I recently blogged about the Baby Whisperer’s E.A.S.Y. schedule for babies under 4 months of age as one option to get your noob on a reasonable routine.
However, by 4 months, babies are gradually able to transition into longer wake/activity periods, as well as eat less frequently – around every 4 hours. By getting baby used to eating every 4 hours, you’re also setting her up for an easier transition to sleep through the night (cross your fingers … ah heck… cross your toes too for good measure). Isn’t that really the Ultimate goal we are striving for as parents?!
Noob Baby, also known as Her Chunkiness, didn’t exactly appreciate a sudden transition into eating every 4 hours vs. every 3. Silly me. I forgot to reveal my plans to her. So, we called together a G4 type summit and came to an agreement.
To make the transition more agreeable, we slowly increased the time between her feedings each day (tacking on a few extra minutes). 3 hours between feedings became 3 hrs. 10 min. Then 3 1/4 hrs. 3 1/2 hrs. etc.
At last, she was eating approx. every 4 hours (give or take a few days where I assume she was going through a growth spurt). Her E.A.S.Y. routine looked similar to this example from The Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems. Download my EASY Cheat Sheet here that includes 4 samples EASY schedules!
E – 7:00 – Wake up and feed
A – 7:30 – Activity
S – 9:00 – 1 1/2 – 2 hr nap
Y – Your time
E – 11:00 – Eat
A – 11:30 – Activity
S – 1:00 – 1 1/2 – 2 hr nap
Y – Party (I mean … take a shower and get out of jammies!)
E – 3:00 – Eat
A – 3:30 – Activity
S – Catnap between 5 -6 pm
Y – Relax, prep dinner, breathe.
E – 7:00 (cluster feed at 7 and 9 pm if going through a growth spurt)
A – Bath time
S – 7:30 – Bedtime
Y – Unwind until either your 9 pm cluster feed or 11 pm dream feed (see below).
E – 11:00 Dream Feed (until 7 or 8 months, or whenever solids are firmly established)
What is a Dream Feed?
A dream feed is simply nursing or bottle-feeding your little one while he’s asleep. You want to try your best not to rouse him from his sleep while you essentially “top him off” for the rest of the evening. When he stops feeding, put him back down and you go on your merry way. It’s sort of a like a hit-and-run feeding. The idea is that this will extend his nighttime sleep for a longer stretch of time.
Unfortunately, this never worked for us. While I was able to do the dream feed like a stealthy breastfeeding ninja, it just didn’t make Noob Baby sleep any longer. So, give it a try if you’d like, but if it doesn’t work … don’t stress!