Babywise Schedule with Two Children

Babywise Schedule with Two Children. Sample Babywise schedules, tips for life with two children, and tips for doing bedtime alone with two children.

Mom and two kids

I honestly was a bit concerned to bring another baby into our home when I was pregnant with my second child.

I wanted another child, but the actual practice made me a bit nervous.

How could I do two?

How would baby’s frequent feeding schedule work out with my not-yet-two-year-old’s schedule?

When I came home from the hospital with Kaitlyn, my second, I was actually quite surprised at how easily it all came together. I had been stressed about making a schedule work, but I wondered how a mom could do it with two kids without a schedule!

Brayden’s day was set–we had it down like clockwork. All I had to do was figure out how to work Kaitlyn’s day in with Brayden’s so we could have a calm routine.

Bonus number one with the schedule for me was that I had very few nursings where Brayden was able to wander the house on his own.

He is a smart boy, and I knew he would quickly figure out that when I was nursing, I was a bit tied down.

While he is an oldest child and as is typical, has always been quite obedient, I didn’t want to give him the opportunity to seize the day and go find mischief.

I also wanted to be able to focus on Kaitlyn while breasteeding and not be distracted by a toddler. We all know newborns are sleepy and require a lot of attention to get a full feed.

Brayden was not accustomed to sharing his Mommy’s attention for extended periods of time every day.

When we got home from the hospital, I wrote out Brayden’s daily schedule.

I then wrote out a few different scenarios for Kaitlyn’s schedule to see how I could get them to work together.

I thought it through and picked the schedule for Kaitlyn I thought would work best for the family.

When I have my third and fourth babies, I definitely did this writing and thinking before the baby was born, not after. I definitely recommend having a plan before baby comes if possible.

Back to Kaitlyn. I then tried the schedule out and made adjustments where necessary.

Sometimes things look good on paper, but don’t work out in reality. You will need to tweak things.

In the end, this was what we came up with:

Babywise Schedule with Two Children

  • 7:00 AM: Brayden woke up. He and I ate breakfast together and then cleaned up breakfast.
  • 7:30 AM: I woke Kaitlyn up. She nursed. While she nursed, Brayden had TV time. He also liked to play with toys while “watching” TV. We kept a tote of toys in the family room. I would dump his tote out. Between the toys and the TV, he didn’t get into mischief. Kaitlyn took about 20 minutes to nurse as a newborn. I then bathed her when necessary (or sponge bath in the early days) and got her dressed for the day. A lot of times, Brayden would join me for getting Kaitlyn ready. He was very curious about her.
  • 8:30 AM: Kaitlyn went down for her morning nap. Brayden took a bath. After his bath was done and he was ready for the day, he had solo playtime (independent playtime).
  • 10:00 AM: Kaitlyn woke up and nursed. While she was nursing, Brayden was still in independent playtime. After she was done eating, we went and got Brayden out of solo playtime. We would all “play” until Kaitlyn’s naptime.
  • 11:00 AM: Kaitlyn went down for nap #2. Brayden and I ate lunch. At the time, it was summer so after lunch we went outside to play. I would just take my monitor out. It was nice for me to not worry about Brayden waking her up.
  • 1:00 PM: Brayden went down for his nap. I usually put him in bed by 12:50. I would then get Kaitlyn up at 1:00 and nurse her. Then she and I could have some one-on-one time together.
  • 2:00 PM: Kaitlyn went down for her afternoon nap. I also took a nap until Kaitlyn was 4-6 weeks old.
  • 4:00 PM: Kaitlyn woke up to eat. I nursed her. My husband got home by 4:20 each day. When he got home, he would get Brayden up from his nap.
  • 5:00 PM: Kaitlyn took her evening nap. I got dinner ready and Nate and Brayden played together. We then ate dinner and cleaned up.
  • 6:30 PM: Kaitlyn woke up and nursed.
  • 7:30 PM: Kaitlyn went down for a short nap and Nate and I got Brayden ready for bed. He was in bed by 8:00.
  • 8:30 or 9:00: Kaitlyn woke up to eat. She ate and then soon went back to bed. This was our dreamfeed at the time because she absolutely would not wake up after that until late in the night–no matter what I did. As she got older, this feeding moved back to a more normal dreamfeed time.

As you can see, the daily schedule really worked out well.

I was able to have one on one time with each child, we had family time, we had Mommy with the children time, we all got naps…it just worked out really well.

