How to get your baby on a predictable and consistent schedule. Baby’s days can be predictable and do not have to be random from day to day.
Many Babywise moms find themselves in a schedule where the baby gets up about the same time every day, and they follow the eat/play/sleep pattern, but the times of each nap and each feeding every day vary considerably. If asked, “What time does baby take a nap in the afternoon?”, many moms will respond with, “well, it depends on what time he eats in the morning and how long his morning nap was…”
I was there. I understand it. I remember when Brayden was 4 months old and my parents were coming through town. because we lived in a studio-type apartment with no bedrooms (yes, I have great, understanding, and cooperative parents). My response was, “I don’t know!”
Naptime varied from day to day. It depended on how long his earlier naps lasted and how long he stayed awake. In retrospect, I was on a “pattern” rather than a “schedule.”
As Brayden got older and I got more experience under my belt, we did get a predictable routine to where he ate, slept, and played in the same hours every day (minus your typical disruptions). So how do you get there? How do you set a schedule? Here are some hints and tricks.
How To Get a Consistent Daily Schedule
Here are eight tricks to be sure you are following to be able to confidently know when your baby will eat or nap each day.
Pick Your Morning Waketime
Have a consistent time you start each day.
Depending on your baby, there may need to be some compromise between you two. Some babies are early risers, so mom is going to have to go with that. Others will sleep in a bit and you can choose the waketime better.
I have had each.
Brayden has always been a 7 AM kid. In the winter I could get him to sleep until 7:15 because he rises with the sun. Brinley has also been an early riser, also, though I was able to get her to sleep in later to around 8 AM, which was very helpful for me with getting kids ready for school before getting her up.
Kaitlyn will sleep later. As a baby, I had her waketime as 7:30 so I could get Brayden fed before I get her up to nurse. McKenna has always been a later sleeper, also, and would wake around 8:30 in the morning.
Your waketime is up to you (and baby). There is no right or wrong time. Keep in mind the number of feedings you want to get in and the bedtime you want so you can get the necessary feedings in before bedtime.
If you have an early riser, there are great things about it! Even as a teenager, Brayden can get up at 5:30 AM each day without a problem. McKenna gets up for family scriptures at 6:30 and then heads back to bed for another 45 minutes before needing to get up to get ready for school. So it isn’t easy to have a baby who won’t sleep in, but there are benefits some day.
Pick Your Bedtime
Bedtime should fall naturally based on your schedule. Bedtime should be 10-12 hours before waketime. Kaitlyn’s bedtime was 7:30 PM when she was waking at 7:30 AM. Brayden’s bedtime was 8:00 AM when he was waking at 7:00 AM, though we started the bedtime routine at 7:30.
10-12 hours of night sleep is the rule for sleep from your young baby on up to your toddler, preschooler, and older.
Stay Consistent With Morning Wake Up and Bedtime
Once you have those two things picked out, stay consistent. Set your alarm if you have to so you can get baby up on time. Make the effort to be home in time in the evening to get baby down for bedtime.
Remember, your schedule serves you, but it won’t serve you if you completely ignore it–it will have nothing to serve!
Being consistent doesn’t mean you can’t ever change things. Sure, you can have days when you sleep in. You can have nights you all go to a friend’s house and get home a little late.
Just keep these as the exceptions rather than the rule. In comparison to your lifetime, your children are not young for very long.
Pick Your Feeding Times
Next, pick your feeding times. Write down what time you would like feedings to be each day.
What you originally decide might vary from your original goal after some evaluation. When Kaitlyn was first born, I did a 2.5-3 hour schedule. I started her at 7:30 AM. I knew I wanted her to eat at 1:00 PM because that is the start of Brayden’s nap. He was not yet two and I wanted to be able to focus on Kaitlyn during each nursing as much as possible because she was so sleepy and hard to keep awake for feedings.
My original goal was a 7:30 feeding, a 10:30 feeding, and a 1:00 feeding. At first, it worked great. After a few weeks, however, she started to need to eat at 10:00 instead of 10:30. After eating at 10:00, she could still make it to 1:00. I had to adjust to her needs.
I recommend that you write down the times you want baby to eat and shoot for that. You will, however, likely notice patterns in when baby can go longer between feedings and when baby needs the feedings closer together. Adjust as necessary.
Write down the new times. Don’t just think them in your head, write them down. This is advice given in every book in the On Becoming series that I have read thus far. In setting your feeding schedule, remember that combo schedules work. You don’t have to be on straight 3’s or 4’s–you can do a combo.
Figure Out Optimal Waketime
Optimal waketime length will depend on your child. At 6 months, Brayden could stay up for 2 hours with no problem. Kaitlyn, however, couldn’t go longer than 1 hour 15 minutes.
Each child is different.
Different times of day will have different waketimes, and that is okay. Both of my children had shorter waketimes before their morning naps than they had for the remainder of the day.
Read: Optimal Waketime Lengths
Find the Best Time for Naps
Next, figure out naptimes. By this I mean the time baby will go down for a nap.
This will be dependent on a couple of things. One is how long baby can successfully stay awake. This means happily. It also means baby goes down for a nap and the crying (or lack thereof) is consistent from nap to nap and naptime length is appropriate. By that, I mean if baby typically cries for about 5 minutes before going to sleep, that stays consistent. If baby suddenly cries for 15 minutes instead, something is probably off. Also, if baby’s nap is shorter than usual, something is probably off.
Another thing the best time for naps is dependent on is the amount of time before the next feeding. Depending on your schedule, baby will sleep anywhere from 1-2.5 hours.
Write It All Down
Write down all of your times. I can’t tell you how useful it is to keep track of the schedule to get the schedule perfect for your baby. You can use my Book of Logs eBook for help tracking everything you need to for baby. It helped me so much with my own babies!
Finally, and again, stay consistent. Remember that it is dynamic and will change as your baby gets older. Whatever schedule you are on, stay consistent.
If you eat at the same time every day, you get hungry at the same time every day. If you go to bed at the same time every night, you get tired then. If you wake up at the same time every morning, your body does so without an alarm clock.
Consistency pays off.
You want to go by the time on clock as well as the hours that have past. If baby slept in that morning and ate a little later, work to get on the normal schedule by afternoon. Of course, we always are flexible and adjust the schedule as necessary when baby is in a growth spurt or is otherwise hungry.
Can you be a mom who says, “My baby naps at 1:00” with confidence and honesty? Yes!
