When E-A-S-Y is Not So Easy

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As you may already know, my go-to resource for many of my early parenting questions is Tracy Hogg’s book The Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems. It was Hogg’s trademark EASY routine for infants that eventually made my chaotic rookie parenting days much more … “manageable.”

In a nutshell, EASY is simply structuring your baby’s day in this pattern: Eat. Activity. Sleep. Your time. *Repeat until the end of time* While it sounds like a pretty obvious routine for a baby (I mean what else is a lump of chub going to do), your brain just isn’t putting together any logic, rhyme or reason when it’s puttering on a few scrappy hours of sleep. Hence, a book that spells it out for you … in an easy to remember acronym no less, is pure genius.

But, genius can be pure madness as well. Genius can be evil, yes? Well, that’s certainly what I believed when the EASY routine suddenly became not so freakin easy. Give a teacher a schedule that she isn’t able to follow to the minute and what do you have? A pretty pissed off teacher with a dose of insecurity and a supersized helping of frustration.

As it turns out, it’s not just a teacher thing. It’s sort of an all around perfectionist parent kind of thing. I know this now because one of the most common emails I get is from frustrated parents who are desperately trying to incorporate EASY into their new life but cannot get their noob to follow the schedule. Why can’t babies read schedules and Thomas Guides and recipes and W-2‘s for for god’s sake?! If I had a nickel for everything a baby couldn’t read…

Anyway, back to the point. If you are one of the many frustrated parents out there who is smart enough to know your baby should be on a routine but can’t seem to get your baby on the same page, well this post is a shout out to you. Here it is. The most important advice to remember when incorporating EASY, or any routine for that matter, into your day to day parenting.

And, because every parent needs a cheat sheet… here is an EASY Schedule Cheat Sheet I created that is VERY handy to reference from birth to 1 yr! Enjoy it. Use it. Share it!

Be flexible. Be adaptable. Be like a ninja.

The Baby Whisperer offers EASY as a general guideline for how your baby’s day should look. Most parents, myself included, will get so caught up in the minutes and numbers that when things are not perfect, go totally spastic.

That’s when you need me, the concerned and slightly nosy outside party, to shake you by the shoulders and say … BE FLEXIBLE!

Your noob isn’t a textbook. Your noob isn’t a droid (but seriously, how cool would that be). Your baby has its own agenda, which guaranteed, isn’t the same as yours. So save yourself some gray hairs and just go with the flow. But make sure you are in control of where that is going.

Along those lines, here are some more tips to remember when applying EASY:

Be consistent. Reasonably consistent.

Eat-Activity-Sleep is a healthy, intuitive guideline to follow for infants. Note that it isn’t Eat-Sleep. I say this because I found myself struggling with this pattern a lot in the early months. I thought that’s how it worked with babies. For newborns, that’s fine. But after a month or so, your noob can stay awake long enough to people watch for half an hour or listen to your super high pitched baby talk. I’m going to write another post about why you shouldn’t let your noob fall asleep during a feeding. But for now, just remember that some mild activity like going for walk, staring at a toy or hearing some songs is all the activity infants need.

Keeping structure and routine is something all babies, kids, and frankly many adults need. That means having meals around the same time, reliable nap times (and not always in a car seat or in a stroller while you’re out running errands), and an early (7-7:30ish) bed time. Don’t expect your little one to sleep through the night or fall asleep like an angel if he’s going to bed at 9:30 some nights and napping on the road most days.

While I’m personally a stickler for predictability, I’m also realistic. I know that holidays (and visitors) will be a wash and some weekends you just want to stay out and enjoy some extra family time. Be flexible, but be structured. Do preserve the naps and bedtime as though they are sacred. Your noob needs that time to grow and develop.

Adapt the EASY times to your baby.

If your baby sleeps longer than you expect or wakes up earlier than you prayed for, adjust and adapt the best you can. If she’s sleeping a little into her next feeding time, don’t jump the gun and barge in on her beauty sleep. Unless she’s a preemie or has some special needs that your pediatrician is aware of, she’ll be fine. Use your best judgment. And remember that you know your noob better than anyone else. If nap time is going on for 4 hours, well yeah, you don’t want her wired at bedtime.

Some babies are really slow eaters, others are really efficient nursers. Adjust your feeding time as needed. Just remember, don’t get caught up on the minutes and numbers, it will make you feel like a failure. I know because that’s how I felt every time NB woke up from her nap 45 minutes later.

Now here’s my teacher shout out. Thinking back, I was lucky to have been trained to deal with surprises in our schedule. You learn to roll with the punches and be flexible. Hey, guess what … the library is closed today, you have an assembly that is half an hour longer than you expected, we’re on Rainy Day schedule, and the photo copier is broken. Merry Effin Christmas. I’ll say it again (only to remind myself still, three years later) don’t try to be that perfect parent. Because when you do, you will be the one feels like a failure when things don’t go as planned… which they inevitably will. Remember, it’s not always a bad thing if things don’t go as planned. Many fun memories come from those crazy days!

Now with those extra EASY tips out there, do you have some tips of your own about routines and schedules. Or just being a ninja? I’d love to know what your experience is with Tracy Hogg’s EASY routine. Leave me a comment or share your advice with other spastic noob parents like myself.

In case you haven’t picked up this book yet, share the love and buy your copy with my Amazon link… won’t ya?