Something we weren’t good about in the beginning was Kaitlyn and Daddy time. We got better about it once we realized Kaitlyn was becoming very much a “Mammas Girl.” It was easy for Nate to take Brayden and me to take Kaitlyn. And that was really okay for the beginning, but we soon realized we should have started Daddy time for Kaitlyn younger than we did. She is okay now, though.

>>>Are you looking for sample newborn schedules? See my sample schedules for 0-4 week olds here.

As we all know, the baby’s schedule changes very frequently as feedings are dropped. You just have to be flexible.

The good news for me was that Brayden’s schedule has been essentially the same for Kaitlyn’s first year of life.

By the time Kaitlyn was 10 months old, Kaitlyn ate four times a day. Our schedule looked like this:

  • 7:15 AM: I woke Brayden up to eat (he would sleep a little later in the winter).
  • 7:40 AM: I woke Kaitlyn up to eat. Brayden still had TV time while I breastfed and feed her. I then bathed Kaitlyn. I woke up before the kids and shower. I did my hair and make-up in the bathroom with them while they took baths between playing and washing.
  • 8:30 AM: Kaitlyn was dressed and had her first independent playtime. While she had independent playtime, Brayden took a bath. Brayden never really took long baths, and if Kaitlyn did have a problem during independent play, I could easily get Brayden out of the tub while I went to check on her.
  • 9:15 AM: Brayden was out of the tub by this time and dressed and ready to go. Kaitlyn was done with independent play by this time and ready for her morning nap.
  • 9:30 AM: Brayden started independent playtime.
  • 11:00 AM: Brayden and I had lesson time. Read what that looked like in How To Do a Learning Activity of the Day. During this time we did art, music, math, reading, etc.
  • 11:30 AM: We got Kaitlyn up. I breastfed her, feed her lunch, and then got lunch ready for Brayden and me. For Brayden, he often has his Nintendo time.
  • 12:00 PM: lunch for Brayden and me. Kaitlyn would sit in her highchair with us and eat finger foods and play.
  • 12:30 PM: Sibling playtime. Supervised. I tried to back off as much as possible so it is the two of them, but Brayden was too young to leave him alone with Kaitlyn. Sometimes I would go in the next room, listening.
  • 1:00 PM: Naptime for both Brayden and Kaitlyn.
  • 3:30 PM: Kaitlyn woke up and nursed. Following her nursing, she had independent playtime. I then start dinner. Brayden got up between 4:00-4:30.
  • 4:40 PM: Kaitlyn ate finger foods while I continued to get dinner ready. Nate and Brayden had playtime together. For them, “playtime” was often doing little odds and ends, and during winter often involved shoveling snow.
  • 5:30 PM: This was usually the time we ate dinner. Sometimes closer to 5, sometimes closer to 6, but usually 5:30. We ate and then cleaned up.
  • 6:00 PM: This was usually when Kaitlyn required her catnap. Some days she would go without it.
  • 7:00 PM: I woke Kaitlyn up and nursed her, then fed her dinner, then got her ready for bed and read a story. Then bedtime.
  • 7:30 PM: Brayden started the bedtime process.
  • 8:00 PM: Brayden was in bed by this time.
  • That’s the end for the kids.

This is what has worked for us. I soon intend to get Kaitlyn and Brayden starting the day at the same time, but not until she is a year old.

Sample Schedule graphic

Babywise with Two Children Tips

It can be hard to juggle more than one schedule. Here are some tips to help.

Work in one-on-one time with each parent and each child. One way we do this was alternating who feds Kaitlyn dinner and got her ready for bed and who got Brayden ready for bed.

In other words, you alternate who does bedtime routines with each child. One parent puts baby to bed on Monday, the other puts baby to bed on Tuesday, etc.

One reason I very much recommend this one-on-one time is that it helps your children feel loved. This will mean they are less likely to try to get into attention-seeking behavior.

It also shows your kids that each child is important and valued by the parents and the world does not revolve around just one child.

Have sibling playtime for the kids once they are old enough. It made a huge difference in Brayden’s feelings toward Kaitlyn. He saw her more as fun and someone he could enjoy rather than just the thing that took up Mommy’s time.

Set the schedule up so you have the least amount of stress. Try to make sure your oldest child is well-occupied as you feed baby and during baby’s wake time. You need to be able to watch your baby for sleep cues.

If your older child has a hard time while you are feeding baby, you can think of activities to do together while baby is nursing.

One idea is reading a book together. Of course, this can be hard if you are trying to keep a newborn awake, or even if you are trying to keep a 6 month old on task to eat. Give it a try and see if it works.

