Baby Sleep Schedules: 0-6 Months

Now that M is down to 2 naps (7 months old) and I feel like I can breathe again, I thought I should document the scheduling for the first 6 months of her life for future reference.

birth-2 weeks & 2 weeks-1 month | “operation survival”

Things we focused on:

  • establishing nursing relationship & milk supply (feeding every 3 hours during the day, full feeds); we stopped waking to feed at night when M was well over her birth weight at her 2-week check-up
  • pre-sleep routine: diaper change, swaddle, song, down in crib
  • minimizing sleep props (rocking, holding, nursing to sleep, etc.)
  • sleeping in the crib (except her witching “hour,” which lasted from about 6-10pm)

Schedule at 1 week:

7 DWT (nurse, diaper change, sleep)
7:35ish-10 nap
10 wake, nurse
10:45-1 nap
1 wake, nurse
1:45-4 nap
4 wake, nurse
4:45-7 nap
7 wake, nurse
7:45-10 nap (fussy pants, usually slept on us)
10 nurse
10:45-ish “down for the night” — usually fussy, slept on Chad
2 MOTN feedings at 3 hours from the previous feed.

Schedule at 1 month:

DWT 6:30, nurse
7:15-9:30 nap
9:30 wake, nurse
10:30-12:30 nap
12:30 wake, nurse
1:30-3:30 nap
3:30 wake, nurse
4:30-6 nap
6 wake, nurse
7-8:30 nap (this “nap” was mostly on Chad or me — super fussy)
8:30 nurse (she would usually wake up)
9-ish down for the night
1 MOTN feed; mostly around

Summary:

I stressed wayyyyy too much about scheduling (first time mom problems) and probably should have cleaned a little less and slept a little more. M basically slept the entire month, so going out was stressful knowing I’d have to wake her up. I was also new to town so most relationships weren’t the most life-giving, so I think next round will be significantly different!

1-2 months | “operation bye-bye witching hour”

Things we focused on:

  • DWT (desired/daily wake time) to help regulate M’s 24-hour cycle
  • stretching the night sleep cycle

Schedule at 2 months:

7 DWT, nurse
8-10:30 nap (this was her best nap of the day so I’d let her sleep)
10:30 nurse
11:30-1:30 nap
1:30 nurse
2:30-4 nap
4 nurse
5-6 nap
6 nurse
7-8 nap
8 nurse (we aimed to cluster feed to fill her up; she would fuss most of the evening hours anyway up until 8/9 weeks)
9 bedtime
11 late evening feed — M would wake up when I fed her but would go straight to bed afterwards.

Summary:

This was the month we traveled to Maui for my father-in-law’s wedding. M was just shy of 6 weeks old. She did great on the flight–slept on me almost the entire time (did one eat-wake-sleep cycle). Turns out M would also nap on me while we went out and slept incredibly well.

2-3 months | “operation earlier bedtime”

Things we focused on:

  • dropping the late evening feed, which happened at 10 weeks

Schedule at 3 months:

6/6:30 DWT, nurse (when we dropped the late night feed she was doing about 11-hour nights)
7/7:30-9:30 nap
9:30 nurse
10:30-12:30 nap
12:30 nurse
1:45-3:30 nap
3:30 nurse
4:30-5:30 catnap
5:30 wake time
6:30 nurse & bedtime around 7/7:30

Summary:

M dropped the late night feed and never looked back–okay, she may have looked back once or twice since then. Haha. This was also the first month we left M with non-family members after she went down (one time for a nap) and went on a few dates/outings. It was hard, but we did it! And she slept! Yay!

3-4 months | “operation drop-a-nap”

Things we focused on:

  • ridding of the crap-nap (45-minute naps)
  • stretching wake time
  • stretching the 11-hour night to 12 hours

Schedule at 4 months:

6 DWT, nurse (just kept creeping up!) — wake times dramatically increased this month
7:30-9:30 nap
9:30 nurse
11:15-12:45 nap
12:45 nurse
2:30-4 nap
4 nurse
6 nurse & bed

Summary:

This month’s “schedule” was all over the place. :) Every day was different, or so it seemed. I kept playing with wake times and we ended up on a 3.5-hour-ish schedule.

4-5 months | “operation drop-another-nap”

Things we focused on:

  • figuring out whether M needed 2 or 3 naps

Schedule at 5 months:

6:30 DWT, nurse
7:30/8 nurse again
9-11 nap
11:30/12 nurse
1-3 nap
3 nurse
5:30 nurse, bed by 6

Summary:

We figured out how to keep M’s naps long: nurse twice during the first wake time. The problem, though, was that she was between 2 and 3 naps. Instead of going with 3, I pushed for 2 too soon. She was overtired every night at bedtime and would cry for what seemed like forever–every, single, night. (Insert tears-down-the-face emoji.) On days where a nap went to crap and was short, I would try to squeeze in the catnap… Anyway, if I were to do it again, I would keep 3 naps for longer until she was ready to drop it.

5-6 months | “operation no schedule”

Things we focused on:

  • going with the flow: colds, travels, vaccinations…
  • surviving 10-day vacation sharing a room with M

Schedule at 6 months:

6:30 DWT, nurse
7:30/8 nurse again
8:30-10 nap
11/11:30 nurse
12:30-2:30/3 nap
3 nurse
5:30 nurse & bed around 6

Summary:

I’m pretty sure she only abided to that schedule twice the entire month. With getting her first cold, going to California, and then coming home to vaccinations, we basically flew by the seat of our pants. It was terrible, but it definitely taught me to always continue with the schedule and to watch out which sleep props I introduce when M isn’t perfectly healthy or when she’s thrown off schedule. In retrospect, I would have just kept her out with me late instead of having her cry it out at my mom’s without me there, all while she was overtired… Oh gosh, thinking back on this month was painful!

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