Comments

  1. 94

    My 3mo-old has been doing a BW-style routine. We haven’t read The Baby Whisperer but were introduced to Baby Wise which is pretty similar, right? We’ve been doing the EASY routine since about 2wks and he does so well on it! He sleeps through the night (7:30pm – 6am) but just recently he’s decided naps are lame and wants to wake up after 20min into them. Sometimes he doesn’t sleep more than 10min! Of course this throws off the whole routine, I try and let him cry it out and by the time he falls asleep he wakes up again because it’s now time for him to eat! He’s on a 2.5hr routine still because he just would not do 3hrs in the beginning….do you think my problems lie in that?

  2. 95

    Any special strategy you used with NB2.0 to get them on the same schedule? My almost 2 y/o is on one nap a day from 11-1:00 and would love for my new babe to nap at the same time. He’s 2 weeks, so I’m going to start EASY in another couple of weeks.

  3. 96
    Katie Hartsfield says:

    I think this is all good and realistic with your first baby, but not when you have a second and your second baby has to adhere to the schedule of your first. Often times this means my baby is napping in the car, in the swing, or anywhere really…so that I can simply please 2 children instead of 1. Any tips? I didn’t sleep train my first and so I’m a newbie to this element of parenting. :)

  4. 97

    Ok so I wanted to give an update. I bought and read the Baby Whisperer cover to cover and was so excited and positive about it working well with my son. I followed the EASY schedule (4 Hour) and it went very well. Better than when I had originally tried to use it with my son when he was much younger (9 wks vs now he is 20 wks)
    When the night came around, though, it was a mess and even when using BW tips and advice- PUPD, Shush/Pat, I felt like I was actually conditioning my son to need me to console and soothe him back to sleep by using these manuevers. I tried everything from BW for almost 2 weeks. I was getting about 3 hours of fragmented sleep each night and completely losing my marbles!!

    Finally, I called my Pediatrician and told her what was going on- it was ruining our home! I was a wreck with constant headaches, my hair was falling out like crazy, and I was literally seeing spots from all the sleep dep. Not to mention my toddler and husband were dealing with a cranky crazy mom/wife.
    So in desperation and exhastion, we decided to try the CIO at night. My son is 4 1/2 months so not quite the age that they recommend (5-6 mos), but again the Ped said based on the effect it was having on our family, and the fact that he is a healthy 16 lbs, gave us the green light.
    And you know what? Its working! Yes it sucks, its hard (especially the first night) but it gets easier each day and when I go in and see my son is still the happy smiley loving baby he always was, I knew it was going to be ok. He slept 7 hours straight on the 3rd night. That is more consecutive sleep than I have had since I was pregnant!! One great trick that my husband came up with is to put his bassinett IN the crib for him to sleep in, to keep him warmer, and have that familiarity. It really helped my DS adjust I think. Also, I still do the twilight feed, to top him off and to give me one last time to console him. But after that, I don’t go back in until at least 5am. Although the first night I caved around 3 and went in to feed him. The Ped said to not go more than 6-7 hours and so far that seems to be perfect.

    Now we have to tackle the naps, and Im sure there will be some regressions, there always are. But I just wanted to share my experience with both the Baby whisperer and with CIO. I will still continue to use the EASY schedule during the day, it makes sense and seems to work well. But when it comes to trying to get them to self soothe and sleep through the sleep phases/transitions, letting them CIO was the only way to go for us.
    And again, he is big and healthy, and happy as every. In fact, he is well rested and maybe even happier now. I know I am!!!!

    You got to find what works for your baby and you, so stay educated, and don’t beat yourself up if one thing fails.

  5. 98

    Another sleep deprived and frustrated mom here. Have been doing the EASY method with my 4 mo old for a week now. He naps great, right on schedule for 1.5-2 hours and an late afternoon/evening catnap. Bedtime is consistent at 8 after nightly bath. Goes down fine, dream feed between 10-11 and back down. Great right?
    Then it’s been an absolute S*** show. He wakes up every 1.5-2 hours ALL night. Not hungry, usually goes back after I reswaddle and console, but reawakens an hour later again, like he’s a newborn !?!?! I am a walking zombie, cranky to my 3 1/2 yr old, and dont know what I am missing :(
    Any insight is greatly appreciated!!

  6. 99

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  7. 100

    Hi. I have a 3 month old daughter. Tried the EASY. morning part works out great. after 1pm feeding it’s a different story. She will eat at 1pm, then play till about 2ish, gets cranky, goes to sleep, but sleeps about an hour, then another half an hour of activity, and she is hungry by 3:30ish. which would be ok, but then that messes up with our 7pm feeding, she is ready to eat by 6-6:30. Not sure what to do here.
    Also, she still has her mid night 1am and 4am feedings, but after a 4am feeding she thinks it’s wake time, and wants to play, starts crying if i try to put her to bed. Been going on for last 3 days, i am dying her from sleep deprivation (i work, so can’t take day naps).
    Please help! how do i get her back to sleep till 7am????

  8. 101

    I am having similiar problems with Sian! LO who is 9 weeks old now wakes up maybe an hour after 730pm when i put him to bed for a short feed..he goes to bed again around 1030pm but wakes up 3 hours after that for another feed. It seems he needs my boob to calm himself down and put himself to sleep again. He will wake up another time after 3 hours for another round and is wide awake at 730Am..is he too young for me to expect him to sleep through the night after i put him down at 1030pm???
    Thanks!!

  9. 102

    Hi Noob Mommy,

    I just started my 7 week old son on the 3 hour E.A.S.Y. I am struggling with the night time portion. I cluster feed and dream feed him as suggested but he still wakes up 3 hours after his last cluster feed to eat and every three hours after that. He is also very alert after eating ….even if I dont engage him and the room is dark and quiet. Swaddling him makes him cry like i am trying to kill him. The dreamfeed lasted 15 minutes which is long for him and he was actively eating so i am not sure why he is waking up an hour later to eat again…do you have any suggestions?