Remember, the schedules can be changed. Set your ideal schedule. But then experiment and move things around. Your schedule is not set in stone. You can change something that isn’t working

Remember, the schedules must change over time. Not only can it change, but it will. It will even change in those first weeks of life. It will change when your baby has a growth spurt. It will change when baby moves to a four hour schedule. It will change as you add solids. Routines change often.

Have time together as a family. This can be done both through dinner and activities. It will help build your family culture.

Line up nap times as best you can. Odds are your older child only takes an afternoon nap. That one nap will be long enough that you can feed baby AND have baby sleep during that same nap. That means you get time alone with baby, your older kiddo is occupied for this feeding, AND you get a chance to nap or relax without a little one with you.

Sample daily routine with 2 kids

How to Do Bedtime Alone with Two Children

There will be times you have to do bedtime alone (one parent or the other or both). There are a variety of reasons this will happen (someone is working, running errands, or just out for fun).

This is not easy!

Here are some tips for that:

  • Get the older child’s bedtime routine down to no longer than 30 minutes. This includes changing into jammies, potty breaks, teeth brushing, stories, hugs, etc. I say older child’s because a baby doesn’t try to drag it out like a toddler. This needs to be your norm every day.
  • If you bathe at night and are comfortable with it, try bathing the children together.
  • I would put the younger child to bed first. For one thing, baby doesn’t try to prolong the situation like an older child does. For another, baby is usually less flexible and more dependent on bedtime being right on time.


I have found it is much easier to get a set schedule with the second baby.

You need there to be more predictability so you can be sure to attend to the needs of the entire family, so you stick to things better.

Good luck. And as they say, double the pleasure, double the fun!

Related Posts

Schedule with two kids Pinnable Image

This post originally appeared on this blog February 2008

51 thoughts on “Babywise Schedule with Two Children”

  1. I am so frustrated!! my daughter (who I just put on a 3 1/2 hr. schedule part time) still seems to not be very hungry during the day when I get her up from her nap. She eats at 7a, 10a, 1:30p, 5p, and 8:15p. She used to eat around 6oz. but now we have dropped it to 5oz. and we still have to force her to eat that! But I am hesitant to do every 4 hrs. because she still wakes up at night (either because she rolled-and doesn’t know how to get back to her tummy and can’t sleep on her back, or just because.) She hasn’t eaten at night for a long time so I am hesitant to feed her if she wakes at 2-3. If she doesn’t wake at 2-3 she wakes 5-7. I know babywise said that sometimes babies do that and talk to themselves for no apparant reason, but she isn’t happy and talking to herself. She is whining/crying. So I don’t know what to do. Also, if I start doing 4 hr. I don’t want her going to bed at 7-7:30-which would be the last feeding if we get up at 7a. I want her bedtime at 8:30, w/ her brother. So I don’t know what to do. Gosh, it seems like I always need advice huh?! Sorry about that.

  2. oh, sorry-me again. I forgot. She is rolling in her bed (she sleeps on her tummy) and she can’t sleep on her back. I know she just has to CIO and get used to her back, but at night time I just want her to sleep so I go and flip her over. I have been waiting for her to do it during a nap and then I was going to let her CIO, but she hasn’t rolled during the day yet. So should I just put her to nap on her back, or should I wait for her to do it naturally and then let her CIO?

  3. Well…at some point you are going to have to move to 4 hours because that is what she will want. Can you move her waketime back so she will be at bedtime with brother? If not, you might just have to have a bit earlier bedtime. How old is she? Does she eat solids yet? I feed solids at that last meal, and between nursing, solids, and bedtime routine, it takes about 45-60 minutes to complete. You could hold on to that third nap as long as you need to get her to stay up for bed with brother.I bet for her rolling, she isn’t asleep as long for a nap as night, so she isn’t waking up for a nap like night. I would practice, practice, practice during the day. I don’t blame you for not wanting to CIO at night. That is an option, but you could try the practicing in the day. I don’t think I would put her in the position that makes her mad for her nap because then she might not sleep well. It is another option if the practicing doesn’t help, though.

  4. I have tried to get her to sleep in longer, but she has been waking between 5-7 every morning!! cying/whining-so frustrating! She is almost 5mo. old-she will be 5 mo. on the 23rd of this month. So I won’t be starting solids until she is 6 mo. We practice during the day, but she doesn’t roll-she just gets frustrated, and lays her head down like she is going to go to sleep! 🙂 I will keep practicing during the day. I put her on her back during her nap w/ some Josh Groben (love him) to help soothe her. She cried for awhile, but then she slept. I just put her down early to account for the crying. I hope she gets used to it soon though.

