I’ve written a bit about how I’ve established a schedule for Freddy, but I have to be honest, it changes a lot and it’s an ongoing process. Traveling internationally, illness, weaning, and growth spurts often totally throw everything off and I have to start all over.
I think we’re on ‘Freddy Schedule’ version three? Or maybe four? I don’t even know. I’ve lost count.
One thing I’ve struggled with is to get Freddy on that seemingly elusive 7am-7pm schedule. If you google baby schedules, read baby books on schedules and routines, or talk to other mothers who adhere to this, this is generally what you are told to work towards. Wake up at 7am for first feed, after sleeping through the night OF COURSE, and then baby goes quietly to bed at 7pm after a bottle.
Freddy is nearly seven months old and I have yet to crack this.
To prevent myself from feeling frustrated and like a failure (because why not take it that far…) I’ve decided to approach it differently. In my non-expert opinion, I think it’s important to understand your baby’s rhythm first and foremost. Before you roll your eyes, I’m not talking letting your baby nap for 10 minutes at any point between 9:00am and 12:30pm because it suits them and allowing them to eat dinner at 8:30pm because they preferred the jumperoo three hours earlier. You guys know I’m not a hippie-dippy mother and Freddy is pretty regimented. But one can only take it so far before babies just rebel and do their own thing.
For example, it doesn’t matter how late Freddy goes to bed, he will always, always wake up at 5:00am for his first feed (or sometimes 3:00am, like this week…). He’s been doing this since a few weeks after birth and we’ve just decided to let it be. If we try to settle him to sleep in longer, it ain’t happening.
I’ve also tried to do the recommended longer afternoon nap. I think I’ve been able to get him to sleep in the afternoon for two hours solid about three times. One of which was last week when he was really sick, so it doesn’t count. Freddy prefers three one hour naps a day vice the one hour nap in the morning and a two-hour nap in the afternoon.
Bedtime is approaching 7:00pm now that he is weaning. I don’t know why. But up until that point, bedtime was 6:00pm and nothing I did could keep him awake longer. So, again, we just went with it. It meant that we couldn’t leave the house after 5:00pm because Freddy would be clamouring for his jammies and his white noise machine, but it also meant no overtired tears.
And then you add in all the feeds, along with the naps, and it just gets really tedious. We’ve had to change his schedule again this week to adapt to his new ‘eating rhythm’ since he’s begun eating solids because he wasn’t taking bottles when we were offering them, but since we adjusted a bit, he’s doing better.
So, in conclusion. RHYTHM, BABY. or RHYTHM BABY. You decide.