  10. 103

    Hi Noob Mommy!
    I absolutely LOVE your blog! I began implementing EASY as soon as my son was born. I did do a little on-demand feeding in the beginning but he soon converted to strictly just EASY. I’ve always had an issue with his sleeping during the day because he would fight taking naps (ie. the eyes would close and he would startle himself and start crying). This lead to my husband or I holding him and allowing him to fall asleep on us because as soon as we put him down he cried. Of course we absolutely loved it because he is our first and love to cuddle with him. Eventually I began putting him down on his teddy bear mat to sleep on and he generally would take 4 – 45 minute naps throughout the day. We never had an issue with him sleeping during the night. He always (even from when I took him home from the hospital) slept a minimum of 6 hours straight, I would feed him, and he would go straight back to sleep for another 3 hours – totaling at least 9 hours of sleep/night, sometimes he would take another 2 hour nap after that. Then as he got closer to 3 months old he slept 9 hours straight threw the night with the 45 minute naps throughout the day. When he turned 4 months old he completed changed his entire routine on me and fought all naps including nighttime sleep. This is when I became more strict on where he was sleeping. I started putting him in his crib for all naps because I just couldn’t handle the crying and needed a break for a few minutes here and there. I would try to let him calm himself down for a few minutes and it worked for a hot minute. One day he cried off and on, with me going in the room to try to soothe him, for an entire hour which completely broke my heart seeing my son cry like that. I tried the pu/pd method and just don’t find success doing it because the second I even go to put my son down (even with him in my arms) he starts hysterically crying. I just don’t know what to do or what I am doing wrong. I follow all of his tired signs and put him down in his crib to wind down when I see them. I know he is well fed because he is 97% on height and weight and he is such a happy baby but when it is time for sleep he is extremely difficult and easily becomes overtired because it takes so long for him to fall asleep! I am now at the point where the only thing that soothes him is the breast which I have tried so hard in the beginning months to NOT do. I swaddle, SSHH, use white noise, make a dark, climate controlled environment and am just at a loss. I desperately need help because I am a firm believer in EASY and know it works. I need assistance in prolonging his 45 minute naps and help putting him to sleep. He is now 5 1/2 months old and will take about 1.5 hour nap in the middle of the day (with BF help) and a 45 minute nap in the morning and a 45 minute nap in late afternoon around 5ish. But he wakes up numerous times throughout the night. PLEASE HELP!

  11. 104

    Hi, love this site. Has been really helpful to me and my little boy. He’s 12 weeks and at 10 weeks I started to introduce EASY and it was going splendidly until he had a SR flare up. For the past week we’ve been trying different meds and feed to help manage it again. He’s still off his food a bit and I’m struggling to get back into our routine. At present he’s not taking do long got his naps do wakes a good 30-45 mins before his next feed is due. Then he takes a bit and gets tired because he’s been awake so long, falls asleep for a bit and then wants the rest about an hour and a half to two hours later. this then puts back the next feed. By mid afternoon we seem to be back on track for 3 hours between feeds do that he’s ready for bedtime between 7.30 and 8. He then has a dream feed at 10 and goes through to around 2 to 3am and then down again till 6/7. So I can’t grumble too much-it’s just that morning time. But due to his SR he’s not a great eater and also needs to have some meds 30 mins before a feed. Any advice to how to out meds into routine and try and get him back on track would be most appreciated! Thank you!

  12. 105

    I loved this article but am a little confused as to where and how I should be flexible. My little man is 12 weeks old and has been a bit of a constant feeder, when I have mentioned it to the Doctors they have said I need to train him into feeding approx every four hours which is why I went looking for a routine and found your site with the 3 Hour E.A.S.Y. Pretty much since he has been born we have had a rough routine whereby he wakes, feeds, lays on his play mat, has a top up then goes to bed – he used to feed to sleep but we now put him down drowsy and he puts himself to sleep most of the time. The only problem is that he generally only sleeps for 45 – 60 minutes and wakes up wanting to feed again. We have been working on distracting him once he wakes so that the feed times are further apart and have been having some success but because he only stays up for a maximum of an hour I can’t get him onto the 3 hourly – we are lucky if we can make it to 2 hours most of the time. Is this what you consider being flexible or have you got any ideas on how I can keep him up longer to space the feeds apart?

    • 106

      Erin – Sounds like you’ve got your hands full trying to figure out this 3 HR EASY and I applaud you on what can be a difficult task! A couple thoughts … is your little guy truly hungry when he wakes or is he just fussy? Are you able to buy time with a pacifier? It does seem a little unusual for him to be hungry so soon at 12 weeks unless he’s going through a growth spurt (which should last just a week or so). If he is genuinely hungry and not just relying on the feed as a soothing device, then the next step would be to see if he’s getting enough at each feed. One problem I had with our snacky Noob Baby was that she’s use the boob as a little soothy snack then nod off. So she wasn’t actually having meals but lots of little snacks throughout the day. Problem with this is that she’d be hungry sooner and never get to sleep long enough because of this. If his weight is healthy, then you can continue with what you’re doing (finding distractions to stretch out feed times little by little – even just 5 or so minutes each time). It’s also possible that he’s so sleepy because he’s not getting in a good chunk of sleep at each naptime. Try all the sleepy strategies you can (swaddling, white noise, pacifier, pre-nap calm down) to get him to sleep longer. And it’s ok if he wakes up after 45-60 minutes and you let him cry for 5-10 (with monitoring) to see if he’ll just soothe himself back to his next sleep cycle. 45 minutes is the common sleep intruder because it’s the end of the first sleep cycle. Good luck to you!

