Must-Follow Tip for Starting a Routine Late

If you are trying to establish a predicatble schedule or routine with your baby, you MUST follow this tip to get there quickly.

mother and baby, nose-to-nose

In The Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems, Hogg outlines steps to starting the Baby Whisperer EASY routine late–meaning later than birth. She outlines what to do and what to expect when starting at various ages. I particularly love one piece of advice she gives.

Hogg says when starting a routine, take two weeks to stay home and be consistent. She says you must do at least one week. “You must make the time to make the change” (page 42). I love this advice and have given it myself many times over the years.

Tip for Starting a Routine Late

Take two weeks to stay home and be consistent.

People, this is the dynamite tip.

This is something that should not be ignored while you are trying to establish a solid routine. 

You might be able to get there without some consistency, but it is going to take SO MUCH LONGER.

It is like you exercising once a week and being frustrated after a couple of weeks that you have no muscle definition. 

It is like throwing your piano book in frustration after two weeks of lessons because you can’t play Mozart perfectly. 

It is like wanting to get proficient at juggling a soccer ball and only working on it here and there.

It is like wanting to learn to read but never picking up a book. 

A simple must-follow tip for starting a routine late pinnable image with mother and baby

All of these are absurd, right? You would never expect skill to develop without some consistency and work, much less proficiency.

Humans cannot learn something without practicing at it. You can’t develop a habit without consistency. 

Babies are humans.

You cannot expect your baby to pick up on a solid routine just because you read about it in a book and try to keep that routine every once in a while. 


Sacrifice for the Schedule

Take the two weeks your baby needs to nail this routine down. After that, go wild (but of course, realize disruptions, well, disrupt. And that is okay! But it is truth). 

Do what you need to to do to achieve consistency for two weeks. Get babysitters for the baby if you need to go out. Get someone to drive your older kids to those practices. Have one parent stay home while the other parent goes. Say sorry, no, you can’t make it this week and plan something for two weeks. 

Do what you have to do. It is a short period of time for a great payout. 

We started full Babywise with Brayden when he was 9 weeks old. It was summer, and we had a lot of things going on. Add to it the fact that he was the oldest grandchild on one side and the oldest grandson on the other, and he was a popular guy. We experienced disruption after disruption. After a couple of weeks, I finally decided he needed time to be consistent and get this new way of life. My husband and I decided there would be no disruptions for two weeks to his schedule except for church.

This made a huge, positive difference for him! It was such a huge difference that when we were deciding on the timing of when to have Kaitlyn, we chose a time of year that we knew we could easily establish her schedule with her. This is a huge consideration for me when I am deciding what time of year I want my children to be born.


So when you are starting your routine, give time for a routine to be established. You will be able to enjoy the benefits of a routine if you do this. 

If you are starting a routine or schedule late and need some guidance and focused “how-to”, be sure to read my post: Starting Babywise Late Guide

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18 thoughts on “Must-Follow Tip for Starting a Routine Late”

  1. Hi Babywisemom. I am writing because I am at my wits end desperately seeking for help. I have a 9 wk old who hates being swaddled, won’t take a paci, hates swings and only will sleep if I hold her. She’s so used to being held, now she’ll cry if I put her anywhere else except for in my arms. Due to this reason, she sleeps with me in our bed at night. I have three older kids to take care of and one of them is a toddler. I’ve read the Babywise, both Baby Whisperer books, and they seem to be on the same page except for the cio issue. I’m so tired and exhausted from lack of sleep and holding the baby all day while I take care of my other kids. I feel almost depressed and can’t seem to enjoy being with our baby. Could you help me step by step? I want to try the cio method, and I’ve tried several times where she would cry for two hours straight and I had to feed her because it was time for her to nurse. I’m wondering, should I have let her cry until she goes to sleep? But how do you incorporate this when you’re on the three hour schedule? (FYI, I know she’s not crying because of colic, hunger or discomfort because one, I make sure it’s not any of those cases, and two- she stops the moment I pick her up. I know she just wants to be held. But I just can’t do this 24/7 where I have other kids to take care of. Please help!!

