November 19, 2007,
T.M. asks from Round Lake, IL on November 16, 2007
1 Month Old Sleep Schedule
My son is now just 1 month old and he is starting to stay awake more during the days. At first he would eat and fall asleep before he was finished and then sleep until his next feeding. Now he could be up for 3 hours at a time. Should I be trying to get him on a schedule of regular sleep time in the morning and afternoon? Is it even possible at this age, it seems like everything is constantly changing.
I don't want to wait too long and then have it be difficult but I am wondering if a one month old will really fall into the pattern of a scheduled time to sleep in the mornings and afternoons.
Any advice or words of wisdom?
J.C. answers from Indianapolis on November 17, 2007
He'll be getting up more now. I wouldn't worry about a sleep schedule unless he's not sleeping at night. But in the morning/afternoon, he'll be fine.
L. answers from Chicago on November 16, 2007
Yes, it is entirely possible to get you baby on a schedule this early. I've done it with 3 kids now and it has been great, for both mom and child. I completely agree with Cheryl's advice and sample schedule...it's what I used. Another book to look at is Preparation for Parenting. Excellent, excellent book. I have 4 kids and I demand fed my first without any schedule and it was AWFUL. Sometimes I think we are still paying the price for the lack of structure. When you become a mother, you do not stop being a wife, daughter, sister, friend, neighbor et. How can we be all these things if we are letting baby be the boss? Baby is a welcome addition to the family, but not the center of it. My babies hardly ever cried, because with a schedule, they had the confidence that they would be taken care of. They didn't have to cry when it was time to eat...mom was already on top of that! Congratulations on your baby. Motherhood is such an awesome journey! Blessings to you!
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C. answers from Chicago on November 16, 2007
A schedule this young actually IS possible. And it helps not only for predicting/planning your day, but it also GREATLY helps for healthy sleep. I agree the Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child book is excellent. A feeding schedule will greatly help healthy sleep habits, as hunger will not get in the way of healthy sleep, whereas demand feeding usually leads to short cat naps and not enough overall sleep. At 1 month, we were doing a 3 hour schedule. We continued that same schedule until after they were sleeping through the night and then when they showed signs of wanting to lengthen to a 4 hour schedule. You set the schedule and the baby will get used to it within a few days and then they would wake up themselves right around the time to eat. It helps them sleep through the night because of the pattern helping them to recognize a time for longer sleep. Scheduled babies sleep through the night as early as 6 weeks oftentimes (or when they reach 13 pounds in size if a smaller baby). My sons slept through the night consistently from 8 weeks on. It was a bit of a rough beginning with my second, but the schedule REALLY helped with him, as it worked well for my first. Anyway, the schedule looks like this...
6am - wake and feed
10:30 feed and then to bed for the night
Feed just on demand in the middle of the night until sleeping through the night. As you feed and lay down for a nap at the scheduled times, the rest will fall into place and the baby will follow the schedule pretty closely on his own in just a few days. Best wishes to you!
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C.S. answers from Chicago on November 16, 2007
First I would make sure your son IS NOT up for more than 2 HOURS!!! Babies that young need to go down for a nap within 2 hours of waking up from any nap! It should be this way until they are about 9 months! Start with this plan, you can get better schedule once your son is about 3-4 months old. I would highly suggest reading Healthy Sleep Habit, Happy Baby by Dr. Marc Wiessbluth. It is an AMAZING book, and will tell you everything you need to know about sleep and schedules. Go out and get it tomorrow! Good luck, and congratulations!
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K. answers from Chicago on November 19, 2007
Here's my advice: "one month old sleep schedule" is an oxymoron :)
Seriously, the only thing you want to do at this point is make sure that your baby's "big awake" times are during the day and not in the middle of the night. Beyond that, let him take the lead. Baby's sleep cycles don't really start to regulate until they're around 12-16 weeks old, so you still have a while.
M.C. answers from Chicago on November 17, 2007
I think you should go with the flow at this point. Realize a "schedule" is more of a "guideline" and not a hard-and-fast rule. My daughter did the same thing - while she had a routine, she didn't have a definite schedule. It was more like, she woke up, ate, had a little wake-time, then sleep. I'd say it was a three hour cycle, like your son. Just follow his lead, and within a couple of months you'll have your "schedule" in place.
K.N. answers from Chicago on November 17, 2007
You are so right--they are always changing things around-just when you think you have them figured out. My son fell into a natural twice a day nap schedule when he was about 5-6 months old. Before that it was more sporadic. I think scheduling a baby is silly. They know their needs and will let you know. Although, you should be observant of when they want to sleep and provide a comfortable place rather then decide to take them to the grocery store when it is near nap time.
Good luck--it really does get better around the 5 month mark--before that I thought I would be sleep deprived forever.
S.P. answers from Indianapolis on November 18, 2007
I never worried about schedule or sleep training and my son sleeps better than any of the other babies we know. I wasn't as leniant (sp?) as to have absolutely no day-to-day repetition, but especially that early on, I just let him sleep when he wanted to. Around 4 months he fell in to a nice routine that was good for him. He is still on that same routine except that the naps are a bit shorter now! He sleeps 12-13 hours at night and takes 2 1-2 hour naps during the day.
I liked "Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child." While I don't believe in any of the cry-it-out stuff he suggests AFTER 6 weeks of age (even he says don't bother this early) it was very helpful in learning sleep cues. I also liked "The Baby Whisperer" and "The No-Cry Sleep Solution". Whatever you do, don't do "Babywise" I couldn't even finish reading it I was so disgusted.
A.S. answers from Chicago on November 16, 2007
I think that 1 month old sleep schedule is kind of a contradiction in itself....from what I remember we weren't really on any kind of a recognizable schedule until my son was about 3 months or so.