It will take time and consistency. I would commit to staying home for a week or two and really nailing the schedule down. You don’t have to completely shut yourself in, but try to stay in and keep in mind you are helping baby get stabilized. I think Winter is a great time to do it because there is often not a lot going on, at least in my life.
Take note that these same steps can be followed for a consistent schedule with a toddler, also. I find it much easier to have a consistent schedule with a toddler than a baby, but perhaps that is because my toddler has been on a consistent schedule for over two years. The same importance is applied to waketime, bedtime, and naptime. I find mealtimes to be a bit more flexible, but try to keep them about the same time, also.
Reader Schedule Questions
- brisnicki said…
Helpful post, thanks!My 11 wk old is on a 3-hour schedule starting 7 AM and ending at 8PM with a night feed whenever she wakes up. (Lately about 4-6 AM so I am thinking of adding 10 PM feed again). Other than that, our schedule is like clockwork and working great! My issue lately though is she wants to sleep longer in the arvo so when I wake her for 4 PM and 7 PM feeds she is still half asleep (especially 7 PM feed). I was going to try letting her sleep a bit longer at those naps – I usually put her down for 1.5 hour naps, was thinking of letting her sleep for 2 hours. What do you think? January 19, 2008 3:38 AMPlowmanators said…
I am truly undecided. She is about to the age when you can start extending feeding times. You can always try it and see how it goes. If you did that for both naps, your last feeding would move to 8 PM, and that is why I am undecided. It could be a good thing because perhaps she would sleep a little later in the night (but also perhaps not :). I love having an early bedtime from the beginning because it is already there and you don’t have to work toward it. If you think that is the best thing for your LO, do it. It usually doesn’t hurt to try–though sometimes it can mess you up for a bit.
January 19, 2008 5:14 PM
- Krystal said…
My daughter is 4 months old, and has been sleeping from about 10-7 for two months. Just recently however, she has started waking up at 5:30am, wanting to eat. I have tried to just leave her, but she won’t go back to bed, so eventually I feed her. Then my whole morning is messed up. How can I get her to stay on the same schedule (7,10,1,4,7,10) if she doesn’t get up at the same time every day? Sometimes she gets wakes up at 6:00am or 6:30. I don’t know why she has started to wake up all of a sudden.
January 19, 2008 6:47 PM
Krystal–I have found that babies get hungry at 4 months. I have read a growth spurt happens. If you bottlefeed, you can try offering more formula. If you breastfeed, you can move to a 2.5 hour schedule for a few days to increase your milk supply. You could also talk to your pedi about starting solids. That would be my first guess, and remember, feed your baby if she is hungry. It is always okay to get off schedule to feed your baby if she is hungry :).
January 19, 2008 9:09 PM
- Kate said…
Thanks for this very helpful entry. I read your blog almost everyday! I am definitely on a “pattern”, but would love to be on a schedule.I look forward to putting the things you wrote about into practice this week. My son and I consistently start the day at the same time. I have goal feedings (about 3.5 hrs apart)-but the actual feedings end up being inconsistent. I am going to take your advice and keep a log in hopes of finding a schedule that not only works for me, but also for my son. The most challenging aspect of developing a schedule for me is napping. I still am struggling to get him to nap for longer than one hour. Reading your blog gives me confidence that one day my son will master the art of napping.Thanks again!
January 19, 2008 8:05 PM
Kate–good luck in your getting on schedule! Even just a pattern is great with BW, but a schedule is so nice!
January 19, 2008 9:10 PM
- Carlee said…
I have just found your blog, and I am so grateful because I lost my copy of BW, and I am not sure what to do. I have a four month old girl, Tessa, who has never slept through the night. I started BW – eat, wake, sleep – after the colic ended at three months. She is awesome at following this schedule, and is currently on a three hour schedule. We start each morning at 8 and end at 8, however she has started consistently getting up at 12, 3 and 5:30am. I am going crazy with this! I have been successful in getting her back to sleep at two of these wake times without a feed, but I haven’t been consistent in which ones. I guess I’ve been experimenting with which feed she could do without. I am unclear as to what feeds I should try to drop, or how I can go about getting her one step closer to STTN? Thanks so much!
January 20, 20083:48 PM
Carlee, my advice to you would be the same as to Krystal in the comments above. She may be hitting a growth spurt or just need more food in the day. I am amazed at how many moms have this “issue” arise at 4 months. It is very common. You might consider adding a “dreamfeed” around 10 or 11 PM to see if that helps. This is a feeding where you get her up, feed her, and put her right back down. Many babies don’t fully wake up for this, but do eat. See my post to Krystal above. I am glad you have found this!
January 21, 2008 10:21 AM
- Mom2Cohen said…
My almost four month old has been sleeping from 7:30 to 6:30 with one feeding at 2-3 for almost three weeks flawlessly. However, the last week he keeps waking up earlier and earlier. He is now waking up at 5:00. I am not sure how to fix this….should we just let him cry until it is “time” to get up? He doesn’t seem hungry when he does wake so I still feed him at his normal time…which helps. However, I really want my mornings to go back to the way they were…any suggestions?
January 24, 2008 5:15 AM
Wow! I am amazed at the number of moms who find trouble at 4 months. If he isn’t hungry, do you think he is cold? I don’t know where you are in the country (or world), but I have noticed much of the country is quite cold right now. Or, he could be too hot if your furnace is kicking on more often since it is so cold.
January 24, 2008 10:37 AM
We keep a little thermometer/humidity reader in his room and it reads the same now as it always has….at least within a couple of degrees.
January 24, 2008 10:49 AM
- bethers21 said…
I could use any advice about what I should expect from a 4 week old. He is a major sleepyhead–I have to work over half of the feeding to wake him back up and then again after he is done. Fifteen minutes later, he is ready for a 2 hour nap after the majority of feedings. Does that sound about right? Also, how often, if at all, should I let him nap in a swing or while someone’s holding him at this point?
January 30, 2008 11:45 AM
I still had to work really hard with Kaitlyn to stay awake at that age. 45 minutes of waketime (including feeding) would not be unheard of. My first was the opposite. I had a hard time getting him to sleep, so I much preferred the sleep-head way! :)I would avoid the swing unless it is necessary. I would also avoid being held to sleep as much as necessary. You can make exceptions, but be sure his routine is that he is usually in his bed. They can only bounce back if they have a place to go back to. If life was too random to start, they don’t know where to go.
