Our Daytime Routine
A few weeks ago, when Luke was 8 weeks old, I started implementing a daytime routine. Babies thrive on routines, and I'd read that between 2 and 4 months they are ready for a schedule.
I started earlier than later because (a) Luke is a moderately fussy baby and I figured some sort of routine would make the days more enjoyable for both of us, (b) Most of the time, Luke was only comfortable sleeping on my chest. While I love the cuddles, I figured that the transition to daytime naps in his crib could take a while, so we started trying. A few weeks in he doesn't yet love daytime naps in his crib but it's getting better, and (c) I've known other families who successfully started a schedule when their babies were still quite young.
It's still a work in progress, but below is what our typical day generally looks like.
First, a few notes:
- I'm sure it will get more consistent as he gets older, but so far, the times are VERY approximate, and vary day to day. In fact, while we hit the times outlined below occasionally, they are more the ideal I'm aiming for rather than our routine right now. I try to aim for naps at these times, but if he sleeps longer than usual I let him sleep. Other days, he wakes up early. As a rule of thumb, currently at 10 weeks, I try to put him down for a nap about 1-2 hours after he woke up from his last sleep.
- I always TRY to put him down drowsy but awake so he learns to fall asleep on his own, but most days he cries right away, so I go in and soothe him. If he stays awake, I'll rock/sing/nurse him to sleep. Though I'd love for him to fall asleep on his own, this works for us right now. Plus, I cherish the cuddles!
- If we have a longer outing or day trip planned, we go for it! I feed him on the go and (hopefully) he'll sleep in his stroller or carseat. It may mess up his routine a bit, but it's nice to get out of the house. We just pick up where we left off the next day. Similarly, sometimes in the evening we stay out later and we'll put him to bed then transfer him to his crib when we get home. If he wakes up, I'll feed him and put him back to bed.
Our (Loose) Daily Routine
(Times are approximate)
- If I'm feeling ambitious, I get up before Luke, brush my teeth and wash my face, exercise, and make coffee if I have time
- Luke wakes up between 7 and 8, I get him dressed and feed him, make a smoothie for myself, and we head out for a walk with Chevy. Luke often has a short nap in the stroller
- Return home, get ready for nap (change diaper, sleep sack, draw blinds, white noise machine), feed
- Luke naps while I shower, make coffee and a snack, do a little freelance or school work
- Luke wakes up, eats, plays (play mat, read books, sing songs, makes lunch with me, etc.)
- Get ready for nap (change diaper, sleep sack, draw blinds, white noise), feed
- Luke naps while I tidy up around the house or do some more work
- Luke wakes up, eats, we run errands or have more playtime
- Get ready for short nap. I'll feed him beforehand if necessary
- From when he wakes until bedtime he'll sit/play with Adam when he gets home from work between cluster feeds
- Get ready for bed: Bath (every other day), dim lights, play soothing music, apply lotion, put on PJs and sleep sack, eat
- Ideally, he'll be sleep by 8 pm