Schedules

Newborn 0-12 Weeks

SCHEDULE#1: 60-Minute schedule, 6 naps. 630a-1030p schedule. 

Wake time and bedtime should be 16 hours apart. If you wish to have an earlier or later wake time, please adjust naptime/bedtime and scheduling increments accordingly. 

  • The cycle should be WAKE, FEED, PLAY, SLEEP. 

  • 630am: Wake up. Change diaper, Feed. This can be done in the rocker in the bedroom or anywhere to ensure there is no distraction with the feed.

    • If breastfeeding, offer the breast. You have the option of offering pumped breast milk after nursing so that you are sure the baby is full.

    • If offering formula as supplementation, offer the formula after nursing or bottle-feeding breastmilk.

    • If exclusively offering formula, make sure the baby is taking the required amount and offer more if needed every 20 minutes until the full amount is ingested. 

    • You can do this for every feed below. 

    • Play.  

  • 730 am Nap#1. This is a good time to pump if needed after placed down for a nap. 

  • 9 am: Wake up. Feed. Never wake from any nap unless it's been 4 hours from the last feed. But this is most likely when the wake up will be. If the wake up occurs after only 30 or 45 minutes, crying, try to re-swaddle, replace the paci, burp if needed, change the diaper if needed and put back to sleep. Once at least one hour or more has passed and the baby is waking up happy, offer a bottle when it's been at least 2.5-3 hrs since the last feed. Try not to intervene too much around this time if the baby is just fussing and trying to go into another sleep cycle. Most parents interrupt this process, unknowingly, and that is why babies start taking only 45-minute naps. 

  • 10am: Nap #2. Another opportunity to pump during nap (as well as every nap attempt can be an opportunity). 

  • 1130am: Wake. Feed. Play.

  • 1230 pm: Nap#3. 

  • 2 pm:  Wake. Feed. Play. 

  • 3 pm: Nap #4. 

  • 430pm: Wake. Feed. Play. 

  • 530 pm: Nap#5. 

  • 7 pm: Wake. Feed. Play. 

  • 8pm: Nap#6. 

  • 930: Wake. Feed, (+/-)Bath, (+/-)Massage.  A massage can be done after a bath at this time or only a massage or only a bath or incorporate those things into the schedule earlier in the day. Do what feels comfortable and right for you at this time. You can also just do a quick sponge bath if that is relaxing for the baby. And again, a daily bath is not needed nightly at this age. 

  • 10 pm: Proceed with the Bedtime Routine which entails:

    • drawing curtains closed, turning on the sound machine, putting on pajamas, putting on a swaddle, sitting in a rocker, turning on night light, turning off the overhead light, singing a song in the rocker, and rocking until a little drowsy and putting into the bassinet. Tailor this to you, baby, and the amount of time that's available to devote to this. 

  • 1030pm: Bedtime.  

  • 1230am: Dream feed. Consider a feed here if intake during the day was inadequate or as a way to extend sleep overnight. The dream feed is where you get the baby while sleeping, wake slightly, feed, burp, change, if needed, and put back down. The baby may be waking at this time as it is so you don't want to get into the habit of waking at this time but consider a dream feed at least 2.5-3 hours after he goes down for the night in order to eliminate one of the later feeds at night (for example the 2-4 am feeds). Consider eliminating the dream feed if he ends up waking at this time on his own and not feeding or it causes him to wake more frequently overnight or doesn't help eliminate a later wake up. 

 

SCHEDULE#2: 90-minute schedule, 5 naps. 630 am-10pm

Wake time and bedtime should be 15.5 hours apart. If you wish to have an earlier or later wake time, please adjust naptime/bedtimes and scheduling increments accordingly. 

  • Cycle of WAKE, FEED, PLAY, SLEEP. 

  • 630am: Wake up. Change diaper, Feed (breast milk and then bottle or vice versa). Play.  

  • 8 am: Nap#1. 

  • 930am: Wake. Feed. Play. Never wake from any nap unless it's been 4 hours from the last feed. But this is most likely when the wake up will be.

  • 11am: Nap #2. 

  • 1230pm: Wake. Feed. Play.

