Preparing to introduce your baby to a schedule•
One of the best pieces of parenting advice I was ever given came from our nanny when I first returned to work after having Leah. The advice was, babies need schedules. She knew from experience what science knows as fact. Babies rely on the schedule we set them - they don't know any better, they have no idea when they're tired or hungry, they just recognize discomfort.
Newborns (0-2 months) aren't ready for a schedule because they need to eat so often. For newborns, keep morning wake up and evening bedtime constant from day to day (it will make your later stages easier). The rest will be more in flux. Make sure to feed every 2 hours (but not more frequently unless your pediatrician says so) until they have regained their birth weight.
Why your baby needs a schedule
After 2 months, you can start working on regular daytime nap and feed times. Sometimes it can feel a bit unnatural to impose a schedule on your baby because you worry you’re depriving them of something by delaying it to meet the schedule. However, by gently putting baby on a schedule you’re helping your baby’s body and brain know what to expect and what to do at certain times of the day, be it eat, sleep, or play, and, as a result, helps your baby feel calm and less likely to cry for something and leave you guessing what they need.
Use the Kulala app to create the ideal schedule for your baby's age and weight. The more consistent you can maintain each part of your baby's by the more entrained their system the more reliable that system will become.
Here are some steps ways to start getting your baby used to a schedule:
- Use the Kulala app which will give you notifications for naps and bedtimes for each child
- Wake your baby at the same time everyday by opening the blinds and engaging them by talking cheerfully
- Set meal times to fall at the same time daily
- Spend some time with baby each day in natural daylight (with sunscreen and covered skin)
- Create a calming bedtime routine for baby that uses red light in place of blue light
- Get baby into bed at the same time each day