Sample Schedules: Tandem Schedules


Sample Babywise schedules for two children. What Babywise looks like when you have more than one child. Schedules used by my toddler and newborn.

Siblings on a bed

I don’t know why this didn’t occur to me earlier, but I thought it would be helpful to post Brayden and Kaitlyn’s schedules in tandem. In other words, post the schedules and how they have worked together over the years.

You can look at these schedules for ideas on how to work out the day with more than one child. Your children won’t necessarily do the same things (it will vary by age differences), but it should give ideas. Sample schedules with the three children are in the Sample Schedules Trio post (scheduled to post May 1, 2009).

Sample Babywise Schedules for Two Children

2 Year Old plus Newborn

  • 7:00 AM–Wake Brayden. We ate breakfast together. Following breakfast, I got out a tote of toys for Brayden to play with and also turned the TV on for his TV time
  • 7:30 AM–Wake Kaitlyn, nurse her, bath her (Brayden would often join us for this), take pictures of the two kids together (yes, pretty much every day. I am a photo junkie).
  • 8:30 AM–Kaitlyn nap. Brayden and I got ready for the day.
  • 9:30 AMBrayden started Independent Playtime.
  • 10:00 AM–I got Kaitlyn up to nurse. She and I then had one-on-one time together before she went down for her next nap. Prior to her nap, she and I would go into Brayden’s room. I had her gym set up in his room. She would lay at the gym while Brayden and I cleaned up his toys.
  • 11:00 AM–Kaitlyn’s nap. Brayden and I then made and ate lunch. Following lunch, we went outside and played and worked in gardens.
  • 12:45 PMBrayden and I came inside, washed up, and put him down for his nap before 1 PM.
  • 1:00 PMBrayden in bed for his nap. I got Kaitlyn up for her next nursing. She would eat and then have some “independent playtime.” As a newborn, this was her last feeding she started to stay awake after, and she was older than 4 weeks old before she started to do that. Once she was down for her nap, I took a nap for the first 4 weeks.
  • 4:00 PM–I got Kaitlyn up to nurse.
  • 4:30 PM–We got Brayden up from his nap. At this point, my husband was home from work and we did various activities.
  • 5:00 PM–Kaitlyn took a nap. I made dinner while Brayden and my husband had time together. We then ate and cleaned up dinner.
  • 6:30 PM–Kaitlyn usually got up on her own. If not, I got her up. She nursed at this time. She then spent some time with Daddy and her brother, but we did have to be careful that she didn’t get overstimulated. We got her ready for bed.
  • 7:30 PM–Kaitlyn was down for a “nap” or bed or whatever you want to call it.
  • 8:00 PMBrayden was in bed by this time. My husband and I took turns reading his bedtime stories to him so he would get some one-on-one time with each of us every other night.
  • 8:30 PM–Nurse then back to bed for Kaitlyn.

This schedule stayed quite constant over several months. Kaitlyn moved her 10 AM feeding back to 10:30, which had no affect on Brayden’s schedule. Once Kaitlyn hit 6 weeks old, she was strong enough to sit in the reclined stroller, so we all took a walk after the 10 AM feeding.

By the time Kaitlyn was 6 months old, she was nursing at 11 AM rather than 10:30. To compensate, I had Brayden go to independent playtime a half hour later so he could be in there a half hour later. I preferred to have him busy during the times I was feeding Kaitlyn just to be sure he wouldn’t get bored and start to get into trouble.

As Kaitlyn got older, I added two independent playtime sessions to her day.

2.5 Year Old plus 7 Month Old

I choose 7 months old because that is the age Kaitlyn moved to a straight four hour schedule.