January 30, 2008 7:06 PM
- eva said…
I have a 14 week old that is trying to sleep through the night. He was waking 4-5am, but has moved it to 6:30am the last few nights. My problem is that I wake him for his scheduled feeding at 8:00, and if I feed him at 6:30, he wont eat at 8:00. I have tried feeding him half a meal at 6:30, and tried offering his food all the way up to 9:00, but he still wont eat. Then he naps, but wakes up for his next feeding starving.Once I even tried cio at the 6:30 waking, but he never went back to sleep, so I feed him at 7:45 – but he was so tired the schedule got all messed up for the rest of the day.Any suggestions for fixing this and staying on schedule?
February 1, 2008 12:15 PM
Yes, see this post:http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/01/early-morning-feedings-before-waketime.htmllet me know if you have further questions!
February 1, 2008 1:35 PM
- eva said…
How did you know your son was a 7 am boy? Did you try to make him later and he just never would? I have been trying to make my 15wk old son’s wake time 8 am for 2 weeks now, but he still keeps wakeing at 7 am. All he does is babble, and I wait to go in there till 8:00, but I cant sleep while he is talking even when its happy talk. I know it has only been two weeks and he is young – so how long do I keep trying to make it 8? Will time extend with age?
February 2, 2008 9:09 PM
He has just always been 7. In the winter, he will sleep until 7:15, but he has always just been 7 AM. I don’t know that it will extend with age. It is possible, but it is also possible he is a morning person 🙂
February 2, 2008 10:10 PM
- Alison and Chris said…
My almost five month old is a great sleeper but I’m confused about the scheduled wake up time. Lately she has been going down at 6:30pm and waking at approx. 6:30am for a feed but then wants to go back to sleep. Sometimes she sleeps until 9:30 other times 8:30. Clearly she needs more sleep than getting up at 6:30 though. So how do I schedule a wake up time then? Also if I feed her at 6:30 when she wakes do I feed her again when she wakes for the day or should I stick to the three hours between feeds? (she’s super easy going and could really care less either way)
February 5, 2008 11:37 AM
You have yourself a little sleeper! This is a tricky situation. My first thought would be to have your wake time be 6:30 because she is sleeping 12 hours prior to that. She might have a really short waketime, but it would still be a waketime. If you don’t like the idea of waketime being that early, I would try shifting back to 7AM (or whatever time works for you). Just remember that nighttime sleep should be 10-12 hours. Adjust bedtime according to your wake up time. I would pick a wake up time and then do your intervals from there. If you are on a three hour schedule, then go three hours. But do it from your official wake up time, not from her “night feeding.” Other posts that may be helpful to you are:Time Change Strategies (for schedule-shifting ideas): http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/02/time-change-strategies.htmlEarly morning feeds before waketime: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/01/early-morning-feedings-before-waketime.htmlWhat Time Should I Start My Day:http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2007/12/what-time-should-i-start-my-day.htmlIt sounds like you are lucky to have a content baby!
February 5, 2008 1:03 PM
Alison and Chris said…
Great advice. But one more question. If I keep her wake up time at 6:30 which is fine with me and then she goes back to sleep for 7:30 she’s on track to have at least four naps a day. Is this ok? I was under the impression that the goal was only three naps. She generally naps for about an hour to 1.5 hours when she sleeps. She tends to only have about 1-2 hours of wakefullness.
February 5, 2008 2:07 PM
Alison,If she is as big of a sleeper as she seems, she might need that 4th nap for a bit. For example, my daughter is also a sleeper. She is coming up on 10 months, and still takes that 3rd nap most days. BW says that nap is dropped around 6 months. A month ago I started to wean her from it. It was still a good 1.5-2 hour nap. I now have her down to a 1 hour nap. She isn’t thrilled when I wake her to eat, but we are getting there. At 5 months, I did have Kaitlyn down to 3 naps and she was on a 3 hour schedule. I just didn’t have her sleep between those last two feedings. She often could only go 2.5 hours between them, but it worked out just fine until she moved to a 4 hour scheudle.
February 5, 2008 2:30 PM
- bethers21 said…
It would be so helpful to me to review the goals of napping and schedule transitions. For instance, at what point do babies usually go from a 3 to a 3 1/2 hour schedule, and at what point do they typically stop napping before each feed? I know it is so variable, but I’m still so sleep deprived with my 5-week old I can’t remember what to expect when. I know a 4 hour schedule is around 4 months. If only babies could follow a chart that gives their age and describes how long between feedings, how long naps last, and how many naps a day!
February 5, 2008 2:16 PM
Bethers21,Do you have the BW book? That is a good idea for a post–I will work one up! [ed. here is link to that post: Babywise Milestones At 5 weeks (a blur in my memory 🙂 ), you don’t really have much change to expect until 7-8 weeks when baby might start sleeping 7-8 hours consistently. I will get that post up in the next couple of days. I will have to do some reviewing. You are correct, it is dependent on each baby.
February 5, 2008 2:34 PM
- Alison and Chris said…
Is there any reason that tha maximum for night sleep is 12 hours. Last night for example Bailey went to bed at 6:30 and woke at 7:30. Why would I wake her up at 6:30 just because she’s reached 12 hours?
February 6, 2008 9:07 AM
I honestly don’t know–the books just say 10-12 hours. I don’t know if there is a reason for it, or if it is just because few babies would sleep past 12 hours.If you are breastfeeding, I would not sleep more than 12 hours because it would put too much time between nursings.Once you move to 4 hour schedule with 4 feedings a day, it wouldn’t be possible to get 4 feedings in ina 11 hour stretch. Even if you took your last feeding at 3 hours, that would happen at 6:30, which is her current bedtime. You would have to feed her at 2.5 hours in order to get her fed and in bed by 6:30 (if feeding at 7:30, 11:30, 3:30, then 6:00). If you fed solids after the 3:30 feeding (once you start them), she wouldn’t be hungry in 2.5 hours. If you fed solids at 6:00, she likely wouldn’t be able to nurse/bottle and then eat solids that fast, but maybe. I will look into it and let you know what I find out.
