A lot of people say you can’t have a baby follow a schedule until at least 3 months old but we’ve had Oliver on a schedule since he was born. When we were in the hospital the nurses suggested we feed every three hours and that’s just what we did. Sometimes he ate more, sometimes he ate less, but I think it helped us really structure things and he knew what to expect too. Being so regimented with his feeding is what I think helped him form good sleep patterns at night as well.
You guys have asked what Oliver’s schedule is like so I’m going to break it down below. Now at 3 months old his schedule has changed a bit with how long he’s awake vs how long he naps. Like I said in his 3 month old post (you can read that update HERE) it can change a bit depending on how the day goes, but he’s a pretty regimented boy. We’ve been feeding every 3 hours from birth and he’s just used to it now. I know some people move to every 3.5-4 hours but this has worked for us. The only thing we are pretty strict on is his bedtime routine. He sleeps better at night when we stick to the below, and if we run later, he actually wakes up earlier so we try not to let that happen but hey – you can’t control everything, so trying to be flexible and not getting too stressed when everything doesn’t go as planned is key.
3 Month Daily Schedule
7:30am: Wake Up + Feeding
Having a consistent wake up time each morning helps us keep him on schedule for the day. Sometimes we let him sleep ten minutes later or so, but his first bottle is usually around 7:30/7:45am.
8:00am-9:00am: Awake Time
Once he’s done eating we get him changed and ready for the day, change his clothes, and brush his hair. Then he hangs with us at the breakfast table in his infant highchair and plays with a little toy. He’s been loving this little Panda we named Pierre. Ha!
9:00am-10:30am: Nap Time
We always do his first nap in the crib at home. We found that the first nap is the most important and if he gets a solid nap in there, then it usually sets a good tone for the day. In his nursery we use the Hatch Baby Rest sound machine. Oliver loves the waves sound. We do have the SNOO and we had him napping a bit in the bassinet when we first brought him home, but about two months in we started experimenting with having him nap in all different places at home (i.e. moses basket, Dock-A-Tot supervised, etc.) We’re hoping having his naps in the crib help when it’s time for him to transition from the SNOO to his nursery.
He’s currently taking a 4.5oz bottle every three hours. We were using the Como Tomo bottles and loved them. His reflux started acting up around 7 weeks and then it became a guessing game. After seeing a GI doctor last week, we changed to MAM bottles and so far so good. It hasn’t cured his reflux or anything, but it has cut his feeding time in half and he seems to be less frustrated while eating which of course is a major plus.
11:00am-12pm: Awake Time
This is usually when we go out to lunch, run errands, etc. Oliver is pretty social, haha, so we all enjoy these outings together. This soft black and white book is a favorite, and also great for on the go.
12pm-1:30pm: Nap Time
Oliver usually sleeps on the go during this time, either in a wrap or in his stroller. We always keep this little portable sound machine with us too.
2:00pm-3:00pm: Awake Time
This is when Oliver does tummy time, reads books, plays with his play gym. This wooden play gym from etsy has been our favorite. We decided not bring too many activity items into the house for Oliver. The play gym and this bouncer by Baby Bjorn have been enough and he seems to love both of them.
3:00pm-4:30pm: Nap Time
5:00pm-6:00pm: Awake Time
Oliver usually plays around on this activity mat with some books nearby, or the play gym again. I love these black and white flash cards also. He seems to enjoy staring at them and we joke he’s “studying” all the time. Wee Gallery has so many great black and white toys for babies. “Look Look” board book is another favorite of his.
6:00pm-6:30pm: Cat Nap
We only do a short cat nap here. It took a few days for him to get used to it, but now he wakes up after the half hour. This is helpful so that he can save his Zzzz’s for the evening.
6:30pm-7:30pm: Awake Time/The Witching Hour!
Around this time Oliver could get a little cranky so we sometimes go for a walk now that it’s cool enough out, read a book, or have a dance party. Also, let’s be real, by this point in the day we’re all a bit tired, so some fresh air does us all some good. Even just hanging in the yard is nice and Oliver loves looking at the twinkle lights we have up.
7:30pm Evening Feeding
Last bottle before bedtime.
8:00pm-8:30pm Bath & Bedtime Routine
We’re happy to report Oliver now loves his baths so this whole experience is a lot more pleasant for everyone now, haha. I’m so happy he likes bath time and it really helps calm him for the evening, plus work out some gas. After his bath comes pjs, and a little massage. We love Tubby Todd all over ointment and Burt’s Bees baby lotion. Then we swaddle him up (love the Sleepea swaddle and Ollie swaddles) and go into our room. We keep the room dark with the Hatch Baby Rest Sound Machine on and the very dim red light setting. We have a few minutes rocking with some cuddles together and then into the SNOO bassinet he goes. We turn off the red light and let him go to sleep on his own, so putting him down awake but sleepy has been key. Every now and then he’ll fuss but for the most part he just stares at the monitor and then goes to sleep.
Nighttime Feedings and Sleeping through the Night
For the last month, Oliver has been waking up once at night, usually anywhere around 4-4:30am. That 8 hour stretch has been so nice. We give him a bottle and then he’ll sleep until 7:30ish. Some nights he’ll sleep through the night and not wake for a feeding, Right now we’re just letting him guide us and not push him. I really feel like his sleep is based upon how much he’s eating throughout the day. When his reflux was super bad he wasn’t eating as much during each feeding and he was consistently getting up at night, sometimes not hitting that 7/8hr mark. Now when he has 24oz or more in a day, he’ll sleep through the night till morning around 6:30/7ish. Our GI said it’s fine and don’t worry about feeding at night unless he gets up on his own.
Sleep Training and a Look Ahead
We will most likely wait until 5 months or so to transition him to his crib, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. What about you guys? Did you sleep train or co-sleep? Plan to sleep train? What does your baby’s schedule look like? I hope this can be helpful for some other parents out there. Just know, what has worked for us, may not work for others, and that’s totally ok. Every baby is different and goes at their own pace.
**I added some items mentioned in this post to our Amazon Favorites page. It’s been really easy to compile what we buy and use daily on there. Click HERE to check it out.
**For more baby posts, check out these posts HERE.