  • 7:00 AM–Woke Brayden. We ate breakfast together. Following breakfast, I got out a tote of toys for Brayden to play with and also turned the TV on for his TV time
  • 7:30 AM–Wake Kaitlyn, nurse her, feed her solids, bath her (Brayden would often join us for this). Kaitlyn have independent playtime.
  • 8:50 AM–Kaitlyn nap. Brayden and I got ready for the day.
  • 10:00 AMBrayden started Independent Playtime.
  • 11:30 AM–Prior to this time, Brayden and I cleaned up his toys. We got Kaitlyn up. Brayden then played with toys in the room with us while Kaitlyn nursed. We went to the kitchen, Brayden started lunch, I fed Kaitlyn solids, then I ate lunch. Kaitlyn would have some finger foods while we ate.
  • 12:15 PMish–We all went to Brayden’s room for some sibling playtime. I stayed in the room with them while they “played” together.
  • 1:00 PM–Both children went down for a nap.
  • 3:30 PM–Woke Kaitlyn and nursed her. She then had independent playtime and some time with Mommy.
  • 4:30 PMBrayden woke (we woke him up). At this point, my husband was home from work and we did various activities.
  • 5:00 PM–Kaitlyn took a nap. I made dinner while Brayden and my husband had time together. We then ate and cleaned up dinner.
  • 7:00 PM–Kaitlyn usually got up on her own. If not, I got her up. She nursed and had solids. We then got her into her pajamas and put her to bed.
  • 7:30 PM–Kaitlyn was typically in bed by this point.
  • 8:00 PMBrayden was in bed by this time. My husband and I took turns reading his bedtime stories to him so he would get some one-on-one time with each of us every other night.

As Kaitlyn got older, she slowly extended waketime and eventually dropped her third nap. When she did drop that third nap, I bathed the kids together in the morning after Kaitlyn finished breakfast. Also, we had her sit in her highchair with us at dinner time and eat finger foods. She never ate enough to negatively affect her appetite for her dinner.

I was able to be less involved during sibling playtime, but I still didn’t leave them alone together.

3 Year Old plus 1 Year Old

Many things about the schedule were the same. One difference is since Kaitlyn was no longer nursing, all meals were together.

  • 6:30 AM–I got up and showered before I got the kids up.
  • 7:20ish AM–I was able to get Brayden to sleep in somehow. I woke Kaitlyn up a bit earlier than she usually would and we all had breakfast together.
  • 8:00 AM–The kids would take a bath together. Following the bath was independent playtime for Kaitlyn and TV time for Brayden.
  • 9:30 AMKaitlyn nap. Once she was down, Brayden went to independent playtime.
  • 11:30 AM–I woke Kaitlyn. Prior to this, Brayden and I would clean up his toys from independent playtime. We then all ate lunch together.
  • 12:15ish PM–Sibling playtime. It was a time of year when the weather got nice, so they would have sibling playtime outside. Both kids also had free playtime.
  • 1:30 PM–Both kids down for nap. I let Brayden stay up later so that they would both nap at the same time.
  • 4:00 PM–Kaitlyn woke up from her nap and drank some milk. Sometimes she would also have a small snack.
  • 4:30-5:00 PM–We woke Brayden up.
  • 5:30 PM–The whole family ate dinner together.
  • 7:00 PM–Kaitlyn had some milk.
  • 7:30ish PM–Kaitlyn in bed. We alternated each parent putting her to bed to ensure one-on-one time with each parent.
  • 8:00 PMBrayden in bed. Again, we alternated each parent putting him to bed.

This schedule stayed quite constant. The afternoon nap slowly shifted closer to 2:00 PM. During the heat of the summer, the kids played outside right after breakfast, then had a bath. It was too hot to play outside in the middle of the day.

Sample Babywise schedules for two children. What Babywise looks like when you have more than one child. Schedules used by my toddler and newborn.

3.5 Year Old plus 1.5 Year Old

This is our current schedule. It will be much more detailed since I am living it right now.