February 6, 2008 9:16 AM
Alison, I have some information for you. I consulted with Ann Marie Ezzo (Gary’s wife), and here is what she had to say:One thing to be sure of is that you are aware of her hunger cues. I don’t know what she does when she is hungry, but not all babies cry (like my Kaitlyn). First and foremost we want enough nutrition in the day. For some babies, crying is a very late cue if they do cry at all.Ann Marie said that if your baby is eating at 6:30 and then going right back to sleep, she thinks that is fine. She is then getting both her need for nourishment and her need for sleep. She agreed with me that some babies just need more sleep than others.She also agreed to make sure if you are BF-ing to get 4 good feedings in, and perhaps 5. If you are bottlefeeding and Bailey goes 13 hours at night and then does only a 3.5 routine to get her in bed by 6:30, then that is fine. The breastfeeding is when you want to be mindful of milk supply.Ann Marie thought that if she is usually only taking 1 hour naps, that is perhaps the reason she is wanting to go 13 hours at night.Basically, she agreed with everything I had said earlier. Just watch the milk supply if you are breastfeeding. If she is alert when she is awake and on track weight-wise, then she should be fine. Some babies do sleep more than others. It is a nicer “problem” to deal with than the converse. So you are her mom and if everything seems to be fine with 13 hours of sleep at night, go for it 🙂
February 8, 2008 11:15 AM
Alison and Chris said…
Thanks for the help. For the last three days things have been going great. This has been our day:7:30 -wake, feed, play8:30 -sleep10:00-wake, feed, play11:15-sleep1:00- wake, feed, play2:30- sleep4:00- wake, feed, play5:45- bath6:15- feed6:30- sleepIt is a combination of a 2.5hr and 3hr schedule. For now it is working well for us and I hope that once we starts solids (tomorow!) that in time it will become a 3.5hr schedule and we will probably drop down to four feeds instead of having the current five. We’ll see how it goes though. Her weight gain is fantastic. At birth she was 7lbs 3oz, one month 9lbs 6oz, two months 12lbs 6oz, four months 16lbs 1oz. She’s more than doubled her birth weight!Thanks again for all the help. I guess I just have a little sleepy head on my hands. She has extended her naps a ton this week too.
February 8, 2008 3:51 PM
I am glad things are going so well for you!
February 8, 2008 4:21 PM
- kindra said…
The “pattern” completely describes me and my baby, and I am thinking it would be nice to have a schedule so I know everyday when my 6 month old is going to take her naps and stuff. My question is a two-parter:My husband works 4pm-12am, so my baby is on our schedule. Her last feeding of the evening is somewhere between 11pm and 1am (depending on her other feedings and naps)and then we put her to bed. Since my husband and I want time together, we go to bed around 2am and we like to sleep in. Because our baby goes to bed so late, she sleeps in until 9:30am – 11:30 am. I want to sleep as late as I can, so I just get up when she wakes me up. We don’t have a set wake-up time or bed-time, which means her naps and feedings are different every day as well. Now that she is on solid food, I would like to have her meal times coincide with ours. Also, my husband is now working days, and we don’t need that late schedule anymore (we’ve been on it for about 3 months). How do I go about getting my baby on a schedule that is hours earlier (like 9am-9pm)? Should I be working on a more definite schedule and the time change at the same time, or work on one and then the other?
February 7, 2008 11:13 AM
I would bet you can kind of mesh the two goals together. I would focus on moving times first, though. See the Time Change Strategies for ideas on shifting schedules: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/02/time-change-strategies.htmlThis post does not cover such a wide change, though. I would work on it slowly. The nice thing is that you are working the easier way. You want to get her up earlier. It will be much easier to start her day earlier. I would just wake her up earlier and earlier over time. That will be easier than trying to go to bed earlier. Wake earlier and the rest of the day will fall into place easier.See the Traveling with Baby post. This might give you more ideas, and there is a good comment on there about big time changes in the comments section:http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2007/12/traveling-with-baby.html
February 7, 2008 3:18 PM
- kindra said…
I posted a comment earlier this month asking you how to move my baby’s bedtime back a few hours, and how to get a consistent schedule at the same time. I just wanted to let you know that I just did it all at once! She had gotten her 6 month shots at the same time, and was waking up in the middle of the night anyway. I figured “Why not put her to bed 3 hours earlier? She’s going to wake up anyway?” And it worked! I put her to bed at 10pm, she woke up one or two nights in a row, and she’s been back to sleeping through the night ever since! Only now, we have the added bonus of a consistent schedule. It’s amazing how they really take to the schedule! Right now we are doing 10am wake time and 10pm bed time, but I figure that daylight savings can move back the other hour for us!Anyways, thanks for your advice!
February 21, 2008 3:36 PM
I am so glad things worked out! Just as a reminder, since you said you want 9-9, the time change will make it so clocks are moved ahead. So 10 will become 11. Unless you live somewhere that does it differently.Congratulations on your success! Babies (and children) really do thrive on schedules and routines.
February 21, 2008 8:50 PM
Oh! Good call! I was thinking this whole time that because we lose an hour that that would put her schedule back an hour…but I’ve been thinking about it all wrong. Hmmm….something new to figure out!
February 21, 2008 10:29 PM
- laura said…
I have a 6 week old little boy and I am trying to implement babywise. I’ve been doing a basic 2.5-3 hour routine since he was born. He is still waking at random times all throughout the night so it’s hard to find a good schedule for us. I was wondering what your schedule looked like when your little ones were newborns. Also, what was your bedtime for your newborns -my goal is to establish a 8pm bedtime and an 8am waketime, but right now he wants to play until 10. He also wakes up at night sometimes wanting to play instead of go back to sleep. Any advice??One more question, what did you do about nighttime feedings when they wake up at sporadic times and aren’t consistent with when he wakes to eat. It makes it hard to establish a set waketime when he eats at different times throughout the middle of the night. Any advice you can give would be greatly appreciated! Thanks so much, Laura
February 23, 2008 5:54 PM
I started BW at 9 weeks with Brayden, so there was no schedule with him! But here it was with Kaitlyn. I will just show eating times. Naps were between:7:30 waketime/eat10:00 eat1:00 eat4:00 eat6:30 eat8:30 eatFor a while, those were our daytime feedings and she took two night feedings. She would not wake up for a dreamfeed until she was older. Once she would do the dreamfeed, she moved to once a night wakings.How are his waketimes? Is he getting that time to play in the day? If not, continue to work on having him stay awake after feedings. If so, just feed him then put him right back down in the night. Also, don’t interact with him at night. This is so hard! But with both of my kids, I didn’t so much as crack a smile toward them in the nighttime. It was business. When they tried to get my attention (and they do), and I had to smile, I would turn my head so they couldn’t see it. For night feedings, I just started my day at the same time each day. It didn’t matter what time she woke in the night, morning started at the same time each day. When she got to the point of eating really close to “breakfast,” I would let her sleep in an extra 30 minutes, but no later. Good luck! And let me know if you have other questions!
