Baby Whisperer E.A.S.Y. Routine. All about the E.A.S.Y. Routine and how routine impacts different temperaments.
In Secrets of the Baby Whisperer (affiliate link), Tracy Hogg recommends following a regular routine. She refers to her routine as E.A.S.Y. Essentially, it is Eat, Activity, Sleep, and You time (during the sleep).
Here are some things I like about the chapter on E.A.S.Y. One is that she focuses on mom getting some good time for herself. I think this is such a good idea for moms. Nap, do hobbies, cook, clean, garden, read, rest, etc. Do whatever it is that makes you happy and makes you you.
Another thing I like about this chapter is that it gives great reasons for following a routine. If you are skeptical at all about the benefits of a routine, read this chapter (chapter 2 starting on page 39). Also, if you tend to be a hyperscheduler or clock watcher, this is a good chapter for you to read. Babywise cautions against hyperscheduling, but many Babywise moms find themselves in that trap. This chapter can help you loosen up and keep things in perspective.
Let’s discuss the EASY Routine and why this routine works more in depth below.
Here are some things Hogg lists that you can expect from birth to three months old. This is something you can look at and help gauge your first three months:
- Eating. Baby takes 25-40 minutes to eat. Baby can go 2.5-3 hours between feedings if 6 pounds or more.
- Activity: Baby plays for 45 minutes, including diapering. Activity is anything that is not eating. I don’t completely agree with this. Some younger babies can only stay awake for 45 minutes including feeding time.
- Sleep: Baby takes 15 minutes to fall asleep. Baby then sleeps 30-60 minutes. After age 2-3 weeks, baby will start to progressively sleep longer intervals in the night.
- You: You have an hour or more of time for you.
Reasons Routine Works
- There is a natural order to things. All things in the world have an order and regular pattern of events. You have a routine to your day; baby will like her day the same.
- Babies don’t like surprises.
- E.A.S.Y. gets your baby used to the natural order of things. Of course, E.A.S.Y. is essentially the same thing as Eat/Wake/Sleep from Babywise. She cautions against putting a baby to bed right after a meal so baby doesn’t become dependent on nursing/bottlefeeding to fall asleep. She also states that most times we eat then head off to activities. That is the way things are naturally done by humans. Offer the same natural progression to your children.
- Structure and organization give everyone in the family a sense of security. Baby knows what to expect and mom and dad can plan their lives. Also, if you have other children, you can work things out so the older children don’t get ignored. When you have only one baby it is easy to focus all attention on her. But if you have more than one child, you have to allocate your attention and time. That is much easier done with a routine. Believe me.
- Routine helps parents interpret their baby. Since your baby is on this predictable routine, you know when certain things should take place. You know when a tired cry should come. You know the hunger cry timetable. This helps you get to know your baby’s cries. You can more quickly get to know your baby’s language.
- E.A.S.Y. establishes a solid but flexible foundation for your baby.
- A routine facilitates cooperative parenting. If any of you are like me, it is hard to leave your new baby even with dad. But when you have the routine, you can better tell the caregiver what to expect when. You can leave your children with a babysitter more easily. My parents often watch our children. I know it has always been easy for them to do so because they have the schedule in front of them. They know what to expect and how to interpret. When my husband and I went on vacation for a week without the kids, we had the kids spend half of the time with my parents and half with his parents. We typed up the schedule and the kids were as good as gold. They had no readjustment period after the trip. It was also nice for them to have some predictability even without mom and dad around. The routine also helps you to be partners with your spouse (for the importance of this, see: Non-BW Tips and Tricks: Teamwork). Dad can have his regular things he helps with when he gets home from work.
Routine and Your Baby’s Temperament
In an earlier post, I talked about temperament. Here is what you can expect from each type of child and routines. Remember that your baby might be more than one type. Also, these are not written in stone, as Hogg says:
- Angel baby: Easily adapts. This is my Kaitlyn. She came home from the hospital on a schedule. There of course have been many times over the course of her 15 months we have tweaked the schedule for one reason or another, but it has all been easy.
- Textbook baby: This is an easily molded baby because he is predictable. Once you initiate it, he will follow without much problem. Brayden was a textbook baby once we instituted Babywise, and he was easy to get into the routine. He thrived on it. He did much better with the routine than he did without it.
- Touchy baby: This is the most fragile baby. She loves the predictability of a routine. Consistency is key. A touchy baby who is not on a routine often has misinterpreted cries. Touchy babies need their cues watched closely and put to bed at the right moment. Brayden was a touchy baby pre–Babywise, and I saw many of these things in him. As I said, he thrived on a routine. He also needed his sleep at the right moment or naps were short or hard to fall asleep for.
- Spirited baby: He seems to resist the schedule. Or he changes the schedule just as it calms down. He is quick to let you know when you are doing something that doesn’t work for him. He has a hard time winding down and seems to not want to stay asleep.
- Grumpy baby: He will likely seem disagreeable at first, but he will be happier if you start the routine.
- Write it all down. Keep a log. She suggests you track what time baby eats, how much he eats, how long he eats, bowel movements, wet diapers, activities done, time of baths, how long he slept, what you did during your time and any insight/comments you have. I have also suggested keeping a log. You can use my log eBook. See also: Problem Solving Tip: Detailed Log, Tips and Tricks: Take Notes, BW Tips and Tricks: Keep a Log.
- Get to know your baby as a person. Know your baby for who she is. I have also suggested this. See: Love Languages — Not Babywise , Get To Know Your Child’s Personality.
- Take it easy. E.A.S.Y. Babies like sweet, simple, slow movements. Slow your pace to hers.
- See: Getting a Consistent Schedule.
- For more help, see my Starting Babywise Late Guide
Hogg’s E.A.S.Y. plan is very similar to Ezzo’s Eat/Wake/Sleep plan. These tips can help you implement this cycle in the life of your baby.
Related Routine Posts:
Reader Routine Questions:
- Emily said…
I had always been pretty good at keeping to the schedule and waking my 6.5 month daughter to feed her at the same time. I know she’s ready to extend her feeding time during the day and she sleeps 11.5 hrs straight through the night. Is it okay to let her sleep longer if she will or just to see how long she’ll go before needing to eat while I’m doing this or should I still try to stick to a schedule? I’m asking b/c SOME days she can go longer w/o eating but other days she can’t so if I do this we’re not on a steady schedule. Thanks
August 4, 2008 3:01 PM
Emily,I wouldn’t let her just sleep until she wakes. I would add maybe 15-30 minutes to her nap and see how it goes at first–I am pretty conservative usually when changing things. You really don’t want her naps longer than 2.5 hours, so watch that. Remember to keep a log of things so you can try to see patterns of what works and what doesn’t.Also remember you can do a combo schedule, so some feedings can be 3 hours aprart while others are 3.5 hours apart.
August 5, 2008 10:58 PM
- bradysmom said…
My almost 7MO takes 1.5 – 2 hour naps, and is on a 4 hour schedule. He wakes up without crying, so i assume that means he’s had enough sleep and is good. Do I wake him up then, or let him stay in his crib, awake, until the 2 hours is up? Also, if I get him up, should I feed him right when he gets up, or wait until that 2 hour time which would be his normal feeding time (keep in mind the most time I would be making him wait to eat is 1/2 an hour).I just worry that if I get him up from his nap at 1.5 hours or so, and then he’s awake a little bit before he eats, that messes up the feed/wake/sleep cycle. Thanks so much!
August 19, 2008 6:17 AM
He could have some time in the bed to himself if needed. Also see this post: Eat/Wake/Sleep Cycle
August 19, 2008 9:19 PM