  5. I forgot, I had wanted to also add that the number of ounces wouldn’t be something to worry about so much as just going by what she wants. I breastfeed, so I have no idea how many ounces of milk are going in. But there are times Kaitlyn eats a lot less of her normal amount for her solids. Babies are humans, and sometimes we humans just aren’t as hungry as others. Of course you want to watch her for signs of sickness or teething or whatever, but if she is otherwise happy and satisfied, I wouldn’t worry about it.

  6. When you are nursing a new baby and you have another small child, it is a good idea to get a toy or toys that are specifically for that time of day. Because the toys aren’t out all the time, they are new and anticipated. They are their “special toys” for the “special time.” A child can play right beside you or in the same room as you and be very content with toy figures, toy cars, blocks or dolls that they don’t play with all the time.

    • Hello,
      I’m struggling to back to a routine that worked for my family before by second baby was born. I have a 24 month old, her bdaybwas 2/28/2021 and a newborn son, who is 9 weeks old, born on New years day of this year! Everything was thrown off when I conteacted covid-19 while 9 months pregnant. Up until that point, my daughters schedule was working so well. She’d sleep 12 hours at night and up to a 2 hour nap 5-6 days out of the week. The other days her naps would be around 1.5 hours. My husband needed to take time off work to care for me and in turn he became her go-to caretakers. Thank God baby and I made it through.
      Anyway, ever since mid December her routine has been off and her sleep has been happening way later…pre-covid she’d be asleep around 7:30 and her nap would be from 11:30-1:30pm. Since bringing home a newborn, it has been a struggle to be consistent with her routine because I’m breastfeeding for the very first time and would like to stick with it. With my daughter I formula fed. She is full if life and extremely active. She wants to pump on the bed while I’m nursing. Do you have any advice for me?

      • I would work on setting up her schedule around baby’s schedule so you can focus on feeding baby. Just like this post talks about–have her busy when you are busy with your baby. Consistency pays off so much for getting a schedule in place. She probably has had a lot of inconsistency for a few months, which is understandable, but consistency is where you want to get to.

  7. Hi. I have a 11 week old daughter and a son who will turn 3 in Sep. I am trying to set up a schedule for us. My 11 week old has been eating every 3 hrs. with me having to wake her at 9:30pm for the last feeding. She has STTN for about two weeks now. Is it too soon to move to 5 feedings a day or should I stick with 6? She usually wakes up around 7-7:30ish. We also have a play group at 10:00, so I am wondering how to plan that into the day. Sometimes I have to wake her up out of her naps to feed her on the 3 hr. schedule. Should I push it to 31/2? What would that schedule look like? I don’t want to put her too bed too early since she is STTN. I am so confused. I need to get out of the house in the mornings (around 10:00) so my toddler can play. My son goes down for a nap arond 1 and sleeeps until 4ish. I always make sure we are home for lunch or shortly after so he can wind down for his nap. His bedtime is 8. We bathe the kids at night. Please help me to think up a schedule for my two kids. I am seriously stressing. Thanks, Bree

  8. Bree again. I forgot to add that my 11 week old is formula fed. She is getting 4-5 ounces each feeding. She averages around10-11 hrs of sleep per night. Let me know what kind of schedule would be good for me. Thanks again.

  9. At that age, you want to stick with 6 feedings a day. You can possibly move down to 5 at 13 weeks if she is ready for it. You could try a combo schedule (see Combo Schedule is Okay: think I would get your daughter up at 7 each day. Then have everything ready to go when you have to leave at 10. Get her up at a time so you can feed her and change her diaper before you leave. I would then try to be home at a time when she can take another nap. You would then feed her again at 1–just after you put your son down for his nap. I would then feed her again at 4 just before you wake your son up. OR you could get him up and have him have TV time while you feed her or something else that he won’t get into mischief. Then feed her again at 7, and a dreamfeed at 10. Your next step would be to drop the dreamfeed when she is ready for it.See also these posts:Babywise With Baby Plus Older Child:

  10. Thanks for the advice. That was working really well and stress free. Now that Lauren is a little over 3 months old, I am trying to get her on a five hour schedule. It has worked good for the last few days. I have fed her at 7:30,10:30,2:00,5:30 and 8:45ish for bed and that is it. The only snag I’m having is that I would really like my two kids to take a nap at the same time in the afternoon. Also is 8:30 too early of a bedtime for a three month old? Another thing, how long should she be napping with a 3-3.5 hr. schedule? I don’t know why I stress so much but I do and that is a problem I have always had. Thanks for input.