February 25, 2008 10:24 AM
Thank you so much for your response. It helps to see the schedule that Kaitlyn was on. Our 6-week old has kept to his schedule very well during the day and he will eat at 8, 11, 2, 5 and 7 and a dream-feed at 10. About half the time we are able to keep him up to play (up to 1 1/2 hours including feeding) before putting him down for a nap, but at other times he will fall asleep right after eating and it is impossible to keep him awake. Also, at times I have to wake him from his nap in order to feed him at the 3 hour mark. In the evening he has a fussy time after his 7 o’clock feeding and it takes some time and effort until he sleeps. I wake him up at 10 for a dream-feed and he eats well and will go straight to sleep until 1am. After his 1am feeding the trouble starts. He sometimes cries until 2-3am. He then wakes up again to eat at 4, 6 and 8. Also, it may take him a while to fall back asleep after these feedings. It is very stressful. Any suggestions on what may help him go longer between feedings at night? It seems that he has his nights and days mixed up a little… Any suggestions?Thanks so much,Laura
February 25, 2008 5:11 PM
Babywise says the way to teach your child the difference between day and night is the eat/wake/sleep cycle. I would continue to work to keep him awake for his waketimes. Kaitlyn was also very sleepy as a baby, and believe me that it is a preferable “problem” to a baby who doesn’t have an interest in sleeping during the day (like my son was). With Kaitlyn, I set a goal to add one waketime per week. So I would pick one waketime each week to focus on that I was really going to try to keep her awake. I would start there. Also, continue with the self-soothing. Good luck!
February 25, 2008 9:16 PM
- Christina said…
hello BW mom–I have to first thank you for this very helpful blog! I have been using BW concepts since the time my daughter was born 2 months ago. However, I did not follow ALL of it and now need some advice. I didn’t follow the advice about doing a dreamfeed and then letting her wake naturally b/c I worried about not feeding her often enough, until I went to the doctor and now know she is doing great with her feedings. Soo…She eats on a 2 1/2–3 hr. combo schedule starting at 7 am first feed, 8 pm last feed. She is 9 weeks old and I need advice getting her to sleep that long stretch of 7-8 hrs. at night. Here’s where I didn’t follow all of BW–for the past 2 weeks, she has been eating at 8 pm, 12 am, around 4 am, and then at 7 am. My questions: I guess I should change her 12 am feed to 10:30 pm or 11 pm–any advice on whether one would be better than the other? Then, I need to let her wake naturally for the nighttime feed and see what happens, BUT I am 99% sure that she will wake at 3-4 am as I’ve been watching this the past couple of nights. I think her body is “set” to do this. How do I repair this? Also, she is eating little at the 4 amish feed. She is a good sleeper and has a good disposition in general. I’m frustrated that I wasn’t confident enough to follow all of BW. I fell for the myth that she would get dehydrated if she went for 7-8 hrs. at such a young age. But surely 9 weeks old is not too late to get her back on track! Thank you so much.
March 2, 2008 6:32 AM
I started my oldest on BW at 9 weeks, so that is definitely not too old to get on track.Remember that 15% of BW babies don’t start sleeping 7-8 hours until they are 10-12 weeks old, so she isn’t necessarily “behind.” And don’t feel bad–you have been doing what you have felt to be best for your baby, there is nothing wrong with that. If you have new things that you think are best, you are free to change your methods and move forward.If it were me, I would do a 10:30 dreamfeed because I would want to be able to go to sleep earlier. But if you are going to sleep before the dreamfeed, eleven might be better for you. Whatever works for you. The earlier might be better so that she has more continuous sleep opportunity. Either way will work, though.To move that time back, I like the slow method. I move back by 15 minutes at a time. See Time Change Strategies: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/02/time-change-strategies.htmlFor the 3-4 AM feeding, you might need to do CIO, but I would only do it once you are sure she doesn’t need it. One way to know is if she basically wakes at the exact same time each day. Another way is if she eats little at that feeding or doesn’t eat well for breakfast. Here is some advice a friend of mine gives: You could try rocking her back to sleep one night. If she sleeps well after that, you can assume she doesn’t need to eat and only wants help getting back to sleep. My guess is over time she will gradually extend that night waking. If you have been waking her, she will continue (like when you have an alarm set all week and still wake up on the weekends at that time without the alarm). But she might just come to sleep longer on her own. I would give it some time to see what she does on her own. If she doesn’t fix it, you can consider next moves. If she does, then happy day. Of course, CIO often only takes a few nights, so if you are sure she doesn’t need it, it is a faster solution. Good luck!
March 2, 2008 9:34 AM
Hi again,Thank you so much for the advice. I’m going to continue to watch and see what she does.Just one more question, though. I do go to sleep right after she eats at 8 pm. Is it against all BW ways to try for the 7-8 hrs. of continuous sleep after the 8 pm feeding? I guess so b/c the idea is that the extra dreamfeed will get her to sleep longer?
March 2, 2008 3:18 PM
Ideally, you will have a feeding somewhere between 10-11 PM. Baby will first sleep 7-8 hours, then move to 9, then 10-12. For example, let’s say you fed at 10:30, done by 10:45. Let’s also say she is now sleeping 8 hours. That would put her sleeping until close to 7 AM. That is nice for you!But not all babies will wake for it. I tried with Kaitlyn (she at at 8:30 PM). She wouldn’t wake up at 10:30, no matter what I did. So I went to bed after 8:30. Over time, that feeding naturally moved back until it reached 10:00 PM and became a real dreamfeed. Remember to let your schedule serve you. If you would rather feed her at 8, then go to bed until she wakes, go for it.
March 2, 2008 9:52 PM
- Christina said…
Hello again—I wrote a few days ago with a question on the dreamfeed and letting 7-8 hrs. of sleep. First, I have to thank you for your encouragement and for your post yesterday “word to the weary.” I have just been reminding myself not to stress and to enjoy my beautiful daughter, so this was good timing.I wanted to give you the update on my situation–my daughter was not set to wake at 12 and 4 am as I had feared. I have tried the dreamfeed a couple of nights and she wouldn’t eat, so I went with my gut to skip it. Last night, she slept for 7 hrs. after her bedtime feed, so I am very pleased. It does prove the point that sometimes moms need to go with their instincts, not always by the book.Anyway, my follow-up question is about Kaitlyn not doing dreamfeed. Could you clarify what you meant by the 8 pm feed becoming the 10 pm feed naturally? Did she not eat at bedtime at all? Was she moving to a longer schedule? What age was she? Just curious, because I think I will be moving in that direction later. Thanks so much!
