I’ve found myself turning to Google way too many times to try and find a routine that fits our life. I’ve looked for bedtime routines, naptime routines, how to sleep through the night; just about EVERYTHING! I don’t know why. It ends up making me more stressed and my days not enjoyable. But, I kept going back to it, and while I found some guidance, I pretty much had to just trust my instinct, and we’re all much happier these days!
While I’m no expert, I have found what has been working for us (for now anyway!) and thought I’d share. Clearly I’m not saying this will work for you (hello babies who change their minds all the time!), but maybe it will give you some insight on our days. I plan to do an actual day in the life post soon, as I’ve been telling myself that for the past week and a half, but we’ll get there! Keep in mind she is 8 weeks old now! (How did we get to 8 weeks already!)
The beginning of a Routine
I had heard of Babywise through the grapevine, but never bought the book while pregnant. I knew it was a huge way to help your baby sleep through the night, and getting on a schedule. The main point of Babywise is “eat-play-sleep,” meaning, you feed your child upon waking, then keep them awake for some time to play, and then they sleep. It basically steers you away from feeding them to sleep (nursing or formula). I have really stuck to this since she was born. I tried everything to keep her awake after I fed her, from the beginning. Of course, in those early days it was hard. Sometimes I got a few minutes, sometimes longer. Besides the first week or two when keeping her awake just hardly happened, I do not nurse her to sleep. To be honest, she was never good at it, and I don’t enjoy it because I have to try to keep her awake to make sure she gets a full feeding.
When Annabelle is tired, she does not eat well. She fights it, pushes away, gets red in her face, and is not herself. She will now pull my hair, and it’s torture for me to feed her. But, those times aren’t too often because she is awake when I feed her in this routine. She has just woken up from her nap and is ready for some food. I’ll take it! Of course she gets drowsy and acts like she’s asleep by the end, but after burping, she wakes back up and is ready to go. I LOVE this aspect of it, and I’m glad I started this from the beginning, but I think you can start this in the later weeks, too!
I also have been focusing more on keeping one time to get her up in the morning. This was also recommended in Babywise. I aim for 7, because she is typically waking up then. But, I’m not that adamant about it. I want sleep, too! I try to wait for her to start stirring and waking up herself, and it’s typically between 7-7:30.
Alright, so now that I talked your ear off…
Once she gets up in the morning, she eats, and then I pump and she plays beside me. I only pump after this feeding, and once at night. I’m very lucky that I have a great supply. Our freezer is full of milk, so I don’t feel like I need to pump anymore than this. She is typically awake until 8-8:30 and she goes down for a nap. I’ve found that if she sleeps in her swing, she typically falls back asleep after waking up at this infamous 45 minute mark, and she gets a good nap in.
While that happens, I do the dishes, eat food myself, change, and if she’s still sleeping, I get a workout in. If I’m really lucky and she’s still out, I also shower.
Once she gets up, it’s typically 10-10:30 and we start over. This nap is hit or miss. I have mentioned it before, but she has this “45 minute intruder” problem. Basically, baby sleep cycles are 45 minutes and they can have a hard time getting from one cycle to the next. She has that problem in her crib, but I do try to get her in there at least once a day just to see if we can work on that. If she wakes up in 45 minutes, I try to leave her there until the hour mark. Sometimes it works and she is content, sometimes not. I don’t leave her in there if she is screaming or crying! If she is content, I do just because she sometimes falls back asleep. Sometimes she tries to get back to sleep and just can’t. If she’s happy, I’ll get her up then. If her eyes are red and she’s still tired, I try to get her back by rocking her, and soak in the snuggles.
During this nap, I will either finish getting a shower and ready or clean up the house a bit. I am someone who showers, does my hair, and puts make up on just about every day. Most days I don’t leave the house, but I just need to do that for my sanity. I feel way better about myself and more like a person if I do this. I still wear yoga pants or leggings just about everyday, though. Let’s not get carried away…
I usually try to eat during this time, but it never fails she wakes up whenever I try to eat.
