How to plan your baby’s schedule to work with everyone else in the family. Learn an easy process to set up a Babywise schedule that will work!
Whether you are on your first baby or your fifth baby, a big part of your success in being able to have a baby schedule is setting it up correctly.
Figuring out how to work out your day can be very overwhelming, especially if you have more than one child and/or several things you need to work in each day.
You want a Babywise schedule that will work for all members of the family harmoniously and fulfill the needs of everyone. Baby has a lot of needs, but baby joins a family and you want that schedule to help baby fit into that family (while remembering family members need to make sacrifices, also).
When setting up a schedule for your baby, toddler, or teenager, you have many factors you need to consider. Needs change often and you will find yourself revisiting the creation of a schedule often.
My second-most challenging time in creating a new schedule was when Kaitlyn (my second child) was born and I was figuring out how to balance two little children at the same time.
My most difficult time creating a schedule was when McKenna (my third child) was 5 months old. We had some new things that were about to start happening, like playgroup, piano lessons, dance class, and Kindergarten. I had some new things to juggle, while still wanting to make sure McKenna, as the baby, got the attention she needed for things like blanket time and naps.
Another challenging time was naturally when my fourth baby was born. All three older kids had things they were involved in. By then I had practice juggling baby plus activities, so it was easier than it was the first time around even though there was one more child.
How to Plan Your Babywise Schedule
I remember how I created our schedule back when McKenna was a baby and we were figuring out how to make the schedule work.
I started off with one piece of paper divided into three columns because I had three children. At the top of each column, I wrote each child’s name.
Under each column, I wrote all of the activities that needed to happen in that child’s day each day, along with my estimation on how much time was needed for that activity. I included everything from chores, to meals, to homework…everything.
I then took a new piece of paper. I used one piece of paper per child. I put the child’s name at the top, and then wrote times down the left side in 30-minute increments.
I then wrote activities that were set in their time slots. Such activities include nap times, bedtimes, school times, independent playtimes, and mealtimes.
My kids had all grown up to that point with a schedule and routine each day, and they also loved consistency!
Once I could see the set activities in each day, I then worked in other activities in the times that remained. As I added my activities, I checked them off of my first list with three columns so I was sure to add each activity.
A schedule will rarely be perfect from its first creation. You will realize some things make sense in different orders or for different amounts of time. You always want to be evaluating and willing to change things that don’t work. Tweak as necessary.
Step-By-Step Process for Creating a Babywise Schedule
Let’s review, hopefully in a simple way:
Get a piece of paper
Divide that paper into the number of columns you need
Write the names of each person at the top of their respective columns
Write each person’s daily activities in their respective columns. Include things like getting ready and eating meals.
Get a new piece of paper for each person
Write the name at the top of the paper
Write time increments on the left-side of the page. I went in 30 minute increments (7:00/7:30/8:00 etc)
Write in the items that are pretty non-negotiable. These might be nap times, meal times, school time, etc.
Think through your remaining items and decide where they would all fit best
Try it out for a while. Make adjustments where and when needed. It doesn’t have to be perfect from the beginning
Don’t stress out about exact times. When you write a schedule out on paper, it looks jam-packed and stressful with little wiggle room.
When you live it in life, take it easy. Remember, the clock doesn’t rule you.
If you and your child are having a great time playing a game, don’t feel the need to cut it off because your “schedule” says you need to. Shift other items in the schedule to fit real life. This is to give you a guideline, not to rule your every move and make life methodical and emotionless.
Get the whole series here
Related Posts for Making Your Baby Wise Schedule
- Let Your Schedule Serve You, You Don’t Serve Your Schedule
- Essential Elements to Any Routine
- Tricks for Getting Baby on a Consistent Schedule
- How to Balance Multiple Schedules
- When and How to Move Baby to a 4 Hour Schedule
- What Time to Start Baby’s Day
This post originally appeared on this blog in September 2010