March 6, 2008 4:24 PM
Congrats on your success and following your gut. It is always the best thing to do.The 8:30 PM feeding became the 10:00 PM feeding just as she could go longer between feedings in the day I don’t remember the exact age (something I wish I would have kept track of), but I do remember “abouts.” I will type out the feeding schedule times so you can see what I mean:At fisrt:7:3010:001:003:306:008:30then there were two night feedings.As she got older, he schedule extended, but the number of daytime feedings stayed the same. She dropped one night feeding around the same time. My guess is she was 8ish weeks when this happened?7:3010:301:004:007:0010:00So you can see that I hung on to the same number of feedings when she could go longer. So we did adopt a “dreamfeed” time.
March 6, 2008 5:40 PM
- Catherine said…
Hi Valerie,Thanks so much for all your help! I can’t seem to find the right category for this- so I’ll ask it here- what is the best way to help babies through the time change happening tonight? Do you need to do anything different at all? Anything to just be aware of? Thanks a lot.
March 8, 2008 3:13 PM
This is the easier of the two time changes. Here is my post on it: Time Change Strategies
March 8, 2008 6:19 PM
- Christina said…
Hi again—it was so helpful to see your schedules to see how you made changes as Kaitlyn could go longer. My daughter seems to be at this point where she is able to do mostly, or all 3 hrs. instead of mostly 21/2 hrs. I am wondering if it’s okay for a 10 week old to eat 6 times a day? I would be more comfortable to do 7 a day but it is mathematically hard to work that out given that she is doing just 1 nighttime feed around 3-4 am. Thank you again for all your help!
March 9, 2008 4:34 PM
You are ultimately going to have to decide what your daughter needs. Keep in mind that BW says:Between weeks 5-8, your baby might be able to go down to 7 feedings in a 24 hour period (but only after she starts sleeping 7-8 hours at night)Starting at 13 weeks, your baby should be at 5-7 feedings a daySo my assumption would be that weeks 8-12 should be at 7 feedings a day. You are in a transition period, so if you think she is fine with 6, go for it. If you are breastfeeding, you might either want to squeeze a 7th in, or pump right before you go to bed so you get some extra stimulation.
March 9, 2008 4:47 PM
Thank you so much, yet again! I meant to tell you too that I like your blog entry today–I keep a notebook next to the glider where I breastfeed and keep track of eating, naps, etc. It really helps me to see when she is going through certain patterns, like a growth spurt, or a sleep spurt! The data has also shown me that she could likely be good with 6 feedings a day, but I don’t feel comfortable changing it just yet until she has a couple of weeks with the longer night sleeping, so that will work out perfectly to what your assumption is for 7 feedings until week 13 or so.Thanks again for answering so quickly, too!
March 9, 2008 5:06 PM
- Johnny Grimes said…
This site is so awesome! I wish that I would have known about it earlier. I have a 16 week old son and I need to change his schedule soon due to my work schedule changing. Normally his schedule is as follows: wake up 8:15 amfeed 9:00 amnap 10:30-12:30pmfeed 12:30pmnap 2:00pmfeed 3:30pmnap 5:00pmfeed 6:30 pmbedtime 8:00pmnightfeed 6:00amWith a schedule like this how can I adjust it if I want to make his new wake up time 7:15 am? The reason I think it might be hard is becuase he has a “nightfeed” at 6:00am. I really don’t want this to be his new wake up time. I know he won’t take a feeding this close together. I already have to wait a little while before giving him his first feeding of the day because these times are close together.
March 15, 2008 8:09 PM
See this post for ideas on dealing with that issue. It is a normal problem to run in to.Early Morning Feedings Before Waketime: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/01/early-morning-feedings-before-waketime.htmlBe sure to let me know if you have any questions beyond that.
March 15, 2008 10:16 PM
- adrienne said…
I have been trying to get my baby on the babywise schedule for three weeks now and I need some help! Latley he has been waking up at 5 am for his middle of the night feeding. And then when I get him up at 7 he is not hungry or is so tired he falls asleep eating. Also he crys for the whole hour he is suppose to nap still! Then when I go to feed him he is so tired from crying that he falls right to sleep. So then I put him down and then we are all messed up on the schedule. And any time we go anywhere he gets off schedule. I really want him to get on the babywise shcedule. I need help!! What is the most important thing? For him to go to sleep and wake up the same times, to eat the same times, or to have the feed/wake/sleep schedule starting at whatever time he wakes. Please help! My son is 6 weeks old and time is running out! Thank you Adrienne
March 19, 2008 2:02 PM
Adrienne, First, let me assure you time is not running out. I know (believe me) that those first 8 weeks feel like an eternity and you feel like you have to have everything perfect by 8 weeks. Let me tell you, however, that in several months, those first 8 weeks will not seem to have been so long. Also, you have a lot longer to get things down. So just keep working on it, but try not to stress and let things happen as they come.When he wakes that close to waktime, I suggest moving waketime back by 30 minutes in the morning so he will eat more. See this post for more on that idea: Early Morning Feedings Before Waketime. If he is crying through the nap still, my guess is that he is overly tired. How long do you keep him up for waketime? See these posts to help you with that. Waking Early From Naps/Won’t Fall Asleep For Naps. Also, Easy Nap Fix. See also Naps: Troubleshooting.I would make a list of goals you want to accomplish, then work on one at a time. That will cut your stress levels down. First, I would make sure he is used to eat/wake/sleep. However, if he is waking before it has been 2.5 hours, I would try to hold him off (Waking early from naps post will help you). Also, note that 6 weeks is a growth spurt age. See this post: Growth Spurts. I would then work on getting him to fall asleep on his own. Naps will not be as long at first during sleep training. While you are working on this, it will really help your baby to have as few disruptions as possible. See this post: When Does it Get Better? Please believe me when I tell you you have time. I didn’t even start BW with my oldest until he was 9 weeks, and he turned into a model BW baby and not a model Toddler. You have plenty of time.