  11. For the both napping in the afternoon…I get the desire; I have the same one. But my kids didn’t start napping at the exact same time until my younger one was closer to 13 months old, and only because I let my older one stay up longer. Throughout the first year, you can almost always have the naps overlap some, but not really be at the same time. 8:30 is not too early of a bedtime.Naps can be anywhere from 1.5-2.5 hours long, depending on her sleep needs. Good luck! Don’t worry, I stress too 🙂

  12. Thanks for your quick response. I have been fiddling around with her schedule for the last few days and I think it’s finally coming together. The nap issue is going good and they do overlap so that is nice for mom! This has been her schedule for the last few days and I think it’s going pretty good:7:30 wake/feed8:30 nap10:30 feed11:45ish nap1:30 feed2:30 nap5:00 feed6:30 nap8:30 feed/bedI know she is a baby and not a textbook:) but does this look a good schedule for a 14 week old?She is such a good baby, never cries and sleeps really well. Unlike her almost three yr. old who we call the tornado:)Does it look like she’s sleeping too much during the day or is this about right? Thanks so much for your ideas. I’m sure it can be demanding trying to answer everyone’s questions. It’s just nice to talk to other BW moms and get more ideas.

  13. It looks good Bree. I would say your next big thing to happen will be the dropping of that 4th nap. That can happen either by extending the schedule (IF she is ready) or just dropping it and not having a nap between those last two feedings. If you do it that way, she will likely need an earlier bedtime (at least for a while) and also those last two feedings moved closer together.

  14. Thank you so much for blogging your experiences. I’ve been reading voraciously and I only found this today! I have a 3week old and an 18 mo old. We BW’d (is that a verb?) our first and it worked out so well. Things seem to be a little tougher with Baby#2. Thanks for giving me something to go on as I work out issues with our new little sleepyhead.

  15. Hi I have a 5 week old, doing bw with her after having had great success with my 18 mo daughter. I have a few questions, though. Morning wakeup has been a little unreliable. I am aiming for 7:30 wakeup, but this morning, for example, she was up at 6 am. I fed her, then put her back down until 7:30. She ate then, not great (I am breastfeeding), but I wasn’t sure if I should continue doing that or if it will mess up her schedule. I’ve been feeding her 8 times a day, with our last feeding at 11:30, sometimes 11:45. This is late, but it gets me closer to the 7:30 wakeup than an 11 pm feeding. She doesn’t seem to be going any longer than 3.5 hours between feedings yet, even at night, so that is why I moved that feeding back from 10/11 pm to later. Do you think that is a good idea? Thanks for your advice, I appreciate the blog very much!

  16. I’ve read through all these comments and situations and have one element that keeps throwing a monkeywrench into my schedule. I’m not sure how to schedule naps around preschool drop-off/pick-up. It seems if my 3 month old falls asleep in the car the nap only lasts 1/2 hour to 45 minutes. Any ideas?My 3 month old wakes at 7 am and at8:15 is ready to sleep, but I need to leave to take 3 year old to preschool at 8:45. If a perfect schedule 3 month old is ready for napping again at 11ish but I need to leave at 11:15 to pick up 3 year old.

  17. I have BW my 6 month old since we brought him home. I have found though that I am on a pattern rather than a schedule and would like to change that. I am having trouble however. As of now, he still wants to nurse evry three hours so I can’t extend my eating schedule to 4 hours. I know I am supposed to drop the dream feed before I extend the schedule anyway. My LO wakes up screaming for his dream feed. I can’t seem to drop it. Any suggestions? He also seems to be really awake at night and he always lays awake in his crib for a long time. Again, I could drop the third nap, but I haven’t been able to drop the dream feed and I thought you did that first. Our semi-schedule looks like this:6:30 wake/nurse–he wakes up but is always really sleepy after eating7:30 nap9:00 nurse solids10:30 nap12:00 nurse1:30 nap3:00 nurse 4:00 nap5:30 nurse solids7:00 nap8:00 nurse and bed–always really awake at this time10:00ish–wakes up screaming for dreamfeedI would also like to start doing solids at breakfast lunch and dinner, but I have to feed him and leave for work in the morning (for one day a week) and we would have to get up real early to do solids for breakfast that day. Should I just have my sitter do solids when we get there. On this day, he usually naps on the way, but then has waketime until he eats again at 9:00ish (so his nap isn’t that great when I have to work and we’re sometimes thrown totally off schedule b/c he wants to eat earlier).I know I just asked a lot of questions..thanks so much for your blog. It is really helpful for someone like me. I sometimes feel I analyze too much and it’s great to have some guidance.