  13. 107

    My 4 month old drinks 5/6 oz formula and wont feed again for 5/6 hours.His naps are broken sleep. He uses pacifier to fall asleep and stay asleep. He wakes after an hour when pacifier falls out. He may or may not go back to sleep. Would love to put him on 4 hour routine. Please help

  14. 108

    Ok I need some serious help :( My guy is 7 months and is now waking up every hour at night. He wants to nurse back to sleep and some nights I get so weak with exhaustion that I just bring him to bed with me. Even when I send Dad in to resettle him he is up again within an hour or two. Is it too late for me to get him on the E.A.S.Y.???? He takes two naps a day in his criv, usually 1-2 hr in the late morning and 30-40mins in the early evening. I am reaching my breaking point and have tried letting him CIO but it was a nightmare for the entire household and not something I really want to revisit. He wakes up between 8 and 8:30am and bedtime is anywhere from 8-9pm then he wakes consistently all night. Also I want to note that my son is a very happy and easy going baby during the day even after a rough night, but I can’t take the sleep deprivation anymore HELP HELP HELP!

  15. 109

    Noob mummy , need your advice. My little 8 week old girl regressed on her sleep training n now I’m trying to restart it but it’s a lot harder now.

    I find it really hard to get her to nap in the daytime without using any sleep props because all the sites, even yours, advise against such props. Am I wrong or are such props still okay until a certain age (e.g. 6 months?) deeply appreciate your advice here

  16. 110

    Hi all,
    Just came across this blog and have found it very interesting. I have a 7 week old little girl and I am finding it very hard to settle her without rocking her and she has to be in a deep sleep before I can put her in her cot. I’ve had to change her formula 3 times to comfort with gaviscon as she has what they call “silent reflux” and I think she might be slightly colic as she screams from 7 to 10 some nights. My question to you is how do I adapt her to the easy routine because I cannot seem to be able to put her down or she wakes and it is beginning to really affect my confidence as a first time parent. Also she fights her sleep even though I know she is tired and then she becomes so over tired and irriated that even holding her and rocking her doesn’t help.
    Thanks :)

  17. 111
    terezie Martinez says:

    Hi I just wanted to say thank you for your post. It really made me feel normal. With my first child I became obsessed with a certain routine and lets just say if things weren’t done on the minute I was having a panic attack. Thanks to this routine I ended up with severe postnatal depression and anxiety. Now with my second child im trying really hard to be flexible as you say. Your posts are so reassuring and comforting. I really appreciate your words

  18. 112

    Hi there – I’m currently working on the EASY schedule with my 4 month old. And like many 4 month olds, he is known for taking catnaps. Now this throws a wrench often times. My schedule goes something like this:

    7:00am: Wake
    7:30am: Feed
    9:00am: Nap
    11:00am: Wake
    11:30am: Feed
    1:00pm: Nap
    3:00pm: Wake
    3:30pm: Feed
    5:00pm: Catnap
    6:30pm: Half a bottle + Rice Cereal
    7:00pm: Bath
    7:30pm: Remaining bottle and Bed

    During the morning nap, he will usually wake up 30-45 minutes into it, I always leave him in his crib and try to get him back to sleep (sometimes this takes up to an hour). But other times, like today, he just won’t go back to sleep. So, I have to feed him at 11:30 and he is usually passing out hardcore after that bottle. What do i do? How do i fix this??

    I’m trying to be flexible and calm, but it’s difficult.

    • 113

      I should say furthermore that when he takes that morning nap (9-11am), it often looks like this.

      9:00 – 9:45am: Sleep
      9:45am -11:00am: Trying to get him back to sleep
      11:30am: Have to give up, take him out and feed him
      12:00pm: Falls right back to sleep

      So you can see it just kind of messes up the whole schedule. Sometimes I can get him back to sleep and he’ll sleep for 30 more minutes which saves the day1

  19. 114
    Katelin Peters says:

    I have been instituting the EASY schedule for my now 8 week old daughter. We have been following the EASY steps but have had a hard time with the timing. I have a question…..she usually can go 4 hours in between feedings during the day….by the time she falls asleep for naps and then sleeps- she could go without eating until 4hours from the last time i fed her. I started waking her after an hour and a half- but I wonder if I should not wake her up and just let her sleep until she wants to eat? She still wakes up for a middle of the night feeding….between 2-4- it varies…I have been trying to just soothe her and get her to fall back asleep. It hasbeen a challenge as well because she has severe GERD and other digestive issues. So I am trying to give grace since I know she is up and restless at night beause of belly pain/reflux pain. At 8 weeks I don’t know if it is too early to do the 4 hour EASY.

  20. 115

    My son is 6 weeks. Should I really bath him fully every night? Or spot clean him and bath him 2/3 nights a week? Also, he is okay in the bath, but in no way is ready to sleep after a bath or spot cleaning. Can I bath then sleep at that time period. Flip flop them till the other way works. If I feed before bath, he usually spits up while cleaning him. Loosing what I just fed him.

    Thanks for any help!!

  21. 116

    Hey! I have just started working on getting my 3 week old into an EASY routine. The problem I am having is that at least one time a day after I do one of his feeding he will not wake up for activity time. He usually takes 1 to 2 hour naps right now and eats usually every 2.5 to 3 hours. I try to keep him awake for 45 minutes to an hour after he eats and then let him nap. It usually only takes him 10-15 minutes to nurse. I just don’t know what to do to keep him awake after feeding him. I try singing, changing him, using toys with sound and nothing seems to wake him up. It worries me when it is a later time like if he eats at 2:30 and naps from 3:30-5:30 and i wake him to feed him and he goes right back to sleep. Should I just let him sleep at this age or try to wake him up since it is so close to bed time? We usually put him to bed between 8 and 8:30 depending on how his feeding is timed. And if I do need to try and keep him awake any ideas for that?

