formula as well as some solids. He usually wakes up between 7:00/7:30 and eats about 7 ounces followed by a few tbsp of cereal and fruit. Goes down for nap 9:30/10:00. Wakes 11:00/11:30 for 5-7 ounces. Nap around 1:30/2:00. This nap is more difficult. Sometimes he sleeps, sometimes he plays in his crib and sometimes he cries. I leave him in his crib for at least 1 hour whether he is sleeping or not. 3:00/3:30 feed 5-7 ounces. Sometimes not that hungry with this feed. I will try solids and he will take 1-2 tbsp. I then try to follow his cues to see if an afternoon nap is needed. Then feed around 7:00, 7oz formula, then to bed around 7:30. We have no problem putting him to bed, no crying and then usually sleeps until 7:00. The last week he has been waking up 1-2 times during the night. I let him cry for about 15 mins but usually won’t fall back asleep without reswaddling him and giving him his pacifier. He maybe teething but doesn’t seem to bother him during the day. Wondering if he is hungry? I haven’t tried feeding him because I don’t want him to get used to an extra feeding. Should I start a DF? If so, what time? Any other suggestions?

  12. Hi, I have a question about this subject. It sounds like you are saying the best way to move your baby to a 4 hour schedule is to let them tell you when they are ready. So basically, are you saying I should let him sleep however long he wants for his naps (not past the 4 hr feeding mark though)? I have a little guy who will be 5 months next week and I think he is ready for this move. He sleeps 11 hours straight at night and has dropped the dreamfeed (this happened about 3 weeks ago). I usually have to wake him up to feed him at the 3 hour mark, and sometimes I get caught up doing other things and don’t get him up until 3.25-3.5 hrs. I have been waking him up for the feeding though. So should I just let him nap as long as he wants and then feed him, as long as it’s not more than 4 hours between feedings? Thanks!

  13. Another question to add to my previous one from earlier. I want to keep Noah’s bedtime (about 7:30-8ish) pretty consistent, which I can’t do by having a 3.5 hr feeding schedule. That would give him feeding times of 7, 10:30, 2:00, 5:30, 9:00. So until he transitions completely to a 4 hr schedule, which would put him back at the right bedtime (7, 11, 3, 7), is it okay to make the last 2 feedings closer together? Say something like 7, 10:30, 2:00, 5:00, 7:30? Of course this is all hypothetical and rough estimates because I am assuming I should just feed him whenever he wakes up (anywhere from every 3-4 hrs) until he himself stretches it out to 4 hours. I hope this makes sense! Thanks 🙂

  14. Kim, see this post for reasons for waking at that age:5-8 Month Sleep Disruptions :

  15. Jencwu, yes, try letting him sleep longer until the four hour mark. He might not sleep that long, but some will. If he won’t, you will have to wait until he can have a longer waketime followed by a good nap so he can make it 4 hours. You can do the last two feedings closer together. See Combo Schedule is Okay:

  16. Sorry, I’m not sure what you mean by “wait until he can have a longer waketime followed by a good nap.” Can you clarify this please? Thank you!

  17. You bet. What I mean is wait until he can stay awake longer and still take a long enough nap (at least 1.5 hours). You don’t want to force a longer waketime because that will backfire into too short of a nap, so you want to wait until he can stay awake longer and still take the nap he needs.

