Creating a written schedule for you and your baby can be very beneficial, especially in the beginning when they are an infant and you’re trying to get a handle on the whole parenting thing and what their different cries mean.
Just when you get into a groove and think you have a handle on the whole schedule thing, they’ll grow into another phase and you’ll have to tweak everything 🙂
Trust me, a schedule can make your life a lot easier.
My husband thought I was a bit crazy at first when I started it, but it surely came in handy.
Keeping Track of Feedings and Diaper Changes
As with most infants, my daughter started to lose weight because she wasn’t getting enough breast milk right away.
The pediatrician would ask how often she had wet diapers and I had to guess.
I was exhausted and the days would kind of blur together. I would remember changing diapers, sure… but when and how many?? Uhh…
At that point I felt it was important to keep track and it helped me decide how much formula I should use to help supplement.
If you’re in a similar situation you may want to keep track. Also, if you think your baby is constipated or having diarrhea, your pediatrician will ask about bowel movements so be prepared.
Keeping Track of Sleep
It can be tough to remember what’s working or not for a sleep schedule if you don’t keep track, because babies take lots of naps.
You may want to adjust naps or bed time if you think your little one is too alert or over tired at certain times of the day.
After my daughter was 2 months old, we decided to start the Eat/Play/Sleep schedule and found it hugely beneficial! My husband and I are planners and felt much more comfortable knowing what was coming next and our daughter started sleeping through the night at an early age.
Creating a Schedule for Others
Since I was at home with my daughter more than my husband, it was helpful to have a written schedule to keep him informed and consistent with the routine.
Even though he originally thought it was a little crazy, it wound up helping him feel more confident and I felt better when leaving the house.
A written schedule was also great for my parents and in-laws when they would babysit. It kept our daughter on her normal schedule and gave her comfort even when her surroundings changed.
This schedule can be used to keep track of what happened today or it could be to project what should happen tomorrow.
Add Your Stuff to the Schedule!
Okay, so you just had a baby and of course it’s all about them right now… but what about us Mom’s. Are we chop liver?
It’s crazy how hard it is to take a shower at times.
Or go grocery shopping.
Or if you’ve been lucky enough to fit those things in, have you had a chance to exercise?
Exercising after having a baby may be the last thing you want to do, but it is one of the best things we can do for ourselves.
It can help with postpartum depression and stress as well as give you more energy. That in addition to helping you get that pre-pregnant body back! No need to go crazy with it, but it’s something you should pencil in to your schedule.
It’s easy to just say ‘Oh, I’ll do that chore when my baby naps’, but chances are when the time comes you will forget, be sidetracked, or procrastinate. Happened all the time to me!!!
If this sounds like you too, start scheduling because if you have it on the schedule, it’s more likely to get done!
Add stuff that you can look forward to also. A bath when your spouse gets home, a pedicure, etc.
Printable Baby Schedule and Suggestions
First: Track what happens now (today)
Then: Try tweaking events by 15 minutes here and there to get into a schedule that works best for you and your baby.
And once you can kind of predict a routine, it will be easier to pencil in time for you!
Suggested things to track:
Diapers – #1/#2
Sleep – start/end and mood when they woke
Feeding – # of oz or L/R breast
The clock should only be a guide to try to stick close to. Please use your judgement regarding your babies cues that he is hungry or tired. Some days may deviate a bit from the schedule because you are out and about, that’s okay. As long as it’s pretty close on most days, it will become a routine that you will both get used to.
As your child grows, the routine will change a little at a time.
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