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I wanted to take the time to write a little about my day with Adam, how we do our schedule, and why it is so convenient. I know a lot of people think putting a baby on a schedule is a bad thing, but our schedule is very flexible and it is not perfect or set in stone. A Schedule can be changed around, and made to fit your day. So I wanted to explain why we like scheduling, put away any myths you may have heard about scheduling, and answer any questions you may have about it.
A lot of people think that a schedule equals no flexibility. But that actually is quite the opposite! Adam is such a great baby that I can change his schedule around to fit whatever my day may hold, such as appointments, dates with friends, errands, or buying groceries. Here is how our schedule goes.
- 7:00 am: Wake up and Breakfast. I let Adam wake up on his own. Usually he wakes up around 6:30-7:00 occasionally he will sleep in until 7:30. If he does get up at 7:30 then I do all the same things, just get back to my regular scheduled times at the next feeding time. He takes some cheerios, baby food, and a bottle and then it’s just whatever. He usually will play in the playpen, watch some Veggie Tales, and run around the house in his walker.
- 9:00 am: Nap Time. A few minutes before nine we may go up and read some stories, and then I change his diaper and put him down. I let him sleep for an hour and half. Sometimes he wakes up before that. If he does I wait to see if he goes back to sleep, if not then I go get him. If he only slept an hour then later we make up for that by giving him a two hour nap. (He needs 3 hours total of nap time a day. I am sure this will change, but this is how it has been for awhile now.) That is usually my time to shower and get ready for the day, but sometimes I will take a nap with him, or go on my computer.
- 10:30 am: End of Nap.
- 11:00 am: Lunch Time. I usually will give him some baby puff snacks, baby food, and a bottle. After that it’s just playtime, and whatever else I have to do. I usually take this time to eat lunch, do some housework, run errands, and anything else that needs to be done.
- 1:30 pm: Nap Time. This is his usual nap time unless he didn’t sleep enough for his first nap, and if that is the case he will go down at 1:00 instead.
- 3:00 p.m: End of Nap and Dinner Time. This is his dinner time. I know it is early but we have it so there are a set amount of hours between each of his feedings. Later I will slowly change the times until his dinner is at the same time as ours. Probably when he starts eating more regular foods.
- 6:30 p.m Get ready for Bed and Last Bottle. At 6:30 we will start getting him ready for bed, put his pj’s on and all that good stuff. Then we give him his last bottle which gets him through the night.
- 7:00p.m Bedtime. Then it’s bed time for the little guy and let me tell you, by that time he is tired and ready to sleep! Usually very little to no crying before he falls asleep.
When did we start him on a schedule?
I originally decided to use this method when I read Baby Wise. But this does not mean I followed every thing in this book to a tee. I took what I wanted out of it and made the schedule our own. I started when he was around 8 weeks old, but it takes time. I say that it probably took at least a month or two to get everything straight and get him used to it. Of course his schedule back then, was way different then it is now. As he grows ans changes his schedule did as well. It is better to start your baby on a schedule when they are younger. The younger they are, the better they adapt to it. It would be very hard if we decided to use one starting now. Adam is 8 months and would not be used to it at all, and starting one now without doing it earlier would probably only confuse him.
Why did you decide to schedule?
I used to babysit for a wonderful family of five kids. I really respected my friend and saw how she parented her children. I saw how well-behaved they were, how they were raised to love God, and how her babies loved taking naps, and even though I knew no family is perfect, I wanted to raise my family like that! They were a family I looked up to in this area. So I asked her, and she told me about the Baby Wise book. I read it and I saw how she had applied it to her family and how well it worked for them. (I am not saying that if you do not use this method you do not have a good or godly Christian family. Anyone can have those things if they want to. I just liked the way they raised their family and wanted to find out more about it) I decided that I would try it. At first it was hard. But then I began to see the fruits of my efforts and realized I loved it! I also knew a lot of other Christian families who used some of these methods, and knew it was well respected in some Christian circles. After reading the book through,I talked to my husband and we made OUR OWN decision to use this. Not because anyone told us to, not because we wanted to copy anyone, but because we realized it was a good method.
How does your schedule fit in when you are out and about?
The schedule doesn’t interfere with what we want or need to do. If I need to go out or want to run some errands then I go. If things get done at a different time that day then I adjust the rest of his schedule to fit. For example today we needed to run some errands. His nap time is at 1:30, but we were at Target. So when we got home around 3:00 I fed Adam and put him down for his nap at 3:30. Then when he wakes up the rest of the schedule is back on track and he goes to bed at 7:00 like normal. If we are out at someone’s house or at church past his bedtime, then he stays up until we get home, or we bring the pack-n-play with us and he sleeps at our friend’s house. I love it because I can plan ahead. If I am going out I can plan for how many bottles and how much food to bring with me because I know exactly when he will eat. When I make plans with friends I know when he naps so I can plan around that. For me it works perfectly because I know everything ahead of time. It helps me plan ahead, and helps me know what my day will entail.
Myths about scheduling:
It doesn’t allow freedom or for the baby to be his own person.
I totally disagree. Adam definitely has his own personality! He is a happy and fun-loving baby with a mind of his own. I am not crushing his freedoms (Whatever freedoms a baby really has, I mean they are babies!), he is allowed to play and do his own thing. The only things we schedule are feedings and sleep. Playtime is whatever goes!
Babies have a hard time being flexible when they are scheduled.
This is not necessarily true. I hear that if you schedule your baby’s sleep time then they will have a hard time sleeping anywhere else. When Adam was smaller, he would fall asleep in the car, in the nursery, whatever. And if he did, then I just changed his schedule and nap times to fit that. Now, he does not fall asleep as much because he knows when his nap times are but if we are out and about during his nap time then sometimes he will still fall asleep. He does not have a hard time just because he is not at home. If he is tired he is tired, and he will fall asleep.
You won’t understand your baby’s non-verbal cues.
I don’t believe this to be true either. I feel because I know when exactly he will eat and sleep I can pin point what is wrong or what he wants. If he is upset, and it’s not time to eat or sleep. I still have a good time at figuring out what is wrong. I am his mother and I know what my baby needs and wants and scheduling does not interfere with that.
I hope you have enjoyed reading a little about baby scheduling and what I do. I get asked a lot of questions sometimes, I thought this would be a great way to explain a little of what I do, and put those myths to rest. If you are interested in learning more about baby scheduling here are a few articles:
Should You Put Your Baby on a Schedule?
Get You Baby Sleeping Through the Night