  18. Hi Val, Your blog has been a lifesaver! I understand BW so much better after having discovered your blog. I am hoping you can offer some advice about my son. He will be 4 months old next week. He is FF on a 3 hour schedule. Also, he has reflux, which we discovered when he was about 6 weeks old. We started BW at week 2, but it got seriously disrupted when the reflux surfaced, and we didn’t get 100% back to it until we got it under control. After trying several medications, the Ped GI put him on Zegerid and it has worked wonders. His pain is almost entirely gone. I was able to do CIO for naps after we had reflux under control and that worked well for us. He is now a good napper. He usually wakes up at the 45 minute mark, but puts himself back to sleep after talking (and sometimes fussing) for a few minutes. Because of the reflux, we put cereal in 4 out of 6 bottles throughout the day. This really helps him keep it down. My question is related to his schedule.I really think he is ready to go longer in between feedings, but have hesitated to do so for 2 reasons: 1) he wasn’t STTN until 2 weeks ago and 2) I’ve always heard that reflux babies do better with more frequent feedings in smaller amounts. However, lately I am having a hard time getting him to eat at the 3 hour mark, he just doesn’t seem very hungry. (I think the cereal probably has a lot to do with that, but I don’t really want to stop that because he does so much better with it) Also, about a week ago, he started trying to drop his 4th nap. I went with it for the first 2 days and he was very fussy. The third day, I let him take his full 4th nap thinking the previous two days were just a fluke. That night he was waking up almost every hour from 3 on to talk/fuss. Since that night, he has either not taken his 4th nap at all or has taken a quick 30-40 minute catnap and has not repeated that nighttime waking. The last sign he is giving me is that I frequently have to wake him up from his naps. This has been the case for quite some time now. I just have this feeling that he will eat better at 3.5 or 4 hours. The only other issue is that he still doesn’t have a very long wake time. But, some of that may be my doing. I was just so scared to let him go past 1 hour for fear that he would have a meltdown. But, lately, I’ve realized that he is probably ready for more. We have been doing 1 hour for the first wake time, then 1 hour 10 minutes, then 1 hour 15 minutes, and then the last wake time is very long since we are dropping that 4th nap. We have trouble with this last wake time, as he is sometimes awake from 4PM to almost 7PM. I usually start trying to feed him by 6:30, but again, he’s not very hungry since this is even earlier than the 3 hour mark and he is so tired that he really doesn’t care about eating, just sleeping! He currently eats at 7/10/1/4/between 6:30 and 6:45 b/c we are dropping that last nap. Bedtime 7:30 (at the latest). DF 10:00 His naps are like I mentioned earlier (more or less 8, 11:10, 2:15). He never cries when going down, but he does talk and kind of play in his crib for up to 25 minutes sometimes before falling asleep. (side note: do you think this is also a sign that he needs longer wake times?)What do you think? Does it sound like he is ready for a 4 hour schedule? Or should I start with 3.5 and still try to get in 5 feedings during the day, with the DF being the 6th feeding? I’m nervous that if we go from 6 feedings to 5, that he won’t consume as much as he was before and it will start to effect his nighttime sleep. I know that the DF should typically be dropped before extending the daytime schedule, but it just seems like he might eat more during the day if I space the feedings out more, and if that worked I would think it would lead to no more DF in the next month or so. Sorry to make this SOOOOOO long. I just wanted to give you all the information! I really appreciate your help and what you are doing with the blog! Thank you!!!!!! Jaime

  19. Jaime,It sounds like you have thought through all of this well. It sounds like he is ready for the four hour schedule. I might suggest you drop the 4th nap first, but moving to a 4 hour shedule would do that.One thing, though, is I personally would drop the dreamfeed first. I know you recognize that is typically done. If you drop it, he might need the three hour for a while more because that is one fewer feeding. But, he might be ready a few days later (Kaitlyn was, as much as I was hesitant to do too many things at once, she just kind of pushed it). Continuous sleep (uninterrupted) is importnant for brain development. That is why I think it is important to do that first. Going to 4 hours is first will delay the length of time to drop the dreamfeed.But, in the end, do what you think is best. I really think you have thought it through well. You know him and the situation best. If you think it is best to move to four hours and hang on to the DF for a while, do it. Many kids are older when they drop the DF, so I wouldn’t want you to worry about some sort of developmental delay if you reverse order.

  20. My daughter is 10 weeks old, and seldom gets hungry before the 4 hour mark, but her normal waketimes only range from 1-1.5 hours. She seldom sleeps 2.5 hours at most naps. When she wakes early, I usually have to wait .5-1 hours before I can get her to take anything! I know that feedings should come first, but I feel that I have no other choice. I have tried extending her waketime, but all that does is screw her up to where she can’t take a nap all day long! Any advice?

  21. Hi there,I would like to ask you..I'm about to move my schedule either to combination of 4-3hourly or 3.5 hourly. Let's say my schedule would be like this: 8am, 11.30, 2.30am, 5am and 7.15am. Because between 5pm and 7.15pm is just about 2 hour I still give my baby the full amount of milk or should I reduce it by half or 1 oz?and actually even after his dream feed, he still wakes up hungry around 4 or 5 am so i feed him. but by the time he wakes up at 7.30 or 8 am..he still refuse to drink..even if i extend his feeding time to 8.30am he only takes half of his milk. what should I do? I want him to always take his milk and finish it when he wakes up so I can still keep him on a routine.

