Friday, November 04, 2005

the schedule

as a new parent, one of the most important things you can do is put your baby on a schedule. i was referred to the book On Becoming Baby Wise, by my good friend christine. she has a son, who is 3 months older than jack, and she and her husband have had great success with the Baby Wise technique. there were some parts of the book that i felt were a bit too ridged and strict for our family, so we just modified it to work for us! it is a good reference, and just like anything you take what you need and leave the rest. if i had to recommend one page in the entire book it would be page 119 ... this sets the structure of a daily schedule.

in addition to Baby Wise, i would recommend Secrets of the
Baby Whisperer. i LOVED this book. it follows the eat, play, sleep routine, so it won't confuse first time parents looking to "find the answer", should they use it with Baby Wise. it is mostly common sense, but just makes sense. maybe i liked it because tracy calls the reader luv and doll throughout the book. i felt so much more in tune with what jack was "trying to tell me" after i read it. we were doing well before, but it has improved our communication. sometimes i feel like he gets it when i am telling him that we are going to be home in 10 minutes, and he will get a bottle then ... i swear he is almost angelic in the backseat, patiently sucking his fingers!

we have been so fortunate with jack, as he was sleeping through the night at 9 weeks. i am sure he would have been sleeping through the night at 6 weeks, but i wasn't comfortable putting him on his belly, and that seemed to be part of the magic. i still worry about him, but i figure that is going to be the "norm" for the rest of my life. below is the schedule we followed until jack was 4 1/2 months old:

7:00 am - Wake, eat
7:30-8:30 - Play*
8:30-10:00 - Nap**

10:00 am - Wake, eat
10:30 - 11:30 - Play
11:30 - 1:00 pm - Nap

1:00 pm - Wake, eat
1:30 - 2:30 - Play
2:30 - 4:00 - Nap

4:00 pm - Wake, eat
4:30 -5:30 - Play
5:30 - 7:00 - Nap

7:00 pm - Wake, eat
7:30 - mellow interaction, bath time, storytime
8:00 - Bedtime

*Note on Play: you do not have to "play" with baby every minute. they just need some sort of stimulation like watching you do a project, or look at a brightly colored object. jack really liked the
Tiny Love red, black and white playmat.

**Note on Nap: i make sure to make "noise" during naps. i do NOT hush the dogs, turn down the phone ringer, or turn down the television, etc. it seems to have worked as jack can sleep through almost anything! Unless his cousin cooper is yelling "BABY!" next to the bed. ahh, it was funny for the rest of us!

i will admit that jack has not slept through his entire afternoon naps since he was 3 months old. as babies get older, they do not require as much sleep. as long as he is all smiles, i let him get up and "play".

stay flexible with your schedule as well. i take jack "out" often during nap time. our rule is that we can only miss one nap at home per day. he does really well, but there was the one time at Target that he wanted to let everyone know we needed to go home!

when you have a schedule it is a lot easier to plan YOUR day too. it is important to remember that you can still do everything (within reason) that you used to do, you just have a baby tagging along! more on that in a future post ... traveling with the circus!


Blogger Chris said...

Whatever works for you and your baby, go for it! Your baby will let you know if it is not working! Jack and Garrett will be the only babies that are going to be able to tell time according to their nap schedule. :)

10:33 PM CST  
Blogger iowa city chick said...

Great advice!

12:53 PM CST  

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