Right [not] on schedule

One of the things I’m frequently asked is how we got Liv on a “schedule.” I remember when she was 3 weeks old and someone asked us if we had her on a schedule yet. I wanted to laugh because I was just proud of myself for getting dressed that day. A schedule was pretty far down the list.

We’ve never had a schedule, and probably won’t for a while.. if ever.

NewImage(source)

We’ve been using a routine that we’ve followed from as close to the beginning as we could -thanks 100% to the Baby Whisperer- and have just kind of rolled from there.

Why I love it:

-We can usually tell right away what’s wrong if she starts to fuss. When she first wakes up, she eats, plays and then gets tired for nap time. She snoozes for however long and the whole process starts again. Of course, teething has changed that a little bit, and every now and again she’ll have an “off” day (which I think continues through adulthood.. at least for me, anyway) but for the most part, I think she likes knowing what’s next.

-It’s easy for others to take care of her and pick up on her cues as well. My mom and nana are pros at Eat, Activity, Sleep and anyone who comes over can play with Liv and she’ll be happy as long as she’s already eaten, or if it’s nap time, she’ll snuggle up in their arms for a little sleep time. 

MY OTHER VIDEOS

-It’s adapted with her as she grows and gets older. As the time in between her naps increases, it’s no big deal, and we’ve been adding solid food in “for fun” during the play time. It’s sill eat, activity, sleep, even though the activity part is much longer now.

Photo

It’s worked well for us, and I was going to do a day re-cap post to show how much things have changed since the early weeks.

Here’s the big thing that makes the routine challenging:

-It’s really hard to plan things by time. Usually I’ll plan events for late afternoon, because if she has a catnap while we’re out and about, that’s ok, but I never know when times her naps are going to be. Her first one is pretty predictable, but before I know how long her first nap is, I have no idea when the next two will fall. Quite a few of my friends have their babies on exact nap times (9am, 12am and 3pm, or something similar) so they know when to plan things, some of their babies are fine being out and about all day (Liv turns into a red-faced angry elf if she doesn’t have at least one long nap in her crib), and we’ve just had to go with the flow. I’ve had quit a few breakfasts and lunches with her sprawled out on my chest fast asleep, while I try not to drop lettuce on her head.

I’ve also have had to wake her up for pediatrician appointments. Once, she shrieked the entire appointment because she was still tired- I felt bad for her. 

-I love the Babycenter emails -they give me an idea of what’s going on development-wise- but many of them are nap and schedule focused. I’m thinking we might not just be schedule people… or maybe as she gets older things will fall into times?

Mamas out there, what was your experience like? Did you follow a schedule, a routine, or just wing it? Do nap times eventually fall at the same time everyday, or is it something you have to initiate? I’m starting to realize that as soon as things become predictable, everything changes. 

And just because she’s so cute:

(The full iPhone needs to be cleared out – it told me the video was 19 seconds and then only saved 3. Bah)

Our 11 week sleep routine

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57 Comments

  1. Abby on June 19, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    We also followed the eat activity sleep routine when my daughter was younger and that has gradually evolved in to a wake-up, breakfast, activity, nap @ 11, lunch, activity, nap @4 dinner, activity, bedtime routine that is fairly predictable. Deviate from this schedule (she’ll literally only nap in her crib) and i end up with a very cranky 1 year old! I think she may end up being a crazy type A planner/scheduler like her mama 🙂
    Once Olivia is able to eat larger less frequent meals I’m sure she’ll fall into a more set routine as well.

  2. Dani @ RunFitMama on June 19, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    I had no clue about baby schedules when we had Jack nor did we ever follow one. I just went with Jack’s cues and it seemed to go pretty well. I found it hard to schedule things, too, when he was napping 3x a day. But now that he’s 2 1/2 and naps once a day, it’s easier. He’s usually ready to nap around 12:30 depending on what time he got up. But there’s always days, like today- I picked him up at noon at school, fell asleep in the car on the way home but woke up once we got home, then fell asleep eating dinner. It’s 6:30 and he’s in bed (usually in bed around 9). We’ll see how tonight and tomorrow go 🙂

    Livi is so cute!