  • 6:55 AM–I wake up and eat breakfast before I get the kids up. It is such a vital meal for me (morning sickness–yes, still), so I need to be able to eat with not disruptions.
  • 7:30 AM–I get the kids up. Sometimes I wait until 7:45 if they are still asleep. It is winter for us right now. Brayden is very much a sun-riser, so he will often sleep later since the sun comes up later. I then feed the kids breakfast and usually unload or load the dishwasher while they eat. Following breakfast, both children are required to help clean up breakfast.
  • 8:00 AM–Singing time. We sit at the piano and sing songs. I don’t have a set length of time for this; I feel it out. This has proven to be an excellent time for those teaching moments, so if the children are asking a lot of questions, I let it go longer. If they aren’t that interested, I cut it shorter. I let each child choose at least one song and I also choose one song to sing.
  • 8:15 AMish–The children go to Brayden’s room for sibling playtime. I then shower and do any chores I want done.
  • 9:15 AMish–(one hour later) I get the kids out of sibling playtime. They absolutely love this time. I have found one hour to be an excellent length of time. Each day, they are disappointed that it is over. I don’t want them to be in there so long they are excited for it to end. I prefer leaving them wanting more. The kids then take a bath. I usually finish getting ready while they bathe. If I have been extra fast, I read a book. When it is time to get out, each child gets ready (with mom’s help).
  • 10:00 AM–Independent playtime starts for each child. Each child plays in their respective bedrooms.
  • 11:20 AMBrayden starts to clean up his toys. He has certain toys that he is required to clean up without help. Once those toys are cleaned up, all three of us help clean up each room.
  • 11:40 AM–TV time starts. Kaitlyn gets to choose a show first (which is always either Elmo or Winnie the Pooh). While they watch TV, I make lunch.
  • 12:00 PM–We eat lunch and clean up.
  • 12:20 PMish–Lunch is over and Brayden chooses a show to watch. Many days instead of this we all color.
  • 1:00 PM–Kaitlyn’s nap. Brayden and Mommy have learning time together.
  • 2:00 PMBrayden’s nap. This nap does start at 1:30 some days.
  • 4:00 PMBrayden’s nap ends. He plays Nintendo.
  • 4:30 PM–Kaitlyn typically wakes up at this time. The kids have some free playtime while my husband and I make/finish up dinner. Being pregnant, I make a lot of slowcooker meals and my husband is great and makes dinner about half of the time.
  • 5:00/5:30 PM–Dinner. Following dinner, we do various family activities. We might go to the library. We might shovel snow. We might watch a movie as a family. We might run errands. We might play. Kaitlyn and Mommy often have some one-on-one during this block. We might visit friends/family, etc. Once a week, we have Family Home Evening where we have a gospel lesson.
  • 7:15 PM–Family scripture study and prayer. This is followed by each child getting ready for bed. My husband gets Kaitlyn ready for bed each night. This is their one-on-one time. I get Brayden ready and read him his stories, but we take turns taking him to bed.
  • 7:30 PM–Kaitlyn in bed.
  • 7:30-8:00Brayden in bed.

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52 thoughts on “Sample Schedules: Tandem Schedules”

  1. Hey ValI am interested to see how CIO works when you have another child in the house. Kaitlyn you said loved sleeping but did Brayden ever wake up when you did CIO with his sister. It will be interesting to see how your third little one will be with sleeping. My house is a one story and so while we aren’t yet ready for a 2nd one, I do wonder how it will affect Scooter when our 2nd comes and cries.

  2. This is great. Thanks! I love the balance between them having time alone, together and with you. It makes me realize that I can get my stuff done without feeling like a slacker mom. Lucas’ naps and William’s preschool would prevent us from having a schedule just like yours, but it can be close.

  3. Thanks for this post! I have often wondered how moms with multiple children do it. I am amazed and envious, though, that at 1 year old Kaitlyn still had 4.5 hours of daytime naps PLUS almost 12 hours at night! What a wonderful sleeper! I have a 13 month old (still taking two naps most days) and am lucky to get maybe 2 hours of total nap time per day. Sigh.

  4. Hi Val – I have a 16 month old daughter and a 33 month old son. Neither of them have room time yet, but I definitely want to start on this. Should I put a gate in their room to keep them in? What toys do your kids have in their rooms vs. in a common play area? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  5. Hi there! Been reading your blog for awhile now, but my first post 🙂 I enjoyed seeing these schedules, as I often wonder how I will manage my own when we have our 2nd child. Sounds like Mommy nap times are few and far between.

  6. Hi there…I just happened upon your blog in doing a search for “working mom + babywise.” I am going to be having my baby boy in a few weeks, and I plan to do that Babywise schedule with him. 2 challenges I will be facing is that 1.) he is breech so I will be having a c-section and 2.) I have to return to work 6 weeks after he’s born. Could you suggest a “working mom” schedule for Babywise, since I know he will be with someone else for 7 hours of the day (sad).Any advice would be GREATLY appreciated!!!

  7. hi, thank you for all the helpful BW info on here. i have an almost two-year-old daughter, and will have a baby boy very soon (in the next month or so). so i paid close attention to your first sample schedule that you listed. i’ve raised my daughter by partially following the BW methods (i haven’t been good about independent playtime), but would like to really follow them with my son when he comes. my question is, how do you figure out how to work their schedules together? any suggestions? i’m unsure of how to do that with my kids, though getting in independent playtime for my two-year-old will help!thank you!

