1 Month Old Baby Routine Through 4 Month Old Baby Routine
I know it can be a controversial topic, but we followed the principals from the Baby Wise book to create our daughter’s baby schedule and teach her how to sleep. I don’t think it’s the only way or the exclusively right way to do things, but it’s the way that worked for our family and kept us sane especially through the early months. Every family has a different dynamic and may have a different and equally good structure. This is what worked for us. I didn’t follow every principle of the book, but the general framework of eliminating sleep aids, allowing Ellie to cry at times, and creating a routine baby schedule for her sleeping made all of us much happier and more functional people.
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We didn’t start implementing a baby schedule for Ellie until she was about 3 weeks old. It was then that after trying to rock her to sleep for hours in the middle of the night I pulled out the Baby Wise book and we decided that we needed to change our approach. The book transformed our tactics for how we were getting her to sleep and training her future sleep habits – and it transformed OUR sleep!
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.
If you are working to structure a schedule for your little one then it’s my hope that the details of our schedule can help you to build yours!
Here’s Our 1 Month Old Baby Feeding Schedule Through 4 Months:
7:30-8am – Wake
8-8:30am – Nurse (sometimes this took up to 40-45 min rather than a half hour)
8:30-9am – Wake Time
9-11am – Nap
11-11:30am – Nurse
11:30-12:30 – Wake Time
12:30-2pm – Nap
2-2:30pm – Nurse
2:30-3:30pm – Wake Time
3:30-5pm – Nap
5-5:30pm – Nurse (at 4 months I introduced solids after nursing at this feeding)
5:30-6:30pm – Wake Time
6:30-7:30 – Nap (this nap was sometimes even shorter)
7:30-8pm – Wake Time
8-8:30pm – Nurse
8:30pm – Bedtime
Ellie also had a 10:30pm feeding until about one and a half to two months but for her it seemed to disrupt her sleeping and make it worse rather than helping her sleep through longer, so we cut it out and I just fed her overnight as she needed. I pumped each night at 10:30pm instead to maintain my milk supply and build a freezer stash. We also didn’t realize initially that the 10:30pm feeding was best as a dream feed so we might have developed a bad routine with it that made it unsettling even once we tried to transition it to a dream feed in her baby schedule later on.
We also firmly implemented the lights off and no playing or talking rule for all of her night time feedings. It was rough at the beginning with many periods of crying fits (from both baby and mommy), but eventually it became easy to feed her and put her right back into the crib each time.
Ellie slept through the night from 8:30pm to 7:30am for the first time right about at 18 weeks, and then did it four nights in a row! Needless to say we were very refreshed feeling parents and thankful for her baby schedule that was making such a big difference in her sleep. Ironically, she slept through the first night after we introduced some solids into her diet. For about a month prior to that she had been sleeping almost through but waking routinely for a 5-5:30am feeding.
Ellie still hit some patches (sometimes a full month at a time) of really rough nighttime sleep after she began sleeping through, but overall after each of those fussy periods she would revert back to being able to make it through the night. Most of the time it seemed that periods of rough nights were linked to developmental leaps or growth spurts (you can read my post about tracking developmental leaps here). At times it was also due to an overstimulating day or a day where she didn’t adhere well to her baby schedule and lost naps during the day.
Developmental Leaps & A Suddenly Fussy Baby
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I should also note that naps were a very big battle in Ellie’s baby schedule all the way through about six months. So though this was the basic framework for her eating and sleeping, naps sometimes took much longer to settle for or lasted much less than the indicated time. I also battled with my milk supply often which would lead to her baby schedule being disrupted for more frequent feedings and naps being shortened due to hunger. The above schedule is what we aimed for and generally followed for months one through four.
Question… where would you have your baby take those last naps of the day? Throughout the day my 5 week old naps in a bouncer or play yard.. I’m trying to figure out at what nap to take her upstairs to her bassinet or if I should just keep her downstairs until we go up
So with our first baby we kept her downstairs in a pack n play for most of her naps until she was about 2 months old and became more aware of her surroundings and noise. However, with our second and third babies we started putting them in their cribs in their rooms for naps from 2-3 weeks on. It was just more practical with the noise level in the rest of the house and we found that it seemed to serve better for our sleep training efforts in general to get them used to naps and overnight in their crib. In general we found that doing naps up in their cribs worked better, especially the older they got…
Gosh it’s so reassuring to hear that your baby didn’t start sleeping through the night until week 18! We are almost week 16 and I’ve been doing babywise since day one. It’s really helped us overall, but I was getting discouraged because the book promised my baby would sleep all night by 12 weeks and he still wakes up at midnight and 5 am…which means I can get 5 hour stretches of sleep at night but still disappointing…I’ve been trying so hard to do everything right and felt like a failure…even though I can see many benefits of sleep training, I know it hasn’t been a waste of time, just didn’t meet my expectations. I’m hopeful again after reading your blog that my baby will eventually sleep through the night when he is ready 🙂
Yes, don’t give up!! You’re laying good foundations! With each of my babies the timing was a little bit different even though we followed a very similar approach with each. My second baby was almost 5 months until she started giving us 12 hour nights and our third baby was 7 months! I personally feel that different baby sizes and personalities also play a big role. Our second baby was never as rigid with her sleep times (especially with her nap reliability) as our first even though we followed babywise about the same way with both. But both learned how to settle for naps well and sleep good 12 hour nights before too long.
So does that mean you wake them from naps to keep them on schedule during the day?
It was so hard to do, but I did. I think in the long run it helped them to learn that they could sleep uninterrupted overnight and it helped to get enough feedings into them throughout the day – but it was definitely hard to bring myself to do!
I have difficulty to get my LO take nap after the wake time. He need to drink or cuddle to sleep during day time. Any idea what can be done?
Yes, it can be SO hard. I let each of my daughters cry for a period of time and then after that consoled them to sleep however I could so that they learned that I wasn’t going to help them right away. Over time they made progress until they could do it on their own.
It’s refreshing to hear the late (10:30) feeding didn’t work for you and you dropped it. Same for me. I was too tired to feed and then stay up for 30 min bc of his reflux. Plus I couldn’t stand to wake him when he was sleeping so well. I tried again a couple of times and he still woke at the same time each night. I keep going back and forth thinking I should try again. Now I’m pretty sure I won’t. 🙂
Yeah I debated too and felt like I was doing it wrong to drop it, but she did so much better that way! (Actually slept longer stretches if I didn’t feed her late!) I really think it’s one of those things that each child may respond to differently. I know some moms that the dream feed was wonderful for, but just didn’t work for us!
The 10:30 Feed never worked for us either 🙂 We did babywise with our first and I ended up so stressed over schedule! I knew I liked some general principles, but having our 4 kids close in age, and then learning to relax a little, I ended up writing a sleep training guide of my own!! Haha it utilizes the eat/ wake/ sleep principle (which is in a lot of sleep training books!) but with other tips, tricks, and ideas for various situations. Let me know if you want to take a look and/or potentially become an affiliate!! 🙂
It is not to late to start a sleep routine at 2 1/2months?
I would say definitely not! It might take a little bit more patience and effort to make the transition, but I think you would find it worth it! It really transformed sleep for our stubborn daughter and made all of us happier people (including her)