  22. ok, so i have visited your website often and have a question…my 5 month 10 day old daughter has really been throwing me for a loop. she has been on a 3hr schedule w/ 6 feedings since she was 2 months old. I would cluster feed in the evenings in order to get a 6th feeding in. 3 days before she turned 5 months, she started waking up in the middle of the night (after 6 feedings) very hungry, so i would feed her. At the same time, she started watching everything we eat and drink and wanted to grab our food. I had tried rice cereal at 4 months and she wasn't interested. So i thought I would give it another try a week ago today.She took to it and is now getting rice cereal everyday in the evenings and sleeping the thru the night again. But here is the problem. She is starting to stretch her wake time for an additional 15min, but sometimes waking up at the 3 hr scheduled time or sometimes sleeping thru it. Very inconsistent during the last 3 weeks. On the 3 hr schedule she would wake up after her 3rd nap for her 4th feeding at 5/5:30 which allowed me enough time to get her last 3 feedings in. However, she is now sleeping til 6/6:30 for her 3rd nap which doesn't leave me enough time in the evening to get an additional 3 feedings plus rice cereal in. I would like to move her to 5 feedings plus rice cereal and start her last feeding a little earlier than 8/8:15pm. However, for 2 nights I have tried to only give her 5 feedings plus rice cereal and she is waking up 2/3 times a night and super hungry. Please help me! I don't know if i need to move her to a 3.5/4hr schedule, if she is ready to drop the 6th feeding, or if i need to put her to bed earlier? The last question I ask because she always falls alseep about 10/15 minutes into that last feeding, but sucks for 45 minutes. She normally takes a full feeding in 20/25min. My goal is to have her on 5 feedings with rice cereal once a day, 3 naps and to start her last feeding around 7:30 with her in bed by 8pm.She is the schedule for the last week…8/8:15am – wake/nurse9:15-9:30 – goes down for nap11-11:15 – wake/nurse12:45 -1pm – goes down for nap2:30/3pm – wake/nurse4:15/4:45 – goes down for nap6-6:15pm – wakes/nurse; 7pm – nurse7:30 – rice cereal8:15pm – nurse & bed (usually alseep by 8:45/9pm)

  23. Hope, I think I would wake her from her third nap earlier so you can fit the feedings in. It looks like, since you don't have a dreamfeed, your next step will be to move to a four hour schedule, so once you consisntely need to wake her up for feedings and/or she takes a longer waketime, you can try for that.

  24. My daughter is 7 1/2 months (she's my first) and she's a PDF, BW baby who has been on a fast growth curve from the start. She has always been a great eater and sleeper, STTN at 8 weeks. However, naps have never lasted all that long. She always seems to wake up (very happy, I might add) after 45 min – 1.5 hours (max). So her naps average an hour. She is on a 3 hour cycle still and I can't seem to make any progress toward 3.5 – 4 hour cycle. Seems like she should be napping longer (from what I've read on this blog) and it also seems like she should be on a longer cycle. Am I doing something wrong??? At night she wakes up about 30-45 min after I put her down (crying this time, and it's the only time she wakes up crying). I don't know what to do about that. She's also been waking up in middle of the night lately (I give her water then and she goes right back to sleep) and then again b/w 4-5:30 (I have been nursing her then – should I give her water again? Or should I just let her cry both times?). Then she's up again at 7-7:30 for the day. She is a very happy baby all day long (aside from teething periods) and she seems very secure and not clingy. I'm so blessed by her, but I also want to know if she's just naturally a very hungry girl (yes, I feed her solids after her first nurse period in the A.M.) who needs to stay on this 3 hour cycle? Should I push the 3.5 – 4 hour cycle just yet? Help, please! It seems like whenever I stray from the 3-hour cycle we have a very hard, frustrating day. So, I always end up going back to 3 hours and everyone functions way better. Thanks…

  25. Jana Carissa, if the three hours is better for her, then stick with that. If she only has solids once a day, then my guess is she won't be able to go to 4 hours yet. I am not saying you must extend to 3 solid meals, just know that it is totally normal and to be expected to do a 3 hour without solids at that age. I suggest you see the blog label "45 minute intruder" See also the post 'easy nap fix' and the posts 'nighttime sleep issues–revised and updated' and 'naps: troubleshooting–revised and updated. The revised and updated posts are from this month. Those should all give you some ideas to try to extend naps.

