Cubby reader Kenzie writes, "The 7 a.m. 'eat' time in your example is at the start of a feeding, correct? Also, can I start this with my 9-week-old or is it too late?? Should I be adjusting the 2.5-4 hour range? Not sure how long a baby is considered newborn."
Thanks for commenting Kenzie! Yes, you are correct; in my example on the "How to do a Schedule" post, 7 a.m. is the start of a feeding, which should be pretty immediate upon baby waking up. You can absolutely start this with your 9-week-old!! The 2.5-4 hour time window will still apply to your baby.
So, mamas, here's a look at the schedule for a 9-week-old baby:
At this age, and until your baby is about 12 weeks old, he/she will sleep for about 14-17 hours a day/night, and take 4-5 naps a day. Remember, from the day your baby is born (or whenever you start this schedule), it is VERY important that your start time (first feeding of the morning) stays relatively the same each day (give or take about 20 minutes).
Between 7-10 weeks, babies will drop their night feedings and sleep eight hours a night. When your baby does this, you will also want to have a consistent last feeding. So first AND last feedings should be about the same time each day once your baby sleeps 8 hours at night.
Kenzie, if your baby is still waking up at night, you may want to try following the newborn schedule first, then merging into the 9-week-old schedule. It shouldn't take more than about two weeks. Once your baby sleeps through the night, make sure your last feeding of the day is consistent each day.
Between 7-10 weeks, your baby's schedule will look like the following. Note, this is JUST an example, and times will adjust between 2.5-4 hours between feedings. If you need more details on this, read here. Also, the only time you would feed your 9-week-old baby less than 2.5 hours between feedings is if your baby has a growth spurt (waking up more frequently and starving), or if you feed your baby closer together in the evening. For instance, your late-night feeding may be around 11 p.m. But your baby woke up from his/her last nap at 9:00 p.m. Do you wait until 11:30 p.m. to feed your baby? Nope, still wake your baby at the 11 p.m. feeding time, and keep that time consistent each day.
So here's an example:
7 am: Eat, diaper change, and awake time
7:30 - 8 am: Down for a nap
9:30 am: Baby wakes up at the 2.5 hour mark, feed him/her and start your cycle over (eat, diaper change, awake time). (Remember, if your baby sleeps until 4 hours, which would be 11 a.m. at this point, everything is totally fine. Just make sure to wake your baby up at 11 a.m. to feed him/her.)
12:30 pm: Eat, diaper change, and awake time
1:00 - 1:30 pm: Down for a nap
3:00 pm: Eat and awake. **Baby could keep sleeping until 4:30 p.m. for this example.**
3:30 - 4 pm: Down for a nap
5:30 pm: Eat, diaper change, and awake time
6 - 6:30 pm: Down for a nap
8 pm: Eat and diaper change. NOTE: NO AWAKE TIME NOW. Put baby back to sleep as soon as his/her needs are met.
11:00 pm: Remember, this time is consistent now, so even if your baby didn't wake up, wake him/her up. Baby will eat and have a diaper. NOTE: NO AWAKE TIME NOW. Put baby back to sleep as soon as his/her needs are met. And YOU get in bed too and enjoy a good 8-hour stretch of sleep as your baby starts sleeping through the night.
Kenzie, and also to you other amazing mamas, if this didn't make sense, just comment below again! Otherwise, enjoy your sleeping babe!
- Mama Jackie
*Sleep is essential. We need sleep to function, to take care of our children, to keep up on every single task life throws at us, to keep our sanity. Are you getting your 8 hours or do you have a baby who is keeping you up? Let’s remedy that! In the “Rested Mamas are Happy Mamas” series of our blog, sleep expert Jackie answers all of your sleep woes. Have a question or problem that needs fixing? Comment on the series and Jackie will address your specific issue!*