Having a schedule is the best thing you can ever do for yourself and your baby. It gives your baby comfort knowing what comes next and you the ability to have time for yourself but also to plan out your day and know exactly what you need. My baby has slept through the night first, longest and most consistently out of the other mom’s I talk to and she’s not the oldest.
There are loads of theory’s and schedules out there you just have to pick something that works for you. Different types of schedules is something I did no research on – I actually hadn’t even thought to look into it and many people tell you to feed on demand. So how did I end up with a super happy baby that sleeps well all day and hardly cries at all because she never needs to cry to eat?
How I Cope
My friend Jenn told me about the EASY Method while I was at home visiting my parents and we were both pregnant. I Googled it and came across this website noob mommy. I read more about the EASY (Eat Activity Sleep You time) Method and agreed with the basic principle of not associating sleep with eating (because they eventually stop eating before bed) and also having time for yourself. I saw that she got her information from a book called The Baby Whisperer. I Googled the book and almost bought it but I saw many reviews were negative and that it was condescending etc. So I decided to skip it because I already agreed with the EASY Method theory and I had examples schedules of how to implement it from noob mommy.
The noob mommy cheat sheet is your best friend. I printed it out so I had it handy for when the baby arrived. I’m so glad I did because I knew that to really start the EASY Method schedule correctly you need to start in the morning around 7am.
I started on the top left one (see cheat sheet) on a day my baby woke up closest to 7am and never stopped. She didn’t sleep like it says so I would always put her down when I should but she didn’t always sleep for the duration but I kept the feeding times consistent with the schedule. I didn’t see to stop at 8 eight weeks with cluster feeding at the bottom so we went until 10 weeks and then I looked at the sheet again and started the top right schedule about 10 weeks. At 16 weeks they move to the bottom left but this time I remembered when and what the next schedule was like and she started sleeping naturally longer anyway. I’ve always fed her a 100ml/bottle since I started for each feed and then nursed at night till she started sleeping through.
I still gave her 600ml/day but it’s one less feed just redistributed so 120ml/bottle no nursing. This kellymom website is really helpful with how much you should be feeding because it’s for pumping, breastfeeding and formula and they are different amounts. Basically expressed milk should be the same quantity per day (unless going through a growth spurt) until they start solid foods but formula you keep increasing. I have no idea how long a growth spurt is supposed to last or maybe I was feeding her too little but she all of a sudden is demanding a lot more the past three weeks. On kellymom it gives a range of average expressed milk intake and at 600ml she was close to the bottom. Instead of 120ml x 5 she eats 140ml x 3 and 180ml x 2 = 780ml a day which is now at the very top end of the kellymom range. Over the three weeks I tried to decrease the two night feeds slightly to 160ml a couple of times to see if she would still demand more (get really upset when it was gone) and it’s been sporadic. I’m also not worried because since three months she has only gained a little over 2lbs so far and she has dropped from the 50th percentile for weight. Even though she is eating more I wasn’t going to increase my own milk supply because I need to stop completely by nine months when I go back to the US for two months because I can’t take my pump with me, I’m not going back to breastfeeding because she is a ‘barracuda’ according to What to Expect The First Year (which I highly recommend) and now she has teeth. In order to give her enough for the day I have broken into my frozen supply using two 100ml bags a day which is fine because they say frozen breast milk only lasts about six months and I need to give it to her when I get back from the US again and my supply would be eight months old then.
Back to the EASY schedule – when it says 10-11pm dream feed for all the schedules she always eats then but she’s never been sleeping. I put her to bed between 10:30-11pm so she sleeps the night and there’s a lot less tears than when I’ve tried between 8-10pm. However I also believe that because she wouldn’t dream feed and slept in our bedroom this also in a way forced her to go to bed late. Once she was out of our room and I adapted the 4 hour EASY below she’s gone to bed much earlier.
4week old EASY
Day ten we started. First we just fed at the scheduled times – she wasn’t necessarily sleeping during the day for as long as it said she would and she was waking up still in the night. But I always put her to sleep for naps when it said to and she eventually got used to it and slept the whole amount of time instead of waking early or taking a while to fall asleep. I made sure that I stayed at home with her all day for this first week to try to get the schedule right.
At 10 weeks she started sleeping through the night from around 11pm – 8:30am (sleeping through the night is 5-6 hours for most babies). And she was also sleeping easily during the day. I adapted the schedule to her so for the first four months she was going to bed when we went to bed around 11pm. I tried many times to get her to sleep before then but she would just be really agitated. And she would never dream feed so she was awake for her last feed always.
