How do I get a baby on an eat/wake/sleep schedule?

Larissa - posted on 09/11/2012 ( 9 moms have responded )

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My son is 3 weeks old. I am trying to get him on a eat/wake/sleep schedule (I want to try the Babywise method), but I absolutely cannot get him to go to sleep after his wake time. He tends to have longer wake times...closer to 1 1/2 to 2 hours. By the time his wake time is over, it's time for another feeding and then he falls asleep. I don't want him to have to feed before he falls asleep, but no other method works. I have tried swaddling, rocking, having him sleep on my chest, the front pack, even crying it out (he has lungs and will seriously cry for 45+ minutes). He is otherwise a relatively happy, healthy baby, but for consistency sake, it is really hard to set up a routine when I can't get him on a regular cycle and I don't know how to get him to not need a feeding before sleep. Help! Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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Juliannemarie - posted on 09/12/2012

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My 5 month old was ike that. Only takes cat naps randomly. She's starting to take more structured naps now. (about an hour in the evening.) I find its best to demand feed because if you stick to a strict feeding schedule some days the baby may eats too much and others not enough. Their hunger changes from day to day. Feed him as much as he wants to eat with each feeding. If you want to offer milk at certain times thats ok, but i wouldn't be too strict about it.

Juliannemarie - posted on 09/12/2012

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Babies are not consistent. He is too young to follow a schedule. the best thing to do is when he's hungry, feed him. When he's sleepy, put him to sleep. When he's awake, entertain him. He will develop his own schedule when the time comes.



Also CIO is very dangerous. I would suggest not trying that method anymore. When they cry excessively, the cortisol(stress hormone) releases and affects the way the brain develops, which could lead to anxiety, depression, and other issues when an adult. If its practiced enough, it could even cause brain damage.

Gwen - posted on 09/12/2012

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At 3 weeks old, he's too young to "train". It's your job to follow HIS cues; not the other way around. The only thing predictable about a the schedule of a 3 week old is that it's NOT. He was in your belly for 40 weeks..it will take him more than 3 to adjust to the outside world. Let your baby be a baby . Just use this time to love, nurture and get acquainted.

Sally - posted on 09/11/2012

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Eat, sleep, wake is all that three week old babys do or at least my three did

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 09/11/2012

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Just FYI, when my sons were 3 weeks, the only schedule they wanted to be on was eat/sleep/wake.

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Larissa - posted on 09/12/2012

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Thanks guys. I was thinking just trying to keep him on a consistent feeding schedule (he has a pretty consistent nighttime routine) and everything else will start to take shape from there??? I guess my main concern is that he tends to not want to sleep at all through the day (20-30 minute catnaps at random times).

Liz - posted on 09/12/2012

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I noticed with my four kids that it was difficult to keep to a sleep/wake schedule at that age. They just wanted to sleep all the time. I did have them on a feeding schedule from birth though, and that worked out great for us. When they were that young, though, I would just let them sleep whenever they wanted. At around 3 months was when I could really start getting them on a napping schedule. Up 2 hours, nap 2 hours, up 2 hours, nap 2 hours, up 4 hours then bedtime. Good luck!

Amy - posted on 09/12/2012

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I would go with whatever schedule works for your baby rather than trying to force him into a schedule that you want. If you keep a journal for a couple of weeks you will probably find he already has a schedule, it just may not be the order that you want right now but at 3 weeks I wouldn't be testing his lungs out to see how long he will cry. And if a couple of months you can still do a feeding but try to put him down awake rather than asleep but you are a few months off from having to worry about that.

Larissa - posted on 09/12/2012

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Mine wants to be on more of an eat/wake/eat/wake/sleep. His sleep is maybe an hour long nap. He tends to get overtired, so I try to get him to sleep when he shows the first signs of fatigue, but am not having any luck!

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