Why You Really Need to Start Baby’s Day At the Same Time

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.

Baby waking in the morning

Many new parents fail to recognize how important it is to wake baby up at the same time every morning.

I get it. If the baby is going to sleep in, you want to take advantage of that and sleep in also!

You are exhausted and you need to sleep when you can.

The reality you have to weigh is how those days might affect your baby’s sleep in many future days.

Keeping things super consistent and getting baby up at the same time each morning will help baby get on a consistent daily routine sooner as well as sleeping through the night sooner.

Waking at the Same Time Brings Consistency

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? 

You can’t reasonably expect there to be consistency and predictability to your days if your baby wakes at 6 AM some days and 9 AM other days.

I was there once. One day, when my oldest was about 4 months old, I realized he was on more of a pattern each day than even a routine, much less a schedule. You can read about that here: Tricks for Getting Baby on a Consistent Schedule

If you want some predictability to your day, you need to focus on starting each day at the same time.

What Time To Start Baby’s Day

To get started, you need to decide what is a reasonable time to start your day each day.

You need to find a time that your little one can be successful with and meet consistently. If you aren’t a morning person, 9 AM might sound like a great time to start, but if your baby can’t do that time, you will find yourself frustrated each day.

With my own babies, I have had some variety to when they naturally would wake. Some were 7 AM babies and others would go to 8:30 AM.

The time you pick with a newborn doesn’t have to be the time that your baby has even at 6 months old, but your kiddo will probably stay close to the time you choose if you are consistent about it. However, a younger baby will not be physically capable of sleeping in as late as an 8 month old.

When deciding what time is best for you to start each day, consider things like:

  • Baby’s age (younger babies can’t go as long through the night)
  • Baby’s natural disposition
  • Constraints in your day (do you work? Do you have school drop offs to work around? etc.)

>>>Read: What Time To Start Baby’s Day

Keep a 30 Minute Window

Refer to On Becoming Babywise and you will see that you need to start each day at the same time within 30 minutes. The newest version actually says 20 minutes, but I have always advised 30 minutes and that has worked well (see page 92 for discussion on this).

So what does it mean to have a 30 minute window?

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 is 30 minutes TOTAL, not 30 minutes on each side of 7.

That doesn’t mean 6:30-7:30–that means 6:45-7:15 or 7:00-7:30, etc.

Be Super Consistent in the Beginning

Babywise gives a 20-30 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 a 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. Set an alarm for yourself so you can get baby up at the same time each day for 2 weeks.

This is true even when baby gets in that pesky 5-6 AM waking. Stick with your consistency! You can move your “flexible” 30 minutes to be on the other side (so in our previous example, 7-7:30). A consistent wake time will help you move toward no eating at all in the night.

>>>Read: 5-6 AM “Night” Wakings

Morning Wake Time Stays Important

As your baby gets older, this first feeding of the day remains one of the most important parts of your baby having a solid schedule and sleeping through the night.

If your days are unpredictable, make sure your first feeding time is consistent. If your baby is waking in the night, make sure your first feeding time is the same each day.

Other feedings in the day will shift over time (like when you move to a 4 hour schedule), but your first feeding should remain the same.

That doesn’t mean you can’t change it. If your baby needed to start at 7 AM as an 8 week old, but would like to sleep in at 8 months old, you can definitely change the first feeding to be a new time. Just make sure that new time stays consistent going forward.

This consistent first feeding stays important in toddler years and even into teen years. Even adults sleep better overall if they get up at the same time each day.


Will I Ever Get to Sleep In?

That kind of depends on your child’s disposition.

Some children need super consistency. Some don’t sleep in. If your oldest is that way, then you can join me in being a parent who won’t sleep in past 8 AM except for on very rare occasions.

If your oldest is more like how McKenna is, however, you will enjoy sleeping in soon enough.

As your baby becomes predictable, you will be able to let her sleep in at times. You can have the Saturday sleep in and lazy morning.

If you have a Brayden, it isn’t all that bad. Even as a teenager, Brayden is an early riser on weekends and through school holidays. I never have to fight him to wake up. He easily wakes on his own for school each day. There are perks.

>>>Read: 6 Steps to Get Your Child to Sleep In Later in the Morning

A Note on Bedtime

This post is focused on the morning wake up time. A vital bookend to making this a consistent part of your day is having a consistent last feeding of the day and consistent bedtime.

You can’t have bedtime range from 7-9 PM and expect baby to be super consistent the next morning. Bedtime cannot be ignored as you work toward waking at the same time each day.

Read more about that here: Importance of Consistent Bedtime


As you work to get your schedule down and get baby sleeping through the night, you need to focus on having a consistent morning wake up time. As you do so, the rest of the day can be predictable and baby can settle into a predictable schedule or routine.