  3. Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie on June 19, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    She is so stinken cute! What strong legs she has! And I don’t have kids so I have no idea how the schedule thing works but I figure as long as she’s getting fed, is sleeping, and has activities to do during the day I think she’s doing a-okay. 😀

  4. Michelle on June 19, 2012 at 6:35 pm

    We did EASY Until my daughter was around 6 or 7 months and then she went down to 1 shorter nap in am and usually two longish ones during the day. Even at 9 months she is a little sporadic. I find when she plays hard she sleeps really well. She is a car sleeper so sometimes I will resort to that. Once they can stand in their cribs its a whole new ball game. I think the more they are learning at the time the hardest it is for them to nap. The only advice I have is to put her down awake yet tiredish (not a word) and let her self soothe. She may fight it a bit but eventually she will fall asleep. I usually stay close and give it 10-15 minutes tops. Don’t stress about not having a schedule set in stone. Hope this helps!

  5. Jordan @ Bake Write Sleep on June 19, 2012 at 6:42 pm

    She is SOOOO adorable. Thanks for the heads up on the book – I’ll buy it one day ;]

  6. Emily on June 19, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    When my daughter was born, I felt a lot of pressure to put her on a schedule, as that’s what everyone was telling me I should do. After a few days of trying (and failing), I decided to just let it go and listen to her cues. We were all so much happier this way. The way I see if, if mom and dad are more schedule-type people, then putting baby on a specific schedule will be best for them. If not, then trying to fit yourself into that mold will just make you miserable. We are 100% NOT schedule people, and you seem to lean more that way as well.

    To answer your question about her eventually falling into her own schedule, yes, it will happen! …and then it will change 🙂 No biggie though – you’ll get used to all the changes and will be able to wing it when needed. My daughter is 2 1/2 now and I feel like she is a very well-adjusted child who is able to function without a nap when needed and who can hang in lots of different situations. Some of that is just her personality but I think some of it is because of the fact that her schedule has never been completely set. Life isn’t always predictable, so I say teach the babies that early on 🙂

    You have a beautiful family btw and I love your blog!!

  7. Anna @ On Anna's Plate on June 19, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    Question– what do you do when she wakes up early from her nap? We have a two month old, and have tentatively started using the EASY schedule too, but I find that everything is thrown off if, say, she only plays for a short amount of time and then naps for a short amount of time and wakes up. If only two hours have passed between EAS, do you go ahead and feed her again, or do you let her play for a while, thus having an AEAS schedule?

    SORRY if this is too confusing– we’re just still trying to work it out over here!! 🙂

  8. Cailyn on June 19, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    Thanks for writing about your experiences with EASY! I’m doing a combination of EASY and Babywise. So when Livi naps, how long do you let her nap for? Has this effected her sleeping through the night? Also, if you remember, lol, how long was Livi’s activity time early on? My 6 week old can barely stay up for more than 40 minutes without giving me the first yawn, however, EASY wants him to be up for like 1hr-1hr 15 min, yeah right!

    • Katie on June 21, 2012 at 7:07 pm

      We have done babywise since our daughter was born (she’s 8 months now) for the longest time she was barely awake an hour and that included when she ate. My friend does babywise and her son is 6 months and still is only awake 1 hour after he first wakes up in the morning. It can take a long time for a baby to be awake for a long time. So at 6 weeks I am not surprised wake time is so limited!

  9. Ginna on June 19, 2012 at 6:46 pm

    When did Liv start nOt falling asleep after eatIng? I have a 9 week old little girl who is breast fed on demand and she still mostly falls asleep after eating. Not all the time but most of the time. We have no real naps yet starting to but as you know every day is different. We’ve started a bedtime routine but times of things change based on the day and her mood! Just going with the flow!

  10. Melissa on June 19, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    I have three boys 8y old twins and a 6y old. I did have them on a schedule and I found that it made my life easier- to plan and for the kids. However, I think different things work for different people. What I did was found a time that I knew they were generally tired say after lunch and put them down everyday. They always took a morning nap and an afternoon nap up until they were 4. I think the routine helped them sleep longer and later. It also allowed me to plan doctors and outings. Hope this helps! Livi is a love bug 🙂

  11. Averie @ Averie Cooks on June 19, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    A rough guideline as I’d call it is nice for baby and mom. I’d hardly call anything about new motherhood “on schedule”. As you said, some days just getting dressed and out of the house is ALL you seemingly get done that day. Glad you guys have found your groove!