  26. Hi, I had a question about my soon to be 4 month old. She's been on a consistent 4 hour schedule since around her 2 month mark. She sleeps through the night for 8.5 hours. I BF so I can't go longer. This is her schedule:7am feed9am nap11am feed1pm nap3pm feed5pm nap (with struggle)6pm feed (barely eats)7pm put to bed10:30 feedMy question: I think she cries at 5pm because she wants to stay up but what do about the Feed/Wake/Sleep cycle? Do I feed her later than 6pm or earlier? What about her 4 hour schedule? Should I change it to a 3 hour cycle? Help! She will be starting her solids soon and I know her schedule is going to change again right. Please any advice would help. PS. Love the site.

  27. Nene, she is really young to move to only two naps a day. Most babies can't until 6 months at the earliest. If you think she is ready, try just adding waketime. It is okay to have a shorter nap. So maybe try a nap at 5:15 or 5:30. Then try feeding her at 6:30.

  28. I have been reading this blog for awhile now and love it! Thanks for all the time you put into it! I am not sure why I haven’t written sooner, but I need some help figuring out what to do with my son’s schedule. He is 4 and1/2 months old. I went back to work when he was 9 weeks old. He is watched by a woman one on one. He has at times slept through the night, usually on the weekends or when I am home for a whole week. I guess he likes to get up and be with me on the days I am working. ☺ He eats every morning at 6:15. Goes back to sleep between 7:30 and 8:00. Starting 3 weeks ago he began to extend is 1st nap and has to be woken up at 10:00. Making it 4 hours between feedings. His other feedings were 3 hours apart until this week. Now he has extended his 2nd nap and has to be woken up at 2:00 to feed. Another 4 hours. He is not sleeping through the night yet. I do a dreamfeed at 11:00, then he will wake up around 2:00. This week he doesn’t eat much at this feeding so I am planning on dropping it this next week when I have another week off. My biggest problem is he has begun to wake at 4:30. I can get him back to sleep with a pacifier, so I don’t think he needs to eat then. I know your not supposed to let them go to a 4 hour schedule unless they are sleeping through the night. So what should I do? Should I have his day care provider wake him at 3 and ½ hours at both naps? Do you think this will help his night time issues? Thanks for your help!

  29. DS is 6.5 months old and we are in the process of shifting his schedule to 4 hours…we have noticed that he can go longer and feel that he is ready for this…my only problem is i cant figure out what to do with naps….he usually wakes at 7a and i get him out of bed and feed him, change, play etc…then he is ready to go to sleep again around 9 and it has only been a cople days but he will almost sleep 2 hrs…i feel that as the schedule takes more form he will be sleeping 2-2.5…anyway, from there he gets up at lets say 11 and then i am not sure what to do with his other nap! if he goes back to sleep around 1.30 (which is what he has been wanting to do because he gets so tired we cant keep him up any longer) he will sleep from 1.30-3 or 3.30 and then bedtime isnt until around 8.30…there is no way he will be able to stay awake for 5 hrs until bed time and if i give him a little cat nap in between wont that mess him up? please help!! thanks!!

  30. @Bethany Nakol:I would leave his naps alone. At this point he really does need those long naps, and you should take advantage of them. Some babies are just naturally great nappers and Babywise says he should be taking long naps like that. My baby, on the other hand, does not need a lot of sleep during the day, but sleeps about 12 hours each night. As far as bedtime goes, I would put him to bed earlier, say around 7 or 7:30. I started doing that with my girl at around 6 months and she does so well with it. Is he STTN? Has he dropped the late night feeding? I nurse my girl to sleep at 7 and it seems to work great as long as she had a really good dinner to hold her through the night. I wouldn't make him wait 5 hours just to hold to your 8:30 bedtime. My advice is switch to an earlier one. Anyone else's thoughts?

