Allison John & I met when she told me about baby sleep plans on Instagram. Allison is very passionate about the subject because sleep training and scheduling her baby have literally changed her life.
Many of you actually put me on DM to find out about Zaza’s schedule. Happy to share (and I’ll soon), but thought getting Allison to dive really deep into how it helped her would be good. & if you like this post I will definitely share Zaza’s schedule with you guys.
Everyone is different and every family is different. What works for one person may not work for another person, but sharing all of our tips and tricks, taking what we like and leaving what we don’t is what The Skinny Confidential everything is about. This is by no means a blueprint for what your baby’s schedule should be, but I wanted Allison to share the benefits of having a schedule for your baby.
Drum Roll plz… let’s welcome Allison John to the blog to share her experiences with sleep training and baby / toddler plans.
Hello! My name is Allison – I live in Michigan and have been a long-time reader of The Skinny Confidential, a mother of a 19 month old boy, pregnant with # 2 and passionate about everything to do with motherhood. I’ve always had a very Type A personality, I’m psychotic about to-do lists, and have a perfectly organized house, so I really didn’t think a baby would change anything. HA! Biggest joke of my life….
After we brought my son home from the hospital, it took us about 3 hours to realize that we were * blessed * with a child who didn’t know how to sleep or how to sleep. I only groomed, so I quickly got into the habit of sticking my breasts in his mouth whenever I needed him to sleep.
Pretty soon he began to associate eating with sleeping, so that it was impossible to get him to sleep without caring for him. Before I knew he was taking every nap in my arms, I was taking over 15,000 steps a day and rocking / dancing him to sleep in our house. My husband and I had not slept in the same room since he was born. He would only sleep in bed with me – on my chest. The cuddles were great, but I had no life other than getting my baby to sleep. We spent the first months of his life in the fog, just trying to survive.
When he turned 5 months old I couldn’t take it anymore, so I went on a trip to teach my baby to sleep alone, put him on a schedule, and actually have a life again. I researched every chance I got and got so tired of finding things that said life would be great if only I put him on a schedule to eat, play, sleep. That didn’t work for us.
My salvation was to find Chrissy – “The Peaceful Sleeper” – on Instagram (@ the.peaceful.sleeper). Her philosophy about sleep training and the attitude she uses to persuade me has changed. MY. LIFE. (* Side note – If your baby is having trouble sleeping, I highly recommend reaching out to them for help!)
Sleep training is a whole different topic, and I’m here to talk about the implications – having your baby on a set schedule. For those of you who like details (ahem, me and probably everyone else) The Skinny Confidential Followers), here are some exact schedules we used:
5 MONTH OLD SCHEDULE
♡ 7:00 am: Wake up for the day and the nurse (please replace nursing with bottle feeding if you do – this is only from my own experience).
♡ 8:00 am: Feed solids (banana puree, oatmeal or pureed fruit).
♡ 8:15 o’clock – 10:00 a.m: Nurse & # 1 nap (do not breastfeed to sleep, breastfeed before sleep – or bottle feed).
♡ 11:30 am – 1:15 pm: Nurse & Nap # 2.
♡ 3pm – 4pm: Nurse & Nap # 3.
♡ 17:30: Feed solids (mashed sweet potatoes or boiled & pureed green vegetables).
♡ 6 p.m .: Start by going to bed (bathe every other night, coconut oil massage, diaper / pajamas, nurse, read books, rock / sing a song and put him in the crib sleepy but awake).
♡ 6:30 in the evening: Bedtime.
* In between, there is tummy time, going for a walk, or literally anything to keep him entertained.
* At that age, I still nursed him 1-2 times overnight – usually around 10:30 p.m. and 2:30 a.m. I made a choice not to wean night feed while I was exercising. He dropped these feedings alone for the next several months.
KINDERPLAN (1 year – current)
♡ 7:30 am: up for the day and the nurse (yes, I’m still caring for my 19 month old – we are working on weaning and things are obviously not going well).
♡ 8:00 am: Cheerios on the couch / cuddling / watching a show.
♡ 9:30 am: Breakfast.
♡ 11:30 am: Snack (also known as lunch point 1).
♡ 12:30 pm – 2:30 pm: Napping (given a cup of whole milk before taking a nap).
♡ 2.30: Snack (also known as lunch point 2).
♡ 6 p.m .: Dinner.
♡ 6:30 in the evening: Start bedtime (like above).
♡ 19.00: Bedtime.
* In between we play outside, read books, go for a walk, see friends / family or * hopefully * play independently so that I can do things around the house. Before the quarantine, we also went swimming or classes for mom and me, walked around Target, went to the library, etc. I really think that one of the keys to a good night’s sleep is getting toddlers out of the house and seeing new sights to see & a solid routine that works for both of you.
There are so many benefits to having a baby on a schedule. Top for me are:
A good mood baby. It’s very rare that I let my son take a nap or go to bed late, but I find him to be so much more awkward than getting the sleep he needs. Babies live on a schedule and love knowing when to eat, sleep, play, go outside, take a bath, etc. – just like us.
Knowing when I have time to myself. I’m not going to lie – I LOVE my alone time. It’s so motivating to know that I get a short break in the middle of the day and 12 hours in a row for myself. I think this also helps me play better with my son when he’s awake and give him the attention he deserves.
SLEEP. I love, love, love, love, love to sleep. Especially now that I’m pregnant, I just want to rest when I can. It’s amazing to have the opportunity to take a nap every afternoon and go to bed at 9pm if I want to.
The ability to plan our days / weeks. Before we got stuck in our house, we had something planned every morning and afternoon. It really helped end the day and mess things up for both of us. I always planned classes, game appointments, walks, etc. around naps and bedtime (meals are more flexible and can be made on the go).
The only downside to having your baby on a schedule is you have to be willing to say no or change plans at times. For an introverted homebody like me, this isn’t a problem – my son’s schedule is actually the best excuse to get out of things I don’t want to do. All you have to do is learn your baby’s temperament and assess whether it is worth having an overtired, moody child do whatever interferes with their nap or bedtime – and sometimes it definitely is! But sometimes it doesn’t, and all you have to do is say no to your third cousin’s grill (oh, shoot).
Now I’m sitting here on my couch at 7:30 p.m., writing this post and watching Housewives, & drink some tea (would be wine, but # pregnant …) while my son sleeps. And I can expect him to sleep until at least 7:30 a.m. tomorrow morning. I really never thought that day would come.
When you’re in the newborn fog, not sleeping, and desperately looking for a sense of normalcy, a schedule for your baby will change everything. When you have a toddler who is everywhere and just wants to take a break, it will help both of you to focus on a schedule. If you’re somewhere in between, you and your baby can and will benefit from having a schedule too.
I’m so excited now that I see the life changing powers. So please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about this topic or need help with implementation in your family! You can tell me DM @becomingtheirmom.
Lots of love, Allison
Hope some of you found this post helpful. Follow Allison on Instagram @becomingtheirmom.
Do you want a post on Zaza’s schedule too? LMK below.
+ Check out what I fed Zaza.
++ Take a look in Zaza’s nursery.
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