For the last several days, I have been trying to stick to a more strict schedule, following the guidelines for 5-8 month old babies. You see, she no longer needs to sleep every 1-2 hours. She can now stretch it out to 2-3 hours. I used my observance of her typical nap times and also some advice from Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child (referenced as HSH,HC from here on). This book ,while a bit dry to just read straight through, is a fantastic resource as you go through the stages or if you have specific questions.
Now, our daily schedule looks like this:
6-7am: Typical wake-up time
7-8am: Change her diaper, feed her, play a little bit
8-8:30am: Put her back to sleep.
8:30-10:30/11:00: Madeleine naps.This nap follows shortly after waking to ensure she doesn’t get over-tired right at the start of the day – a tip from HSH,HC. This is also her long nap of the day. About 2-3 hours. Ever since I started putting her down sooner after waking, she naps much better in the morning.
11:00-11:30: Change her and nurse
11:30-12:00: Play for a bit in the exersaucer or on the floor.
12:00-12:30: Have solid foods for lunch in her high chair.
12:30-1:30: Change her and then have some type of play activity. Today we went in the back yard with a blanket and played in the yard for a bit. Other days we play with her toys or go for a walk.
1:00-2:00: Afternoon nap time.
2:00-2:30: Wake up, change her, nurse
2:30-3:00: More play time in her exersaucer/floor
3:00-3:30: Solid foods for an afternoon ‘snack’.
3:30-4:00: Change her, get her to sleep
4:00-5:30: Afternoon/early evening nap
5:30-6:00: Wake up, change her, nurse
6:00-6:30: More play time
6:30-7:00: Dinner with solid foods
7:00-7:30: Bath time, change into jammies, story time and down for the night.
She is typically asleep no later than 8pm since I lay her down awake.
For the last 3 nights she’s been put down awake and ZERO crying or whining! I just hear her moving around up there and eventually she’s just quiet. 😀
I know to most this is a ridiculous post and a waste of time for you to read, but I am posting it for the other new mommies out there, like me, who felt a little bit lost coming up with a schedule at first. I didn’t want to make strict times for waking/eating because she sometimes varies her nap times. This one seems to be pretty consistent for the last few days, and of course there’s always adjustments that can be made if she naps a super long time during her afternoon nap. I just keep her up a little later if she wakes early and put her down after less time awake if she wakes late. It has worked well so far.
Now, if we have errands to run, I usually leave the house between 12 and 12:30. She always naps a bit while I’m out, so her schedule’s not thrown off. For example: yesterday I did lunch with a friend and I timed it perfectly so she was awake for the car ride and then napped through lunch! YAY! Then she was awake for a bit of shopping and the car ride home. We were out for 4 hours, total.
If you made it through all that, you’re going to get rewarded with a cutie pie picture of the baby girl!