  2. Hi, I love your blog and am so glad I found it! I look to it often for tips and advice.I need your personal help since I can’t seem to find help my specific situation. I’ve been to the Baby Whisperer forum but no one there will address my specific situation.I have a baby that is around the same age as yours: he’s 6 weeks, 3 days old. We are on a 3 hr EASY. We start our day around 7am, then we feed at or around 10/1/4/6/8/3am (one NW at this point). He does great at night: we have a bedtime routine of bath, lotion, PJs, bottle, swaddle, then in the bed. Most of the time he’s awake but sometimes he’s so exhausted he falls asleep while drinking his bottle and will not wake up. The reason why he’s exhausted? NAPS! They are awful! I can’t seem to pin down his sleepy cues until he’s OT and then of course he has a very hard time going to sleep. I’m not opposed to CIO and matter of fact, have been doing that with him for naps but it is not working! He’ll cry the entire time to the point he’s very OT. I’ve tried different “awake” times for him and can’t seem to find the optimum time for him to fall asleep. This morning he was falling asleep at his morning bottle so I changed his diaper and did the nap wind down: turn on fan, swaddle, and sit in chair. This was about 30 minutes after he had woken up. He started getting very drowsy, so I put him in his crib. I do this with every single nap, every single day (unless we are out of the house). His eyes pop wide open and he WON’T go to sleep! He’ll lay in his crib up to 30 minutes, wide awake and then the crying starts. Of course by then he’s OT and won’t sleep. Or he’ll finally fall asleep after crying for awhile and sleep only 15minutes. By then it’s the next feeding and he’s so OT that the next nap is a failure, too.What should I do? I’ve been at this for a week and I’m ready to just give up on naps because it’s exhausting and beyond frustrating! I’m willing to rock him to sleep but again, once I lay him down, he’s awake and crying so what’s the point in that? I’m also willing to let him nap in the swing but unfortunately, he won’t sleep there at all.So, can you please offer me some advice about what I can do? I feel like it’s never going to get better because he’s so OT all of the time.

  3. HELP!!!We started BW and are now into Baby Whisperers, as we do not wish to do the CIO. Riley is 7 months old and we’ve been working the BW/Baby WHip. for a couple of months now and it seemed to be working. Over the last few nights, Riley has been getting up frequently during the night and is quite unconsolable. He does have reflux and is on medication for that along with all of the other at home remedies we can do as well. Baby Whisp. say that at 3 mons do the shush pat/PU/PD methods but that at 6 months they’re too old for that. So what do we try? PU/PD for an hour and a half last night… Didn’t work. He was crying so hard he was getting strangled and aggravating his reflux. Please

  4. Hello again…Can someone please help? I posted here already, and since then Riley has gotten worse. He wakes up around 2AM and will not go back to sleep. HE's definitely tired, shows all of the signs. I've adjusted his food to see if maybe he's hungry and that didn't help. He takes 7ozs every 4 hours and naps 1 – 2 hrs twice a day. Sometimes he needs a cat nap around 5:30ish, for about 1/2 hour. PU/PD doesn't help and Baby Whisperer doesn't offer any advice for 7 month old comforting. Anyone? Please?

  5. Susan, due to his issues with reflux, I don't have any advice to offer. I can imagine the shush pat wouldn't work on a baby so old–he's so much more aware now. I know with my LO, if I was in the room at that age, she wouldn't settle down. Hopefully Valerie will get to your comment soon since she has dealt with reflux.

  6. Gina,Hopefully you checked out the post and label suggested by Jennifer (thanks Jennifer!). If you are still in need of help, there are some books that might help. One is Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. The other is by Ferber (though I haven't read it). If you decide to do CIO, just don't read anything in the Baby Whisperer about CIO. It will send you into a panic. I did CIO with my kids and they love me and trust me. My MIL did it with all four of hers and they all love and trust her and have no issues as adults 🙂

  7. Curry's, finding optimal waketime is hard. It is challenging and during these first few months, it changes basically weekly. Even 5 minutes can make a difference. See the blog label "optimal waketime" to the right. It should give you direction. At now almost 3 months, he should be at around 60 minutes waketime, but morning waketime will be shorter than the others. You can also join the chonicles Yahoo! Group to download the spreadsheet I use to help find optimal waketime length.

  8. Susan, I am sorry, I didn't get notifications of your questions and didn't notice them when I was here before.I would really look into the reflux first. If he is crying due to pain, then the PUPD won't help that at all, so it won't stop the crying. I would consult with your pedi about the meds he is on. A good choice is a PPI blocker (something like prevacid). This is more effective than something like Zantac. There is also a newer kind out, but I don't know what it is called. Also, these meds are weight dependent, so as they grow, the dosage should be increased (unless baby's reflux gets better over time, in which case dosage can usually remain the same, but that is actually decreasing it). Once you are sure the reflux is taken care of and there is no more pain from it, then you can try the soothing methods.Also, if you are breastfeeding, I highly recommend you avoid all caffeine. I noticed a huge difference in Kaitlyn when I did vs. didn't have any caffeine. I don't drink it ever–it was just with chocolate, which is not as concentrated as caffinated drinks. Be sure to check out the reflux posts, also.

  9. Okay, not sure what I'm doing wrong to keep you from getting my comments 🙂 But I'll try again. Since I last posted, my son will be 9 months old on July 23. His reflux is much better, and he doesn't require medicine any longer. He's been waking up still during the night, but luckily going back to sleep. But he's waking at 5AM, and won't go back to sleep. I'm waiting to start his feeding until 7AM and he's on a 4 hour feeding schedule at 7/11/3/7 with solids for meals and snacks. I am not breastfeeding any longer. Riley also is what Baby Whisperer would call a spirited baby and must fight sleep more than any baby I've ever been in contact with. My mother keeps him during the day and I did find out that with Riley's 3pm feeding, she was letting him fall asleep with it. So we've since stopped that and he's slept a little better. Is there any advice for the early waking? Sometimes he's not even going to sleep until 9:30/10:00 (he fights sleep worse at night) and waking at 5AM is entirely too early for us all. He eats great, is a super happy baby and you wouldn't know he has a sleep problem because he's such a good baby. I just worry about my sanity with the lack of sleep and I worry about his health and development with the lack of sleep.