  8. Thanks so much for posting these schedules! I am due in June and my son will be 21 months old then and this post really answers many of my questions. We are working on independent playtime now, especially since he just dropped his morning nap (16mo). As another reader asked, “Would you suggest a gate for his room at first?” I’m completely against gates, because I want him to learn to obey me, but is it helpful when transitioning to roomtime and never using a play yard?

  9. I enjoyed reading your schedule and comparing it to mine with my two kids (4 yrs old and 3 months old). One thing that you do is have sibling play time. What a wonderful idea, I am going to start this also (to a limited extent at this point!)Since we are missionaries in El Salvador, I have limited contact with other babywise moms, so I really appreciate your site!

  10. Hi there,I have a question for you (just like everyone else, haha! 🙂 )My son is 8 and 1/2 months old. He usually takes a morning and afternoon nap, as well as an evening one. He is STTN, and has been for a very long time! Here is his “normal” schedule, just to give you an idea:7:30 a.m. wake up, breastfeed and solidsbetween 8:45 and 9:00 go down for nap11:00 a.m. wake up, breastfeed and solids1:00 p.m. go down for a nap3:00 p.m. wake up, breastfeed–no solidsbetween 5 and 6 p.m. go down for nap (trying to drop this, but he can’t seem to do it all the time)6:30 p.m. wake up, breastfeed and solidsbetween 7 and 7:30 p.m. down for the night.Here’s my “problem”–he has been waking early from his first nap every day for a week. For example, right now he has been awake since 10:00 a.m. (it is now 11:17, and I’m trying to get him to go to 11:30). He isn’t upset–he is just making noise and playing in his crib. So when I get him up to eat, he is going to be absolutely exhausted! Should I feed him and put him right back down? Does he need more or less wake time to fix this problem? Also, when he wakes up in the morning he has been very tired. Not sure if that has anything to do with it. Please help!!Rachel

  11. Thank you Val! I like your time as a family making God a priority, nightly, then also the once a week thing. Do you have a family devotional book that guides you? What do you typically do during this time? I’m happy to say James is doing great with roomtime now. We did use a gate, that way I can still peak in and check on him. Also, I’d like to start teaching self control by folding hands. Have you done that? Any suggestions there?

  12. First of all, thanks for all you do to help others develop strategies for parenting. I have really enjoyed reading your blog as I have tried to follow the BabyWise principles with my son. I am writing to ask for any advice you may have on getting my son to take good consistent naps. I have read everything regarding sleep and have been adjusting and trying everything I can for 2 months now and we are still having problems. He used to take 3 really great naps a day until he was 7 months old. He started crawling and pulling up, teething, and got sick for the first time that month. He is now 9 months old, not sick anymore, and not teething, but not sleeping either. For a week now we have dropped the 3rd nap because he was waking really early in the morning. He has gone back to sleeping 12 hours a night, but his naps are not very good. Here is the schedule he is currently on:7:15: Wake for the day (sometimes he wakes early-6:30, but i always leave him in bed until at least 7 so that he doesn’t make a habit of it, usually he goes back to sleep)8:45-9:00: Down for morning nap.10:15-30: Usually wakes up at this time, but sometimes sleeps until 11:00 on good days. I never get him up until 11 because he isn’t supposed to eat until 11:30.11:30: Lunchtime12:30-1:00: Down for afternoon nap. Here is where I have major problems. Sometimes he is up before 2:00…I cannot get him to sleep longer once he wakes up. I do leave him in his crib for awhile if he is happy.3:30: Bottle/Snack5:00ish: Dinner7:00: BedtimeI would really like for his bedtime to be later. I have tried to move it in 10-15 minute increments with absolutely no luck. He used to go down at 8 before the time change. I got him adjusted and ready for it and the day before, he woke up at 5:30 in the morning and wouldn’t go back to sleep…so the morning of the time change we were completely messed up. Since then, I have been unable to get him to bed at 8 without him waking at 5. He is really really crabby in the afternoon and evening when he is awake from 2-7. It is a really long time for him to be awake, but he will not go down for a third nap even if I try it now. He is extremely fussy most of the day and I think it’s due to lack of sleep. I have tried extending wake time and shortening it, but nothing seems to work. All in all, I have a very cranky child that doesn’t nap well during the day and keeps me from getting anything done. I just need whatever advice you have to offer for my situation. Thanks!