  12. Tiffany on June 19, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    We started Sydney on a night schedule at 7 weeks, but for naps we have always just focused on tired cues. She just turned 7 months and there is no way I could put her down for naps at a set time everyday. She is VERY sensitive to being overtired and will short nap and the rest of the day just unravels after that. She feeds ar roughly the same time everyday though, bf and solids. Being on a schedule would be great in that aspect, but I don’t expect it much before 1 with her. For the most part, I make sure she is home for her naps and even though it cuts social time short, she is happy and thriving. Her lack of nap schedule hasn’t hindered her in any way, she is a busy girl who is already pulling up and working on walking. I think it depends on the baby. Perhaps easier babies might be easier to schedule everything for, our girl hasn’t been easy from the start. Love that vivacious, persistent girl to pieces though :).

    Liv is adorable btw.

  13. Megan on June 19, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    We have started a bedtime routine that seems to work pretty well. I’ve also lucked out in the fact that my son can nap almost anywhere, so I don’t necessarily have to worry about when we go out. Sometimes it doesn’t always go as planned, but we make it work. 🙂

  14. Andrea on June 19, 2012 at 7:07 pm

    I think routine is a better way to put it. A schedule sounds rigid and leave little room for spontaneity and changes in Mom & Dad’s schedules! I know for us, we do different stuff on different days of the week so putting a hard time on every little thing doesn’t work for us. HOWEVER, my boys need and crave routine in their lives and they are 5 & 2! It is always comforting to know what comes next every at a very early age and you will find later that it helps with discipline immensely.

  15. sarah b. on June 19, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    My girls (now 14 months) were on the EASY schedule because following their natural cues was the only thing that worked for us. The more I tried for a schedule, the harder they fought it. Around Liv’s age (maybe a bit later), they gradually settled into a schedule in terms of napping. Like someone mentioned, more solid foods and less frequent meal times will really help that. It was much easier to plan around naps for a while but now that I have a two month old, we are starting from scratch! Exactly what you said is true (for a long time, I hear!) – you definitely eventually fall into a schedule but almost as soon as you do, it changes 🙂 I’m a schedule person so the lack of one is really hard for me but it seems to be much better for my kids to follow their lead. And the twins did ease into a good nap routine eventually so I’m glad I didn’t force it.

  16. Megan on June 19, 2012 at 7:19 pm

    Wow, so glad you posted this. I came over literally right after Googling “5 month old schedules”. We also follow the eat, activity, sleep plan, but that’s gone out the window lately with Charlotte teething. I keep driving myself crazy thinking she has to be on a schedule, so it’s nice to know not all babies do things at certain times. I have to keep reminding myself that what we’ve been doing has been working just fine, so there’s really no reason to worry or change things. Liv is adorable in that video, btw!

  17. Sarah on June 19, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    I remember someone asking me about a routine around the 3-4 week mark too. At that point, I couldn’t even pronounce my name lol. I also tried my best with the Baby Whisperer method, and found that easiest. Now, at 7.5 months, Eli has settled into a more structured routine. I typically know that if he’s up around 6:30, he will take a nap between 9-10, and then will need another around 1-2. Sometimes it doesn’t work out that way, depending on what we’re doing, but I can usually tell when he’s needing some “down time” and will pop a bottle in his cranky mouth and put him to sleep.

    He’s also at the point where he doesn’t want to miss anything, so if people are over or he’s finding life particularly interesting that day, it can be tough to put him down, but I usually win 🙂

    Livi is adorable! What’s cuter than a bouncing baby?

  18. Susan on June 19, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    I think you hit the nail on the head…we always followed a routine, but not a strict schedule. The awake times were fairly consistent but the sleep times (length of time) might vary. For example if the first nap started at 9:00 and baby was awake by 9:45, he may have been too tired to wait until 12:00 for the next nap. And so much changes with age-as you know, you’re baby is dramatically different in 4 weeks time. Sounds like you’ve figured out what works for you!

  19. Rebecca on June 19, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    We are doing pretty much what you guys are doing with a general routine rather than a strict schedule. Max’s schedule changes every once and awhile (hooray for teething, huh?!) and so does mine. I absolutely refuse to put Max on a strict schedule where he has to nap during certain hours of the day. It just doesn’t work for with my schedule.

