How We Scheduled Our Fourth Baby
Ian is our fourth baby, born in late November. He nurses, exclusively. I stay at-home with our children, ages 11 (girl), 8 (girl), and 5 (boy). Since we educate at home, Ian's schedule was important to a peaceful day for all of us. It is fun to have a baby with so many extra helping hands. At nearly six months, we are making adaptations with Ian's schedule so as to space out his feedings. We will be adding solids sometime in the couple of months.
6:30am Nurse Ian. During the first weeks, he immediately fell back asleep, but in time he gained the capacity to stay awake, be alert and play with us and his toys.
8:00am Nap Ian. I love swaddling, so we wrap him up (we call him our Big Burrito) and lay him down. At first it was either on our bed or in a cradle in our room. Now he also sleeps in his crib as well.
9:30am Nurse Ian. We are in the middle of our school time, so I teach my preschool son while nursing my newborn. His wake time includes hugs and kisses from all his siblings who take turns with him, as well as playing in his bouncy seat and just recently, a fun circus exersaucer.
11:00am Nap Ian. Same routine as above.
12:30pm Nurse Ian. Usually I am reading to the other children at this time, so this is a perfect time for cuddling. He also enjoys his rain forest mobile, swinging, looking at a book.
2:00pm Nap Ian. Same routine as above, except that I try to lie down, too. During the first weeks, we did nap together some, but now we both sleep better in separate beds.
3:30 Nurse Ian. As we are making dinner, he likes Daddy coming home, having tummy time or being held.
5:00pm Nap Ian
6:30pm Nurse Ian. We usually are reading a book after dinner, playing a game as a family or some other activity that Ian joins in.
***Now here is where the greatest amount of deviation has taken place. There was some crying during the first weeks, until we learned that our son wanted us to lay him down to go to sleep, and then we were all much happier! Sometimes we have kept him up, nursed again and put him to bed by 8 or 9 pm. Most of the time though, he takes his last nap at 8-9:30 pm and then nurses and goes down for the night. Ian never really had a midnight feeding. He woke more at the 2 am or 4 am times.
6:30am Nurse, Awake and Nap at 8:15ish (1.5-2 hrs nap)
10:00am Nurse, Awake and Nap at 11:45ish
1:30pm Nurse, Awake and Nap 3:15ish
5:00pm Nurse, Awake and Nap 6:45ish
8:30pm Nurse, Awake and Bedtime 9-9:30
Let's see if I can anticipate possible questions...
Does he sleep thru the night. Yes, mostly. At about 2-3 months, we put him in the crib right across the hallway rather than in the cradle in our room, and he slept thru that very night (and so did I!!) He pretty consistently has slept that way, except during our spring break vacation when we traveled to another state, and coming back he was teething and has a slight cold. If he wakes at night, I nurse and return him to his bed.
Then, we get him up, pretty much without fail, at 6:30-having that starting point seems to make our day go well. How is he doing with the change in schedule? Pretty well, but I am taking it VERY slowly. Some days are the 3 hr feedings and other days are the 3.5 feedings, and we allow a little crying (if it's not crazy crying, and sometimes he doesn't sleep when it's sleep time.) Everyone pitches in to help him be happy.