How to Have a Consistent Schedule: Start Your Day At the Same Time

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How to Have a Consistent Schedule: Start Your Day At the Same Time. If you want baby’s schedule to be the same each day, start each day at the same time.

You are on a 3 hour schedule, but it never seems to be the same three hours each day. You really want some consistency but you can’t figure out how to get there. Or maybe your child can’t quite make it through the night and consistently eats in the 5 AM hour. What do you do? How do you start the day? What time? This post contains affiliate links.

How to Have a Consistent Schedule: Start Your Day At the Same Time | consistency | baby schedule | #babyschedule

Refer to On Becoming Babywise and you will see that you need to start each day at the same time within 30 minutes. What time do you want to start? Let’s say it is 7:00 AM–a common time for many Babywise moms. You need to start each day at 7, or within 30 minutes of 7. That doesn’t mean 6:30-7:30–that means 6:45-7:15 or 7:00-7:30, etc. Even if you are feeding your baby at 6 AM–start out right! Try feeding your baby as little as possible at 6 if you want to feed then. A consistent wake time will help you move toward no eating at all in the night.

Babywise gives a 30 minute window, but when I am working on establishing consistency, I try to be as close to the minute the same each morning as I can be. Once baby is established, a 30 minute window can be worked with without a problem (unless your baby is one who needs things super consistent). Take 1-2 weeks to be super consistent to establish what is “normal” and your baby will be able to get established.

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Reader Questions:

  • Meghan said…
    Hi. I have a quick question regarding the start of my child’s day. My child will be 5 weeks old tomorrow. I would like for her her to start her day at 6:30 a.m. but she usually will wake anytime between 4:00 and 6:00 a.m. depending on what time she wakes for her MON feeding. Do you have any suggestions on what I should do to get her to that 6:30 time? Should I feed her a snack to hold her over until 6:30 or should I pacify her until 6:30?
    March 13, 2008 8:16 PM
    Plowmanators said…
    At her age, I would feed her when she wakes in the night, and then adjust the morning in the way you see best. Here is my post on that: Early Morning Feedings Before Waketime: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/01/early-morning-feedings-before-waketime.html
  • Susanna said…
    Valerie-I’ve read your comments regarding waking earlier than waketime. My soon to be 8 week old woke up this morning at 5:30 a.m. (our established waketime is 7 a.m.) He had a dirty diaper but I knew that if I just laid him down after that, he would cry so I went ahead and fed him. (He took a full feeding). Would you suggest doing a 2.5/3 hour combo schedule to get back on schedule for the rest of the day or would you have just given him a smaller meal? I’ve got other questions but I’ll tag it under the appropriate blog.:) Your site is SO helpful!!!!!
    March 17, 2008 9:31 AM
    Plowmanators said…
    I would have fed at 5:30 then fed again at 7:30 (within 30 minutes of waketime). I then would have gotten him up at the normal time for second feeding. The 7:30 feeding likely would not have been a full feeding since there was one only 2 hours earlier, so they are usually hungry at normal time for the second. A smaller meal at 5:30 is also an option, but you would likely still need to give that extra 30 minutes for first feeding.Without knowing what your exact schedule usually, I will just say to try to tweak it to get back on normal by the afternoon sometime, or at least so that bedtime is the same time. It is a good idea to have a game plan for this sort of thing; it can happen quite often 🙂
    March 17, 2008 11:13 AM
  • Cristine said…
    I need some advice. In about 3 weeks I will be starting to work again, and since I will have to leave my 4 month old with my mother-in-law I will have to wake up at 5:30. He is still waking around 5 to eat, so I thought of trying to extend his eating to 5:30, making this his first feeding. He will probably stay awake a little while since I will have to change him and drive him to my mother-in-law’s. I will put him to sleep as soon as I get there (around 6:15) and hope that he sleeps till 8:30 (for his next feeding). Should I put him to sleep earlier every night because of this early start? What time do you think? Also, the last couple of days he has been eating well for one feeding (average of 15 min), than at the next he’ll eat for 5 min. and will start looking around, talking, etc and wont eat..then at the next he’ll eat a lot again (up to 30 min. – something rare!)! Does this mean I should start extending to a 3 and a half or 4 hour schedule? He is still only sleeping around 6-7 hours during the night (he eats at 22:30 and wakes again at around 5).Thank you so much for all your help!
    May 5, 2008 7:38 PM
    Plowmanators said…
    You could put him down early, though it might be unnecessary since he isn’t sleeping very long at night yet. I would still be doing a dreamfeed around 10ish. Maybe 9:30 since you will be getting him up early. You could track the feedings he eats well and feedings he doesn’t for a few days and see if there is a pattern. If there is a consistent feeding that he doesn’t eat well and extend that one. I wouldn’t extend the schedule to the point of dropping a feeding until he is sleeping at least 9-10 hours straight at night. Remember that you can do a combo schedule of 3-3.5 hours. See these posts: Nursing Woes and Combo Schedule is Okay
    May 7, 2008 1:45 PM
  • Brittany said…
    My son (9 months old) has been sleeping through the night since 3 months thanks to babywise. However, ever so slowly his morning wake up time has gotten earlier and earlier. He is now waking up at 5:00 (was 6:30-6:45) and that is just to early for me! He is on a 4 hour schedule and gets his last bottle at 6:30. How do I get him to start sleeping in later?
    June 26, 2008 5:39 AM
    Plowmanators said…
    Brittany,There are a lot of possibilities. One is he might be waking from the sun. There are also the possibilities listed in this post: 5-8 Month Sleep Disruptions 
    June 27, 2008 10:35 PM
  • ShawnaBunch said…
    I just want to start out by saying your blog is SO helpful! I need help with my 6.5 month old. He has been waking 1-1.5 hours early in the morning. Sometimes he will go back to sleep sometimes he is just AWAKE and happy. I have found that if he naps more than 3-3.5 hours during the day he will be up earlier. Right now he is on a 3.5 hour schedule as follows:8:00 diaper change and eat10-11:30 nap11:30 Diaper change and eat1:30-3:00 nap3:00 diaper change and eat5-5:30 nap6:00 Diaper change and eat8:00 eat8:30 bedtime
    Also, Do you have any suggestions about changing the schedule when the time changes in November? Thank you so much! I apperciate it!Shawna
    August 9, 2008 5:33 AM
    Plowmanators said…
    Thanks! I would work on dropping that last nap. See this post: 5-8 Month Sleep Disruptions  see this for the time change: Time Change Strategies
    August 11, 2008 10:26 PM

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