Wednesday, June 27, 2012

reader question - schedule issues

In the process of figuring out my new role as a mom, I've blogged about it.  I try to document important moments in my son's life along with things that may help other new moms like me.  Over the past several months, I've gotten some emails/messages asking me different questions about schedules, reflux, Babwise, etc.  I thought I'd start posting these questions along with my answers in hopes that maybe it will help someone else.  So, here we go!

I see you are a big fan of babywise and I wanted to ask you a few questions. I haven't put our 10 week old a strict schedule yet but am thinking I need to start. She was a really good sleeper from the start, but these last few nights has started to wake up every 3 hours. Anyway, I am going to start her on the 3 hour schedule and wanted to ask you what do you do if they aren't falling asleep. She stays awake for a long time... sometimes like 5-6 hours, which I know isn't good for her... So if I have her awake approx 1 hr or so and put her to sleep and she just fusses on and off for the next 2 hours or only sleeps for 30 minutes, do I just keep her on the 3 hour schedule and hope she sleeps more the next stretch? If she wakes up after an hour do I just let her keep crying in bed or do I feed her even though it would only be a 2 hour cycle? It's OK if you don't know, I know I need to give it a few days, I am just not sure what to do because sometimes she will only sleep a short amount of time (like her first nap of the day) and her second nap of the day she sleeps a lot and I have to wake her. 

Thanks Claire, no hurry, I just saw you put on your blog today to ask you questions so I am :o)


Hey! I'm so glad you messaged me!

As for the 3 hour schedule, I think that's a great place to start. Most babies stick with a 3 hour schedule during the day for quite awhile. (Duke still eats pretty much every 3 hours.)  If he's napping and we're past the 3 hour mark to feed, I wake him. 

How well your baby sleeps is very much affected by how long your baby is up (waketime). At 11 weeks, Duke's waketime was usually around 1 hr and 20 minutes. At that point, he went down for a nap ... no matter what. I put him down wide awake with no sleep props (no rocking, pacifier, etc.). In the beginning, he would cry ... maybe even 15-20 minutes. It killed me! But it didn't take long for him to just fall right asleep. Now, he hardly fusses at all when going down to sleep. So, figure out an appropriate waketime for her. It could be more or less than 1 hour and 20 minutes ... but I bet it's pretty close to that. Also, remember that waketime includes feeding time. So, if you feed for 30 minutes, that might mean that she's awake for another 50 minutes. 

Babywise talks about the 45-minute intruder and other things that may cause your baby to wake early from naps. If Duke ever woke up early, I'd first let him cry for a bit (15 minutes at most). Most times, he fell back asleep. If he didn't, I'd get him up and just try to hold him off until it was time to eat. If he was crazy and hungry, then I fed him. That most likely meant he was up because of hunger and it was probably a growth spurt. With growth spurts, the schedule kind of has to go out the window. I usually ended up feeding Duke once more in the day than normal during a growth spurt. But after a few days, it's usually done and life can go back to normal. 

Also, I'm not sure if you've seen this, but here is my 11 week old schedule post:

I hope some of this will help you! 

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