We built Ellie’s first year baby schedules around the principles found in the babywise book. (If you’re struggling to get your baby to nap well or sleep through the night I highly recommend it!) I don’t feel that the principles from the babywise book are the only ones that work, but they are what worked for us. The book helped us to sleep train our children and to build this babywise 6 month schedule through 12 month schedule. You can find more of my thoughts on Babywise in my additional first year baby schedules here.
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Note: If you’re not a fan of babywise principles 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.
Below is an outline of Ellie’s babywise 6 month schedule through 12 month schedule. Life got much easier once she transitioned to this schedule as it at last shifted her to just two longer naps a day (and she started sleeping them much more reliably)! She also ate meals approximately at regular meal time and it was much easier to be out for evening activities without disrupting the sleep needs in her baby schedule. Her babywise 6 month schedule through 12 month schedule did become less babywise adherent, as I shifted her eating times to where they weren’t necessarily right after naps – especially after she transitioned to having table foods and ate meals with us around nine months old. Ellie also became increasingly distracted with getting her formula in from 9-12 months old and therefore often ended up needing to drink it in her quiet bedroom right before naps (and thus straying from the babywise eat-wake-sleep routine even further).
I began slowly weaning Ellie to a sippy cup at about 7 months, so the following routine started with nursing for the milk feedings and became 8 oz. learner cup servings of formula after 7 months.
Below is the babywise 6 month schedule through 12 month schedule that we followed:
7:30am – wake & formula cup
7:30-9am – play time (although often she was so distracted trying to drink her cup that I would try throughout entire play periods to slowly get it into her.)
9-11:15am – nap (I found that letting her sleep any longer than this started to prevent her from being
able to settle for her afternoon nap so I held to the 11:15 end time pretty strictly.)
11:30am – formula cup
12:00pm – lunch (from 6-9 months this was a stage 2 serving of fruit baby food, but at 9 months we started with table foods like cheese, fruit pieces, peanut butter bread, etc.)
12-1pm – play time
1-3:30pm – nap (occasionally this would be a little bit shorter or longer.)
3:30pm – formula cup
3:30-5:30pm – play time
5:30pm – dinner (from 6-9 months this was a stage 2 serving of veggie baby food and a yogurt, but at 9 months we started with table/finger foods and she pretty much had whatever we were eating for dinner.)
6-7pm – play time
7pm – formula cup and bed (we moved this time up from the previous schedules due to the fact that Ellie no longer took an evening nap. By 7pm she was usually getting quite fussy and ready to go down, though as she got closer to 12 months this became easier and easier to stretch on occasion.
I should also note that the transition to drop the evening nap was a bit rough at the 6 month mark. Looking back I probably should have waited a little bit longer until Ellie was fully ready to do without the evening sleep (I was a little bit eager for the flexibility!) However, by 7 months or so she did quite well without it in her baby schedule.
She continued to sleep through the night from 6-12 months, but would hit phases where she would wake multiple times. Sometimes it was due to hunger, but most of the time it seemed to be the result of developmental leaps (you can read more about how to track developmental leaps here). Even when the overnight interruptions lasted several weeks, she always returned back to making it through the night well at some point. When the interruptions happened we did our best to maintain the no play, no talking, and lights off approach to feeding and/or resettling her.
All in all, Ellie’s babywise 6 month schedule through 12 month schedule was a welcome change to her earlier routines of more frequent feedings and naps and it was nice to maintain one baby schedule for a longer period of time.
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