    Right now he gets up around 5:30am, eats and then falls asleep with me for a bit. During the day he will have a nap in the morning and in the afternoon, sometimes a short catnap in the early evening). Those naps can be anytime during the morning and afternoon. Today’s for example was at 9am, yesterday it was 11am. He can sleep pretty much anywhere as well. Tonight I was at a pool party with my track athletes and he took a nap under a tree for a good 20-30 minutes even with the kids jumping in the pool and being loud teens! If he is hungry, he eats…if he is tired, he sleeps. That’s about it 🙂

  20. britt on June 19, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    i LOVE this book! i only wish i had read it early on and not at 8 months when i was desperate for sleep. my guy didn’t sleep through the night until i stopped nursing him at night (at 1 year) but this did help us get him to fall asleep on his own and helped with naps. i definitely plan on starting this routine from the very beginning with my next baby…whenever that may be 😉

    we aren’t schedule people either but a couple of weeks ago i realized that my toddler needs more structure because discipline is becoming an issue. it has helped him with whatever frustration he was having (i think because it keeps him from getting bored) and it helps keep me sane by knowing what activity we should do next (art, sensory, free play, etc). if on a certain day we have plans, we just skip whatever activities for the day. and there is absolutely no schedule for the weekends (except nap and bedtime).

  21. LeahF on June 19, 2012 at 11:04 pm

    When I had my daughter I went through this parenting class that really emphasized the importance of schedule and routine. So right out of the gate basically we worked towards setting a steady routine for her and scheduled things around nap and nursing times. This worked well for us because we are both pretty set on our work schedules, dinner time, etc. It also helped to write things out for the babysitter so they knew when to expect what. Now she is five and still enjoys her “schedule” she calls it. We weren’t too extremely rigorous with it that we modifiy if something came up. I think it’s different for every baby and family

  22. Amanda @ Semi-Health Nut on June 19, 2012 at 11:55 pm

    I’m so sorry but that picture of your shadows looks weird. Like wrong weird. I am terrible lol.

    In other not wrong news…I think as long as your schedule works for you and her…it doesn’t really matter. If it starts to interfere with things then I would try to get on a schedule, but otherwise, go with it.

    I’m not a mama yet, but the oldest of 4 kids and have been babysitting/nannying over 10 years. 😉

    • Fitnessista on June 20, 2012 at 12:12 am

      Haha sorry about that. I had her in the babyhawk and thought it looked cool

  23. Jess on June 20, 2012 at 7:28 am

    You’re doing really well! I did a similar thing with mine no set times for things but follow the same order so they know what to expect. It is definitely an achievement just to have a shower in the first six months. And you’re working, training and cooking great meals as well!!! It will get more schedulish as she gets bigger but I find just as I get used to their routine they change it!

  24. Kristen on June 20, 2012 at 7:39 am

    I’ve got a 3 month old. He’s definitely not on a schedule, even though he is getting more predictable. Good for those who have gotten babies on schedules successfully but I can’t see telling my baby no you can’t nap or eat because it’s not “time”. You know?
    That said, I am kinda learning when he seems the most tired and try to plan around that. We just kinda go with it and pay close attention to what he’s “telling” us. I agree with the commenter that said real life doesn’t run on a schedule and babies should know that. It sorta makes sense, which is probably why when they do get into a groove, it all changes > hence real life.
    I think you and Tom and all of your family members are doing a great job!! 🙂

  25. Katy Widrick on June 20, 2012 at 8:46 am

    I just started reading BW and also plan on reading The Happiest Baby on the Block. The thing I’m most nervous about is what our “schedule” (ha!) will look like when I go back to work after 12 weeks. Yikes!

  26. Michelle on June 20, 2012 at 9:33 am

    It took my kids about 6 months to move into a 2-naps a day schedule. Then around 15-18 months it phased into a once a day nap. I think looking for/following their cues DEFINITELY leads into a routine.

  27. Amy on June 20, 2012 at 9:44 am

    Gina – This is my first time commenting. I just want to thank you for all your family posts. I discovered your blog while I was pregnant (my son is 3 weeks “older” than your adorable daughter) and have utlilized many of your recommendations. The Baby Whisperer saved my sanity! Before we were routine-less and I could barely step out of the house or even take a shower! My son now is pretty regular on nap times give or take an hour. I also read Tracy Hogg’s follow up book which really helped as well. Now, I’m starting Baby Led Weaning this weekend (again, per your recommendation). Question – I see that you are puree-ing but BLW says you don’t have to puree. Are you puree-ing because you just want to (and to use those cute containers)? Thanks again for sharing your experiences with us.