  31. I should also add that the late cat nap to get him through the night is likely to mess him up and reenergize him so that bedtime could potentially be later. I've had one mom tell me how her chid wants to take that later nap and then her husband/her are up with him until 11 or 12 at night. So, it really can mess them up. But if you really need to have bedtime at 8:30 for good reason, then maybe a 30 minute cat nap at 5:30 would do. Up at 6 (even if you have to wake him!) and then up for another 2.5 hours. But then you have to think about dinner, etc. Is he eating solids yet? Solids 3x/day helps them sleep better. I hope this has helped you!

  32. thank you so much for replying!! the problem we are having is that he doesnt really nap that well except in the morning this afternoon he naped for like 45 minutes and now he is in his room screaming because i am trying to get him to nap a little before his bed time (which is in 3 more hours) we used to put him to bed at 9 with a dream feed at 10.30…we recently cut out the dream feed and he sleeps all night now (from 9-7.30ish) and now we are working on moving bed time back a little because i would really like him to sleep earlier…so last night we moved it back only 30 minutes and he woke up 4 times!! he hasnt done this in SOOO long!! i feel that if we try and move it back all the way to 7 or 7.30 then he will be waking at like 5 or 6 and i dont really like that lolwhat time does your little one wake up in the morning?

  33. @Bethany Nakoli:STTN is "sleeping through the night" and it's obvious your little guy is good at it! 🙂 I understand your fear of him waking up early or having a hard time as you shift his bedtime earlier. Remember it takes 3-5 days to establish a new pattern for them, so if it doesn't go as expected until 5 days later, don't be discouraged, but know it is totally normal. If he wakes up, just calm him down if he's upset and put him back in his crib. He may need to cry it out. Eventually he will get the picture that you are not coming for him. As far as making small shifts to an earlier bedtime, that is wise. But I went against all of those recommendations and took the plunge from 9 back to 7, cutting out that last cat nap (b/c it was such a fight anymore and sometimes she would just cry the whole time instead). Taking the plunge worked great for us. She seemed much more rested and able to sleep longer, too. Typically she wakes up around 5 am (I have a big girl and she's hungry at that time), but then she passes right back out until 7 or 7:30. I'm flexible so I don't try to push rigidity in our schedule, as long as we're within a half hour I'm happy and so is she. Don't be surprised if he needs to feed after 9 or 10 hours and then needs to go back to sleep. But every child is different so you'll have to play with it. One thing in the middle of the night that has worked for us is if she wakes up I don't go in her room right away. I do this to try and see if she'll put herself back to sleep. If she's still talking, whining or crying after 30-40 minutes (not screaming, I might add), then I'll go in and get her. It's not abnormal for them to wake up in the middle of the night, especially when schedule changes occur. I have found now that if I keep her up just 30 minutes longer, then this disrupts her biological clock and she's up more in the night. It's crazy how much it effects them. I had also found that I personally need the 7 o'clock bedtime. Think about it, you really had just worked for 12 or more hours! So at that time you need to rejuvenate, too. Our home is more peaceful and I'm much more at ease now that she's at the early bedtime. I hope you will experience the same. I almost forgot to talk about the naps. My girl normally takes 2 naps that are 45 min to hour (max). I have tried everything, believe me. I have come to accept that some children really just don't need that much sleep during the day and make up for it at night. Regardless of what Babywise says. Not every child will be exactly by the book. Once I realized this I could let it just be and not stress over it. So, if his p.m. nap is 45 minutes long, I would schedule it to begin at 2:30. This way, he wakes up at 3:15 and then bedtime is just 3 hrs 45 min away. This is what I do with my girl. I know you said you have a hard time keeping him awake longer than 1:30, but move that 1:30 to 1:45, then 2, then 2:15, etc. They tend to handle slower shifts like that better. This way he'll be good and tired at 7. Below is a sample schedule that I put my girl on. It took some tweaking, trial and error, but we've got it down now:5am Feed, back to sleep7am Wake up, breakfast, play10am Nap #111am Nurse11:30/12 Lunch2/2:30 Nap #23/3:30 Wake up, Nurse, Snack, play5/5:30 Dinner, play6:30 Bathtime7:00 BedtimeI really hope this info helps. Let me know if you have more questions.

