If you haven’t read any of my previous posts on baby schedules, we are a family that believes in following a schedule with our babies! Following a baby schedule is one of the important factors that helped our second daughter to sleep through the night for 9 hours straight as not even a 2 month old baby. (She did it for the first time at 7 weeks old!)
To read more about how we got both of our daughters to sleep through the night from an early age you can also read my post here on 7 Tips To Help Your Baby Sleep Through The Night.
Having a 2 month old baby who sleeps through the night is not the end all be all. However, for me, having a baby that sleeps well at night is very important to my own health and sanity. I simply do not function well if I’m not getting decent stretches of sleep at night. Because it is such a high priority for me to sleep at night I keep my daughters on consistent schedules as much as I can. I don’t think it is the way that everyone needs to manage their babies, but it is the way that keeps me the most sane!
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We follow the principles from the book Becoming Baby Wise to build our daughters’ schedules and train their sleeping habits. The below schedule and details were for my second daughter when she was a 2 month old baby (specifically 6-10 weeks old). You can read the details of my oldest daughter’s schedule as a 2 month old baby here. (The schedule for my oldest daughter was actually for when she was 1-4 months old. I believe the schedule below for my second daughter is actually a little bit of a better representation of what a 2 month old baby should be following since we learned a few things after my first daughter! Primarily, I think the wake times for my oldest daughter’s schedule were too long for a 2 month old baby as wake times can shift considerably from 1 month to 4 months old.)
(Note: If babywise is not your thing but you’re realizing that you need help getting your baby to sleep you can get a free sleep assessment here from infant and child sleep consultant Dana Obleman.)
I would say that the biggest challenge we faced for my second daughter as a 2 month old baby was figuring out the appropriate wake time for her. I kept experimenting to find the right length so that she would be sufficiently tired but not overtired to go down for her naps, but I kept feeling like it wasn’t quite right! It finally seemed to land close to 45 minutes (including feeding time) each feed-wake-sleep cycle (again from the babywise book). 30 and even 40 minutes seemed too short but she seemed overtired if we went to 50 minutes. Every baby is probably different with their exact wake time needs so it might take a bit of experimenting to find your baby’s “sweet spot.”
From 6-10 weeks our daughter essentially repeated a feed-wake-sleep cycle 5 times, which means she had 5 naps each day and then a longer stretch of overnight sleep. During this period she had 6-7 feedings each day.
Our 2 Month Old Baby’s Schedule From 6-10 Weeks:
7am – nurse
7:20-7:45am – wake time (my daughter usually took about 20 minutes to nurse, so this was wake time in addition to her feeding time. Feeding and wake time were finished by approximately 7:45am).
7:45-10am – nap (she didn’t always take her naps to full length, but when she didn’t I would try to soothe her back to sleep to finish the nap in my arms unless it was clear that she was hungry, needed a diaper, etc.)
10am – nurse (this feeding began the feed-wake-sleep cycle again).
10:20 – 10:45am – wake time
10:45 – 1pm – nap
1pm – nurse
1:20-1:45pm – wake time
1:45 – 4pm – nap
4pm – nurse
4:20-4:45pm – wake time
4:45-7pm – nap
7:20-7:45 – wake time
7:45-10pm – nap
10pm – nurse & bed
For the 10pm feeding we changed the diaper prior to feeding her so that our 2 month old baby could be fed, swaddled, and put right to bed. We did not give her any wake time after this feeding.
Our daughter started sleeping through the night for about 9 hours straight (from 10pm to 7am) for the first time when she was 7 weeks old. She was somewhat consistent after that with sleeping the whole way from the 10pm feeding to 7am, but she definitely had several days of waking up closer to 6am.
If our daughter woke before 7am on any particular day I would feed her in her room with white noise still on and without taking off her swaddle and set her right back down in bed until her 7am wake time. I would then feed her again at 7am to start the day even though she hardly ate anything if it hadn’t been very long between feedings. Doing this helped her internal clock to align to a 7am wake time and helped each day to begin for us at the same time so that we were then able to maintain a predictable routine.
The hardest thing to manage with overnight feedings for my 2 month old baby was when she would wake within an hour of her 7am “start” time for the day. If she woke at 6am or later it was very hard to get her to resettle after feeding her since she was ready to start the day. It was especially difficult if she woke around 6:30am since by the time I was done feeding her it was nearly 7am. For these days I often ended up just feeding her at 6:30 and trying to stretch her first morning nap a half hour longer so that her next feeding lined up with the schedule for the day.
Even though I followed a schedule I also always allowed for flexibility to the schedule based on my 2 month old baby’s needs. If I knew my daughter was hungry because she didn’t get a good last feeding, was experiencing a growth spurt, or any other reason I always fed her and then just tried to adjust the rest of the day so that her last 10pm feeding still happened at 10pm. If she woke early from any of her naps I typically tried to soothe her back to sleep to help her finish the nap (even though I very much seek to have my daughters take all of their naps in their cribs).
I sought to follow the above babywise schedule sample with my 2 month old baby girl, but there were also many days that required flexibility. The general framework of the schedule still helped my daughter to learn to sleep well at night and kept me a sane momma through the early weeks of her life!
You can find the outline of some of my additional schedules below, or in the main menu under baby-schedules.