Figuring out the pattern of the baby allowed us to strike out the guesswork and keep our baby happy! I created a schedule based on his natural routine.
Being a new parent is no easy feat. It’s hard to establish a rhythm at times because we believe the child should accommodate our busy schedules. What we fail to realize is our new baby has been on a schedule since they were in our wombs. When I was pregnant with my first child, I took notes on everything. I jotted down notes of when the baby was most active and when the baby was obviously sleeping. I’m a very routine person, therefore, my baby, while inside of me, adapted to that routine and eventually developed it’s own. After I had my first born, I began to notice a pattern. Now, outside of my womb, he seemed to have the same schedule as when I was carrying him inside me! My Christopher was not very active at night when I was pregnant. He seemed to sleep when I slept and the same applied, to a certain extent, after he was born.
I decided one day to take notes the same way I did when I was pregnant. This time I watched his every action and wrote down the action and the time it occurred. I wanted my baby to have a schedule based off of his natural habits.
Step 1: Record times
Record times of when baby wakes up, eats, has a bowel movement, wants to nap, wants to play, etc.
Step 2: Keep a daily record
Keep a daily record of these activities for one week
Step 3: Notice a pattern
Baby will more than likely do things around the same time each day.
Step 4: Set Timeslots
Pick a timeslot that’s most recurring for each activity. For instance, if baby takes a nap on:
- Day 1 at 10am
- Day 2 at 10:30
- Day 3 at 9:45
- Day 4 at 10:15
I would aim for a 10am naptime each day.
Step 5: Stick to the Schedule
Help baby (and caretakers) stick to the schedule your baby created.
Step 6: Post the schedule
Post this schedule so everyone is on the same page. When grand parents come to town or if you have a nanny or babysitter, it’s helpful for them to know what’s needed based on the time of day. I would update this schedule every 3-4 months or based on pattern changes.
Here’s a sample schedule chart that I created for both of my kids.
Download Sample Schedule PDF
Here’s a template if you would like to fill in your times and activities.
Download Blank Template PDF
Something amazing happened for my entire family after I created this schedule that was based on my baby’s natural patterns. Our new baby was not as fussy and we were no longer confused as to what the baby was crying about. We knew what the baby wanted based on the pattern and the schedule. The only way our baby can communicate with us is through crying and patterns. If we can figure out the pattern of the baby, we can strike out the guesswork and keep the baby happy! Happy baby, happy mommy and happy daddy!
Another added bonus of creating this schedule was that we could tell if the baby was feeling ill because the pattern would change. For instance, I could immediately investigate if my child was getting sick if it was feeding time and the baby refused. I could determine if my baby was constipated or had gas or maybe was coming down with a fever. This helped me to determine whether I needed to schedule a visit to the pediatrician or, the exact opposite, by avoiding constant trips there.
Scheduling our baby allowed my husband and I to know when we would have a moment of peace while the baby slept peacefully. It’s a lot of work in the beginning to get on track, but trust me, when you stick to it, you’ll be a happier, more rested mommy!