A daytime routine for my baby so we can sleep through the night? Heck yeah, I’m in!
If you’re reading this, you are probably trying to figure out how to get your baby on a good daytime routine. And usually that’s because you want your baby to nap better/longer and sleep better/longer at night? Who can relate? Can I get a raise of hands? 😉
Well, dear readers, don’t worry about it! (Yeah right! you say) 😉
You only need to focus on one thing to get baby on a good daytime routine! Repeat after me:
Have you seen those lists some mom’s put out on the internet about their daytime routine?
Like this one?
This mom is rockin’ it!
But it kind of makes me feel overwhelmed, what about you?
Are you thinking, there is no way my baby and my family are going to be on a schedule like that! We are too ______ (fill in the blank: chaotic, busy, laid back, stressed out, etc.)
I’m not suggesting a rigid schedule, just a simple routine!
The sequence of the events is the key…Not the time, or the schedule (eew!), or how long each activity lasts, but what order things happen in. Let me explain:
Disclaimer: If you chose to feed your newborn on demand, or your newborn’s eat-play-sleep cycles are longer than 2-3 hours, you can’t follow this routine exactly as I present it. Newborns have small tummies and need to be fed frequently, of course. Also,Don't expect your baby to sleep through the night before 4 months or 11 pounds. Their stomachs aren't big enough to hold them over for 7-8 hours before then. Click To Tweet
There are no hard-and-fast rules about this concept. It’s meant to be an easy way to help you and your baby get better sleep. That’s all!
It’s surprisingly simple. And a baby that’s feed on demand or every 2-3 hours in the first 4 months will usually fall into a routine like this without too much effort on your part.
Trust me, I’ve worked with hundreds of babies and sleep-deprived parents…and I’ve been right there with you in the middle of the night wondering if my baby will ever fall asleep. But there’s one thing we do know…they always do, eventually!!! ♥
So here we go… Eat-Play-Sleep: The easiest daytime routine napping and feeding, so baby will sleep through the night!
When baby wakes up in the morning, she is definitely going to be hungry! So feed her ASAP! Some may want to change the diaper first, but if it isn’t overflowing, hold off until she’s done feeding because she will likely have a BM after the feed. (How many times have you changed your baby into a fresh, new diaper, only to have her poop all over 10 minutes later? I remember too many! Code Brown Code Brown! That was our cue to the other parent to come in for reinforcement, for poop-on-hands prevention and an OSHA-standard clean-up.) Ha!
So feed baby right away. My favorite time with my daughter was right when she woke up in the morning or after naps. She was so cuddly and sweet. Unfortunately for us, she had horrible reflux for the first several months of life, so the sweetness turned into fussing and screaming in pain as soon as we fed her.
(Disclaimer: These are Amazon affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and make any purchase on Amazon, I will receive a small commission that helps me keep this blog running without any additional cost to you. Thank you for your support!)
After the feeding, burping and changing diaper and clothes, it’s play time! Newborns play by chillin’ on their tummies (this is my favorite tummy time mat) or laying in your arms or lap for some face time and skin to skin contact. Around 4 months is when they start “interacting” with toys, but the simplest rattles and crinkle toys are enough. You do not want an over-stimulated baby!
You want the baby to get worn out from playtime so they go down more easily for the nap. And this is where it gets tricky. I hear from so many moms that their babies don’t nap well. Or it’s so hard to get them down for a nap. I get it! I know exactly what you mean and you’re right, it’s not easy! But I can help with that!
(Future post: Avoiding Overstimulation – The Secret to Getting Baby down for a nap!)
Shocking News! You want to avoid feeding the baby right before they go down for a nap!Click To Tweet
If you feed your baby right before he falls asleep, you are setting yourself up for months and months of sleepless nights. You are teaching him that he cannot fall asleep on his own without the boob or the bottle. I know this sounds impossible to some, but you have to think ahead when establishing habits and routines with your babies. If you want your baby to be able to sleep through the night before his first birthday, don’t sabotage your plan with this bad habit.
And I don’t mean “bad” like you’re a bad Momma. Remember there is no room for judgment or mommy guilt on this website! I mean that eventually, your baby needs to be able to self-soothe and get himself to sleep without depending on you feeding him first! So start the healthy habit/routine early and you won’t have to disrupt his routine later when surely he will protest…all through the night….every night…until what seems like forever…DON’T DO IT!
Disclaimer: This routine works for daytime feeding and napping. When it’s time for the bedtime routine, you will, of course, feed baby before putting him down for the night!
After the last nap, you want to feed him, wear him out playing (but not over-stimulating), the start the bedtime routine, i.e. Bath-lotion-diaper & PJs, book, boob/bottle, then put him in the crib to sleep.
Read more about the bedtime and daytime routine and preparing baby for better sleep in my FREE (for a limited time only!♥) Step-By-Step Guide to Better Sleep for Babies and Mommas! Learn more about the free guide here, or sign-up for your free copy below!
It’s so easy, isn’t it, Mommas? Whether your baby takes two or three naps a day, this still works.
Pregnant Mommas? You are going to rock this once baby comes!
You are armed with knowledge and a plan! You can establish good habits from the get-go rather than having to change them after your foggy brain becomes completely useless!
Now, I’m already hearing protests from you frazzled, sleep-deprived mommas! “But my baby is always hungry”, “But my baby only takes one nap a day”, “But my baby can’t fall asleep unless I feed him first”…and so on and so forth.
I know! I know it sounds impossible! I feel you, Mommas! I had a very difficult baby due to reflux and she rarely slept well or had a predictable schedule. Babies can be thrown off the routine or never establish a good routine for many, many reasons!
But if you just try to follow this principle of Eat-Play-Sleep, you might see some positive changes, like a couple of hours of extra sleep at night! Or longer naps so you can be productive for more than 20 minutes, or get a long nap in for yourself, too!
You’ll never know unless you try! So give it a go! Get my FREE SLEEP GUIDE if you want to learn a lot more about setting your baby up to be able to sleep through the night after 4 months old!
What do you think? Have you tried this? Does it work? Is it not working? Leave a comment below!
Still struggling with naps and night-waking? Let me know in the comments below…. Let’s figure this out together!
Thanks for reading, lovely people!