I feel like I have been “sticking to a schedule” ever since our son was born. We had a baby nurse help us out for the first week (an unbelievable gift from our family) who immediately put our baby on a feeding schedule of every four hours at 2pm, 6pm, 10pm, 2am, 6am, & 10am. Our baby nurse also got us into a bath & bedtime routine. Then, when our son turned four months old, I have fallen into the strict schedule of napping.
Recently, I took a much needed break (a mini stay-cation) from being a stay at home dad, and allowed my very eager mother to have our son for two nights. She asked me to jot down a brief schedule on a post-it note of feeding, nap, and bed times. My post-it note of brief instructions morphed into a two page novel with explicit and detailed instructions on when and how to nap our son, when & what to feed him, bed time routine notes, and other IMPORTANT random notes. My mother laughed at my detailed novel of instructions, and explained she will be doing it her way once I leave anyway, so I should not have wasted my time. Kind of comical!
As I reflect, I am not sure when I became so caught up in “sticking to the schedule”, but I am definitely serious about it. I know nothing would happen to our son if we veer off schedule (which certainly happens), but things are so much more smooth when you have a happy, well rested, and well fed baby. Maybe I just like a little predictability in this whole ‘new world’ of unpredictability – Parenting!
Please share your thoughts- do you stick to a regimented schedule like me?
Good read Lance. You and Jake are so active, how do you maintain your nap schedule? We have a good night time routine but day’s are usually potluck with me usually using the stroller to give Gus some much needed shut eye during the day.
Around 4 months we also got into a stricter schedule. Our kids are now napping for 1-2 hours after each bottle. We are also trying to have them nap in the crib for at least 2 of the naps during the day. I quickly realized that it makes getting outside before lunch a bit harder. It also seems like the only thing are daughter is doing is sleeping. We joked that it seemed like she hadn’t played nor had a story in days because she is so content to sleep. Not so true with our son! In my opinion, sticking to the (strict) schedule makes the day run more smoothly making everyone involved a bit happier.
Today our son would not take a nap. He woke at 6 a.m. on his own (normal) took his bottle at 6:30 a.m. then another at 8:30 then after fruitless attempts to cull him so sleep (dark room, reading, lullaby’s, fan, binky, singing, favorite stuffed animal etc.)he just wouldn’t budge until…10:00 a.m. after two more ounces of milk. After being up for 4 hours he took a 30 min. nap. and after conluding he was hungry again took another bottle and is now sleeping. for how long, I don’t know…
I’ve found that as soon as we get used to a schedule, the kid goes and changes it on us. But we did stick to the napping schedule for as long as we could. Our one afternoon nap is shortly coming to an end, so although we’re not sticking to it every single day, we’re milking it for all it’s worth, because once it’s over, we’ll be crying!