  22. 117

    Hi I’ve been trying to implement EASY for few weeks now my noob is 14 weeks but was 6 weeks prem.
    Problem is I am really struggling with the S bit, she really struggles to fall asleep on her own, she will fall asleep pretty much in any position on me and stay asleep for hours but if I try and put her in her crib she wails uncontrollably, because she was prem and the kangaroo care etc got used to sleeping on us, tried the shush pat to no avail, then because she’s not sleeping she’s cranky all the time, takes in loads of air from crying and then has really bad wind so her trumping wakes her up if she does sleep and she can’t resettle herself. She hates the swaddling as very wiggly baby and spits out a dummy.
    Please can you help as running on empty as waking 4-5times a night too :-(

  23. 118
    BriAnne says:

    Hi! Love your blog! I’m struggling with my almost 10 week old son! We had been trying to follow the easy routine but lately he’s been refusing feeds! Should I stretch him to a 3 hour 15 easy? He won’t sleep normally until the three hour feed mark. Is it more important to feed every three hours consistanly or get the naps consistent ?? He was doing awesome until 8 weeks (sleeping 5-7 hour stretches at night) but the past week he’s waking up 3-7 times a night!!! Initially I thought growth spurt but he’s not eating well in the day. I’m about ready to give up!

  24. 119
    Diana Connan says:

    Hi! I think you are terrific. :) My almost 8 week old has been fighting naps lately. He refuses the crib during the day despite being swaddled with a paci and white noise. He will sleep in his rocker but only after I rock him. I will also have to rock his rocker if he wakes up during this time. Lately, he has been super sensitive to noise too, much more so then in the past. His bedtime is between 8:15 and 9 after he eats. He also has been restless after his 1-3 AM feed where he gruntis, fusses, and kicks. This does not happen during the day. Help, what gives?!

  25. 120

    Love reading your stuff. Have started my 7 week old in the crib and on EASY and it’s going well so far. Do you have any opinions on night lights? So far I use one mainly to help me see when I go in to feed. Is it better to have total darkness when I’m NOT in the room feeding? Main challenge has been getting my older ones to allow the nap times to happen uninterrupted.

  26. 121

    As part of EASY if baby wakes to feed at night do you skip the “activity” part and do ESY? So daytime is EASY and nightfeeds are ESY? If you should do activity at night as well what type of activity? My 5week yr old sometimes wakes 1-3 times at night, but if using shush pat will settle again. if fed well in evening she wakes less. In the day she will wake if not in a dark quiet room (as that is what she has got used to at during night and has learned to go back to sleep in that setting). Should I not keep her in daylight tho so that she gets used to general noises and learns difference between day/night? It feels a bit like we are dictating her feeding patterns based on if she is kept in quiet room in day for sleeps. Any advice would be much appreciated! If we have to go out, disturb her she will fuss and do both feeding and tired cues (prob as this is out of synch with her sleep cycles which we don’t think there is a pattern for). We are formula feeding and it’s becoming impossible to know how much she needs at each feed as its all very varied depending how soon she wakes up

  27. 122

    Hi again

    Im sure noob mommy is much better at this than I am, however I can relate, your 9 – 1am marathon was us about 3 weeks ago. Nightmare, I had her in one arm and the hair dryer in the other trying to get her to sleep she was so overtired. So for two weeks I have tried to establish an earlier bedtime at 7ish ( we start our day between 6.30 – 7.30 so i know she is tired enough). In the last week it seems to have taken. Feed her at 6 (30 min), then clean hands and face with cotton wool and water. If she is still calm 2 min massage on legs and chest. Feed again usually (15 min / 30 min) wind and down by 7.30. This has been followed by a short period of crying herself down (except last night no crying) 10 min / 20 min. I stay with her (cause she still quite young) with my hand on her chest and watch to ensure its her tired cry and not wind/ hunger. First time I felt awful but had tried eveything else. It is such a distinctive cry and she will usually fall a sleep mid cry, very weird to watch. This seems to be how she soothes herself, hoping this will pass. If im not sure whats wrong i will wind and/ or feed her. But she usually falls a sleep on feeding so put back in crib and let her cry and stay with her. Not sure if you would call this cry it out. With my oldest daughter at 3/4 months I followed BW advice on an early bedtime pat/shh and leaving the room and entering to pat shh at set intervals (2 min / 5 min/ 7 min). Worked like a charm she was a sleep within 10 minutes to the point where she didn’t need me to do this and would go over with no crying at all. Not sure this would work if she had been very overtired. But with my 1st at this age I was of the opinion if it was definitely tiredness then crying was fine. Not everyone agrees. Had pat shh not worked I think CIO would have been my next move. My 8 week baby hates being swaddled and her arms do jerk around but there isn’t much I can do about it as this upsets her less. She is starting to find her thumb so hopefully this will work soon. By contrast my first baby loved being swaddled did this until about 3 months then moved her to baby sleeping bag.

    I found that in early days with no. 2 I had to cover her crib mattress with the t-shirt or top I wore that day and this seemed to help calm her.
    Im not sure if this helps. All I know is that what works for one doesn’t always work for the other. You know your baby better than anyone so just keep trying things until something takes.

