There are so many things I wish I had known right after having Noob Baby. I remember so many people telling me to “sleep when the baby sleeps.”
At the time, it sounded like a no-brainer.
Well when the Noob Baby invasion was finally upon us, all wisdom and logic went out the window. I was so enamored with this 24/7 pooping machine, that when she was asleep, I just ogled and cudded her, ignoring all advice to SLEEP! Truth betold, I tried to sleep when she was sleeping, but then this madness descended … and I felt like I had to clean, had to do the laundry, and whatever other domestic task Martha Stewart would be proud of.
I was so go-go-go, that I didn’t realize I could take control of our day and actually start carving out a routine.
I was just … on call. Sure I was keeping logs of when I was feeding her and when she was pooping, but I certainly didn’t realize that her eating, then staring at visitors, and finally napping in her bouncy seat was a baby routine in itself starting to emerge.
After reading Tracy Hogg’s book, Secrets of the Baby Whisperer, it finally dawned on me that having Noob Baby on a routine would help me figure out why she was crying and prevent her “unexplained” fussiness! A routine would be an indicator of what she would want and need next.
In this post, I’ll share what I learned from Hogg’s book about getting a 1-4 month old on an E-A-S-Y routine. Also check out the EASY for 4-9 month olds. And I’ve also created an EASY Cheat Sheet that includes 4 side-by-side schedule samples that range from 4 weeks to 1 year. It’s a great free printable you can keep referencing as your little one gets older!
And one really important note: Take this as a loosely designed routine, but one that you need to adapt and shape to work with your noob. If you get too Type-A psycho on the time slots, you will drive yourself crazy. A-hem… guilty as charged. Trust me when I say that you will probably never have an identical EASY routine. That’s ok. Just try and keep with a predictable E-A-S-Y pattern, and you will be ok!
And just to drive that point home… here is my post When E-A-S-Y is Not So Easy. It’s a quickie post with some extra tips that may help when EASY gets a little overwhelming. Isn’t that ironic?
E is for Eat
Just plain old eatin’ time. Take a look at Hogg’s Feeding Guide for an idea of how much to feed at each age.
A is for Activity
After eating, try to encourage your little one into some activity time before falling asleep. This may be especially hard to do for the super noobie babies; but as they hit the 1-month mark, it’ll be easier to keep them awake for a short time before napping. Activities for newborns can be as basic as cooing, staring at a toy, diaper changes, singing lullabies, bath time, and hanging out with visitors. Just keep it limited — too much activity and you will have an overstimulated noob who wants nothing to do with naptime.
S is for Sleep
Sleep is the precious time when our little ones grow and develop their brains. Naps can range from 20 minutes to 2 hours (after the first few months). Good naps during the day will actually help baby sleep better at night. Contrary to popular belief, keeping your noob up late won’t make her sleep longer! I just pray you don’t have horrid Nap Town mishaps like me!!
Y is for Your time
After baby is asleep, you get sacred time to do whatever you want. I strongly suggest you take a nap and recharge, too. But if your “house” is looking more like “the city dump with upgrades,” then by all means … wash dishes, scrub the spit-up from your clothes, and quickly push the take-out boxes under the couch. Oh yeah, a shower might be called for, eh? Count backwards from 20 (because that’s all the time you have before the noob is up again, seriously.)
Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
For the first month, you probably won’t even try to get a routine going, but after you slowly emerge from your zombie-chrysalis, you will be begging for some predictability! Here’s an example from Hogg’s book of what an E.A.S.Y Structured Routine may look like for a 4 wk-old. Heed the words … Be flexible.
Typical E.A.S.Y. Routine for 4 weeks to 4 months
E – 7:00 – Feed
A – 7:45 – Diaper change. Some playing, talking. Keep an eye out for sleepy cues
S – 8:15 – Swaddle and lay baby in crib. May take 15-20 min. to fall asleep.
Y – 8:30 – You nap.
E – 10:00 – Feed
A – 10:45 – See 7:45 above.
S – 11:15 – 2nd morning nap.
Y – 11:30 – Your time.
E – 1:00 – Feed
A – 1:45 – See 7:45 above.
S – 2:15 – Afternoon nap.
Y – 2:30 – Your time.
E – 4:00 – Feed
A – 4:45 – See 7:45 above.
S – 5:15 – Catnap (about 40-45 min)
Y – 5:30 – Your time.
E – 6:00 – 1st Cluster Feed
A – 7:00 – Bath, bedtime ritual
S – 7:15 – Another catnap
Y – 7:30 – You eat dinner.
E – 8:00 – 2nd Cluster Feed
A – None
S – Put baby right back to sleep.
Y – Enjoy your time until the Dream Feed (between 10-11).
This routine assumes baby doesn’t have special needs, isn’t below birthweight, etc. that may require more frequent feedings.
For babies older than 4 months, see Hogg’s EASY for 4-9 months. Don’t forget to print out my free EASY Cheat Sheet to use as a reference guide!
Have you tried this or another routine that works for you? I would love to hear about it.
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