How in the World Do U Get a Schedule Going?

Updated on April 25, 2008
J.G. asks from Dearborn, MI
9 answers

I have a baby girl and she will be 2 months old next week. My question is how in the world do you get her on a schedule? I was told to wake her up during the day and I have done that but she will stay awake enough to say hi and then fall back asleep. She seems to be on a 3:00 - 3:30ish to noon schedule.
My other question is..I had a rough first month with my baby. I had her c section and then a week later I came down with a really bad illness. I was forced to bed. I was easier to keep her next to me, Therefore I created a bad habit...the family bed. I have tryed to put her to her own bed at nap time but she seems to always wake up crying. So how do I break the habit without breaking our hearts?

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answers from Albany on

Hi Jen - congratulations on the baby! I didn't have an illness and for the first month or two it was easier to keep the baby with me (although not safe I know :o)...

My girls found their own schedule between 2 and 3 months. I was always told not to wake a sleeping baby so I didn't and they did find their schedule. It is hard, I know - except it did work and others tell me the same thing. I was also told that you cannot spoil a baby within the first three months so that is the time to hold and comfort her when crying and if she starts crying during the day/night I picked my girls up during that 3 month period. At exactly 3 months my girls did go in the crib and when they cried I let them cry for their age in minutes (i.e. 3 minutes at 3 months, etc).

I would suggest, if you aren't doing it already, to try distracting her during the day. Put her on the mat and give her tummy time while you are there, do things that would force her not to go to sleep during the day (until nap time). I would try to stay away from the swing because I think that may make her sleepy :o) If you believe in TV then put a baby einstein video on and let her sit in the bouncy and play a little. My girls did love that too.

Good luck,



answers from New York on

I used a book and loved it. Can't remember the exact name, but I believe it was titled, the secrets of a baby whisperer by Tracy Hogg. I passed the book to my sister in law when she got pregnant and she lives by it too. It offers a lot of info and most importantly it helps you setup daily routine (not a schedule). You have to remain very flexible, but the routing will save you months and months of headache. Congratulations



answers from Syracuse on

I never enforced a set schedule, my daughter made her own. I was home with her for 6 months and she was my world, so i was able to do this with no problem. I let my daughter nap when she wanted, eat when she wanted and eventually she made her own predictable schedule that we would only veer off of every once in a while. This was in between two and three months.

As for getting her to sleep in a crib, try to make it as comfortable for her as possible. You started the other sleeping arrangement and if you do want to change it, the sooner the easier, and you will have to hear her cry. (I coudl never let my daughter cry it out either). Get a radio, extra blakies, anything that can soothe her while she is in there, maybe a pillow case or something familiar from your bed to put in there with her.

And I also want to comment, you do not have to wake your baby up from a nap ever.

Good Luck, it will all work itself out, just be patient.



answers from New York on

I never really got my kids on a feeding schedule until they started cereal and foods. Then it was they typical breakfast, lunch dinner thing. I always fed bottles/nursed on demand. Sleep is another thing. I would let my kids sleep when they wanted to also, until about 3 mos. That is when they really spend more time awake during the day. For both of them they would get tired at about 7 so that was bed time. Then you have the morning nap somewhere between 8-9 until about 11. Then the afternoon nap about 1 until 3 or so. The only time I woke my kids was if they fell asleep during a feeding, other then that never wake a baby. They need the rest to grow.
As for the family bed thing...I know what you mean. But for both my kids they wouldn't sleep the first few months unless they were touching me. Which drove me crazy. Set up the pack and play by your side of the bed. And once she's asleep move her there. If she wakes move her back. Eventually she'll stay there. This way she can still smell you and hear you breath, which has become very soothing to her. Then after a month or so, once she's sleeping in the pack and play all the time, move her to her room once she's asleep. Eventually she'll sleep there no problem. Another trick put a t-shirt in her crib that you've been wearing. It smells like you and is soothing to her. This worked for both my kids.



answers from New York on

Congrats! I'm a mom of two - girl who's 5 and a boy who's 2. Let me assure you that there is no way you can create a bad habit at the age of two months. Babies this age don't remember too much from one day to the next so, that's why it's hard for her to get a schedule. Instead of a schedule, I would advise you to try to find a routine so there is some order to your days and nights.
A two month old should stay awake for only two hours at a time. So, decide what time you want your baby to wake up in the morning, say, 7am and at that time expose her to bright sunlight to help set her clock. Be consistent - do it everyday- no matter what kind of night it has been! If it's raining, use a bright lamp. Feed her upon waking as soon as you can and then schedule an activity. For a two month old, that may be looking at black and white pictures, you singing some songs to her. Try to keep her up for at least an hour. At this age my kids began to like the Baby Einstein videos - especially Baby Mozart. At the hour mark, begin what you will do for her nap routine- darken the shades, look at a book, cuddle. Be sure she does not fall asleep in your arms (yes, it's really hard). If she does, jiggle her some as you put her in the crib so she knows where she's going. She will probably nap anywhere from 20 mins. - 2 hours. That's fine. When they wake at this age, they do cry. I used to go in at 20 mins. and stick a pacifier in my son's mouth and he'd drift back off for another hour. A pacifier can be soothing and you are not creating a bad habit - both of my kids were off the pacifier by 4-5 months old. Do what you can to try to get her to nap for at least 1 1/2 hours.
Don't let her sleep for more than that. Wake her up and do the same things again - eat, play and then sleep after keeping her up for around 2 hours. This should be her longest nap -2-2/1/2 hours is fine. Help her if you need to get the maximum sleep. Wake her if you need to and eat, play and then most babies do a late afternoon catnap. Just be sure that she is awake for at least 2 good hours before her bedtime- probably falling around 8pm. As far as your night routine, she will probably wake to eat at least twice. Feed her just before you put her to bed - if she falls asleep, jiggle her before putting in the crib. You can try feeding her before you go
to sleep around 11pm and then you may only have one feeding to do. Just walk in, pick her up and feed her at 11pm. Then quickly put her back down. That should help cut down on night feedings. She should wake by 3am for another one and then hopefully not until 7am! This routine will take a few weeks to establish but I did it with both of mine. It doesn't go smoothly everyday but at least you'll feel like there is some order to things. By the time she's 6 months, she will be much better at the routine. Good luck.



answers from Syracuse on

I wondered the same thing myself! I tried to force a schedule on my son and it just flat-out didn't work. What did work over time was my getting very attentive to his moods and the cues he'd send out, then trying to get him down for naps when he seemed tired (rubbing eyes, yawning, getting cranky). Over time he established a rough schedule of his own, though even now at 4 months it still varies somewhat.

Instead of waking her through the day, maybe try putting her to bed slightly earlier each night for a week or two (half hour?) and then getting her up slightly earlier each morning. Over time you should be able to shift her sleeping time to a time that works a little better for your family.

I can't give any advice about the family bed issue... but I also know that at this tender age you certainly haven't "spoiled" her in any way. Maybe work on the first issue for now and don't try to solve too many problems at once.



answers from New York on

Hi Jen,

I honestly do not know how to put them on a schedule. With everything that I read the newborns and infants should have about 15 hours of sleep. I honestly co sleep with my two year old so if you want to cut that habit now I would. I truthfully believe that they won't remember but place the baby in the crib and stay there until she falls asleep. I do not believe in the cry out method. It is going to take some time but stay next to her and place her in the crib and hopefully that should work. Good Luck and Congrats



answers from Rochester on

I kind of just fell into a schedule. My son is 2 and a half months old and around 2 months I tried establishing a bedtime routine. I give him a bath and diaper and change him, nurse him, then sing a couple of songs while rocking him and he usually falls asleep. This is all done in his room with the lights dim. In the beginning, he was sleeping four hours straight and now he sleeps anywhere from 5-7 hours straight. During the day, I was letting him fall asleep with me or in his swing. I noticed though every day around eleven or noon, he would get really sleepy so I started swaddling him and putting him in his crib and he sleeps soundly for one to two hours. This is pretty consistent every day. I try to get another good afternoon nap, but some days it is more like catnaps. He ueually settles down for bedtime around eleven. I hope this helps, I know it is hard. But most schedules develop on their own I would say.



answers from New York on

Congratulations! I'm a mom of a 6 1/2 baby girl.

A few things...

No worries right now about creating bad habits for 2 month baby as they they don't yet have the ability to remember things from one day to the next!This is one of the reasons why she won't be on a schedule!

Just keep in mind that these little babies should not be up for more than two hours. One thing that I did with my daughter, as she began to sleep more during the day than at night, was to swaddle her more loosly during the day versus the night time. We did more stimluating things during the day- trips outside, books, songs, etc. At night, I would dim the lights and use a quieter voice and did less stimlulating activities. All these combined really helped her to be able to sleep at night and helped her with the day/night confusion.

Start a bedtime routine maybe between 10-12 midnight (around 11 or so worked best for us), such as cuddling, reading a book, dimming the lights, feeding her. Whatever it is you decide to do. I really did this for my own benefit in the beginning as it helped me get into the habit of a "bedtime schedule". By the time my baby was 5 months or so whenever I we went around the apt. turning off the lights, saying goodnight to different objects and rooms,reading Goodnight Moon- she knew exactly what time is was!

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