  28. 123
    Sommer Davis says:

    Thank you so much for your advice. I’m lucky enough to work at an office that provides daycare so I can check on him when I need to so that has really helped me going back to work. So I also have another question, do you let your LO “cry it out” so to speak if you know there is nothing wrong with them? I ask because I finally had to resort to that 2 nights ago when he would fall asleep eating and in my arms but when I laid him down he would wake up as soon as I did or 5 min later. I knew he had a full belly, clean diaper and was very tired. We started to put him down at 9 and finally let him cry at 1. He cried for 20 min but did finally fall asleep on his own. I know I have a lot of ?s but I guess I’ll ask one more. Do yours scratch at their head and flail their arms and wake themselves up? He is 14 wks and it is about time to quit swaddling since when he wakes up his swaddle is close to his face.

  29. 124

    Hi Sommer

    Congratulations! I have two girls (4 and 2 months). I tried both on the EASY plan. my eldest took really well to it. I started with the bedtime routine at 7 weeks and she got it in about 3 days. Daytime naps took longer, she fought them more. What helped was really focusing on her tired cues. She would yawn and by the third yawn I had her in the nursery and in her cot. From about 3 months I did pat/shh and pick up/ put down to help her settle (stopped using a dummy/pacifier so she would cry). Took no more than a week and she would settle brilliantly but she would nap for only 40 min – 1 hr 4 or 5 times a day. I think it helped in the early days that she took a pacifier as she used this to sooth herself. She too was In daycare, I wrote out her schedule and gave it to them and I think they must have just thrown it out! Don’t worry too much they will probably establish their own routine with your baby as they did with mine, it worked out ok because they managed to get her to sleep for 2.5 hours in the middle of the day which was amazing. Plenty of ‘you’ time. My girl just adapted, she was a bit cranky at home if she didn’t settle in late afternoon for a nap at daycare but she grew out of that. On my days off I just followed our routine as normal (with a longer nap in the middle). With your baby if he sleeps during feeding and wakes when you put him down he may not be tired. Both my girls do this. Try and feed him, then put him on play mat or floor to wake and play and then watch for his tired cues and then try and settle to sleep. My two month old is usually ready for a sleep about 1.5 hrs after waking. So we manage about 45 min of activity after feeding (she always has a wee dose during her feed so i try to keep her awake). Our daytime naps with her are not yet established, she finds it hard to settle ( wont take pacifier and hasn’t quite found her thumb yet). so currently she sleeps in Moby wrap, when out for a walk of while in car seat when out and about. These are all built round the EASY schedule. I try once a day to settle her in her crib, sometimes this work and sometimes not and she only sleeps from 30/ 45 min. But start small ehh. I posted here about 3 weeks ago saying I was going to start a bedtime routine with her. It has taken longer to establish this with my second., probably about 2 weeks and it was hard work but I stuck with it. She used to cry for a solid 3 hours between 6pm and 9pm, but now she goes goes down to sleep between 7.30 and 8.30pm. Each night crying time has reduced, we even now have smiles and babbling. Last night she didn’t cry at all i had to pinch myself. Even when she does cry though she has a very distinctive ‘tired cry’ so this helps to reassure me that there isn’t something else wrong e.g wind. .She sleeps until 6.30 / 7am with 1or 2 night feeds. I Am torn as to whether or not to dream feed at 10/11 (worked well with my first) as I’m not sure it will work with her.
    In my experience I found that if I started establishing the bedtime routine other things stated to fall into place. My youngest routine is much simpler with my first as her temperament is very different. Good luck I hope it works for you. Good luck with going back to work, this is very hard but just think how lovely it is to come home to your baby. They help to keep things in perspective.

  30. 125
    Sommer Davis says:

    Hi! I love ready your take on EASY. I’m confused about how to establish a routine with a 3 month old that goes to daycare. Do you have any experience with that or know of anyone? Also, what do I do if my LO falls asleep during feedings but as soon as I lay him down he is wide awake and smiling at me. This is my first and I need sleeeepppp. Thanks :)

  31. 126

    Hello Noob Mommy! I am so thankful to you for sharing your knowledge. I stumbled upon your website a couple months ago when I was really struggling with our now 8 month old LO. She was constantly snacking (we were misreading her cues), not sleeping through the night and constantly needing our attention. Since we’ve incorporated a lot of your tips she is almost like a new child. The one thing we are still struggling with is her late bedtime. She usually goes to sleep around 9 PM and wakes up at 7 AM. She usually takes 3 naps, totaling about 5 hrs. Her eating schedule is pretty regular at 7, 1, 6, and 9, she gets and 8 oz bottle at each feeding and some solids. If/when we try to feed her any earlier than those times, she goes back to snacking (eating between 2-4 oz), making it very difficult to determine her next feeding. Any suggestions?

    Thanks again!

  32. 127

    Hi there, my little man is just over a week old but I have been trying to give him a little bit of structure with approximately 3hour feeds during the day. This means I actually wake him for a feed. Is it too early to be doing this? Generally he is pretty good but everyday we have at least one period between feeds where he won’t go down. Sometimes it’s the middle of the night and sometimes during the day.

    Also I’m not sure about the activity. Most of the time he’ll nod off towards the end of a feed so he goes straight to bed. I guess a nappy change, swaddling and putting him down in front of flash cards are all activities for this young age?

    Any advice you can give would be much appreciated.

    Thanks

  33. 128

    Hi. I’m a second time mum and with first baby I started Easy routine at 6 weeks. Up until that point I found it very hard as baby cried pretty much 12 hours a day! But once I was able to established an early night time routine and managed to get her to settle in the early evening (using Easy) everything changed! She is 4 years old and is an amazing sleeper and has been since 6 weeks. What I like about BW is the simplicity of the routine and the flexiability. I found the tips in reading baby cues signalling they are tired invaluable. The routine was really simple for family to understand and follow. My second child is 3 weeks old and I am loosely trying to follow Easy at the minute with varying degrees of success. In a couple of weeks I will try and establish an early bedtime and hopefully she will settle into this. Fingers crossed. Thanks for the interesting read on your experiences of BW.

