Our Three Month Old Schedule
by Rachel Cotton
(Savannah, GA, USA)
Cotton and his Daddy
I have found that my 3 month old boy will give me cues about his needs. I feel it is my job to listen to those cues and make informed choices about his scheduling as he grows. It seems it is constantly evolving as he gets older.
Right now, we are on a loose eat every 3.5 - 4 hour schedule,
Then he sits in a infant seat or swing while I do a few things around the house - active things so that he can watch me move and interact with our world. I may clean the kitchen or vacuum, or even dance :) whatever I want. We take this time to walk the dog. I include him by telling him what I am doing and pausing to play and pinch his toes. It's really a time to smell the roses while getting things done and showing him the world.
After 20 or so minutes, his food has digested, so we will then do more physical play, like tummy time, pulling up, dancing, or just kicking his feet and grasping toys. We may only do this part 2 times a day, although we also play a game I call climb the mountain. I use my hands as steps for him to climb to the top of my shoulder and look out the window. I can tell when he is done being physical, because he starts to be uninterested or gets a little fussy or even yawns.
Next we go to his nursery where we read a book or two, or I sing to him - or both sometimes. This too depends on his cues. If he in antsy or fussy, I will lay him on his side (sometimes singing or humming - he likes the vibration) and put either a boobie or a paci in his mouth, he will get really relaxed and on the verge of sleep, and I lay him in his crib. If he cries, which sometimes happens, I let him cry it out for no longer than 10 minutes, because I have noticed that he usually falls asleep after 6-7 minutes of crying, and if I went in at 5 minutes, he would just get super irrate. But this is all trial and error and learning how to listen. After 10 minutes generally means something is wrong, ie. dirty diaper, hungry, etc
When he wakes up we repeat the schedule, starting with breastfeeding and a 2 oz bottle (I have struggled with breastfeeding, so he has been weaned slowly off of formula, but we are still on 2 oz per feeding - hey, we were at 4, so progress!!)
He takes 2-3 45-minute to 2-hour naps everyday. The first week of sleep training was painful for me - more so than Cotton. I just started the schedule one day, and would go in at 5 minutes, then after 10 more, then 15 more. It was hard because, babies get so excited about the new things they are learning and the world around them, that they become overstimulated and it makes them tired, then they get fussy. If you can get them to sleep before they become too tired, then you are golden. I think he really feels better now with regular naps. He is so much more fun to be around too!
After 4:30 he is less active and really just wants some chill time, so we listen to music and he swings or I hold him and we chat. I follow his lead - if he feels like doing it - we will.
Oops, he waking up from his morning nap now! He's been asleep and hour and a half, and I have checked my email, made coffee, eaten breakfast, and written this freakin' novel! On regular days, I paint in my studio.