When I taught, I learned very quickly that kids do best when they stick to a schedule. They learn what to expect and feel secure in that. In having a routine, they also learn to be more independent.
Making sure that a newborn has a schedule will help him sleep better, eat better and be a happier baby. Having a schedule for a toddler helps with tantrums, although it won't eliminate them. Recognize that each child is different and will need different amounts of attention and have different sleep patterns.
Also--I AM NOT A DOCTOR, JUST A MAMA--so consult your pediatrician with any questions and concerns. These are just tips that worked well for me and advice I give to my new mama friends.
When scheduling, you need to consider:
- how much baby needs to eat in a day
- how much baby needs to sleep in a day
|Age||Nighttime Sleep||Daytime Sleep *||Total Sleep|
|1 month||8||8 (inconsistent)||16|
|3 months||10||5 (3)||15|
|6 months||11||3 1/4 (2)||14 1/4|
|9 months||11||3 (2)||14|
|12 months||11 1/4||2 1/2 (2)||13 3/4|
|18 months||11 1/4||2 1/4 (1)||13 1/2|
|2 years||11||2 (1)||13|
|3 years||10 1/2||1 1/2 (1)||12|
|*Note: number of naps in parentheses|
--taken from babycenter.com--
Check out Gerber.com for detailed amounts at each age.
This chart is taken from Similac.com:
|Food||Starting age||How much daily||What are good sources||Why it is important|
|Breast milk or formula1,2,3||Birth–1 week||6–10 feedings of 2–3 fl oz each||Breast milk or formula forms the cornerstone of nutrition in this first year, providing the protein, fat, calcium, vitamins, and minerals your baby needs.||Nutrients in breast milk or formula enable your baby to develop a strong immune system and support brain, muscle, bone, and organ growth|
|1 week–1 month||7–8 feedings of 2–4 fl oz each|
|1–3 months||5–6 feedings of 4–5 fl oz each|
|3–6 months||4–5 feedings of 6–7 fl oz each|
|6–9 months||3–4 feedings of 7–8 fl oz each|
|9–12 months||3 feedings of 7–8 fl oz each|
|Cow's-milk-based foods||10–12 months||1 serving (1/2 cup yogurt or 3/4 oz cheese)||Provides calcium, vitamins A and D, and protein for growing strong bones|
|Grains and cereals||4–6 months||3–4 Tbsp||Offers complex carbohydrates, vitamins (B complex), minerals (zinc and magnesium), and fiber your infant needs to fuel activity such as rolling, crawling, and walking|
|6–12 months||4 Tbsp or more|
|Vegetables||6–8 months||1 Tbsp per meal, working up to 4–5 Tbsp per day||Delivers vitamins A, B, and C, trace minerals, fiber, and protein|
Vitamin C helps absorb iron.
Vitamin B strengthens the immune system and nervous system and helps with muscle and cell growth.
Vitamin A helps with vision, while fiber assists in digestion.
|8–10 months||4 Tbsp or more|
|10–12 months||4 to 8 Tbsp|
|Fruit||6–8 months||1 Tbsp per meal, working up to 4–5 Tbsp per day||Provides vitamins and fiber important to digestive well-being and overall health|
|8–10 months||4 Tbsp or more|
|10–12 months||8–12 Tbsp|
|Meat/Protein||8–10 months||1 Tbsp||Cooked, pureed meats or poultry, cheese cubes, tofu, or egg yolk||Ensures the protein (as well as iron, B vitamins, and zinc) needed to build muscle|
|10–12 months||2–4 Tbsp|
|Water||4–12 months||4 oz or more||Water is important for staying hydrated to help keep the excretory system functioning properly. It also helps your baby develop a taste for this basic necessity|
When H was first born, he was on a schedule of eat, sleep, repeat. Then as a few weeks went by, it was eat, playtime until fussy, sleep, repeat. During the day he took about 5-6 naps. Then slowly his playtime became longer so he went down to 3-4 naps a day. About 9-12 months he took 2-3 naps a day. 12-15 months 1-2 naps a day.
At 15 months I started letting him take one 3 hour nap a day and then around 18 months he went to one 2 hour nap a day. He is now 2 and a half and still on that nap schedule.
SAMPLE TODDLER SCHEDULE
(adjust to your wake time and bedtime)
8:30 Wake up
9:30 Get dressed
2:00 Nap time
4:00 Outside play and snack
5:00 Start dinner/independent play time
6:00 Family dinner
6:30 Play time/clean up
7:00 Get ready for bed
7:30 Family story time
8:00 Bed time
Here is a bedtime routine chart I use with my son:
|Click for download|
Here are some more scheduling tips that may be helpful for your baby's daily routine: