Babies: 0 - 3 Months

Eat, Play, Sleep?

Is anyone else having trouble following the eat, play, sleep model? I have a one week old and am finding this so hard. I can barely keep her awake during her feedings, let alone afterwards. She has 2ish oz. Every 2-3 hours as recommended. We're working on reversing her days/nights. She's usually fussy in the early morning hours which is why we are trying to stick to eat, play, sleep so we can get her to sleep at night instead of all day.

I've been spiraling by googling this at all hours of the night but it'd be great to hear from moms and not "experts".

Re: Eat, Play, Sleep?

  • We did eat, sleep, play and it worked fine for us. 
  • Hi! I’m trying to follow “eat, play, sleep” with my 9 week old and it’s def not perfect!! (Also followed this model with my almost 2 year old and he did well with it). One week olds sleep A LOT and the “eat” part is considered part of “play” aka “awake” time. It’ll take a few more weeks before baby can handle more time awake. As far as helping with reversing day and night, I’d try to expose baby to natural sunlight during the day to help with that. Stay strong mama!!!
    PS- try reading “Becoming Babywise.” It helped me a lot and I still use it!!

    On Becoming Baby Wise: Giving Your Infant the Gift of Nighttime Sleep
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  • Good to know about the eat part being included in the wake time! We've been trying to take her outside and turning on all the lights during the day. I guess we just have to keep at it! Thanks 😊
  • I found the eat/play/sleep pattern was difficult trying to follow for the first week! You’re not alone. Seems to get better when baby is able to open eyes and make eye contact too.

    I consider the eating window to be part of awake/play time….. and some awake/play activities include: music/singing, reading, diaper changes, outside/walks, talking, skin to skin, high contrast visuals.

    Even though it’s difficult to follow the early weeks, it’s still nice to have a pattern to stick to :)
  • just seconding that eating is part of wake time! a lot of resources I read online also say the same. totally normal for baby to only be awake for long enough to eat at that age. my baby only started staying awake for a little bit after eating around 4w. currently almost 6w and he will stay awake after eating maybe half the time (during the day, at night he goes right back to sleep)
  • I think the key thing is not having them wake up, stay up, and then eat and go to sleep. make sure they eat right after waking up so any wake time comes after eating
  • I'm not entirely sure how much of a difference this makes but I try to make significant differences between day and night with cues for when each is happening. For example:

    Day - wake up, eat, change into a onesie or other lighter weight clothing, lights are on or windows are wide open, naps are taken in swing, bouncer, or with me holding her, background noise of some sort on at all times

    Night - sleeper goes on, lights are dim or out, no extra noises except for quiet lullabies, baby is swaddled and when not eating she is in her bassinet

    So far at 3 weeks old she typically sleeps 3-5 hour stretches at night, but will take shorter naps between more frequent meals and wake time during the day at 1.5-2.5 hours
  • shperry87shperry87 member
    edited April 2022
    Yes I definitely agree with the eat, play, sleep practice but give yourself and your baby some grace - especially that young! Every baby is so unique and you will find your own routine over time. Don’t try to mimic someone else’s exact schedule that worked for their baby or you’ll go crazy! My baby slept right after eating for many weeks (especially on the boob) and it was perfectly fine. As he’s gotten older and more alert, I’m more focused on playing after eating and it works well. Let’s be honest, it’s hard to wake a sleeping baby! Do what works best for you both - there’s no right or wrong. 
  • Congrats, but Not helpful.. 
  • For a 1 week old the feeding is their wake time!!! As they get older they’ll be able to stay awake longer don’t worry.
  • My baby is 2 weeks . I usually keep the "ear, play, sleep" in the morning time like 8- 9am if he is awake. Other than that, I usually let him rest and go sleep right after I am done feeding, burping or changing diapers. 
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