  18. Hi, I have a question about setting up a solid routine for baby #1 in preparation for baby #2, especially since her current routine could use some tweaking. My daughter is 16 months old and we follow the BW principles, but I’m really nervous about baby #2 coming in 3 months and how their schedules will work. Currently my daughter is having trouble sleeping through the night (1 out of every 3 she’ll stay asleep, which has been ongoing for the last 5 months) otherwise she wakes at various times crying for one of us and we go in and rock her back to sleep. She only has 5 teeth so far, and some nights it’s obvious she’s in pain from teething, but I’m getting tired of the perpetual teething mystery that somehow only seems to bother her at night. I feel like she’s had more Tylenol in the last 6 months than I’ve taken in my lifetime! I am so desperate to get her sleeping solidly through the night again (it would be nice for DH and I to be able to get solid sleep as well)! I can’t think of what else could be causing her to wake so much. The crazy thing is that she’s a solid napper. My other little issue is that she still uses the pacifier only at naps and bedtime, but I’m afraid if I take it away, she’ll have problems falling asleep. I tried poking a hole in it to decrease the suction effect, but no change. What can I do now as far as her routine goes to get her sleeping at night better and also make the new baby transition go more smoothly? Thanks!

  19. Bridget, that is something I dread. I actually planned the birth of my third child to be far enough away from the start of prechool to hopefully avoid that.I think in your situation, when you get home put her in the swing to finish the nap if she wakes up. It isn’t ideal, but a longer nap is more ideal than a short one. If you have found any great solutions, please share! 🙂

  20. Hi! I have a quick question for you! You said your son did 2 hrs of waketime. How old was he when this started? I’ve been trying to tag my LO’s waketime for quite some time now but I think I am getting close. When I put her in her crib after 1 hr 20 min, she usually plays the entire 2 hr nap (I tried this for about a week). Except if she took a short nap prior, then 1 hr 20 min seems to work. Whereas when I put her in at 1 hr 40 min, she will play maybe 15 then scream and go to sleep. Sometimes she will wake early, other times not. She’s 5 months old.So I was just looking for more baby’s norms to go by :)Thank you for your help!- Kristin

  21. TB133,As far as the dreamfeed, you really don’t want to drop it before he is ready. There isn’t anything you can do to make him be ready for it, either.For one day a week, yes, I would have your sitter do solids.

  22. Nikki, I read your question last night and then gave myself the night to think about it. I don’t have any experience with a toddler waking up in the night, so I am afraid I don’t have any experience to draw from to offer advice on it. My guess is that rocking her to sleep is not a great idea. She might be waking because she enjoys getting rocked to sleep. I don’t think there is anything wrong with checking on her when she wakes in the night crying, but I would always leave her awake. This might cause some nights of CIO for you, but when you look at the big picture, you are really going to want a STTN toddler while you are waking in the night with a newborn. Also, at first she might wake when the baby wakes up and would then want to be rocked. I would try to curb that habit now.The pacifier could be a reason for her waking. I hear of it happening. I don’t use pacifiers, so I don’t have any experience there either. I would suggest you look at the blog lable “pacifiers” for the link to a good pacifier article on Or you could just go to and search “pacifier.” Good luck!

  23. Kristin,He started 2 hour waketime somewhere between 5-6 months (I think), but he wasn’t really successful about it until 6.5 months. Then he started taking long enough naps. As a first-timer, I didn’t realize it was too long for him. 6.5 months is when it was the right length for him.Good luck finding the waketime. It is such a hard thing to get just right, and it changes really often in those first 6-8 months.