Related Posts

Morning start time graphic

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?

    Babywise Mom 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.
  • 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!!!!!

    Babywise Mom 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 🙂
  • 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!

    Babywise Momsaid…
    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
  • 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?

    Babywise Mom 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 
  • 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

    Babywise Mom 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
start day same time pinnable image

This post originally appeared on this blog in November 2007

65 thoughts on “Why You Really Need to Start Baby’s Day At the Same Time”

  1. I need some help with my 7 month old…I’m really trying not to stress out but I really am stressing a lot. It’s like he has no schedule right now…he wakes (but happy, not crying) 45 mins- 1 hour after sleeping for both his morning nap and early afternoon nap. for his late afternoon nap sometimes lately he does not even go to sleep, just plays and fusses a little in his crib for like and hour and a half and then starts crying after that. He is also waking twice a night. Consistantly at 4-4:30 am and just recently started waking at 12:30 am. All of this has been going on for almost a month. I try to let him cry for like 10-20 mins but then I end up feeding him b/c he is not going back to sleep. I’m at a loss, and so confused as to what I should do. Is it too late for me to fix this and get him back on some sort of schedule? I thought maybe he needed to drop his late afternoon nap but that still doesn’t explain not sleeping for much of the other two…Also, just a piece of info…last week I was reading through your blog trying to figure this whole thing out and I read your sample schedule for the amoutn of solids to give your at the time, 8 month old…I realized I was not feeding him even close to that amount and thought maybe all of this was b/c he hadn’t been getting enough to eat, or he has been going through a growth spurt a month ago but I didn’t feed him enough to meet his needs so I upped his solids intake a lot and have been doing that for aabout a week now…but it did not help the sleepingThank You SO SO much for any help you might have, I love your blog!!!Christen

  2. sorry…i forgot to ask one more question :)sometimes he takes like 45 minutes to fall asleep, is that normal? is his wake time too long maybe, or too short? thank you!

  3. ello–So happy to find this page!I have a 3 week old daughter and I’m currently trying to establish a routine for us. Obviously she is not sleeping through the night yet, but sometimes she will go 3.5 hours in the middle of the night between feedings. Since she’s older than 2 weeks, I have been letting her wake us up for this but its making setting a waketime hard in the morning.I want her first morning feeding to be 6am. So should I start feeding her at this time, no matter when the last time she ate was in the middle of the night? What if she wakes up at 4:30 or 5 hungry?THANKS!Mandy

  4. I have found your blog to be such a help because I don’t have anyone to talk to about BW questions. My 9-week old son is on a 3 to 3.5 hour schedule with a wake-up time of 7am. His last feeding (usually DF) is around 10pm; bedtime between 10:45 and 11pm. He sleeps straight through until he wakes up between 4:30 and 5:30am. He will talk to himself for 30 to 45 minutes before becoming fussy. If I go in and feed him when he gets fussy, he does not sleep well after that feeding. Should I feed him immediately when he wakes up, wait until he gets fussy (and see if he falls back asleep before then), OR let him CIO, even though he has been awake talking for 45 minutes by this time? Some days he is up for 2 hours before his morning wake time. Thanks for your help.

  5. I’d like to add to my previous post, since I’ve noticed a few things since then. The last two mornings my son woke up crying at 445am. I decided to immediately nurse him 4min and 3min (trying to wean him like you did with your daughter). Then, I put him right back to bed and he slept until we woke him up at 725am (recall his wakeup time is 7am) to nurse him. He had a good amount of spit up (old and new milk) during the 725am feeding. I’m just not sure what to do…please help.

  6. Please help us. My 6 month old daughter is on a consitent 4 hour schedule with 2 naps a day 1.5 hours each. She used to sleep from 7:00pm to 7:00am consitently. For the last few weeks she has been waking up at 5:00am, talks for about and hour, then begins to cry. I’ve let her cry for a bit but she doesn’t go back to sleep. Two things have changed in these weeks, the introduction of solids and the time changed. I’m at my wits end, her whole days schedule gets messed up if she wakes at 5:00am. What can I do?

  7. We have been working on getting our 11-week old son to have a morning wakeup time of 7am. He is still having trouble with early morning wakenings between 5:30 and 6am. He is on a 3-3.5hour schedule with naps about 2hrs long, making 6 feedings a day. He naps well during the day until the nap after the 4pm feeding. That particular nap he wakes up early (though not hungry, with only about 30 minutes of sleep) and does not nap again until after the 7pm feeding (about 20 mins of CIO for this nap before he falls asleep). He has to be awakened out of a deep sleep for his 10PM feeding. The last several mornings we had him cry for 45-1hr until 630am, at which time I fed him, but he didn’t eat much. I thought that maybe he needs less naptime – but I can’t reduce his naptime during the day because he gets fussy. Some of his naps I have to wake him up to feed him in order to keep on our 3-3.5hr schedule. We’re stumped…please help!

