PJ and I have been trying a scheduling system with the kid that we think is working really well. It is from the (unfortunately named) “Baby Whisperer” book by Tracey Hogg and is called E.A.S.Y which stands for Eat, Activity, Sleep and “You Time” and involves rolling through all four of these steps in order all day.
A lot of the stuff in the book is too totalitarian for me, and I have this image of a really stern woman like the woman at the Ayn Rand School for Tots on The Simpsons:
Teacher: “Do you know what a baby is saying when she reaches for a bottle?”
Teacher: “She’s saying, ‘I am a leech’! Our aim here is to develop the ‘bottle within’.”
…but the schema for keeping a kid on a decent schedule is sound. Basically the way it works is to have your newborn on a regular feeling routine and napping plan, and while the kid is nappping you get to be a grown up.
It pretty much boiled down like this:
7:00 AM – Feed 5 oz.
7:45 – Diaper Change and Playing
8:15 – Nap
8:30 – Parents Nap
10:00 – Feed 5 oz.
10:45 – Diaper Change & Activity
11:15 – Nap
11:30 – Get shit done
1:00 PM – Feed 5 oz.
1:45 – Diaper & Activity
2:15 – Nap
2:30 – Parents Relax
4:00 – Feed 5 oz.
4:45 – Diaper & Activity
5:15 – Nap
5:30 – Parents Relax
6:00 – “Cluster Feed #1″ 5 oz.
7:00 – Bath/Story/Change into pajamas if necessary
7:30 – Catnap
7:30 – Parents Dinner
8:00 – “Cluster Feed #2″ 5 oz.
8:30 – Baby Sleeps
10:00/11:00 – “Dream Feed” 6 oz.
The “Cluster Feed” idea just means that you feed the kid at intervals closer together to “tank him up” for overnight.
The “Dream Feed” is done in the dark in a quiet place with the baby still asleep if possible, and we always gave him an extra ounce to try to keep him loaded up overnight.
He still needed to eat overnight as a newborn (twice overnight when he was really little and once a night now that he is almost 3 months old), and we would just let him wake us up for those overnight feedings.
Like I said, we are not marking these off on a clipboard or anything, and if he ends up sleeping an extra half-hour, we let him snooze, but for the most part he crashes out at the same times during the day and wakes himself up to eat when it is time.
The “changing diapers four times a day” concept is a joke (our kid is a whiz machine) and changing a kid from a sleeper into pajamas at night is sort of retarded, but we really like the fact that we have a sliver of an idea as to when he is going to be awake and when we can get some of our own stuff done.
I am Zac Johnson and I approve this message.