  28. April on June 20, 2012 at 9:53 am

    Hi Gina!
    I LOVE Baby Whisperer too, it got me through those tough first 3 months:) Jack is now 8 months…we do almost exactly what you are doing, kind of a psuedo-schedule, without the nap times being EXACT.
    I work outside the home full-time, and as soon as Jack started day care i found his ‘schedule’ became much more predictable (one thing i am thankful for daycare for, ha ha).
    On the weekends, i definitley ‘initiate’ the naps and Jack is thankful for it, keeps us all happy! I am lucky he is still OK napping in the stroller or out and about, but i do notice he is in a better mood if he naps at home in his crib.
    And you are 100% right, as soon as something is ‘routine’ it changes, that’s the fun though huh?!?!? I think i would go crazy if we weren’t on some type of routine, i need to be able to plan my day a bit.
    Sounds like you guys are doing awesome, i love reading your updates and seeing adorable Liv:)

  29. Jennifer Holland on June 20, 2012 at 10:35 am

    Hi Gina, I had written to you a week or so ago over this and hadn’t heard back so I suppose you were waiting to post this, so thanks for the update I will look into EASY.

    -Jennifer

  30. JennP on June 20, 2012 at 11:29 am

    I guess you could say we “winged it”. My personal take on the whole routine thing is that a good night-time sleep stretch is priority #1 (for both the baby’s physical/mental well-being AND the parents). As long as what we’re doing during the day supports a steady night-time sleep pattern, then it’s all good!

    My daughter is almost 2, but our routine now is 7:30 wake-up, nap from 1-3, and then 8:30 bedtime. Her nap is flexible enough that we aren’t totally dictated by it (she can go down a little earlier or later depending on our plans), but that 11 hour sleep stretch at night doesn’t get touched! Why mess with a good thing?? From the point of bringing her home until now, I always know when it’s time to make an adjustment to the day-time routine (i.e. dropping a nap or changing the time) if it’s starting to mess with how she sleeps at night.

  31. Leah O on June 20, 2012 at 11:35 am

    i love babywise and do the eat activity sleep with my 3 month old. I usually feed him every 3 – 3 1/2 hours so when the day starts I usually have a pretty good idea of when he will be napping throughout the day. I usually feed him early if he wakes up from his nap crying and at night I feed him 2 1/2 hours apart and he usually sleeps longer at night. You are so right though, as soon as I think we’ve got it down something changes a little bit. Its the easiest to just go with the flow and enjoy your little one 🙂

  32. Noelle on June 20, 2012 at 11:36 am

    When I was home on maternity leave I kinda just went with the flow, but I found that when I was back to work it was essential for us to get into a solid schedule, and if I could go back I would have tried to get her on a schedule earlier because it was just so much easier to leave the house confidently. We started with just trying to put her to bed at the same time every night and worked our way backwards. If she goes to bed at the same time, she starts to wake up at the same time and so on.

    When they are little a schedule isn’t as important but as they get older it becomes a lot more important, having a cranky baby is one thing but a cranky toddler, running around like a crazy person is definitely another. Now our daughter has a completely predictable schedule where she takes one giant name in the middle of the day from 12-2:30.

    I must say, its A LOT easier to get them into this type of a schedule when they are in daycare and they have a very strict routine everyday. When they are just at home and you’re schedule is different all the time its a lot harder. Do what works for you!!!

  33. Nichole on June 20, 2012 at 11:41 am

    We do the exact same thing as you do with Livi…eat, play, sleep with no set time schedule. I agree that the only downfall is its hard to plan b/c we never know when she’ll go down for a nap. But, I don’t feel like forcing a time schedule on her is the answer. I’d rather she eat and sleep when she needs it most. Just like adults do!

  34. Shaina on June 20, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    That sounds a lot like what Tripp’s schedule is starting to look like. He’s waking up more after eating and then 20ish minutes later will be ready to go back down…but I never know for how long and its never at the exact same time every day. Luckily he’s a good sleeper so if I need to put him in the carseat and venture out, he usually doesn’t notice.

