Getting on a routine/schedule — The Bump
Babies: 3 - 6 Months

Getting on a routine/schedule

My LO just turned 3 months this week. He's starting to sleep through the night (usually is up twice to eat) and is napping pretty well, but I'm having trouble getting him on a consistent routine (let alone a schedule!). His wake time is still only an hour, and he naps about an hour at a time. When I try to follow the EASY schedule, that makes it a 2 hour routine. I've been trying to just feed him every 2 hours (per my doctors suggestion, for the sake of keeping a routine), but he isn't really hungry that soon. I've tried slowly extending his wake time, but he really gets fussy after the full hour. I really want to get him on a consistent routine, as I feel it's important for a kid to have structure. Any suggestions? :)

Re: Getting on a routine/schedule

  • taysuntaysun member
    My suggestion is to stop trying so hard. Go with the flow and eventually your baby will establish his own routine. My DD is 6 months old and still doesn't often stay awake for more than a two hour time period. 
    i follow her lead and we're both happier for it, but I go more in terms of awake time lengths to "plan" my day. I feed her when she's hungry and that's different for every baby. We were nursing every hour for 5 months and now it's every 2-3 hours. 
    Usually after 1-2 months you can feed them when they're hungry, you shouldn't be forcing it.
    Some babies thrive on a schedule and some don't. 
    Ceridwen77Miss Lilac
  • TOTALLY agree with PP above. OP, stop trying so hard. I know you mean well, I can tell you do, but you will drive yourself crazy trying to get a 3 month old on a routine/schedule. I know this because that's what I did with my first child. That will come with time.They change SO much in the first 6 months so your schedule will constantly be changing. Yes, kids need structure, but you have a baby...not a kid! Your LO has basic needs right now so just meet those needs and power through each day.

    Feed your LO when he's hungry, put him to sleep when he's tired. That's literally all you can do. He will be fine.

    Ceridwen77Miss Lilac
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  • Ceridwen77Ceridwen77 member
    edited June 2016
    taysun said:
    My suggestion is to stop trying so hard. Go with the flow and eventually your baby will establish his own routine. My DD is 6 months old and still doesn't often stay awake for more than a two hour time period. 
    i follow her lead and we're both happier for it, but I go more in terms of awake time lengths to "plan" my day. I feed her when she's hungry and that's different for every baby. We were nursing every hour for 5 months and now it's every 2-3 hours. 
    Usually after 1-2 months you can feed them when they're hungry, you shouldn't be forcing it.
    Some babies thrive on a schedule and some don't. 
    All of this. To add another example, my DD is 7mo and still only has two hour wake periods. She also only goes 2-3 hours between eating, even at night. 

    She sets the schedule and I follow it. 
    Miss Lilac
  • My son just turned 3 months last weekend. We don't have a set schedule but I'd like to shed some light on a few things. The previous posters are correct, your LO is just too young to mold to a structured daytime routine, and it seems like he's got his own right now (awake an hour, nap an hour, yes?)

    I once read an article some pedi (or other medical authority) wrote talking about how younger babies only have a 90 minute wake cycle. Meaning, newborns and young infants typically (always an exception to every rule) stay awake for about 90 minutes or so, then they're usually ready for a nap. my LO can only go for usually no more than two hours before getting cranky. That being said, I follow my sons lead. I make sure to take note of what time he wakes up, and usually he'll want to eat upon waking (I feed on demand). Then we hang out for another hour or so until he's ready for his next nap (his naps last anywhere from 20 minutes to 1 hour +) I do light exercise, we get some tummy time down and go outside when it's nice out.

    The only thing I have solidly structured out daily is his bedtime routine. He starts cluster feeding around 630. Bath at 730, then I put baby lotion on him and zip him into a sleep sack. He eats again, and usually falls asleep on me around 830/845, and I cuddle him until 9 when I know he's in a deep enough sleep where he won't wake up when placed in the pack n play.

    Food for thought- I wouldn't put too much emphasis on a daytime routine just yet. The start of sleep regression is right around the corner, and teething could also start as soon as around the same time. Between being tired all over again and a miserably in pain infant, it could disrupt any effort to keep on a newly established schedule. 

    TwizBeans
  • We had this issue with our LO as well. We started by just putting feeds on a schedule and scrapping the whole 'EASY' thing and letting him nap ad lib. Eventually (around 4 months) he settled into a 3 hour routine, of wake, eat, play and back to sleep around 2 hours later, sleep for 45-60 minutes (sometimes more) then the cycle starts again. So I'd say start with scheduling feeds (if that's your intention) then go from there.
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  • 2-Step2-Step member
    At this age I would be focusing on a consistent bed time and number of naps thoughout the day, but those naps will fluctuate in time and duration, as will feedings. They are growing so fast. Anyone who has a textbook routine baby at this age has it out of luck that the baby operates that way. I don't think you can force a baby into a perfect routine this young. I have 3 kids and all developed routines slowly over the first year. 
  • I let my daughter set her own schedule from the time I brought her home. All I did was change her, feed her and burp her (in that order) every time she cried. By the time she was a month old, she was sleeping a full 8 hours and I only had to change/feed/burp her every 3 hours when she was awake. Once she had a solid predictable schedule going that worked for her,  I simply shortened her last nap of the day. Eventually she got the idea bedtime was earlier and earlier - until it got to a time I could handle. Now she's 5 months, goes to bed by midnight and sleeps between 9 and 10 hours every night, plus two 1-2 hour naps every day. I've not had to deal with sleep regression at all, so I must be doing something right! 
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