As a new parent, you are overwhelmed and out of sort. You want to know when your baby should eat, or the time when you should put him down for a nap. A schedule can help especially if you want to establish a peaceful and effective schedule for your baby.
Why should I need to have a schedule for my baby?
Your baby’s needs are not that complicated but knowing what your baby needs, when, and how much of it is the real challenge. You also have to balance your baby’s needs with your own and other family members. A regular routine with your baby will make your life much easier. As a parent, you will have a predictable pattern so your baby will know what to expect.
When can I start the routine?
Experts agree that babies are ready for a general schedule at the age of 2 to 4 months. After 3 to 4 months, the sleeping and feeding habits of infants become predictable and more consistent. Tracking your baby’s habits such as sleeping, eating, and alert times will allow you to understand his natural rhythm and allow you to pinpoint his developing patterns. Experts advocate starting the schedule much sooner.
What are my options?
To make things easier, here are the three baby scheduling methods.
– Parent-led schedules. The schedule is very consistent from day to day and is strict. This schedule is created based on baby’s natural patterns or a suggested schedule from experts.
– Baby-led schedules. Parents will follow the baby’s lead. As a parent, you should look for a sign to decide what he needs next. Your baby’s schedule will vary from day to day depending on his signals.
– Combination schedules. The parent-led schedule and baby-led schedule is combined. This schedule will give you a timetable when your baby will eat, play, sleep, and so on that, you will stick every day. This schedule will have more flexibility than the parent-led schedule.
No matter which approach you take, it is very important that the well-being of your baby will come first. No matter what the schedule says, you have to follow the advice of your baby’s doctor with your gut feeling and common sense to determine what your baby needs.
It is very important that your baby gets enough breastmilk or formula to avoid poor weight gain and dehydration. If your baby needs to sleep, never withhold it. Parents should follow their instincts about what their baby is trying to communicate. Getting your baby into a routine will make life easier for both of you. Learning what your baby needs takes time and patience. Let your baby guide you and tell you what he needs.
It is true that babies love consistency but you can change the schedule from day to day as your baby grows. Always remember that all parents face the same challenges like you do. Just be patient and make your baby as your number one priority.