  8. Mandy, I apologize to you also. I would start your day between 6-6:30 each day. 6 if it has been 2.5 hours since she last ate. 6:30 if it has been less than 2.5 hours.

  9. Mamaof1, it sounds like you did the right thing. You let him sleep an extra 30 minutes. Keep working on it and he should slowly get rid of that feeding.

  10. Mamaof1, it is just that difficult time of not quite being able to make it all the way through the night yet. It isn’t a problem of too much napping. As he gets older, he should be able to make it. It is a relatively short phase. Hang in there and do the best you can, using suggestions in the post I linked earlier.

  11. Val,Thank you so much for your blog! I love reading it. Im sorry if I have posted a question similar to this in the past. I posted one a couple days ago, but I have no idea where so I cannot find the answer. lol. I will remember where this time!Anyway, we have been off of our normal schedule for the past 2 weeks or so. Ever since we took my daughter to church for the first time. She was doing good- 2 long naps (most of the time) and 1 short one, or at least 2 shorts and one really long (2.5-3 hrs). She is 5 months. I have not been able to get her back to normalcy yet. So, her naps and night sleep have progressively gotten worse and worse since then. I also tried to change her schedule in addition to this, which was a bad idea.Right now, she is lacking in sleep and is always tired. Do you think that the priority right now should be getting her back on schedule, or letting her rest as much as possible? I know that if I dont get her on her schedule, it will wreak havoc in our day, but if I do, then she will not nap as well and the cycle of less sleep begets less sleep will continue.She fell asleep 1.5 hrs after bedtime last night and woke 2 hrs early, in which I fed her at 430 and and put her back in bed. I decided to not wake her at 6, but rather wake her at 930, the end of her 1st naptime since I had a feeling she would sleep until then. She jsut woke up at 8- when her nap normally starts! Ugh.My question is, is this kind of deviation ok temporarily while I am trying to get her caught up in her sleep? I just don’t know how anything is going to be better if I don’t. But if Im inconsistent with the schedule then I don’t know how it can get better either.Please help me. Thank you so much!

  12. I wanted to add, I just thought she had woken up. I think it was a transition cry- she’s obviously asleep…and its almost 9! Her first nap ends at 930/945 (wakeup time 6).

  13. Susanne, My choice has always been to start the day at the same time, wake early for church, then allow longer naps after church. That is just me. I have a BW friend who wakes earlier on Sunday and that works for her. So either choice is really do-able. Decide what works best for you and what you think your child will do better with. You can try both ways and see what is better.

  14. Hey Val. Do you have any posts on a too early morning waketime? I think Im missing it! My LO’s been waking at 5 lately :-(. Waketime’s 6, so its not even really enough time for her to fall back asleep and re-wake!Thanks!

  15. Oh and thank you for your advice for the previous post! Things got better, when her naps improved…she started sleeping 11.5 hrs at night, but her third nap went bad for ONE day and she is back to 5am waking. Anyway, let me know if you’ve got a post on early morning waking :). Thank you!

  16. Hi. Thank you so much for this website. It has been so educational! I have a question — I have a 7 week old (tomorrow) and we are trying to establish a great routine for nighttime. I’ve put her down at 7pm and have started doing a dreamfeed at 10pm. She is so sleepy at the dreamfeed but will take about 3 ounces. Lately she will wake up at 1am and then 4am. It seems like clockwork she is doing every 3 hours. I do 3 hr. schedule during the day with her as well. She averages b/w 3-5 ounces each feeding (she is on formula). When do you think she will stretch out the night feedings. My first feed of the day is 7am. Is there something else I should do? My schedule is 7-10-1-4-7pm – 10pm dream feed. Thank you so much!!

  17. LBurda,I can only guess, but my guess would be soon 🙂 She has to get to a point where she needs only 7 feedings a day rather than 8. She is about there, but her metabolism and weight will affect that. I assume you let her eat as much as she will at each feed. If not, let her eat all that she will so she can shift how much she eats down into 7 rather than 8 feeds (and eventually 6 and fewer).

  18. I have a question about optimal bedtime. My lo’s optimal bedtime was 7 in CA. We’re on the east coast now… does that mean it will be 7 here too?? Ive been doing our same schedule in this time zone and am having a lot of problems with both naps and night waking. Thank you!

  19. KJackson,It should be the same, BUT he is going to have to get used to that time zone first. That is a huge leap and is like a major time change. Speaking of, keep in mind that the time change will happen in a few weeks and we will move clocks forward one hour. See the blog lable “time change” for several posts on dealing with this.