  13. Im aslo curious about room time for my almost 15 month old. She does playpen time once a day for 25 min. I would like to start room time with her but Im not really sure how to do it. She doesnt have any problem playing in her room by herself but of course will go in and out. Should I try the gate in the door and how long should I start with since she is used to playpen time. Ideally I would like to get to an hour…that sounds wonderful! 🙂 Thanks for this post…we are expecting #2 in June!!

  14. My comment has dissapeared!! I have been patiently awaiting your response to my problem,but my comment has been deleted. Was it moved somewhere else?

  15. Salina,Thought I'd chime in on your question about folding hands. We've been working with our 19 month old for about a month with folding his hands to help him be more patient with waiting. We started with really little things, such as him sitting at the table and folding his hands while he waited for Mommy to pour his milk into his cup (so only about 10 seconds). We found all kinds of things for him to "practice" waiting with, whether it's me getting his crayons down off the shelf or standing at the door to go outside, etc. From there, we've moved on to slightly more challenging tasks, i.e. standing next to the car while I pull our 2.5 month out with his infant carrier or waiting with his plate in front of him for both Daddy & Mommy to sit down at the dinner table. Hope this helps!

  16. i have 3 children all less than 2 years apart and am a babywise mom through and through. i feel like i’ve found the formula for sleeping. but i had a question about your schedule. why do you wake your kids up in the morning and wake them from naps? i understand waking up an infant to eat to keep them on the schedule. but why wake a child in the morning? and why cut a toddler’s nap short?

  17. Lorri, That is a good question. I will do a post on it. In short, for us it wasn’t a big deal, but it was nice weather so we could go out AND our house is of sufficient size and insulated well enough that he rarely heard her.

  18. Maureen, you are welcome! Brayden starts preschool next fall, so I am interested in how that will affect our overall schedule. When I say interested, I mean nervous 😉

  19. lsmith,Kaitlyn was an amazing sleeper. Well, she is and always has been. This postt might be pertinent to your current age:Dropping the Morning Nap (from 2 to 1 naps): Transition Time :

  20. Melissa,Be sure to see the blog label “independent playtime” for lots of ideas overall.Specifically, I would either do a gate or close the door at first. As they get used to the situation and able to handle the freedom, the door can be open/gate down. If the room is in a location where you or others will be walking by often, it might be better to close the door. I personally close doors. Probably because I don’t want to mess with gates. You can really do roomtime in any room in the house. Just be sure the child doesn’t have activity going on around him. It is unfair to expect him to entertain himself with “playmates” running past him constantly.

  21. Julia, 1-The c-section shouldn’t be a problem overall; many moms do BW with that.See this post about daycare and let me know if you have further questions:Daycare/Childcare and Babywise :

  22. Amy,I would get any changes you want to make (like independent play) done now so it is in place with the new baby. I suggest getting your toddler’s schedule really consistent. Then work baby’s schedule around toddler’s. The great thing about this is that when baby comes home, it doesn’t disrupt toddler’s life. It is a challenge in mom’s, but not so much toddlers :). She will have to make some adjustments, but life will continue on in the same stable fashion. Be sure to see the label “Siblings” linked in the main body of this post for more ideas on working BW with two kids.

  23. Culbertsons,I don’t know if you saw my answer to the other question similar to yours, but yes, I would use a gate or just close the door until he gets used to it. Without it, you are creating an un-needed battle. At some point, he will be able to stay in there with the door open. Until then, gate/door is great 🙂

  24. RosaandCalebsMommy,Sibling playtime is so great. My kids love it. When they were younger, I obviously stayed with them and supervised the whole thing. I imagine a four year old can be trusted a lot more than a two year old, so you might not need to supervise as long as I did. I am glad you like the site!

  25. Rachel,I wouldn’t put him right back down. I would try to keep him up as long as he usually would, but watch for cues and put down earlier if needed.Typically with that problem, they need less waketime. If he just finished a growth spurt eating-wise, it would make sense for him to suddenly need shorter waketime. Or it is possible that as he gets older you are more relaxed about when he goes down, but he still needs it X number of minutes. There are other possibilities also. See this post:5-8 Month Sleep Disruptions :

  26. Salina,For our nightly scripture study right now, we read a scripture then teach the meaning of that scripture. It teaches a gospel principle. We are really wondering if this is the best method for the ages of our kids right now, though. We are thinking we will get children’s books of scriptures stories and read those instead. Then they can become familiar with the scripture stories and be interested in what we are talking about. The hesitation I have with this is that I want them familiar with actual scripture. I told my husband once the oldest can read, I want to at least read scriptures (real scriptures) with that child each day and have them read from scriptures. I find children who read from scriptures are typically good readers. For family home evening each week, we have a variety of resources. Sometimes we pick a topic that we feel needs to be discussed or is appropriate and just prepare the lesson ourselves. For example, around Christmas we taught Christmas lessons (you know, real Christmas lessons 🙂 ). One day Brayden started lying to me, so our next lesson was on honesty. Our church also publishes a family home evening guidebook with lesson ideas. We also have monthly magazines published by our church with ideas for family home evening included. We recently turned to the manual of lessons published by our church written for children 18 months to 4-ish years old. This is helpful for us because neither of us are very talented at bringing things to the level of children. This book gives ideas for doing that. Our primary presidency also gave us a book for 2009 with 52 family home evening lessons, so that is a great resource. It goes along with what is taught in primary each week. See this post on hand-folding:Hand Folding: Establishing Self-Control:

  27. Krista,His first nap looks good. 1.5 hours is definitely an okay length of time. Your difficulty is that it is far from his next feeding. That can only be solved with time when he can stay awake longer before the first nap. If it were me, I would consider feeding at 11:00.His second nap is most likely problematic because he is awake too long before it happens. He also most likely can’t have a later bedtime without waking early because his second nap isn’t going well. Overall, the root of the problem is that his first nap isn’t lasting long enough for your desired schedule. The nap itself isn’t a problem; it is long enough for BW standards. It just doesn’t fit with your desired schedule. Then the rest of the day is thrown off because he is overly tired for his second nap, then overly tired for your desired bedtime. If it were me, I would change your projected schedule to fit more in with what is actually happening. His first waketime is 1.5-1 hr. 45 minutes. Then his second waketime is 2-2.5 hours. That is a large difference for those two waketimes. Have you tried having that waketime the same as the first? It would mean he goes down earlier. I would try that and see if he then sleeps well for the second nap.He then might be able to make it to 8 for bedtime, but he also might not without a third nap until he is older. Good luck!

  28. IzzysMama,yes, I would do the gate or closed door until she can stay in her room herself. Start with 25 minutes and work up from there by 5-10 minute increments at a time. Take the pace based on her response to it. Many kids love roomtime because a room is much larger than a playpen. Congrats on baby 2!

  29. Marissa,Where was your comment? I don’t move comments until they have been up for at least 30 days (and have been answerd by me), so I didn’t move it.

  30. Hi Val,I hope all is going well for you. I have a question that might test your pregnancy memory! 🙂 If you can’t really remember, that’s ok. I have a 9 month old and we are starting to get bored! I’m wondering if you can remember what you did all day with Brayden when it was just the two of you. My boy plays in the playpen for 30-45 mins. in the morning before his first nap. In the afternoon he does independent play time in the living room for about an hour. I read to him for about 10 mins. before each nap. I’m just trying to think of other fun things to do during the day. Any suggestions?

  31. When do you have time to clean the house, exercise, make dinner, update this blog and do other computer work, play bills, etc. (let alone take a nap!)with such a tight schedule? And when do you go grocery shopping and run other errands? I only have two hours tops when both my kids are sleeping and I have so much trouble fitting it all in…Also, my 6 month old is no longer sleeping through the night, and this has been going on for a while. I put her back to a 3-hour schedule and she is eating solids about twice a day. She is breastfed. She also is having a hard time with naps. I have a 2 1/2 year old right next door, so CIO doesn’t really work for us. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!

  32. Jessie, They usually wake up on their own at the designated times. They are just used to sleeping at the same times each day. In the morning, I wake them so we can have a consistent schedule each day. But like I said, most of the time they wake on their own when it is time to wake up. For naps, if they are still asleep when it is time for them to get up, I will leave them to sleep a bit longer, but I always wake them by a certain time so they will be ready for sleep when it is time for bed. It doesn’t cut their naps short; their nap times are the times they sleep on their own 90% of the time. The other 10% is sometimes they sleep longer, sometimes they wake earlier.

  33. Janelle,I do remember it being a tricky time. DH was in school and working and it was winter when he was 9 months, also. If it is decent enough where you live, you could do walks. Play with him with his toys. Have him “help” you with chores. Brayden has always loved that. Make bath time a fun time. Do singing with him. If you don’t feel comfortable singing, you could get a fun kids CD (I like Little People CDS). I am planning on very soon writing a post about more than making it through your day. It is on my list for the next week or two, so be looking for that.

  34. Danielle, most of the things you listed are really easy to do because of the schedule. I do things while the kids are having independent play, sibling play, and napping. I usually do errands in the evening. It is something DH and I like to do together for some strange reason. See this post about the 6 month old:5-8 Month Sleep Disruptions :

  35. I am having issues with my 8 week old right now. We have been doing babywise since 2 weeks old and it’s been working well. But just in the last week or so I’ve had some issues with her naps and feedings and I’m wondering if they go hand in hand. She’s been waking up about an hour into EVERY nap and she cries and cries and cries. I know about the intruder but it was never really a problem before. Also about the same time she no longer finishes her 4 oz. bottle (I’m not breastfeeding) and she’ll only eat about 3 oz of it. She was also sleeping really great, from about 9:30 at night until 4 or 5 in the a.m. Now she’s waking up around 2ish and around 5:30. Is it possible that she’s still full from her last feeding and that’s why she’s not finishing the bottle when she used to chug every last bit of it. If she’s ready to go longer in between feedings, what am I supposed to do with that extra time. She’s not going to spend it awake. She can only go about 50 min. of awake time. About 2.5 hrs are already devoted to a nap since she’s on a 3 hr and 15 min schedule! Any advice??? I’m not really sure how to work this schedule that will be best for her. Suggestions would be appreciated!

  36. Mandi,The 45 minute intruder typically doesn’t appear until 6-8 weeks, so it not being an issue until now does not mean it can’t be an issue now.Since she isn’t eating well, I would guess it isn’t a growth spurt issue and that it would contribute to her other wakings. You can wait up to 30 minutes after she wakes before feeding her.One thing I would try, though, is to get her as soon as she wakes up before she starts to cry and try feeding her. I say that because I know when I cry a lot, I lose my appetite. She might be the same way.

  37. So, I am having a hard time with my 5 1/2 month old. He has yet to STTN, and I’m not quite sure what to do. He is so random. One night he will sleep from 8 until 4, nurse and then sleep until 7. Then he will wake at 11, 2, 5, and I’m just not sure what to do. Should I just let him CIO, if he wakes up any earlier than 4 or 5? And it seems that the nights that he wakes at only 4, then the next night it’s earlier, then earlier, until we are back to waking at like 11 or midnight. I do not think he is hungry. How long should i let him CIO? The night that I tried it without nursing him, it was 2 hours. I went in there twice to check on him, but didn’t want to nurse. So, where do I go from here? Thanks…and I appreciate all of your work on this blog…One other thing…he is having surgery in March, and I will not be able to feed him after midnight until after surgery…so I am trying to get this thing under control….

  38. Sharon,This is a hard call since he is waking at such random times. If it was consistently the same time, I would say habit. Some would say a 5.5 month old doesn’t need to eat in the night and shouldn’t be waking up. I don’t think that can be an accurate statement 100% of the time.First, evaluate his ability to self-soothe. Does he do it alone in the day–without anything else? If not, work on that.See also this post and let me know if you have further questions:Nighttime Sleep Issues: you can get this worked out by March. If not, just plan on that one night in March being a rough one 🙁 As it approaches that surgery, if he is still waking in the night, see how hard and fast that rule is. When Brayden had his surgery a few weeks ago, they told me if he woke in the night and wanted water to just give it to him.

  39. Thanks so much for the response..I decided to try to start doing a dream feed right before I went to bed around 10:30….I started on Sunday night, and every night this week, I have dream fed, and he has still woken up in the night, but I know it is not because of hunger, and he has soothed himself back to sleep, waking at 5:30 or 6…i will nurse very short, and lay him down and he wakes up around 7:30 or so….i will probably be posting you after his surgery trying to figure out how to drop the dream feed, but I figure that would be best since he has surgery….thanks again for this blog…it’s awesome!

  40. So….I am wondering about my little one, Tyce. He is a habitual 45 minutes napper…his schedule is as follows:wake: 7:00nap: 9:15wake 10:00nap: 12:45wake 1:30nap: 3:45wake: 4:30bed: 7:30I figure that maybe I am keeping him up too long. So if I do put him down after 1:45 or 1:30, and he still wakes up around 45 minutes, that completely throws off my schedule…how do i adjust then?

  41. Sharon, are you wondering how to get longer naps or what to do when there are short naps? Here are posts on each topic:Waketime When Baby Wakes Early : Waketime When They Wake Early: Chronic 45 Minute Naps : Minute Intruder: Troubleshooting: Waketime Lengths :

  42. I am expecting #2 in April and when the baby is born my toddler will be 23 months (just about 3 weeks shy of years). I am planning ahead and trying to figure out what my ideal tandem schedule will look like. I'm having some difficulty 1) because I can't seem to remember some of the scheduling "rules" as far as the eat/wake/sleep cycle goes and 2) becauseof my husband's job, I can't count on him home most evenings so I'm struggling with how to deal with putting a newborn and a 2 year old to bed.My toddler is on a great schedule and will still be on this one when baby is born:7am – wake7:15 – breakfast11:30 – lunch1:00 – nap4:00 – wake/snack5:30 – dinner7:00 – bath7:30 bedI want to work around his schedule that is already in place. Since my children will be going to daycare 3 days a week, I don't have the option of waking baby after we have breakfast. On days that I work I will have to leave the house by 7am. So it seems that baby will have to be woken before my toddler. My starting plan for feeding times was this for baby:6:30/9:30/12:30/3:30/6:30/9:30/12:30/MON feedingI figured I would have time to feed baby in the AM, then get toddler up. The problem I am having is at night. So if baby gets a feeding at 6:30 pm then has say 1 hour of waketime that would put bedtime for baby at 7:30. That's not do able as I have to start toddler's bedtime routine at 7 and his bedtime is 7:30. Why is it not lining up? If baby gets up earlier then his bedtime should be earlier, right? I have a feeling I am forgetting something. Is it that there is not much waketime after the 6:30 feeding? Ideally I would like baby in bed by 7 so I can deal with the toddler. So does that mean that I feed at 6:30 then bed at 7 not matter how much his typical waketime increases as baby gets older?I hope this makes sense. I think I have just forgotten a few things and was hoping you could clarify.

  43. I would not plan on a solid three hours for the intervals in the evening. Few babies can actually do that. I would do 3:30, then 6:00, then you could do 8:30 or 9. I would then do that last feeding at 11:30 at the latest, but the Baby Whisperer says to do it between 10-11 PM.At first, waketime won't be one hour. At first it will be 30-40 minutes. It will gradually increase from there. How much and how fast will depend on him/her. Good luck!

  44. Valerie,Have you ever done a post on getting out with your baby during ascheduled naptime? For example, if you want to take your oldest toLibrary Time or another outing like the grocery store, would you bendyour schedule around the baby or would you still attempt to continuewith a normal routine for your older kids?I'm expecting my second in a couple of weeks and I would love tocontinue the routine that my first born and I have established at somepoint.Thank you! Susanna

  45. Susanna, see the index on siblings: especially•Welcoming Baby to the Family and•Babywise With Baby Plus Older Child:

  46. Hi. this tandem schedule is a HUGE help to me. i've been trying to figure out how i will get both kids to sleep at the same time so that i can take a nap too. My son will be 23 months old when my daughter is born. I could use your schedule almost to a T, however, my son usually only sleeps 2.5 hours or 3 for his nap. how do you get him to sleep longer? and if i can't get him to sleep longer, any ideas on how i could tweak your newborn/2year old tandem schedule to work in the afternoons? i'm nervous about trying to make it all work with a new baby. seems so tricky. thanks, Amber

  47. Amber, would he stay in bed for a bit after he woke? Like 30 minutes?You could do some TV time in the afternoon after nap to give more quiet time. For naps, if he has always taken short naps, he might be a shorter napper. But he could need the timing of the nap tweaked. Good luck!

  48. This is so helpful! I have a baby due in less than 7 weeks and a 30 month old. Would this be an appropriate schedule for them? Also, did you pump at all? I want to pump with this baby (I didn't with the first baby) and I've been told the optimal time to do this is 1.5 hours after a feeding. How would you incorporate pumping into this schedule?Thank you for all you do! I have been avidly reading your blog since I brought my first baby home from the hospital 2 1/2 years ago and I tell every mom I know about you!


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