    Thanks for the book recommendation! Got it on the iPad a few days ago. 🙂

  35. Kayla on June 20, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    First, your daughter is adorable!
    With our oldest (now 3), we just kind of winged it. I was 19 yrs old and new NOTHING about parenting or even knew there were different types of techniques. It was horrible and he was never happy. Around 3 months, we finally got him on a VERY strict schedule and he became dream baby overnight.
    With my 4 week old, we tried a schedule–he wasn’t having it. Now we just follow his cues and kind of live in organized chaos (with a toddler and I work at home but have to take him to the office for appts at random times–u can imagine). He never eats on schedule, never naps on schedule (although he does sleep through the night) Organized chaos works wonderfully for both my newborn and myself. So I think it depends on the child and their personalities and maybe its how different babies are genetically programmed. Some babies thrive off routine and schedules, and others don’t. I have one of each. That’s why I think there is no “right” or “wrong” way of parenting a baby–they’re all different. Just gotta do what works 🙂

  36. Allison on June 20, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    We were the same way – routine, not schedule (but H and I ARE schedule people). We did get a specific bedtime as soon as the kids allowed and around 9-12 months a clearer nap time developed. My 25 month old and 9 month old have a very specific bedtime but even the older one has a naptime that varies – starts between 11:45-1:00 and can be 90 minutes or 3.5 hours. We do cancel afternoon plans at the last minute if he is still sleeping sometimes… My 9 month old has goes down for an AM nap between 9-10am but depending on the length of that nap, the 2nd nap varies.

  37. Jennifer on June 20, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    I’ve found that a strict schedule doesn’t work that well for us and listening to my 8 month old’s cues has worked better! This is totally opposite of my type A want to schedule and plan everything personality but it just works for us! I work full time and have to be flexible with not only mine and my son’s schedule but also his babysitters. My son is a very easy going baby, he lets me know when he’s tired and hungry. As long as he is fed he is happy!

  38. Jennifer on June 20, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    I’m a mama of 4, 4 and under, and we don’t really work on a set schedule. I noticed that all my kids start out taking 3 naps a day. One in the morning like an hour after they wake up, one in the afternoon, around 1, and then another at around 4. Then at about a year the evening nap was dropped and a little after a year the morning nap was dropped. If they missed a morning nap, I just adjust everything. You can totally tell when your child is tired and hungry, so following what they want I think is more important than setting a schedule. I have a friend who is very strict with schedules and would never be able to do anything because it would be during the “set” scheduled time for them to nap or eat. We just kinda go with the flow. If there is somewhere I need to be at say 1 I will either put my kids down for a nap early or let them sleep in the car. You do what you gotta do.
    Do what is best for you and your family.

  39. Michelle on June 20, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    We followed Babywise right from the start, which also does the eat-play-sleep routines, with extending the play times as the baby gets older. It worked beautifully for us. But I totally understand about trying to plan things on times. I never had set nap times with Avery until she was down to 2 naps a day. Liv is probably napping for roughly the same amount of time each nap now (maybe?) give or take a half hour so hopefully that will help you plan a little and give you some freedom. At 5 months, i think Avery’s “cycles” lasted about 3-3 1/2 hrs or something around there so if you know that, you could work bAckwards and figure out when she needs to get up that day to be back at home for nap time while working around your plans. Sorry if that’s not helpful. :\

  40. Kristen @ Miami Housewife on June 20, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    When I was pregnant with my first I was all about putting him on a schedule. Once he was born I realized scheduling him just wasn’t going to work for either of us. But one “scheduling rule” that REALLY worked for us was putting him down for naps about two hours after he woke up (from both a full night’s sleep and from naps). I can’t remember exactly what age he was when we started doing this, but it seems like it was right around Liv’s age and it was a technique that worked for several months. But like you say, as soon as you think you have things figured out, those babies go and change it up on you!

  41. Kristin on June 21, 2012 at 7:57 am

    I have a 16 month old son and I’ve never had him on a schedule. I feel like the times I’ve tried to force anything, he hates it and becomes very crabby. I can tell when he starts to get sleepy and wants a nap. Now he is down to either one long nap (sometimes 3 hours if he is really tired) otherwise it will be two shorter naps. He has really enjoyed the comfort of my husband and I being near him while sleeping so he is near us at all times. I used to get so discouraged because I could never follow what others do as far as schedules. I heard a piece of advice awhile ago and I’ve felt better ever since. And that was, Do what feels right as a parent, not what others tell you. That might seem obvious but from that point on I don’t let anything bother me anymore.

    And I think you are right, once you get used to everything, it always changes.

    Liv is so cute…makes me want to try for another baby! lol

  42. Julie @ Running and Riley on June 21, 2012 at 11:29 am

    While I believe the author gave some valid points in her book, I definitely didn’t agree with everything she said. I don’t know if I’m biased, but I’m taking what she said with a grain of salt. I read in the NY Times that she gave her husband a ménage à trois for his 40th birthday…what???????? That’s just the weirdest thing to me. I don’t know, I’m all for some excitement (if ya know what I mean ;)), but the fact that she has children and did that, kinda freaks me out. Maybe I’m just conservative.