  34. Fashion Lanyards,If he is truely hungry in the night, I would definitely have the provider keep him on a 3 hour schedule for sure. But if he isn't hungry in the night, I would just work to eliminate those wakings.I am guessing you are waking him somehow in the early morning when you get up. I would try white noise of some type. See blog label "white noise" for more.

  35. Bethani Nakol, I would have a third catnap in the day. My kids all had a catnap until they were quite a bit older (9-11 months). Most drop it around age 8 months. So most kids his age are taking three naps a day.

  36. First off, I love your blog! I find myself returning almost daily! I just need a little advice. My daughter will be 26 weeks/6 months old in 4 days. She is just getting over a growth spurt and seems to be moving toward a 4 hour schedule. I'm still working out the kinks for this new schedule. I've been doing babywise with her since she was about 3 weeks old. Right now our schedule is…4:30-5am waking to eat! I plan to work to drop this feed this week!8am wake/nursebetween 9:30 and 10 down for nap (some days she can go a full 2 hours and others only an hour and half!)12 wake/nurse1:30-2 down for a nap4pm wake/nurse5:30 down for a catnap (this has been between 30 and 45 minutes lately)6:30 wake, bath, BM bottle, book7:30 in bedShe was sleeping from bedtime till 7:30am before her growth spurt, then she started waking in the middle of the night again. She is currently still waking between 4:30 and 5am. I am going to work to drop this this week, probably CIO. We are also going to start solids(rice or oatmeal cereal) this week. I'm just wondering if this schedule seems appropriate for her age?! She's hasn't been taking a full feeding earlier than 4 hours since her growth spurt ended, only taking 4 min or less nursing time total. this is why I've been thinking about stretching her. She has and I know she can STTN I only fed her at night during this growth spurt. She doesn't seem to take a full feeding if I feed her early in the morning. (She dropped the dreamfeed at 4 weeks old) Any thoughts? Her last nap is very short, last night only 20 minutes after 30 minutes of being awake in her crib. But she can't make it without it. She wasn't napping good during her growth spurt but is back to sleeping 2 hours+. If you have any thoughts/comments or ideas I'd love to hear them. again, thanks for this blog!! You have answered so many questions that I have had!

  37. First, it is totally normal t have a short catnap at the end of the day, so that is nothing to worry about. Second, I would wait until that night feeding is dropped to mess with the schedule. It looks like what you have going is good (other than the night feeding–I am sure you don't want that to stick around :). The rest looks just great.

  38. So glad I came across this blog. I read Babywise while I was pregnant and I was hooked. How nice it is to be able to plan things and not have to wait for the baby to tell me. I do have a question though. My 6 week old has been sleeping from 11pm-7am for about 2 weeks straight now, which is GREAT for us, but he is very fussy during the day and doesn't get very many naps. He eats 4oz every 3 hours (7am, 10am, 1pm, 4pm, 7pm, and 10pm) But he is getting to the point where hes been awake so long that he falls asleep when I start to feed him. He still usually takes all 4oz but it takes almost the whole wake time to feed him. I've considered changing to every 3.5-4 hrs but I've seen other post on here where mothers didn't move their babies to the 4hr until 5 months so I'm not sure what to do. Any suggestions??

  39. Jessica, I would get at the heart of the reason for his poor napping. Why is it? Look at the troubleshooting naps post to get ideas in that. Once you fix that, you will fix the sleepy while feeding. I wouldn't move to a four hour schedule for a 6 or 8 week old, though.

  40. Hi Val,My daughter will is almost 6 months. She's on a combo schedule. I usually have to wake her at 6-6:15 to nurse her so I can get ready for work. Here's her schedule…6:00 – nurse8:00 – nap9:30 – bottle of BM 8oz11:30 – nap1:00 – bottle of BM 8 oz3:00 – nap5:00 – nurse7:30 – nurse8:00 – bedHer naps range from 45 min to 1.5 hours. Her last two nursings seem to be getting quick. I don't know if she's not interested or just getting more efficient.My question is…is she ready for a 4 hour schedule…and HOW do I move to it. Do her naps need to be longer to move? Will she feed at 6, 10, 2, 6 (bedtime right after 6 feed)? I guess I'm just confused on how to go about the move. Will she still be on 3 naps or will she go down to 2? Thanks so much!