  10. Can anyone forward my message so that it gets a response? For some reason, when I post, no notifications are being sent. I'm still having the same issues from when Iposted on July 20. Thank you!

  11. I am so happy to find your blog! We are late to the game. Our son is 10 weeks old and has nothing that resembles a day time schedule. For the most part I've been nursing him every 2 hours from the beginning. I am only now realizing we were taking his tired/fussiness cues as hunger cues and would just feed him instead of trying to put him down for nap – ugh, hindsight. Some days he sleeps almost the entire day, but most days he rarely sleeps at all! So where do we begin with BW? Can I just switch him to a 3-hour schedule or should it be gradual? I guess that means he will have fewer feedings during the day which might affect his night sleep?At night we've been putting him to bed after a bath and a bottle from Dad around 8pm. He typically wakes around 1-2am to feed and then again some time around 5am for the day. I was thinking of adding in a dreamfeed at 10pm in hopes he will drop the 1am feeding, but am a little hesitant because it is one of the only times he sleeps consistently.Where do we begin, what should we focus on first? Help, I feel like this little guy really needs to be getting more sleep! (and so does Mommy!)

  12. Susan, see the blog post "5-8 month sleep disruptions." I know he isn't in that range anymore, but he was when the problems started.

  13. Wendy,I would start with 2.5 hour increments. He should take in more per feeding than eating at 2 hours, so he really shouldn't be getting less in the day.Start with getting the cycle down. Eat every 2.5 hours. Then also focus on eating, playing, then sleeping. Just keep that your focus for now 🙂 If he will go three hours, then go for it. You can also have some be 2.5 hour intervals and others be 3

  14. My son just turned 6 months and we just started trying to do BW with him last month. Before that he was eating on demand (often every 2 hours), needing to be rocked to sleep, napping 30-45 minutes, and still eating every 2-3 hours throughout the night (Augh!!). Now he eats every 3 hours and puts himself to sleep at night and for naps. However, he seems to be plagued by "the 45 minute intruder" and although he wakes up cranky he cannot seem to put himself back to sleep mid-nap. He is also still eating every 3 hours in the night. He is exclusively breast-fed and is a big guy (high percentile for length, but not for weight), and I wonder if he still needs these night feedings. I am exhausted by them. I am wondering if there's any advice about helping a baby learn to make it through the 45 minute intruder, and about how to drop night feedings? Thank you!

  15. There is a blog label "45 minute intruder" that should help you. Keep in mind it is totally normal for a baby to take some time after being on a new routine before they can start sleeping through transitions. He has 5ish months of learning to re-learn, so it will take some time. As for the feedings…I am not sure. You will have to go with your gut on this. My oldest needed more feedings for longer into life. He was a VERY active baby. But it could also be just a habit. That is something you will have to decide because you know him best. I will say most babies by that age should not be needing to eat every 3 hours at night, and even most can go at least 8 if not 12 hours between feedings. But not all can do that. I do think every 3 hours is excessive if he is eating every 3 in the day. Maybe once or twice, but not 3 or 4.

  16. Hi there. Thanks for your previous advice. I need help yet again!!My boy will be 10 weeks old this week. 1) he uses a pacifier which he needed since birth! 2) he is breast fed 3)he has reflux and on zantac x 1 week now 4) he weights a lovely 11.5 pounds:). We are attempting the 3 hr EASY schedule. We start bedtime routine at 830 and he is breastfed and sleeping by 9pm. He usually wakes between 1-2 and he gets fed. Then he likes to wake every 45-1hr!!! Either his paci falls out or maybe hungry??I try not to feed him again until 5am. Usually sleeps on and off until 9am. Feeding him every 2.5-3hrs during day. But I am going crazy!! He is grumpy all day! So grumpy all morning that really no play time cause he just cries and irritated with everything (change clothes, being picked up or held!). We re lucky if he gets some playtime in the afternoon, but usually just really grumpy! Luckily for us, he is a good napper, napping 1-1.5 hrs each time. I don't know if it is a good time to try to get rid of the paci or to let him CIO (as has the reflux issue) but I think if he slept better through night he would be much happier through day (unless this is just his temperament to be grumpy!!lol). Any advice is greatly appreciated!!! Thanks so much for this great blog!!!

  17. Senga,My guess is it is either the reflux causing your night issues or the pacifier. The only odd thing is that daytime naps are good. So I would think about what is different about daytime naps versus night sleep? That might be your answer.


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