While some of us are lucky enough having a baby who creates his own sleep schedule and it just so happens to work perfectly with our sleep schedule, the rest of us are not. Getting your baby on a sleep schedule can be frustrating and take time.
I’m here to make it a little easier for you. This exact schedule can be used for infants from 0-3/4 months. For babies who are older, you’ll just have to change some times or cut out a nap or two, as they don’t sleep as much during the day.
Is your baby confused between night and day? Yeah, sorry to say this, but that’s pretty much the worst case scenario. But that’s ok, it’s going to be ok. We’re going to tackle this thing right now, so you and your baby can get the sleep you need and deserve.
You’re going to want to start this process in the morning when your baby wakes up. If they’re sleeping past 8 am, wake them up. The first day is going to be rough for you and your baby, but don’t give in. Once your baby wakes up, feed him and then entertain him so he doesn’t fall back to sleep. Use this time to bond with your baby by playing peek-a-boo or talking to them.
About an hour and a half to two hours after your baby wakes up, you can put them down for their first nap. You’re going to want to put them in their crib, bassinet, etc. while they’re still awake, but try to get them to a drowsy state. If you have difficulties getting your little ones to sleep, read my article on 5 ways to get your newborn to sleep.
I really like using white noise machines on my babies!
Don’t let your baby sleep for more than two hours on the first day. Once your baby is consistent with the schedule, then they can have longer naps.
Once your baby is awake, go through the routine again- feed, play, whatever you have to do to keep your baby awake.
When your baby has been awake for about 3 hours, then you can put him to back down for a nap, following the same steps you did before. Once again, do not let your baby sleep more than two hours on the first day.
So, by this point it should be around 5pm, and you’re going to want your baby to go to bed at 8-8:30 pm. Therefore, you have about three hours to tire him out and make him sleepy.
This is the perfect time for tummy time! Put your baby on his stomach and let him practice picking up his head. You can also give your baby a lot of play time, but leave the last hour open to unwind.
For tummy time, I like to put my three-month-old on his big floor pillow, which has built-in toys to keep him occupied.
An hour before bedtime (8/8:30pm), give your baby a warm bath. This will make him sleepy. After his bath, feed him as much as it takes to get him full (if he’s full, he will sleep l o n g e r ).
Once 8pm hits, put your baby down for bedtime. On the first night, he might not sleep for many hours straight, and that’s ok, just stay consistent and he will get there.
When your baby wakes up in the night, keep your voice quiet and calm (or don’t talk at all), and keep the lights to a minimum. If there are a lot of lights, your baby will think it’s daytime and then you’ll be back to square one. Feed your baby or rock him to sleep to get him back to bed. I really enjoy using white noise. It’s easy and works great!
Ok, so there ya go! The key here is consistency. Every day you must do the same exact thing or it could throw your baby off. Once he gets the schedule down, you change it up a little to what’s convenient for you.
I hope this helps you and your little one; good luck!