  41. Hammerick,You are supposed to be waking her from every nap consistently before you move to a four hour schedule. I would suggest you wait until solids are established (at least two weeks of solids) and evaluate then. You will still have three naps. So if you started at 6, you would feed6nap10nap2nap6bed

  42. So my son is 6.5 months old and moved himself to a four hour schedule, but hasn't been sleeping through the night like before… He is currently only having two naps – would a third nap help him sstn? My friend had recommended the schedule she did which was only 2 naps but he doesn't sleep well at all… His schedule is 8, 12, 4, and 8 (sometimes 730- if he is super tired) … And naps are @ 1030ish (which he often gets tired earlier then that) and then only sleeps like 45 minutes, then he gets tired at 1ish, but I try to get him to sleep at 230ish… If he could take a third nap, how could I fit it in? Before he was eating every 3 hrs and taking about 5 naps — so I just cut him back cold turkey and I feel he sucks at sleeping now!!! At what times should be having his naps and for how long? Thanks!!!! 🙂

    • Brydson's,I would follow your son's cues and put him down when he is tired rather than trying to push it. At most, he should be up for two hours before a nap, but not all 6 month olds can go 2 hours.Watching his cues will lead to the most sleep all around.Average time to go to two naps is 8 months. 6 months is the earliest, so if he isn't ready, he doesn't need to. Some go to two naps later than 8 months.

  43. Hello, I love your blog and have found it so helpful for my first baby, who is 4 months now. I have a question about the 4-hour schedule and dropping to 4 feedings a day. You noted in several other posts that it's not wise to go longer than 9-10 hours between feedings for supply. So when you fed your daughter her last feeding of the day at 6:30 or 7 p.m. and didn't feed her again till 7:30 a.m., did you pump later in the evening? I would love to be able to drop my son's 9:30 p.m. dream feed, because I think he's ready, but does that mean I need to pump after he goes to bed to keep up supply?

  44. I am so thankful for your blog! I have referred it to all my friends. I have a question about my 7 month old boy. He moved to a 4 hour schedule about a month ago when he just wouldn't eat at the 3 1/2 hour mark. We started solids about 6 weeks ago. In the mornings he wakes up at 7 and then can usually only stay up for about 1.5 hours. He then only takes a 1.5 hour nap. This leaves me with a happy and awake child at 10 when his next feeding isn't until 11. I have tried going ahead and feeding him at 10 or 10:30 but he won't eat until 11. This throws off the rest of our day as his wake time is messed up. After the first wake time he can stay up for 2 hours but still usually only takes a 1.5 nap. He is still taking two 1.5 hour naps and an hour nap in the evening. Any advice would be so helpful. Thank you so much.

  45. Thanks so much for your blog. I have done babywise with Hannah (now 8 months) since 3 weeks old. She has always hit the milestones a little late…didn't sleep for 7 to 8 hours til quite a few weeks past when she 'should' have, etc. She is exclusively breastfed and still not too interested in solids…I'm just going to let her go straight to table food once she can feed herself. That said, our day is typically this: she wakes around 6ish, I feed her around 7, then 10ish, then around 1 or 2, then around 5, and again 9 or 10pm. She takes three naps a day and up until two to three weeks ago when we had major sleep deprivation due to grandparents visiting (ugh), she was sleeping 1.5 hours consistently. Now it's only one hour half the time and 1.5 hours half the time, occasionally only 45 minutes and I mean for all naps, not just the third (I have been leaving her in her bed 1.5 hours after she goes to sleep – I see her on video monitor – to help her know that longer naps are expected and that seems to help a little but one little throw off in the routine seems to set us back and I can't keep our days exactly the same day after day b/c life happens, as you know). So I am constantly having to adjust feeding times and length of naptimes and waketimes due to this inconsistency (not majorly but give or take 30 minutes to an hour either way). She goes to bed for night pretty consistently about 6:30 then wakes up to eat again about 9, then sleeps til the morning no problem. I am nervous to try to get her to go 12 hours without eating b/c I'm afraid to lose milk supply (since it's all she will eat still) plus I really don't mind her getting up then to eat, plus that 30 to 45 minutes with her is all my husband gets most days of the week. I am happy with the way it's going, but then I read all your posts and how right on time your routines always seem to be and I think I should be trying to make her go 4 hours, or to drop the dreamfeed, or take consistent 1.5 hours naps, or drop the third nap (which she obviously still needs)…I still feel like our day is structured and routine and she and I both know how it will go and she is TREMENDOUSLY happy and content. I know that I just need to be okay with what I choose to do, but my only concern is that in doing this, I will inadvertantly set up a bad habit for later and a major part of my parenting philosophy is to start good habits instead of having to break bad ones later. Anything you would suggest that you think could be a problem now or later or do you think we're okay to stay as we are as long as baby and family are happy?