Once she gets up, it’s typically 12:30-1 and we start over. This is typically when I run errands with her, get out of the house, go for a walk, etc. If we’re out, she will usually sleep in her car seat the whole time, so I knock out everything at once. Doing things with a baby is hard!
We come home and I’ll try to make the transfer if we weren’t out long so she continues to sleep, have her sleep on me or in my arms, or she’s up. She’s then ready for another feeding, play time, and daddy comes home. She typically eats every 3 hours in the morning but in the afternoon, she typically wants fed every 2-2.5, which is totally fine!
Our naps in the evening have been hit or miss, unfortunately. I try to get her to nap around 5, but it’s not always that long. Sometimes it’s over an hour, but not always, and it can end up overtiring her for the night and the whole evening is a struggle. I also aim for a “power nap” around 7-7:30, but these two naps just don’t always happen. It also never fails that she wakes up and wants fed right when we sit to eat!
Lately, we’ve had a bedtime at around 8:30. The bedtime was something I didn’t really know what to do with and Googled, but here’s what works for us. Once she wakes up from her last nap, if she took it, around 7:30-8, I typically feed her. It’s usually been 2 hours or so since her last feeding. This isn’t always the case, though. This feeding is usually a night by night decision. Then, she stays awake. Every other night she gets a bath. If it’s a night she does not get a bath, she just plays a bit more and we turn off the stimulating toys. Aaron takes over bedtime, shortly after. when she is fussy again. The sound machine goes on, the hall light goes on, and bedroom light out. He changes her diaper and puts on her sleeper. He then feeds her from the bottle. Yes, this is very close to when she last ate, but this basically “tops her off “ for the night and she winds down and knows it’s bedtime. He then swaddles her up (we just got the miracle blanket) and she puts herself to sleep, just like every nap.
I pump before I go to bed. I love having Aaron do this nighttime routine with her. I have her during the day and feed her all day. This is his special moment. I typically go to bed at 9:30-10. The past week or so, she’s only waken up once in the night. Saturday night she was in bed at 9 and woke up at 4:50, and Tuesday night she slept from 8:30-4:30!
We are extremely blessed with a happy baby! She only cries when she’s hungry, has a burp, or is tired. Some nights she gets very overtired when she doesn’t take a long enough nap, which can result in some fussiness. But, other than that she’s pretty content.
- I implement Eat, wake, sleep and it’s working great for us
- She eats every 2-3 hours, usually 2.5 or 3, never longer, and I wake her from naps at the 2 hour mark.
- Aaron feeds her a bottle at night (with breastmilk) and I just pump that feeding. This came after one of our doctor appointments. She had told me that milk supply dips lower in the evening, and we weren’t sure if that’s why she was fussy after 9 (weeks ago) and always eating. We wanted to make sure she was getting enough in the last feeding.
- This is what’s working for us! Maybe she’ll start sleeping longer, but waking up once a night is nice. Besides the first week or two, she has really only waken up 2, maybe 3 times during the night.
- I pump once in the morning after feeding her because my boobs are typically very full from feeding during the night.
- Naps are either 45 minutes or 2 hours, usually. Sometimes there is one in the middle.
- Growth spurts and wonder weeks did throw us off schedule.
- She’s really awake when it’s her wake time, and I love it! She’s a smiley girl and has recently found her voice
- During her nap times, I try to catch up on blogs/write my post/ clean the house/ shower/ get a workout in.
- She went to her crib from the first night we brought her home. She used to take her naps in her crib starting at week 2/3 but once I found out she naps longer in the swing, I use that for at least one. I’m hoping we can get through this sleep cycle soon, though!
That wraps up our day! It was probably a bit confusing to follow, but like I said, I’m hoping to do a day in the life soon. No two days are ever the same, that’s for sure! Now that I just wrote all that, she’ll probably be up 4 times a night and not nap. Better go knock on wood!
Linking up with Amanda for some Thinking Out Loud!