March 20, 2008 10:44 AM
Hello again! Well I have been pretty inconsistent because of family visiting and Easter and we went out of town. So I am trying to get back on track. I just read your blog on consistency and that really helped. I am so glad I found your blog site!! So Shane (my almost 8 week old son) is still waking at about 5am most mornings and I have a hard time getting him back to sleep unless I let him fall asleep nursing and I fall asleep too. It is hard to get a consistent schedule because he wakes usually at 5, sometime 545, last night he woke at 3. His nap times are aweful for me still. He cries still almost the entire 1-1.5. He will cry 15-20 mins, then be quiet for 5-10mins, and that is ususally the cycle the whole nap time. I was only having him up for about 30 mins of wake time, then my friend suggested to move to a 3 hour routine and keep him up longer and put him down for longer. He still cries the same pattern though. How long should I keep him up? I also have a hard time putting him down for after the last wake time because I am scared he will not go to bed at bed time. For his naptimes, I was keeping him up untill he got fussy and then I put him down. Should I not wait for that? Also he falls right to sleep in the car, so if I have to go anywhere I usually wait until his naptime is that ok? Thank you and please help!Adrienne
March 31, 2008 11:52 AM
First, be aware that he is young enough it will likely take him a bit longer to get back to where he was (relatively speaking; an 8 month old might take no time and just bounce back, while an 8 week old might need a week). See this post for your 5AM issues: Early Morning Feedings Before Waketime. At 8 weeks, my guess is he could handle a total of 30-60 minutes of waketime before needing to go back down. If he isn’t napping well, it will likely lean toward the 30 minute end.Nap cues vary for each child. If what you are using isn’t working, I would look for something else: Nap Cues. And yes, that is fine to have him sleep in the car while you run errands or whatever. As you are training, I would try to keep that the exception rather than the rule. How To Go Out With Your Babywise Baby and Establishing Consistency–Make Sacrifices. Good luck!
April 1, 2008 2:03 PM
- Firecracker said…
First of all I want to thank you so much for all the help and advise you have provided. I am so grateful that this blog site exists….However I have yet again another question. I have successfully gotten my son’s day schedule down like clock work, but nighttime is another story. He keeps waking between 2-4 to eat. Last night he woke at 1:30 and I tried to let him cried it out. He did that on and off until 3:30 and I caved and feed him for like 5 minutes. Then he turns around and wakes up at like 5:50 for the day. (6 is his normal time. I wish it was 6:30) I do I get rid of this night feeding and how do I extend the morning? P.S. he is 4 months old (tomorrow).Thank you so muchDanielle
March 20, 2008 7:11 AM
Did he fall asleep after eating for 5 minutes, or did you stop him after 5 minutes?1. Keep in mind that 4 months is a common age to have disruptions for seemingly no reason.2. If he fell asleep during eating, he was likely too tired by that point to eat a full meal even if he wanted to.3. He could have woken at 5:30 from being overly tired.4.He could have woken at 5:30 because he was hungry.Here is an idea for you. When he wakes in the night, try to soothe him to sleep without food. (not a swing, but like you rocking or patting his back). Do it as soon as he wakes. If he falls asleep and makes it to his normal waketime, then you have good idea that he doesn’t need that night waking and you could do CIO at night with more condidence. If he falls asleep but wakes again before waketime, then he likely really needs to eat in the night still. If he won’t fall asleep, then he likely needs to eat in the night.I wouldn’t try to extend mornings until night is down. But if you want to try, you can try to just extend him each day by 5-15 minutes by not feeding him as soon as he wakes. This would train his metabolism to not need to eat until a later time.
March 20, 2008 11:11 AM
- hunter’smom said…
My son wakes at 7:45 am and eats at 8am. He lays down at 9am. He wakes at 10:45 or 11 am. He eats again at 12 so when should he lay down for a nap because at that point he has already been awake for an hour and fifteen minutes? This is the common problem we have all day. I read the part that you talked about being on a pattern rather than a schedule and I read about how to establish a schedule but it doesn’t explain how to avoid the problem of too much wake time, like I’m having.
March 27, 2008 4:44 PM
Will he not eat earlier than 4 hours? One reason you don’t want to move to a 4 hour schedule before he can sleep until the next feeding is because of what you are experiencing. Would he go down to a 3.5 hour schedule so you wouldn’t be so off? Keep in mind that the longest you can expect a nap to last is 2.5 hours, so if he goes down at 9, the longest he should sleep until is 11:30, and most babies sleep 1.5-2 hours rather than 2.5. You baby is sleeping long enough for his nap. As his waketime can be longer, he will be able to make it the 4 hours. Only you can decide what time he should go back down. Each baby is different. If his waketime is 1 hour in the morning, then that is likely his length for that time of day also. It might be able to be a little longer. Some babies can have a longer waketime if they stayin bed rather than get out and play before the feeding.
March 28, 2008 10:15 PM
I think he will eat before 4 hours. He is a very big baby (20 pounds at 4months) so he will eat almost anytime I offer it, however, he never complains for food before the four hours. He also would stay awake as long as I let him, but I tried cutting back the wake time because he was waking up 45 minutes into the nap. I will try moving him back to 3 1/2 hour schedule. Let me know if there is anything else I can do. Thank you so much for the help.
March 28, 2008 11:19 PM
Your situation should get easier as he gets older. Once he gets older and can handle a longer waketime and still have a succesful nap, he should be able to do the 4 hour schedule without a problem. It sounds to me like you kind of just need to wait for that to come 🙂
March 29, 2008 10:46 AM
- Plowmanators said…
Karen, I saw you deleted your post. Let me know if you still have questions.
April 20, 2008 6:38 PM
Thank you. It is definately time for a schedule change. My 16 week old is needing less sleep during the day and is eating more. I have tried to think through how to best rearrange her schedule to accomplish this. She was on a 4 hour feeding schedule (6, 10, 2, 6, 9-ish) with naps between each and that seemed to be too much since she started waking early out of them and not sleeping as well at night. For the first time today I tried this feeding schedule: 7, 11, 3, 7, 9 and tried to keep her up as much as I could between feedings. Do you have any suggestions on this or other ideas that might work better? I realize the last two feedings are only two hours apart but I put her down right after her feeding at 9 with hopes that she’ll sleep well throught the ngiht. I know this is out of the feed/wake/sleep cycle too. I don’t know when I can drop one of these last two feedings and still make sure she is getting enough and hope that this time out of the cycle will not be a bad thing. Anything I should be doing differently? Thanks for your help!
April 20, 2008 7:17 PM
Karen,I am guessing you have four naps a day? With both of mine, we went down to three naps a day at four months old. See the section on naps on the index fo more on nap dopping. It sounds like you are abotu ready to drop that 9 PM feeding (which would be considered a dreamfeed). If she has been sleeping from 9ish to your waketime for two week or more, you could try it. If you are breastfeeding, you might want to pump right before you go to bed for a while just to ensure you maintain milk supply. Though many women (like me) do fine with 4, many others find they really need 5. Only extend her waketime if she continues to sleep 1.5-2.5 hours (any range in there is fine). Good luck!