  24. Now that I have a second baby in the house, I am realizing the need for some structure to my day with my 2 yr. old! (Wish I’d read BW II a year ago…) I need to set up a “newborn plus older child” schedule asap, but I’m not sure how to start since my toddler’s day currently does not have roomtime, free play, etc.; only consistent sleeping and eating times. So far my 9 wk. old baby’s day is on a 2.5-3 hr. pattern. Should I start with the baby’s schedule and work my toddler’s day around that, or vice versa? Also, any tips (other than the timer idea, which I love) to help my 2 yr. old transition into independent play? The combo of her fun, extroverted disposition and our habit of giving her constant attention since day one has made her strongly resist any time alone, especially when instructed to do so. We have trained her to expect constant interaction. It does not seem like an attachment issue, b/c for her fun equals being engaged by someone (anyone) doing whatever. She gets upset when I care for my NB or do any other task which takes me away from playing with her. New toys lose novelty fast if she is alone; toys are only a way of interacting with a playmate. Also, she often refuses my instructions for indy play as though I am punishing or rejecting her (maybe b/c the only time she has been directed to be alone is for isolation punishment– which is really effective for her.) I have much work to do! Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  25. Karissa,Since there is already a schedule for the baby, I would work your toddler’s schedule around that. I always tried to have Brayden involved in an activity before Kaitlyn’s scheduled feeding, so I would start him on the activity during her nap so that I could focus on feeding her and giving her the time she needed. Then we also had our Mommy/Brayden time during her naps.This is how I started independent play:Independent Playtime: works for most people, though one reader has told me of needing to do things differently. So, try it out and keep in mind possible changes you might need to make. When you start independent play, make sure you are really excited about it, tell her to have fun, you love her, kisses, etc. so she sees an obvious difference between roomtime and isolation. See also this post for ideas:Sample Schedules: Tandem Schedules :

  26. Hi! I know you’ve just had your newest little one, and you’re so busy, but I just wanted to ask you a quick question and see if you had time to answer it. I have a 12 month old and we’re getting ready to have a new baby. I’ve read your sample schedules for Brayden and Kaitlyn, but right now my 1 year old isn’t mature enough to handle the activities that Brayden could when Kaitlyn was a newborn (he’s only 1 and I think Brayden was 2 when Kaitlyn was born). For instance, when I nurse the new baby, I couldn’t give my son TV time because he doesn’t watch TV shows yet… they don’t keep his attention. I’m just curious if you have any ideas as to how to work the schedule to keep my son occupied while the baby is being fed. Currently, he’s still taking 2 naps a day, so that will help, but when he’s awake, I’m worried I won’t have enough hands to make it work! I’ll probably use 1 time during the day to have pack and play time, but other than that, he’s at the age where he’s still learning to listen to my voice and we haven’t mastered it yet!Thanks so much for your help and time!

  27. I wanted to ask you a non-BW related question. I noticed the spacing between your kids is about 2 years apart. How do you like it? I am asking because my son is about to turn 1 and we are thinking about trying for another soon to have them 2 years apart. It sounds good to me when I hear it, but when I think of the reality of it, it scares me! It makes me wonder if 3 years apart would make it a little easier. Just curious what you thought!

  28. Katie, If he likes to look at books, have him sit by you and read books. I don’t know how many feedings you need to cover. It looks like with the two naps and pack and play time, that should give you three. I am guessing you should only have to cover one or two more before DH is home? So try books. Brayden didn’t really sit and watch TV when Kaitlyn was born. I turned it on and then gave him trucks and cars to play with. He drove those on the couch while he stood next to it. Sometimes he would look up at the TV 🙂 So books, toys, you could get one those magnadoodle things if he likes to draw (then he wouldn’t be able to destroy anything). Good luck!

  29. LEM, I love the 2 year spacing. All three of our children were planned.I like the 2 years because they are soon on similary interest levels for playing together. My sister and I were 3 years 9 months apart, and we were often in differnt worlds emotionally and maturity wise. A two year old is harder in many ways than a three year old. Brayden and McKenna are about as far apart as my sister and I are, and I can see that if it were just him and McKenna, things would be a lot easier. But, Brayden and Kaitlyn love playing with each other and have a great time.Of course it is a personal decision and there is no one right answer. If you are having just two kids, I would say have them close! If you are planning on three, you might want a bigger gap somewhere. If you are planning on four, I would say have the first two close, then a gap, then the next two close. One thing to consider is that when you have the two year gap, your older child is still in need of a nap and so staying home for the baby is a lot easier. If your older child were older, he wouldn’ need to be home for naps and you would feel bad for having him couped up in the house. There are a lot of angles to cover! I get asked this a lot. I think I will write a post on it.

  30. My son will be not quite 2 years old when we have our second child. They will be sharing a room together as soon as the baby is born. I am very concerned about how CIO will work with the Newborn while our first child is sleeping. He sleeps through the night and is very good but he wakes up at the drop of a pin. There is no way around them sharing a room. Any advice?

