Scheduling your newborn may seem like a fantasy. After all, they are young and still getting used to the world (much less being outside of your womb!). For many parents, a newborn disrupts ordinary life, albeit in the best possible way. Many parents have wondered, unsurprisingly, is it possible to schedule your baby? Can you change your newborn’s schedule to be more in line with the other responsibilities in your life?
Here are some tips on how to schedule your baby’s routine and what kind of results you can expect.
It’s All About Sleep
A newborn sleeps a lot, although it might not feel like that if they wake you up at 3 am every night crying. After the first six weeks or so of a newborn’s life, they will take around three naps during the day. These naps will range in length from 45 minutes to two hours.
For some fortunate parents, they might recognize that your child develops her own sleep schedule. If that happens to you, take note of the pattern and start planning your day around your baby’s sleep schedule. If your child does not show a definite pattern, have some patience, as many children develop a natural pattern. You can also encourage your child to sleep by placing them in their crib during times where you think they should be sleeping.
As your child gets older, they will also consolidate these naps into longer periods of sleep. Eventually, they will only take one nap during the day and they will be able to go down for a regular nap. When this happens, you can rely on your child’s sleep schedule a lot more to plan your day.
A Loose Schedule
Parents must realize that while some children develop good natural schedules, these schedules are loose at best. While most of the adult world runs on Google Calendar, your child lives by their own rhythm. Even if your child is consistent most of the time, make sure that you always pad in time around errands and appointments in case your child’s nap runs long or they become fussy.
Sometimes, They Might Just Be Upset
Newborns do not have a way to express themselves other than crying or cooing. Sometimes, something is bothering them and they decide to cry. Sometimes, parents can figure out what is wrong, and other times, they accept that their child is simply fussy. This is not uncommon for newborns, and parents will have to account for their child’s moods.
Parents quickly learn about their child’s moods and temperament. While every child is different, parents should know that as your child develops, they will be much easier to schedule. The golden rule is basically: when your child is a newborn, you are on their schedule. When they are a toddler, you can set their schedule!