  46. Before you respond to that, I have done some further research on your blog and I think I can clarify what I am asking. I read 'Get a consistent Schedule' and a lot of the comments on this post, plus more info about schedules and 4-hour schedules. This is my first child, so I also read some on Babywise II: Freedoms and 'Starting As You Mean To Go' in regards to discipline/training. I feel we are pretty consistent with our schedule, but maybe it really is just more of a pattern b/c I can't say "she sleeps at 1pm" its more like "around 1pm"…but you know how they change so fast that what works for two weeks may start to morf the week after (I of course mean minor morfs, still following the basic principles and structure of the day). I think maybe she still needs 3 solid 1.5 hour naps a day and maybe she is slightly sleep deprived and that is why she isn't doing it well nowadays. I just keep thinking she should be able to stay awake longer than 2 hours as an 8 month old…at least everyone around me acts like I am an overprotective psycho mom when I insist on my baby napping as much as she does or that I am not living in 'reality' by not pushing her to her breaking point and making her stay awake longer. We have even had SERIOUS conflict with my inlaws over it, almost to the point of us severing our relationship with them…apparently most people think the "norm" for babies is whining, fussing, crying, passing out on someone's shoulder or in a carseat in order to sleep. So here's my question (finally!) well, ok, two questions:1) In your experience, do you feel my following more of a pattern than a set 'schedule' is going to cause trouble down the road, say, in toddlerhood?2) How do you deal with/have you faced much people/family being negative and even oppositional to how you raise your children, specifically regarding sleep habits? This is one thing I was definitely not prepared for, but it has been the most difficult part of this whole process…which is saying a lot since we all know the first 8 weeks are very hard!Thank you!

  47. First, thank you so much for you blog!I have 2 questions regarding the 4 hour schedule. My son will be 7 months in a couple of days, he is FF, sleeping through the night since early on, and goes to day care full time. He has always been a 45 min – 1 hour napper, but has recently been going 1.5 – 2.5 hours more and more. Up until about a month ago he was still taking 4 naps a day, but then dropped himself to 3 naps. The last week or so at day care, he has had many days of just 2 longer naps. For some reason this seems too soon to drop the 3rd, considering how long he held on to 4 naps. Is this too young to drop to 2 naps? Also, these longer naps are messing with his meal times. We just started solids a few weeks ago and is currently eating 2x a day, about to go to 3x. My main issue with moving to the 4 hour schedule, is that he drinks a LOT of formula. He typically eats 8-9 oz at each feeding every 3 hours (5 times a day… so 40-45 oz per day.) My concern, if I move to every 4 hours (4 times a day) that is cutting out quite a bit of his daily intake and I don't want him waking up in the night hungry. The bottles we have max out at 9 oz, so I don't want to give him more than that at a feeding! He is not a particularly "chunky" baby, just a fast metabolism I guess? I've been trying to slowly decrease the amount of formula now as he eats more solids, but he still just seems to want all of the bottle even after eating! Is there a point where they get too old and should not be on the 3 hour schedule any more? Any advice would be appreciated!

  48. Nikki, The 2 naps is totally fine and age appropriate. I wouldn't decrease your formula. Still do the 9 ounces and then feed as many solids as he would like. I haven't bottle fed, so I am not sure what people do typically. With breastfeeding, the baby takes more ounces per feeding, so I would guess that is what you should do with bottles. Will the daycare not do more than 9 ounces per feeding?


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