Disclaimer: This post is simply my opinion and what worked for
my family/our first (and so far only) child. Every child is different
and this may not be the exact answer you are needing/looking for.
Sadie has been a pretty great sleeper since the day she was born. We have been extremely blessed in that area. With that being said, I pretty much just let her sleep whenever she wanted or in the car on our way to somewhere else. She handled it all really well until one day, she didn’t. She was about 3 ½ months old and was starting to notice things around her. She wanted to be apart of things and hated to miss out! She would do fine in the mornings and then lose it by the end of the day. I knew something was up but I just couldn’t figure out what.
At her 4 month checkup I asked our doctor what to do. My sweet baby who was always happy (yes, I’m that lucky parent but please don’t stop reading here because of that) had turned super fussy! What was going on?!? She suggested that I start Sadie on a schedule and stop just letting her do whatever, whenever.
Those first couple of weeks were absolutely MISERABLE! I went nowhere. I missed people. I started to resent my husband because he got to leave and go to work. He got to get out of the house and do something while I sat at home and read the books Baby Wise and Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. (I would highly recommend both of these books. I mostly used Baby Wise but the other one was super helpful as well.) I watched Sadie to learn her sleep cues. I journaled exactly what times she was waking up, eating and going to sleep. I tracked EVERYTHING! And then one day (about 2 weeks in), we had a schedule. I could start getting out of the house. It was a glorious day and totally worth my misery in the weeks prior.
With all of that being said, I would HIGHLY recommend a sleep schedule. The earlier, the better in my opinion.
Sadie will be turning one years old this Saturday. Last week she decided that she was going to start taking just one nap a day. I know this is common around this age but I just really thought that she would be one of the children who don’t start this until 18 months. She is a kid who LOVES her sleep! She would wake up at 8:00 and be ready to go down for a nap by 9:30. So this transition of moving from two naps to one is pretty bittersweet for me. On one hand, I’m excited to have my mornings open. I no longer have to rush around to get her back home to nap. When I’m out, I know that we are good to go until her one and only afternoon nap. On the other hand, I really value the alone time I get during both of those naps-especially if I’m home for the day and not out and about. Oh well…as a parent, you do what is best for your kid. With that being said, here is what her schedule looked like at 2 naps a day and what we are transitioning to currently.
2 Nap Schedule:
8:00am Wake Up
8:30am Breakfast + 4 oz of formula
9:00am Play Time
10:00-10:30am Morning Nap
12:00pm Wake Up and eat lunch + 3 oz of formula
12:30pm Play Time/Errands
2:00pm Afternoon Nap
3:30pm Wake Up
4:00pm 3-4 oz of formula/snack
6:30pm Start bedtime routine
7:00-7:30 pm Bedtime
1 Nap Schedule (at least what it currently semi-looks like):
8:00am Wake Up
8:30am Breakfast + Milk (starting to transition out of formula this week)
9:00am Play Time/Errands/Out and about for the day
12:00pm Nap Time
2:30pm Wake Up
6:30pm Start Bedtime Routine
I’m sure she will continue to change things up on me but I will embrace the adventure she takes me on. I feel incredibly blessed to be this little girl’s mama and I would do anything for her. I want what is best for her and so I will sacrifice my wants to do what she needs. I sure hope this helps one of you mamas or soon to be mamas. I know I was always looking for what others were doing and never could seem to find the advice out there.
**Just today I decided to lay her down at 10:45 and hopefully get 2 naps in to fit in the schedule I had planned for us. She had other plans and slept till 1:30 and that was her one and only nap for the day. So we are obviously still working on what this new schedule will be! 🙂 Like I said above, I’m embracing the adventure she is taking me on and I am learning what works best for my kiddo!