  34. 129

    my baby is 3 months old and we have been doing this and everything else ive read to do to get her to sleep through the night and shes STILL not making it!! any ideas or siggestions why? please help SO tired!

    • 130

      Cori- How long is your LO going between feedings and at night? 3 hours at 3 months is very typical, even at night. EASY is a very “ideal” routine and a nice framework to structure your day. But if things aren’t going exactly as the routine indicates, don’t stress. Try to provide all the soothing techniques you can – swaddling, white noise, sucking (binky), and maybe a little rocking until she’s almost asleep (but not out cold) to help set the mood.

  35. 131

    Hi! this is a very nice and informative bog, thank you very much for it. I really struggle with the A of the EASY…especially at night. You don’t really have the energy to keep them awake after a night feed…nor want to, isn’t it!? I have not finished reading the book yet so maybe this will be explained at a later chapter but I wonder what other mums think and how they manage to keep their babies awake after the feed, mine eats fast (finishes a breast in 10′) and a lot and just switches off while I burp him.
    Thanks,
    Mum of 8 week-old text book type

    • 132

      Eli- At night, there is no A part of the schedule. Just sleep! So if you are doing middle of the night feeds, just feed and put your LO back to sleep right away. Also, at 8 weeks, your little guy doesn’t have much activity going on (even during the day). They’re awake, observing, laying under a mobile or on a playmat, listening to you talk/sing whatever. That’s enough :)

  36. 134

    So glad I found this. I guess I have been using the EAESY method. My baby girl is 4.5 months. She’s a poor nurser/eater. She only BF when she feels like it and when I give her pumped milk she rarely drinks more than 2oz in a sitting. It’s been tough because I’m basically feeding her all day. She was born 5lbs 4 oz and thus had a small stomach. She is now about 10.5 lbs. Something changed when she turned 3 months but to me it feels like she wants to sleep all day. i pretty much struggle to keep her awake. Not to mention, her longest sleep stretch at night is 2 hours! Lately at 3am she’s ready to play. It’s been absolutely exhausting. So far our pattern is that I feed her the 2oz that she will take, then we play, read, sing but an hour in – she’s ready to sleep again. I try to push another 30 minutes and feed her another 2 oz at that point and then after that she usually naps and the cycle repeats until 8pm when we put her down. We dream feed at 11:30 pm. She’s up again at 2:00 am for feeding. Play time at 3am. Feeding at 4am. Play time at 5am. Absolutely exhausting! We don’t play with her at middle of night. We try to ignore her cuteness but she eventually makes a ton of noise or starts crying. Between her poor eating habits and need to sleep all day – I’m at a loss. Any ideas/tips would be great!

  37. 135

    Please stop using the word spastic. It’s so insensitive. As a new mum of a child with cerebral palsy reading this phrase is devastating! Please re write some pages to remove this phrase so others don’t have to come across it. Have a heart!

  38. 136

    I love your take on being. As a former teacher I laughed out loud at your “Merry effin Christmas” of surprises. We started EASY and the PU/PD method last week. Our 7 month old had gotten into a habit of waking every hour and, in my sleeplessness, had resorted to nursing her to sleep each time. It only took a few nights to break that and the third night she only woke once to eat at 3 AM. Unfortunately, she has regressed the last few nights. We are trying to figure out what has done it. I have a few questions. Extending her naps is not much closer to working 6 days later. I know Tracy says it could take 2 weeks but most times we will PU/PD for the full next 45 minutes. Could it be that she doesn’t need’t the 1 1/2? The night she slept best we successfully got her back down both times for the 1 1/2 but that was 5 days ago and we haven’t been successful since. Any ideas?

  39. 137

    Hi! What a great Blog! I have a very active 6 month old (just six months!) who is rolling in both directions and commando crawling! She has been on EASY since 1 month old and she has responded very well to this routine. She is on 4 hour 7 -7 and has two naps (one 1 hour or less & the other over 1 hour) and catnap if required. She has always been a good sleeper and will wake once at night (habitually) which we are working at changing. Because one of her naps are short, I have changed the routine to EASYAEASY – is that correct or should I persevere with trying to get her to longer naps and cut out the cat nap? Any suggestions on the way forward? She is BF with solids and has her last BF at 1000 ish
    Thanks : )

  40. 138

    plus now after dream feeding around 10-11, he ll wake up for another feeding around 3-5am, and then next day starts feeding from 7 or 8 depending when that extra feed is.. Does that sound right for his age? He hasn’t sleep through the night yet. He con only sleep at most 5 hours.

  41. 139

    Thank you so much noob mom! Another question, since the whole day of EASY pattern, how can I make him not sleep before the last feeding? Again if try to wake him up, he s fussy and crying or overstimulated. There are two hours gap between 4 to 7 or 5-8 without cluster feedings.. It is no way to keep him awake for that long or even just for 45 minutes nap. He is a good napper.:( but I know a long evening nap is bad..will that for sure take away the night bedtime? Thank you again!

    • 140

      Iris- Not sure what time that last nap is you’re mentioning… is it a catnap? I believe it’s ok for them to take a short 45 min or so catnap around 4-5pm then bedtime around 7-7:30. NB2.0 was catnapping up until about a month ago (she’s now almost 8 months) and she really needed that late evening nap. And surprisingly (as long as it wasn’t too long) she would still be tired enough to go to bed at bedtime. Sorry if I didn’t answer your question, not quite sure if I covered it.