  20. Ive actually got her on 7 now, so it will be 8 then and I dont have to do anything :). I figure 4 hrs is just too much. Her bedtime was always 8 in Cali before the time changed in Nov so I figure Ill just keep it all the same year round bc Im ok with either time! :)Makes it easier. Thank you!!

  21. My daughter is almost 3 weeks old and I really want to work on her achieving sleep on her own. I’m usually able to keep her awake during feeding but I spend alot of time burping her because when I lay her down too early she spits up, gags, etc. So while I’m trying to keep her upright for 20-30 minutes to make sure her food is settled, she falls asleep. I don’t know if it matters or not but I’m breastfeeding and I burp her and change her diaper between breasts. How do I get her to achieve sleep on her own when she falls asleep during burping?

  22. Kina, I know life changes quickly with a newborn, so hopefully this is still helpful. Keep in mind that waketime for a newborn should really only be 30-45 minutes, which basically consists of feeding and diaper changing and burping. You can do your best to have her be awake after the feeding, but if she won’t, she won’t. The day will come that she is awake and you can train her to sleep on her own.See the blog lable “newborns” for ideas on adding waketime to the day.

  23. Hi again! I’ve run into a morning waketime problem. My son was on a 3 hour schedule for months, he’d be awake for an hour sleep for 2 and would stick to every minute of his schedule, it was quite nice for me! About a month ago he started playing in his crib at naptime which was out of the norm because he would always go right to sleep. I extended his waketime and this has put us on a 3hr 15 min schedule….he is up for 75 minutes and still naps for 2 hours. we also dropped his 4th nap in this process because he was sleeping 18-19 hours a day which our pediatrician felt was to much for a baby over 5 months old. he tolerates this…he gets cranky towards the ends of that waketime period but i think that is to be expected. he did great with this schedule change for the first few weeks, we have had some naptime disruptions here and there but we have just rolled with it. now for the last week he is waking up at all different times in the morning. his morning waketime has always been 830. he is almost 6 months old and this past week it has been anytime between 630 and 800. he is happy and playing and we leave him in there until 815-830 hoping that he would realize that this is not his new waketime but this early waking messes up our whole day. he can’t stay awake as long during his first cycle, so he goes down early, wakes up earlier then he should at the next nap and it goes on from there. this chaos in his schedule is totally out of the norm for him. is this normal for babies to adjust their morning waketimes the older and more alert they get? what can i do to get him back on schedule? any thoughts/suggestions are greatly appreciated!!!!

  24. Thank you so much for this blog! I have a wake time question: (all of his wake times I mention do not include him being awake for 45 min feedings) My son is 3 weeks old and he can stay awake with no trouble for up to 2.5 hours very contently. He does not do this every wake time but he has stayed awake so long that I nursed him, he had such a long wake time it was time to nurse him again. We are not over stimulating him, a lot of his WT he is quietly looking around. His average WT length is probably 1.5 hrs. I just read that by 3 weeks old he should be having just a few wake times; my son has WT after every feeding for at least 30 min. At his check up last week we were told he is very healthy and is above 85% on all the growth charts, so health wise I’m not concerned, but he awake far longer than what is suggested. We are going to try to swaddle him tonight and for his naps tomorrow and see if that helps him want to sleep more. Do you have any suggestions on getting him to nap more regularly?

  25. Kimberly,Shorten the waketime considerably. Waketime length should include feeding time. It is fine if he stays awake after every feeding at 3 weeks, but he should not be awake for 2.5 hours. At three weeks, with feedings it shouldn't be more than 60 minutes, and most will be around 30-45 minutes. By now he would be 6-7 weeks old. It still should be 60 minutes or less–including feeding time. Shortening waketime length is the simplest solution to fixing short naps 🙂

  26. Hi. Our LO is 9 months old this week. She is doing great with naps. Awake 2 hours in the am, asleep usually 2 hours for am nap, awake 3 hours, asleep 2-2.5 hours for pm nap. However she has started to wake early in the am. She goes to bed at 7am, and used to wake at 7am. We sometimes heard her around 6:30 but got her up at 7am. No by 6:10 she is crying hard, this means she has been up for a while, possibly 30 min or more as she wakes happy and gets madder the more she realizes how hungry she is:) She downs a full bottle but a couple times has gone back to sleep and I have woken her at 7:30 to not mess up the rest of the day. I am not a supporter of the wake and feed and put to sleep again. We have never created this habit with her and don't want to especially at this age. However, sometimes she seems tired after her bottle and we are guilty of wanting a few more minutes of sleep also. We are at a loss, accept this waketime, or mess with her bedtime? I have heard earlier, but will later work. She seems like she may only need 11 hours at night. She is very hungry and struggling with solids right now? Is this common time for growth spurt? She has just recently established 2 long naps on a daily basis, before it was usually one short and one long. Could this be the reason for decrease in her night sleep? Thanks for your advice and help.