April 21, 2008 6:36 AM
- David and Joelle Turner’s Blog said…
Hi. I have found your website to be VERY helpful! I have spent all morning looking for a resource on Babywise like this. Thank you! I have twin daughters that are 8 weeks old. I tried really following a schedule about 6 weeks ago — I feel like since I’ve really focused on sticking to a schedule everything has gone down hill. Their first 6 weeks they pretty naturally followed a BW schedule — eat, wake, sleep and were on a very consistent 3 hour schedule — but it varied day to day because I did not have a set wake or sleep time. So, I have determined they would wake at 7:30 and go to bed at 8:30 — The day varies between 2 1/2 and 3 hour feeding, they need them more frequent in the mornings.My biggest problem is I can’t keep them awake after a feeding! I never had a problem with this when they were younger. It takes everything in me to keep them awake for an hour from the start of their feeing to the start of the nap — then I put them down and they are awake again (wide awake!) within half an hour! I then try to soothe them for the next hour and a half until their next feeding. They aren’t hungry, they are just awake. This is much more of a problem wit one of my girls than the other — P will lay awake (or cry) and L will be sound asleep. This is not so much of a problem in the afternoon, they are a little more alert then, but it is still an issue. They were not preemies, they were born full term and have consistently gained the right amount of weight, so thats not a problem. What am I doing wrong? Or, what do I need to do to keep them awake when they need to be awake?Thanks!!
April 28, 2008 11:11 AM
I would say they are having a hard time staying awake because they have been awake for an hour and a half at the beginning of the feeding session.I would recommend this post:Waking Early From Naps/Won’t Fall Asleep For Naps: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/01/waking-early-from-napswont-fall-asleep.htmlBe sure to look through the blog index to find the many posts. I am glad you found us! I am sure troubleshooting two at once can be quite difficult.Here is a post on Twins. It has advice from a few moms of twins I know:Babywise and Twins: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/02/babywise-and-twins.html
April 28, 2008 9:09 PM
- Kelly said…
Hi, I am not sure where to post this question so forgive me if this is the wrong spot. I am a new mom of twins. They are almost 9 weeks adjusted (13 weeks unadjusted). We have always been on a 2.5/3 hour “pattern” but are just now starting babywise (as of Monday). They still eat 8 times a day (3-4 ounces) but during the night sometimes they are only taking half of that. In the book it mentions that they should start to drop the (what would be for us) the 4 am feed. How does that happen? Do they just sleep through it? If they wake up does that mean they still need the calories or do I need to proactive (moving to swing, soothing, etc.). Should I wait another week before I try that as we have been on a “pattern” up until Monday? Please help! What is my next step! Thank you!
May 1, 2008 9:15 AM
I would start working with things all on the same day. Personally, I wouldn’t mess with night yet. I would work through daytime first–night usually fixes itself once day is done. If not, it will be easier.See this post: Starting Babywise Late: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2007/12/starting-babywise-late.htmland look through this one: Babywise Milestones: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/02/babywise-milestones.htmlI also wouldn’t mess with nights until your babies are 12 weeks unadjusted.See this post also: Getting a Consistent Schedule: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/01/getting-consistent-schedule.html
May 1, 2008 9:48 PM
Okay, thanks for the info. I am still a little unsure about a couple of things.
1. Before starting the day at the same time my girls could go 3.5-4.5 hours at night without eating. Now they are waking up about every 2.5 hours almost on the dot. We df around 10, then they are waking at 1230. One of my girls weighs almost 11 and the other almost 10. I KNOW they can go more than 2.5 hours. After 1230 they are waking around 330 and then 615. How is it they they have “regressed” in not sleeping longer at night? Thankfully they usually just eat and go right back down (which tells me it is hunger right?)
My other question is I would like a 7 am wake up time. So, if their last feeding was around 4 they “should” be able to wake around then. However they have been waking around 6 (only 2 hours since their last feed!) Just last night I put thicker curtains up in case they are getting up with the sun. I am trying to be patient but I am going on almost 5 months (not to mention the months before they were born) of 2-3 hour increments of sleep. I am exhausted! I would mind if they could do a df around 10, then wake up at 6, I could do that, but every 2.5 hours at 9 weeks adjusted (they spent no time in the NICU, came home with me and in fact their Ped. does not adjust age). I just want to make sure I am doing the day right:I let them cry until 645 (I go in and check on them). Then at 645/50 I open the curtains and actually talk to them. They eat at 7, usually back down by 8, 8:15, after wake time. Then nap until 9:45ish. So we do that at 7, 10,1,4,7 (give or take half hour). Then at 6:30 they are given a bath, feed at 7 and are down by 7:30 for bed. Thankfully they do not cry when I put them down, but if they wake I let them CIO especially if it has only been 30 minutes or so. They usually fall back asleep. Is there anything different I should be doing?
May 3, 2008 10:38 AM
It is pretty normal to have a rough start when you first start. Things have changed, so they are disrupted. It shouldn’t take long for things to get better. It could also be a growth spurt. You could try adding a 10 PM feeding to see if that helps. Things do improve, but it can take some time.
May 4, 2008 4:00 PM
- Kait said…
I’d really appreciate your input on my schedule right now. I’m roughly on a 3 hr schedule and am feeding 7 times in a 24 hr period. They are at: 7am, 10am, 1pm, 4pm, and then cluster feeds at 6pm and 8pm. Then my son wakes up once at 3:00-4:00am to feed and then sleeps through until morning at around 6-7am. I have tried a dream feed at 10-11pm and he wont do it. He’s way too sleepy and it takes me an hour of trying and I’m only every marginally successful that it’s not really worth it and waking up once a night isn’t too bad. He’s been so tired at the 8:00pm feed that he’ll hardly take a full feed these past few nights so I’m wondering if I should move that last bedtime feed to earlier, say at 7:00pm? But if I do that then I would need to do more of a 2.5 hr schedule throughout the day, or drop one feed entirely. So my questions are: 1) Do you think I should wait until he drops the 3am feed before dropping a daytime feed? and 2) Do you think I should move bedtime earlier and if so, how should I adjust my schedule?Thanks in advance!
May 6, 2008 10:47 PM
1-Yes, I would wait to drop a day feed until a night the night feed is dropped.2-You could try it. If you moved one feeding interval to 2.5 hours, you could move bedtime up by thirty minutes.
May 7, 2008 9:06 PM
Get some sample schedules here: