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Lately, I've gotten several emails about putting your babies on a schedule like Brayden is. I thought it might be best if I answered you in a post in case anyone else was interested. I'm by no means an expert - this is just what worked for us and for Brayden. All babies are different and what works for B is just what works for B.
I'm a stay at home mom.
I actually think I am busier now than when I worked full time. I am constantly on the go. Which can be hard with a little one.
Early on, I realized that Brayden needed a schedule. A good, structured schedule that he could rely on and always know what to expect. As he gets older, the schedule does change but I change it gradually.
Here is what a typical day looks like for us:
8am - 8:30am. Brayden wakes up. I get him, feed him, and he plays while I get ready.
Noon - Bottle time followed by a 2 - 3 hour nap.
2pm - Snack time (I might add that snack time is Buster, our dogs, favorite time of the day).
4pm - Bottle
5:30pm - Dinner for B (and Chris and me).
8-8:40 - Bath time (every other day), followed by a bottle and bed.
You might remember when Brayden refused to take naps. He might catch 15 min's here or there, but never a good nap. My mom really helped me to figure out that A.) it was important that he napped and B.) he needed for it to become part of his daily routine. About that time is when I really concentrated on making a sticking to a schedule for him.
Everyday at nap time he gets his bottle and then I give him this plush bear. He's learned to associate his bear with nap time since that is the only time he gets it. I also utilize his mobile for nap times only. He knows that when he gets Mr. Bear and I turn the mobile on, it's time for his nap.
But what about the days when I am out during nap time?
The first thing I figured out was that I needed to make sure Brayden understood what to expect each day - meaning, we utilized this schedule for a week or two before I took him anywhere during nap time. Almost always, he will either take him nap while we are out OR whenever we get home, even if it is a few hours late.
At 3 months, Brayden started sleeping through the night, and even though all babies are different, I really think the schedule helped with this too. We would bathe him, take him upstairs and turn his light all the way down and feed him. It was totally quite and only the soft light was on. Then we'd burp him, and lay him down. After just a few days, he really figured it out. When we did have to get up to feed him, we always did the same thing, and so he knew what to expect.
I hope this answered your questions! Feel free to email me or comment if I missed something you were wanting to know!