  • 2 pm: Nap#3. 

  • 330pm:  Wake, Feed. Play. 

  • 5 pm: Nap #4. 

  • 630pm: Wake. Feed. Play. 

  • 8 pm: Nap#5. 

  • 830 pm: Wake up (after only 30 minutes-catnap), Feed, (+/-)Bath, (+/-)Massage.  

  • 9pm: Feed again before bedtime, brush gums before laying down and don't allow falling asleep at the bottle. And, a partner can feed a bottle at this time. 

  • 930 pm: After the feed, you will proceed with the Bedtime Routine which entails:

    • drawing curtains closed, turning on the sound machine, putting on pajamas, putting on a swaddle, sitting in a rocker, turning on night light, turning off the overhead light, singing a song in rocker, and rocking until a little drowsy. Tailor this to you and the amount of time that's available to devote to this. Consider doing a massage after the bath or after putting on pj’s (babies usually enjoy massage and it may be relaxing). Try to keep all of the time spent after bath to be calming and quieting. No need to do a bath every day/night either. 

  • 10pm: Bedtime: 

  • 11-12pm: Dream feed. 

 

SLEEP ROUTINE:

  • 630am (ideally): Wake up. Click the timer, open curtains, turn off the sound machine, change the diaper, cuddle, and feed in the room. Remember: If the wake time is 6 am, then start the timer at that time. If you do this, then the 1st nap will be at 730am instead of 8 am. It seems like such a small amount of time and nit-picky but it is crucial in the beginning to be this diligent. And if 6 am is a consistent wake time, and you want 630am to be the wake time, try to get the baby back to sleep without feeding, if possible. 

  • Play/Daytime routine. 

  • Watch for sleep cues 

    • Early sleep cues: pouty lips, yawning, not reacting to your stimulation, looking dazed and spaced out, uninterested in activity, slight fussiness. looking away.

    • Late sleep cues: really crying and fussy, inconsolable, red, heavy eyes.

  • Once you notice early sleepy cues, check the timer, and if it has NOT been 60-90 min from waking, change activity…if sleepy cues continue, begin the pre-soothing routine. 

  • If you notice early sleepy cues and it HAS been 60-90 min, begin pre-soothing: Try not to let it progress to late sleepy cues. If you do get to late sleepy cues (it comes faster than you expected or you were distracted), then a little more comfort may be needed before you can lay baby into the crib. If you waited too long past the late cues and another alert cycle gets started, abort the nap and wait for sleep cues again in 90 min increments.

    • PRE-SOOTHING: bring into the bedroom, draw the curtains closed, turn on the sound machine, read books in the rocker, sing songs, cuddle, stand by the crib, give a paci, lay onto back into the crib, soothe gently if really crying a lot, then leave. If crying too much or unable to settle, your options include rocking for a bit until the baby settles by rubbing the head, belly, patting, singing softly, placing your hand firmly on chest, etc to help achieve sleep. Eventually, keep decreasing the amount of intervention done to get the baby to sleep. 

 

REMINDERS:

  • Aim for a wake, then feed, then play, then sleep, cycle. That should be the routine you are trying to promote throughout the day. 

  • 60-90 min wake cycle or increments of 90 minutes. 

  • Know that you are doing the right thing.

  • Things will improve once you figure out cues for sleeping times and cues for eating times and respond to those timings. 

    • Once that is done and sleep debt is caught up, you will be able to start eliminating yourself out of the equation and the baby will be able to fall asleep on his/her own and hopefully never have to ‘implement’ or have to ‘cry it out’ or ‘sleep train’.

  • Try to maintain consistency as much as possible. Use help from family members, babysitters, Mom, Dad, as often as possible to maintain the schedule. Some days, however, if it doesn't work out, don't beat yourself up and just go with the flow.  

  • Once at the right age and weight (4mo and 13-15 lbs), the baby will be capable of sleeping through the night without waking for a feed. If the proper framework is set up now, the baby should be able to sleep through the night when developmentally appropriate. But if that is not the case, we will have to ‘implement’.  If you need assistance with this, please let me know. The price will be $450 (Graduate Newborn Program) if you choose that option.