Trying to set a schedule for a 4 month old baby

Babies are cute. They give you lots of happiness. They also give you sleepless nights and dark circles. Frustration arises as a result of the constant attention your baby needs and a sleep deprived mind and tired body. Wouldn’t you give anything for at least a 4 hour long continuous shut eye?!

I can empathize and with that I welcome you to our journey of setting a schedule for baby D!

The first thing we did was logging baby D’s nap times, wake up times and feed time. I already log the time and duration of each feed using my Medela app. We just pulled everything together.

The plan was to do it for two weeks and then collate all this data and observe the pattern. Husband man and I decided that if we found a pattern, we would create a loose schedule and see how it went for a week.

One of the articles I read talked about the schedule being baby led instead of following the parent’s routine. That really resonated with me. As much as I’d like for baby D to sleep during my evening coffee time, I must respect her natural rhythm.

We are on Day 14 today and have a schedule already! After day 5, we understood her pattern. Here are our observations, which also aligned with our online research.

OUR OBSERVATIONS

1. She sleeps within 1-1.5 hours of waking up in the mornings. This is a very short nap – 20 to 30 minutes.

2. She stays awake for 1.5-2 hours between each nap. Every nap is 30 minutes to 2 hours long.

3. The day after a vaccination day or a sick day is always different. She tends to nap more during these days.

4. She feeds every 3 hours till she falls asleep at night. This is when she has her longest sleep , 6-7 hours. She does wake up sometimes if she’s hungry and if the last feed of the day wasn’t enough.

5. I must also note that she has days when she just refuses to nap! These are mostly the peak days of her growth leap. (Shout out to the Wonder Weeks app which was introduced to us by a friend and we cannot thank him enough!)

Here’s a sample of how we recorded her schedule for the past 2 weeks. This is her schedule from yesterday.

SAMPLE SCHEDULE

4:22 AM – FEED 1

9:25 AM – woke up

10:07 AM – FEED 2

11:20 AM – 11:50 AM – NAP 1

1:07 PM – FEED 3

1:35 PM – 3:20 PM – NAP 2

4:15 PM – FEED 4

4:45 PM – 6:45 PM – NAP 3

7:30 PM – FEED 5

9:00 PM – 9:55 PM – NAP 4

11:04 PM – FEED 6

11:30 PM – Slept

**I rounded off the time in some cases so that calculation was easier – For example, 11:03 AM changed to either 11:00 or 11:05.

Our Learnings

  1. A strict schedule does not work. If the baby naps at 11 AM one day, consider this time as a reference point. The baby might sleep a few minutes before or later.
  2. Nap times are heavily influenced by activity level, wake up time and bed time.
  3. Once our baby got set into a schedule, skipping nap time made her overactive for sometime and then made her cranky.
  4. Put the baby down for naps in her “grown up” bed, that is, the crib. Baby D sleeps in a bassinet next to our bed now. But we plan to move her to her crib for overnight sleep when she is 6 months old. We are acclimatizing her to the crib during nap time to make the transition easier on her.

That’s it for now. We are learning something new everyday. I will post more about her schedule in a couple of months as Baby D grows older.

Love,

M

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