  27. Leo:Unfinished,My guess is that she needs more calories in the day and can't get them since she isn't eating solids well. Continue to work on solids. She is old enough to have some real solids in the form of finger foods. She might like that better than baby food. Kaitlyn much preferred that.

  28. I need help with my 7 week old. Her last feeding of the night is a 10:30pm. She is usually asleep by 11p.m. At 5 weeks of age her fist wake time was between 5:30 and 6am… which was amazing! Then she went through a growth spurt and had some acid reflux problems and started waking up at 2:30 -3 am… which was a HUGE step back.. but I assumed after her growth spurt was over we would be back to 5:30 – 6 wake time… But it really is not…Her first fixed morning feeding is 10:30. Her current schedule is usually 10:30p.m., 5am ish, 8am ish, 10:30a.m.,1:30p.m., 4:30p.m., 7:30p.m., 10:30p.m…. I keep the 10:30am feeding regardless of when the feeding before is.. sometimes she wakes up to eat at 8:30am sometimes 9:00am.. So some days her feeding is only 1hr apart….my goal is to have her eat at 10:30p.m. and not eat again until 7:30 a.m. and then eat again at 10:30a.m. How do I get her to do that? Last night she woke up at 3a.m., she wasn't crying.. so I held her off until 5a.m., she woke again at 9:30a.m. so i fed her a little bit then, then fed her again at 10:30a.m so as to keep the schedule for the day… i feel like I am screwing this whole thing up! Should I set an alarm to feed her at 7:30a.m regardless of her previous eat time? Also, she is NOT a good napper… she only naps for like 30 mins at a time. how do I increase that? Is it best to always put her in her crib for a nap.. b/c sometimes i have her nap in the living room in her boppy.. or should I put her in the bassinet in my room where she sleeps at night still? thank you so much for your advice!!

  29. Hey! My son will be 6 weeks this Thursday. I am doing my best to implement BW, and I am realizing after reading this how important it is to have a consistant waketime each morning. This is hard for me because I am not a morning person and would like to just let him sleep until he wakes. But I also know that having a consistant waketime will eventually help him sleep through the night…hopefully. Right now he is waking up every 3-4 hours to eat during the night. If he wakes up at 6:30 to eat and our waketime is 8:30, do I feed him again or wait until 9:30? Also, during the day when we are doing our 3 hour cycle, I usually only have to wake him up from one of his naps to eat which means he has fulfilled the three hours. The other times he is waking up at 2 hours or earlier and he is acting like he is starving. Is this normal?

  30. BT Pickett,One thing to realize is that with reflux, a three hour schedule can be hard to get. Is she on meds?I think you first need to look at all the posts under the "reflux" blog label. That will help you realize correct expectations for her.Yes, you need to have a consistent time to start the day. Most do it in the 7 AM hour. See the post "early morning feedings before waktime" for help with juggling that.Good luck!

  31. Thurmans,See the post "early morning feedings before waketime" to know what to do in the morning.The waking at two hours can be normal at certain times of day. It is normal in the evenings, but not the morning.

  32. So thankful for this site, I've found the BW book to be vague in some areas and seeing what other moms have been doing has helped a great deal. I have a 4 month old and have been implementing BW since birth. He is still on a 2.5-3hr schedule and i'm having trouble stretching out his feedings. He only naps for an 1hr, 2 if I'm lucky. We are following a patten not a schedule and I'd like to change this. My question is, how do you extend the time between feedings if your baby only naps for an 1hr. It would seem that the eat, wake, sleep cycle would be disrupted. After he wakes early from a nap should I try to hold him off till it's been 3hrs and on a schedule that works for both of us? Thanks for any help you may be able to offer!

  33. My little girl is almost 16 weeks old. She is currently STTN with no DF and I am so thrilled about that. Her bedtime is at 8:30. Recently we had a time change and gained 1 hr. Before that she would wake at 7:30am Now she wakes at 6:30am. For at least 2 weeks now I have been trying to get her to feed later (using increments of about 15 minutes for a while to gradually help her accustom to that). However, it doesn't seem to be working very well. Could that be because she is already sleeping 10 hour nights? It's been hard trying to hold her off from feeding in the morning (even though she is happy), because it messes up her feed/wake/sleep pattern throughout the day making it a feed/wake/sleep/wake pattern. I'm not sure if I should make her bedtime a little later? Should I just keep trying what I'm doing? What would you recommend? Thanks so much for the help!

