How & Why I Schedule
Find more sleep schedules and sleep stories here.
How & Why I Schedule
In my current season of life, the schedule has almost driven me insane, but at the same time, it is the only thing that keeps me sane!
When I began this motherhood journey I am on, I was completely convinced that my baby would just follow the napping schedule laid out in a book and sleep all night from a young age and never be fussy…. All the dreams and expectations one has before actually having children are shattered soon after you give birth. Don’t get me wrong, my children bring me great joy, but they are a lot more work than I had anticipated. I laugh when I watch TV shows with babies on them because it is truly comical the difference between the reality of having a baby around and what you see on TV shows. The baby is always just sitting there, happily in their high chair or crib, and I laugh because in real life, those moments are few and far between!
So, to keep myself sane, I rely on schedules to get through the day. Following a schedule allows me to predict when my children will need to sleep and eat, and this helps me have a better idea of what they need if they are not happy at a certain point in time (although sometimes I am completely clueless because, well, babies can’t talk!!!) I am also able to have predictable break times which for me has been absolutely essential to my mental health. If I didn’t have a break from it all that I could count on, I’m completely sure that I would be running far, far away right now. But having those predictable break times allows me to refresh and recharge, to do some things for myself or my husband, to just sit on the couch and do nothing, or to get things done around the house. Or even to be writing this… The point is that the time I need to just do whatever I want is essential — and keeping my babies on schedule allows me to have this time every.single.day.
How did I establish these schedules? I started from the beginning with both of my babies with a routine. The routines I established naturally turned into schedules. I find that at about 6 months of age you can begin to be a little more scheduled according to the clock, where before that age routines generally work better.
Both of my children (currently 6 months and 2.5 years) sleep 12 hours at night and about 2-3 hours during the day. Even if they are not always sleeping during these times, they spend those predictable amounts of time in their beds resting. It allows them to get the rest they need in order to achieve optimum development and gives their mother predictable break times — a win-win from every angle!
Here is more information on how I worked on each of my babies’ sleep schedules: