By Jen Mearns of The Undomestic Goddess
When you bring home your baby, well-meaning people will give you little nuggets of wisdom like, “Sleep when the baby sleeps!” or “Say goodbye to your sleep!”
Well, I’m here to tell you that you can put your baby
on a schedule on YOUR schedule as early as one week old! Simply follow this sample schedule and your newborn will be on track within one week.
(Note: Failure of your baby to adhere to this schedule indicates an inherent defect in your child called “Failure to Sched” and could result in a full refund from the hospital.)
9:00 a.m. Baby should be tired from all that birthing and thus should sleep until nine most mornings. If he only makes it until 8:45 a.m., don’t worry! It takes time to get him on this schedule. Change his diaper and nurse/feed him.
9:30 a.m. Intellectual stimulation/playtime. This is the time for your newborn to start learning! It isn’t too early, no matter what anyone says. I would recommend getting started on the classics for reading time. An early appreciation of literature cannot be over-emphasized. By the time baby is three months old, he or she should be able to work a 25-piece puzzle, so get started on these early as well.
10:30 a.m. Nap. Learning is tiring and newborns need a lot of sleep.
12:00 p.m. Baby should wake refreshed. Change baby’s diaper and nurse/feed.
12:30 p.m. Physical activity. Baby needs to work on getting his muscles strong for sitting, crawling, and walking. (Which he should be doing by six months-get started now!) Light calisthenics should suffice.
1:30 p.m. Nap. If baby is sweaty, wipe him down before nap.
3:00 p.m. Baby should wake refreshed. Change diaper and nurse/feed.
3:30 p.m. Baby free time! Provide toys for fun and stimulation as well as a selection of flash cards so your newborn can start learning the alphabet. (Pro tip: Make sure the flash cards are drool-proof.)
4:30 p.m. Nap.
6:00 p.m. Baby should wake refreshed. Change baby’s diaper and nurse/feed.
6:30 p.m. Short playtime.
7:00 p.m. Bath time.
7:30 p.m. Reading time. I’ve found that my babies love the Bronte sisters, both Emily and Charlotte. It should be easy to figure out what your baby favors.
8:30 p.m. Change baby’s diaper. Nurse/feed. Play a selection of classical piano music, preferably live.
9:00 p.m. Bedtime.
There you have it! Twelve hours of baby’s schedule. There is no reason that your baby shouldn’t be sleeping twelve hours at a stretch by two weeks so it’s not necessary to schedule the remaining twelve hours in the day.
About the Author
My name is Jen Mearns and when I’m not wrangling three boys under four, I’m wrangling animals while pet sitting or most happily, writing. You can find my stuff on Scary Mommy, Pregnant Chicken, Hew View From Home, BabyGaga and Swaddles N’ Bottles. You can also find my personal blog, The Undomestic Goddess, and follow me on Facebook, Twitter @jennmearns, and Instagram.