  34. Hey BW mamas! I know this is an older post, but I recently started having some issues and am looking for a little guidance. My 5 mo son has been doing great with babywise on a very consistent combo 3-3/12 hour schedule that looks something like this: 8:00 am wake up and nurse 15 min., eat cereal9:30 am nap11:00 am wake up, nurse 10-12 mins12:30 pm nap2:15 wake up, nurse 15-18 mins4:00 pm nap5:45 pm wake up, nurse 15 min, eat vegetable7:00 pm short nap8:00 pm wake up, nurse 10 min9:00 pm nurse 10 min10:00 pm bedAlso, he will occasionally nurse again at 11:00 pm. We have stopped waking him for this feeding, so if he doesn't wake up hungry on his own, I just use a pump at this time. Over the last couple weeks, about every other day he basically skips one of his feedings entirely. Either the 11 am or the 215pm. He wakes up from his nap right on schedule, but then refuses to nurse! I continue trying to nurse about every 1/2 hour, with no luck! He doesn't eat again until it is time for his next feeding, and only nurses as long as he normally does at that time. This results in a middle of the night feeding around 4:00 am. Is there anyone who has an idea of how I can fix this problem, or who has had a similar experience?

  35. Debbie, my oldest only slept one hour until he was about 6ish months old. Until that time, we stuck to a 2.5 hour feeding schedule.So if I were you, I would try to figure out how to get the naps longer.But if you can't, see:Chronic 45 Minute Napsand Eat/Wake/Sleep Cycle for help on what to do.

  36. Amy, see the blog index, scroll down to "schedules" and click on the index for schedules. Scroll down and look under time change. There are several posts on times changes that can help you fix this. Good luck!

  37. Samantha, I would agree with the ideas of the Camperos. I would also have bedtime at 8 PM instead of 10–that is likely disrupting his sleep in the night.If you would like, I can post this as a "help a reader out" post. Let me know if you would like me to.

  38. Hi. We are on a 7 am wake time. My child is 8 weeks old. We do a dream feed at 9 30 and she wakes at 530 to 6. I want her to make it to 7!! Do I do a small feeding at 530 or a full and then wake her at 7 even though she just ate!! It takes her an hour to eat so she would have just finished. Please help!!

  39. Hello, I have a 3 1/2 week old and am struggling with our morning waketime. My ideal schedule begins with an 8:30 waketime. There have been a handful of mornings since he was born when I have had to wake him at this time to eat. Otherwise he seems to be waking at 7:30 which does not work for my work schedule and I am already back to work. I have pushed his DF back from 10:30 to 11 with the hopes of him eating at 2, 5, and then 8/8:30. Instead he eats at 2, 5 and is still waking at 7:30. I have tried putting him in the bouncer (he's not a big fan of the swing) to hold him off with the binky…this has worked very few mornings and even when it does it only gets me to close to 8 am. My first son never went through this…we woke him at 8:30 from the beginning for quite some time so I'm not quite sure how to handle it. Is he to young to implement CIO till 8:30? He is taking a full feeding at 7:30 despite eating at 5 instead of 4:30 so I know he is hungry. Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I wrote in to the google group of babywise moms and one suggested I just feed him at 7:30 because its within an hour of his waketime and that he would work it out and be able to go longer and make it to 8:30 within a few weeks but I'm nervous that by feeding him at 7:30 we are setting that as his consistent waketime. Thanks so much!!

  40. hello, i am a first time mum to a little girl who is now nearly 11 weeks old. she has been doing great and most days go pretty smoothly with the occassional short nap and disruptions. she started sleeping through the night just over 2 weeks ago. when she started sttn, i was waking her at the same time (about 7am/7.15am) to have morning wake up time the same. however, every morning that i woke her, then followed her nap cues about 30-45mins later, she cried a Lot before falling asleep for her first nap (or cryin most of the nap!) which was unusual because she used to go down no problem and sleep for 1 1/2-2 1/2 hours at this nap (usually longer figure!). the one morning (sat 2nd july) she woke herself up (stirring from 6.30and up at 7am), she went back to bed with no crying and i had to waken her after 10am! BW book says that after the dreamfeed you should wait till they wake naturally? so the mornings i have done that, naps have generally gone better during the day. last sat she woke at 8.30am , sun 8.15am, mon 6.45 (kicked both socks off though and feet were freezing!) and today at 7.40am. i do want to start the day about 7am. I thought i would start making DF earlier as she seems to sleep about 9-10 hours straight after it. usually in bed between 6.30-7.30pm depending on what time day starts/naps. Last night i DF at 9.45pm and in bed about 10pmDo you think its ok to start making DF earlier so she will sleep til desired wake up time? i just feel that every morning (for 10 days) when we woke her up in the morning, she didnt do well for the first nap of the day? Thanks in advance, Claire Rogerson (Glasgow, scotland)

  41. Haley, I have a post on this called "early morning feedings before waketime"–you can find in in the blog index under "dropping things"

  42. Alison, honestly, some babies just won't go to 8:30. Most seem to wake in the 7 AM hour somewhere. If you really want to get to 8:30, I would feed him when he wakes, then put him right back to bed, then get him up at 8:30-9:00 and start the day.

  43. Hi. I don't know exactly where to post this comment, so forgive me if it's in the wrong place. My first daughter did great with BW, and I don't remember exactly what we did at the beginning with her night schedule. But my second daughter is 3 weeks old, and I am having a hard time figuring out what to do at night and still keep our 7-7:30 waketime in the morning. Some background on her: She has mild reflux and is on prevacid which has helped. But she is a NOISY sleeper. She defintely makes lots of noises at her transition times of sleep. But there are other times where I hear her and have no idea if she is awake or asleep unless I go in to check. (I wish I had a video monitor for that reason.) But anyway, she is formula fed (I have never been able to produce milk for some reason), and during the day is on a pretty basic 3 hour routine (7,10,1,4). She is taking about 3 oz at time right now. I'm struggling, though, with our MOTN feedings. She can never go 5 hours on her own, so after her 10:00 DF, I was waking her still at 1 and 4 in order to get in the 8feedings and to keep her wake time at 7. Also, we were finding that when she woke on her own, she was too wide awake and would not go back to sleep but cry hard instead. Waking her to feed her before she woke up too hungry on her own was helping. But then, a couple days ago, she has been waking on her own (or getting really agitated and noisy) more like every 2-2.5 hours at night and now during the day too. Should I increase what we are feeding her at least for the last couple bottles of the day? Should I cluster feed at like 6:30 and then do a DF at 9:00? My goal would be for her to DF at 9:30 or 10:00 and then go until about 3:00 and then waketime at 7:00. But is it too early to expect that? If not, how do I get her to do that? And if so, how do I compensate for only 7 instead of 8 feedings? I know I may not be making much sense, but it's hard to really put into words on a page all my questions. Thanks for your help. Your blog is so amazing!

  44. Hi there, I am new to babywise. I have an 8 week old breast fed baby who has not been on any type of schedule. Basically, by chance he wakes up between 7-8, but lasts only for about 45 minutes, and generally we put him down for the night at 9, although he still waked every 2-4 hrs. HELP?? How do I start to implement babywise without being completely strict as we have kind of let him do his thing for so long…. Thanks for any advise!!

  45. Hi, i'm just starting out on babywise with my 12 week old. Oh how i wish i had read this book and you blog from the beginning. Loving this blog, thanks for sharing your wisedom!He already gets himself off to sleep and does independent play and sleeps from 10pm to 4am.First thing i'm implementing is the consistent wake time and bed time.I'm playing around with the schedule between now but having trouble working out wether to feed him 7 times or 6?My biggest problem is the feeding. He doesn't feed for longer than 12 mins all up. I've been feeing him 7x 3hr cycles (since reading the book 4 days ago). Should i go to 6 feeds and stretch out the time between? he doesn't seem heaps hungry when i am feeding him at the moment.

  46. Hello! Does the first morning feeding have anything to do with the last scheduled feeding at night? We have a 4 week old and he is on a 3hr schedule. If his last scheduled feeding is at 8PM can his first morning feeding be at 8AM?? The hardest part of BW was figuring out this schedule b/c when I go back to work in 2 months he will need to be fed at 5AM. So, do we start now with 5AM as his first feeding? As of now he usually wakes at 12AM and again around 3:30-4AM for his demand feeds. I would rather not have to get up again at 5 to feed him now, unless you feel I should.Another question I have is about the dream feed. I tried that last night, feeding him at 8PM and then again at 1045 and it resulted in him waking earlier for his next demand feed (2:30 instead of 3:30-4). Am I doing something wrong?

  47. Hi!! I have a question I was wondering if you could help me with. I have twin 6 year olds, a 2 year old and 3 month old twins (twins again)! I thought by this time around I would have this figured out!! But for some reason, the babies are still eating twice a night (just turnd 3 months yesterday). Here is our schedule. Wake up/eat 7:30, nap 8:30, eat 10 or 10:30, nap 11 or 11:30, eat 1 pm, nap 2 pm, eat 4 pm, nap 4 pm, wake up at 6:30, eat at 7:00, bed at 7:30. They seem to do well with the schedule . . . not really fussy in between feedings so I assume they are getting enough to eat (I am breastfeeding). If I let them each do their own thing at night, one of the boys will usually just wake up once, but the other still wakes up twice . . . so most of the time I end up waking the other one as well . . . otherwise I am up so much during the night. Do you have any suggestions to help get them STTN? Thanks! 🙂

  48. I guess I should also add . . . I do not do the dreamfeed . . . I have tried but they still wake up around 1 or 1:30 am whether I do it or not. Thn they wake up again around 4 – 5ish. Thanks. 🙂

  49. Hi Valerie, I know this is an older post so I'm not sure if you still respond to questions, but I thought I'd try asking anyway just in case. I've been trying to troubleshoot my son's first feed/wake time for the past 4ish months and haven't made much progress…hoping you might be able to help! He is now almost 11 months, feeding 4 times a day, napping twice a day for 1-2 hrs each. He goes to bed at 7pm, which really seems like his perfect bedtime–any later and he's over tired. His entire life he's been an early bird, sometimes awake by 6am. But there are a few days every week that he will sleep until 7 or even 7:15am. If he wakes earlier than 6:45, he will go back to sleep after nursing if I let him, usually for another 45 min to an hour. Because he will go back down, I'm not sure how long he really needs to sleep at night…is he an 11, 11.5, or 12 hour sleeper? It's so hard too know because every day is different. I'm usually able to get creative with adjusting his schedule so that we stay basically on track with other feedings and naps, but I would like to have a consistent wake time. I've tried a lot of different things, read everything I can find on your blog on the topic, and I'm not sure what to try next. For several months I tried the feed and put back down thing, but I want to wean soon and would like to just move on from that. I've tried letting him talk to himself and/or fuss until 7am and keep the feeding the same no matter what, but he still wakes whenever. And if he wakes at 6am and I'm not going to nurse until 7, he's VERY upset after waiting that long. Slowly weaning from the early feed hasn't worked either, he's just KNOWS that mommy is holding out on him! Should I just assume he is an 11ish hour sleeper and do the feeding consistently earlier, say 6 or 6:15ish? I can stretch some other feeding intervals, so that's not a huge problem. I'm just so confused on if he needs more sleep than that of not! I've eliminated everything I can possible think of that may be waking him early (light, sounds, etc). Also, if he wakes early than 6:30 and I don't put him back down, he is tired early and isn't at his best during the morning. I may move his bed time later this spring after we start daylight savings, so that may resolve things, but until then…any tips? Thanks a million!

  50. Hello! I stay at home with my baby, Jonah, who is almost 4 months. He’s been sleeping completely through the night since 7 weeks. Hallelujah! My question is about the start of the morning. I get the starting within 30m but I have trouble wanting to wake him. He naturally wakes up between 7am-8am. I’m good with that. I have felt like it’s a good measure of when he should be going down at night which he just started going to sleep for the night at 8:30pm two days ago. Should I wake him in the mornings or just let him do what he’s been doing?

    • Hello!

      It is up to you. You definitely risk him having inconsistent days if his mornings don’t start at the same time each day, but if you are okay with that, then it is fine! He might wake on his own very consistently so it wouldn’t be an issue anyway.

  51. Hello!
    I am needing some help as I get ready to go back to work.
    I am a swim coach and have to work from 6-7:30 am so I’m out of the house from 5:30-7:45 am 3 mornings a week. We are working towards an 8 am wake up time so I can get home to feed him after practice. My question is would you do a “dream feed” type of feeding at 5 if I know he’s not going to make it till 8 based on when he wakes for nighttime feeding? Or just have a bottle for him and pump so I don’t interrupt his sleep?
    Thanks for your time, I know this is a pretty unconventional question but I LOVE being a mom and coach. With our first, I wasn’t coaching as early in the morning during this stage.
    Thanks for any help!

  52. Hi Valerie,
    Thanks for all you do! I didn’t grow up around babies and I have no other moms around me to learn from, so you’re providing me with the insight I crave!
    Here’s my question:
    If there is a 30 min window for morning wake, then is there a 30 min window for going down for nap #1? Or do you just keep baby up or put them down early if they land on either side of the morning wake? I ask this because my 11 month old seems to be an early riser (average of 6:30-7 am, but she’ll sneak in a 6 am every few days) and she also is sensitive to her wake window. So, if she wakes naturally at 6 am then her first nap could be an hour early. Yikes!
    Thanks for your help, truly!

    • That will depend on her flexiblity level. Most 11 month olds can just have set nap times no matter what time other things happened. But if she is super sensitive to wake windows, you will want to do her nap a little earlier. It doesn’t necessarily have to be exactly minute for minute how early she woke. It could be half the time. Do some experimenting and take notes of how things go so you can see it all and not have to remember it all.

      And you are so welcome!


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