    • Fitnessista on June 21, 2012 at 11:31 am

      the baby whisperer author did that?!
      scandalous!

      • Julie @ Running and Riley on June 21, 2012 at 12:47 pm

        LOL! I just realized…this was meant for your other post on Bring up BeBe. hahaha

        • Fitnessista on June 21, 2012 at 11:03 pm

          ahaha ok i get it now 🙂

  43. mama on June 21, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    I followed Tracy’s EASY for both of my girls! The first year is tough because they need 3 naps early on! When they drop that cat nap life gets a bit easier, and then woah watch out when you go to 1 nap a day, it’ll be heaven! Sounds to me like Liv is spirited! Both of my girls coincidentally were too, which makes napping outside of the crib a bit difficult with noise, light, and stimulation so the only thing i can say is just hold on til you get to 1 nap and things will get easier! My husband always says to me ‘ya know for being such a scheduled planner you dont make it very easy for other people to plan because you don’t know how to plan until the girls wake up in the morning’ which is what you were saying, lol! One thing you can do, and i think tracy suggests it, is waking the baby every morning at the same time so naps fall at the same time, then waking them from their first nap at a regular time and so on…but then once you have to increase A time you go back to not knowing again when the nap will be…i drive myself crazy trying to figure it all out!!

    • Fitnessista on June 21, 2012 at 10:59 pm

      i’ll definitely try to start doing that! it KILLS me to think of waking her up, though

      • Fitnessista on June 21, 2012 at 10:59 pm

        and yes, she’s a spirited one, too!

      • mama on June 23, 2012 at 10:11 am

        i hear ya, its tough!!

  44. Katie on June 21, 2012 at 7:18 pm

    We do babywise which is an eat/wake/sleep routine. One thing that helped us was getting Olivia up at the same time every day within 15 min. That’s way I know if it’s about 3 hours between when she eats it will be the same three hour increments every day. She’s 8 months now and just dropped her third nap this week. Although she’s always been on a fairly predictable routine she is just now napping the same time every day at 8:30 (she gets up at 6)and 1. Another thing I did was once I realized she could handle a 2 hour wake time and was moving toward a 4 hour routine once she woke up from a nap she went back down in two hours. She was usually always tired by then (if tired before two hours I’d put her down earlier) and then it sort of helped her regulate too. This system really helped me know how to meet her needs since I had no clue what to do with a baby!!

    • Fitnessista on June 21, 2012 at 10:52 pm

      little miss early bird over here has been waking up at 5:30 lately! i want to die. haha
      that’s good to know about the first nap, though. maybe i’ll start waking her from that one if it goes longer than an hour

      • katie on June 25, 2012 at 9:54 am

        WE went through a rough patch in the past few months and I thought she was just growing through a development spurt (Started crawling) etc, and she was waking up around 5:30 too. When we dropped her third nap she started sleeping like a rock again. I think she internally registered she was getting too much sleep in a 24 hour period. So now she is back to sleeping until 6-6:15 again. Does she take four naps? Maybe she is ready for 3? OF course if you don’t mind waking at 5:30 its totally not something to mess with! 🙂

        • Fitnessista on June 25, 2012 at 10:53 am

          she takes 3 right now, but i’ve tried to take it down to 2 and don’t think she’s ready yet. 5:30 kills me! this past week it’s been 6, and i let her play in her crib until about 6:20, so i can deal with that 🙂

  45. Janine on June 23, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    Hi Gina,
    I’m so glad you have profiled the Baby Whisperer. I couldn’t have made it through the infant years with my three kids without Tracy Hogg’s books and the babywhisperer message boards. I was so sad when Tracy died as she did such great work with babies. Thankfully she left her books behind so we can learn all of her tips.
    I used EASY with my 3 kids and they are all fantastic sleepers and so easy going.

    Sorry to hear about the 5:30 wakeup call. You should look in the BabyWhispererbooks about “wake to sleep.” It is torturous when you have to do it, but it really pays off in the long run.

    Livi is so cute 🙂

    • mama on June 26, 2012 at 5:21 pm

      I’ve used Wake to Sleep for naps and Early Wake-ups, too! Swear by it!

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