I would let her sleep in the morning till I usually woke her up around 8:15am. So her 7am feed moved to 8:30am but she still took her nap about 9am. After that all the other feeds were the normal times. We often go out walking during the day and are gone for hours at a time but we still try to get her to sleep at her scheduled times in her stroller (pram) which is usually easy because it is the flat bassinet for babies 6 months and under. Sometimes she’ll fall asleep for the whole time others it’s only a 30 min nap so there are days that we go out that I don’t let the schedule prevent us from doing things. However no matter what she feeds at the same times.
I forgot about the other schedules so we made the switch at 3 months by literally just changing to the next schedule on the following Monday morning. She was a little off and grumpy for two days but then she got back into the swing of it.
We switched to on time because I put calendar reminders before I needed to switch and I was already familiar with the timing changes in my head. This time she switched a little earlier (by two weeks) because she was naturally sleeping longer and proved she could go four hours in between feeds on her own. So I switched her the next day and there was no issue.
This is how we have adapted it:
8:15am wake – change diaper (nappy)
8:30 – sit on rocking chair in her room and feed then read books
9:00am – or as soon as second yawn happens put her back in bed with the bed changed to nap time see Sleeping Routine for Naps and Bedtime.
11:00am wake – change diaper, change to daytime clothes, feed downstairs in kitchen
11:15am – 1:00pm – activity time varies from playing on the floor to walking outside with the pram
1:00 – 3:00pm – should be nap time but she will only sleep the full amount if she is at home
3:00pm – feed
5:00pm – cat nap that lasts from 30 min to an hour if she slept the previous two hour nap if not then usually naps from 4:30 to 6 or 6:30pm
6:30pm – feed
8:00pm – get ready for bath and actual bath time is 20 min to tire her out
8:30pm – dry, get pajama’s on, clear her nose, get her bed ready for night-time and turn off all the lights
9:00pm – feed downstairs with lights dimmed wait 10-15 min then carry her upstairs to her dark room and implement her bed time routine
9:15pm – sleeping
When she has seemed really tired or missed a bunch of naps during the day she has wanted to eat earlier 6:30pm and then we bathe her earlier, she eats again about 8:30pm and is in bed by 8:45pm. When this happens my next day is affected because she will wake up slightly earlier around 7:30 – 8:00am so I just try to keep her awake for an hour and then back to bed. Sometimes she will still sleep until 11am other times she’s up at 10:30am but we still don’t feed her until 11:00am.
We switched to the 6 month EASY once she started eating solids three meals a day but will still be consuming the same amount of milk per day until she is eating enough to reduce her milk intake.
This is how we have adapted:
7:30- 8:30am – wake and change diaper, go downstairs have bottle, play in high chair while I prepare breakfast, eat organic porridge + banana from an Ella’s Kitchen 100% organic pouch
11:00am – change diaper, get dressed for the day, snack bottle feed, watch sign language video, play
1:00pm – bottle feed + lunch, change diaper
2:00 – 4:00pm – nap time
4:00 – 4:30pm – change diaper, snack bottle feed
6:30 – 7:00pm – bottle feed + dinner
7:30pm – bath + brush teeth
8:00 – 8:30pm – bedtime
Once she was eating more solids I adapted this schedule again so that the bottle feeds were further away from her meals so she was hungry enough to actually eat and this new schedule has worked brilliantly. We stopped puree pouches completely at eight months and she eats three meals a day of whatever we eat basically –
7:30-8:30am – wake and change diaper, brush teeth, 100ml frozen breastmilk bottle or 150ml formula she plays for 10 minutes while I prepare breakfast which is usually porridge with hot water, cereal she can pick off of the tray and banana to switch it up sometimes she has eggs, toast, bacon or other fruit
11:00am – snack bottle 180ml formula
12:30-1:30pm – lunch which can be some Fage full fat greek yogurt with blueberries and strawberries and then she will eat whatever we are eating for lunch
4:00pm – snack bottle formula 210ml
6:30-7:00pm – dinner which is whatever we eat
7:00- 7:30pm – bath, brush teeth
7:30 – 8:00pm – get ready for bed, read books and rock to sleep
For more information about:
solid food – Starting Solid Foods Puree vs Baby Led Weaning.
combination feeding – My Formula & Frozen Milk Strategy
what I do for activity time and toys I use – Activity time for 0-6 months.
Have you followed the EASY Method as well? Let me know what you think of it below . . .
#EASYMethod #babyschedule #sleepingthroughthenight #babyroutine #whentofeedbaby #naptimes #kellymom #noobmommy #newmom #millennialmom