  31. Sierra,Just an FYI, Valerie has set up a yahoo group for anything Babywise related. You could become a member there and post your question, that way if Valerie can't respond in the time frame you need, other moms can give you advice as well. It's called "Chronicles Yahoo Group" just look for it under the "other babywise resources" list on Valerie's blog. -Nikki

  32. Sierra,I did get your comment; it is taking me about a month to get back to people right now! I just don't have the time I used to, plus there are more and more questions all the time.For your situation, there are a few options. One is to have baby in your room for a while. Another is that you might have a walk in closet baby could sleep in. Another is to have a humidifier or some other white noise with the kids. During the day, I wouldn't have them nap together if at all possible. Most moms say that just doesn't work. But for most families, nights eventually work out just fine. The older child learns to sleep through the noise of the baby (though I doubt they would sleep through CIO in the middle of the night). I would work on days, then hopefully nights won't need CIO. If they do end up needing it, you and DH could sleep in the family room and have baby in your room until things are worked out. Good luck!

  33. Thanks for the sample schedules – they're very helpful! We just started BW with our 10-week old this Monday, so we're only working on her day schedule for now. She wakes up every morning consistently at around 8:20-30, but I can't seem to get her to go down for her morning nap in the 40 mins following. These two days when we used CIO to train her, she stayed awake for an hour and cried for another two, which completely three off the schedule. How do I get her to go down for her morning nap? I figured once we have the morning nap tackled, we'll tackle the afternoon, then the night. Because of being over-tired from an inadequate morning nap, her other naps are all just 45 mins long. When she wakes up from some of these naps, she's still yawning, though looking alert and smiling. Should I put her back to sleep? Thanks so much!

  34. i am so excited i finally found this post! ok here's my question valerie. i am referencing when you explained:FOR MCKENNAMcKenna started 6 months with a dreamfeed, but quickly dropped it.8:00–nurse + solids9:10–nap12:00–nurse+ solids1:15–nap4:15–nurse + solids6:00–nap8:00–nurse then bed10:00–dreamfeedi am wondering (if you remember!) how long mckenna slept for the 3rd nap? i am considering trying a 4hr schedule but wondering with a nap that late, did that ever interfere with bedtime? our start time is 6:30-7am and i'd like to keep it that way. could you suggest a 6 month old 4 hr schedule? thanks! summer

  35. I'm so happy to have found this blog! I am wondering how you are able to get your babies to take a long nap? i have been trying my best to follow the eat/wake/sleep cycle but my little girl won't sleep more then 30 or so minutes! I've let her cry to see if she'll go back to sleep but she won't. I then don't want to feed her too early-so by time I feed her its almost time for sleep again! I'm at a loss I am not sure what to do. She is doing good at night though-5-6 hours of sleep. She is just about 11 wks now and almost 12 pounds. She goes to bed at 7-7:30 and wakes from 7-7:30 I'd like 7:30 but my son tends to be loud and she wakes up at 7 when he does.Thank youKeri

  36. Summer,McKenna napped right up until I got her up at 8, then she ate and went straight down again. She is a big sleeper though. Some children will need only a 30-60 minute nap for the third nap.

  37. Keri, there are lots of possibilities. One is that her waketime is too long. See the blog label "optimal waketime" for help in figuring that out. Another is that she is in some sort of pain.Check out the post "naps: troubleshooting revised and updated" and you will gets lots of ideas for figuring this out.

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  39. Hi, Valerie. Thanks so much for making this blog. It has given me all so much help as I parent away from family and without any real idea of what I’m doing.
    I am wondering what it looks like to put a child down for a nap when you have more than one. In other words what is the newborn doing when you put the toddler down for a nap and vice versa. I have a two story house so it makes it a little more complicated too. The toddler can’t always be watching a show or sleeping or an independent play time every time I’m putting down the infant, and the infant isn’t always asleep when I need to put the toddler down.
    I would also love to see things from your perspective as a mom: when do you get errands done or cooking? When/how do you do the laundry? The schedule makes it seem so simple, but how do you navigate the mornings when the infant wakes early and the toddler is screaming for breakfast? Please direct me if there are posts on mothering, I’d hate to make you repeat yourself!

    • Hello!

      First, you are so welcome!

      I always had more than one story, also with my babies. If I was putting the toddler down and the baby was awake, I would take the baby in the room with the toddler and just put a blanket down and have the baby on the blanket while I took care of the toddler.

      If your toddler is not occupied when you are putting baby down, I would have the toddler sit quietly and look at books while you put baby down. But you should be able to arrange most of the day so your toddler is occupied with something for each baby nap. The toddler can have TV time for one time, independent play for another, and their own nap time for another. So that should only leave a couple with toddler up.

      I have a series on how I do various things. Check them out here:

      You can also find motherhood posts here:


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