  42. 141

    I started E.A.S.Y this week. My babe is 7 weeks now. We are able to stick with 3 hours feeding, but activity is very hard to maintain. He often fell to sleep after morning feedings, and shows sleepy cue right away after afternoon feedings sometimes. I m confused what I should do. If I try to wake him up or keep him awake while he is sleepy, isn’t count as overstimulating him, so that will be even harder for him to fall asleep afterwards? And also I m wondering for bath time, should I bath before last feeding or after? If after, has to wait 30 minutes after feeding, will that overstimulate him again? My babe is always super alert after last feedings around 8-9. His eyes are wide open without blinky and staring right back me. According to baby whisperer, this is sign of overstimulation, which frustrates me a lot. Really need ur advice, thanks a lot!

    • 142

      Iris- Ar 7 weeks, your little one is just starting to get with a more consistent routine, but even then… it can be difficult to keep such a newbie awake after feeding. Don’t stress too much about that quite yet. Hopefully within the next few weeks he’ll start to have more awake time. Until then, just try and be consistent with your “schedule” and watch for his sleepy cues. It sounds like what you’re doing is already way ahead of the game! Good job noob mama!! As for bath time, you may want to go with before the last feeding of the evening (not counting the dream feed, etc.). I think you may be right in that he may get stimulated again from the bath. Bath time, swaddle up, feeding, sleep is a great soothing bedtime routine. Good luck! Oh, and try and put him down more between 7-8 rather than by 9. That may be too late already which is why he’s looking kinda wired.

  43. 143

    Great blog NoobMommy, thanks!
    Our 14-week old twins won’t have a bar of EASY, mostly with the “S” part. They want “A” constantly, and seem to want it after every sleep cycle. Our problem is they have found their voices and they giggle and babble all the time. It is like they don’t need sleep and are only averaging 12 hours in a 24-hour cycle. We’ve tried so many things…walking, bathing, reading, rocking, singing, white noise, but they yell out wanting attention, and we are always met with smiles and giggles. At least it isn’t hysteria or tears but seriously..! They’ve not dropped their middle of the night feed either. In addition, everything is out of whack as when they do sleep, we let them, so I can’t plan my day as feeds are always at different times. And of course, if one wakes for food, I wake the other so I’m not feeding them 24/7. I don’t think they’ve ever settled for the night before 10:30pm. Any suggestions would be welcome!

  44. 144

    We have a 10 week old, we’ve been trying to implement EASY for about a week. The past couple days the A (activity) hasn’t been easy. We try EVERYTHING to wake him with no success. We were able to get ONE night of the the past week to eliminate the 2 am feeding but all the other nights he wakes. He still does a full feeding at 2 am as well. He wakes at 5:30 and does another full feeding after “tanking” and dream feeding at night as well. I’m hoping when we hit the 3 month mark we might have more success. Until then – I can’t get him to wake for activity after the 7am feeding or the 10am feeding… Activity is hit or miss in the afternoon as well. I’m open to help, suggestions and advise on waking the big guy for activity through the day. I’m still reading and learning about The Baby Whisperer. So far I’m a huge fan and appreciate the advice but I also want to do what’s best for him! Side note: he was born at 36 weeks (at 8#6oz – breech baby – of a type I diabetic for 20+ years).

  45. 145

    My baby is 6 weeks old. We want to start the EASY schedule but I’m having problems with the sleeping. He tends to catnap. I feel like he’s eating way too often because he’s taking these catnaps. Should I be feeding him or trying to get him back to sleep? What if I can’t get him back to sleep? Do I try feed him?

  46. 146

    My little one is almost 8 weeks and I find that after feeding he is passed out and we are missing activity. What counts as an activity? And how long should he be awake after a feeding?

    • 147

      Danielle- This is very common at the newborn stage 1-3 months and I wouldn’t stress if your little one is not getting to the “activity” stage yet. Newborns are infamously sleepy and will sleep throughout the day. As for activity… at this age, just staying awake, getting a diaper change, staring at a mobile or going for a little walk counts as a brief activity. No need to push too hard :)

  47. 148
    Nicole Mathers says:

    I’m not sure if my question has been answered as it seemed to come up but didn’t ever seemed to be really answered unless I’m blind which is completely possible as I’m not sleeping much at the moment :)

    I have been trying to do EASY with my baby for the last week…we start off perfect with EASY at 7AM but after the first nap there is a long time until 10AM. What do I do? It could be as long as 1.5 hours until the next feeding. A friend said, oh just do another activity until its time to eat again. That’s fine but then my schedule starts looking like EASY A EASY AS EASY throughout the day…this can’t be right as there is not consistency for baby right???? Please help as this has been a huge issue for me and my husband has tried to convince me that the EASY just needs to start each time at the feed and the proceed to activity and then sleep.

  48. 149

    This easy schedule accounts for your baby napping a long time, therefor for me there always has to be an extra “a” after sleep otherwise I’d be feeding far too often. I’ve only been able to feed to sleep until last couple weeks now my baby is 3&half months old, I can now rock to sleep. The shush pat method is poss the worst thing I’ve tried, as is pick up put down. He now sleeps 11 hrs without a feed, no need to dream feed. Quite often with dream feeding you disturb them and then they continue to wake up at the same times anyway!
    I also found her tone in the book very patronising and the book that’s made me feel the worst about myself! Waste of money.

  49. 150

    Hi – yes, I am having the same issue as Amy and Karen. My little girl is 5 weeks, I did a rough EASY with my first babe and with him and his sister sometimes they sleep for their naps longer, sometimes shorter – to expect every nap to be 1 1/2 hours through a day seems slightly unrealistic!
    The EASY routine seems to be creating a link between waking from a sleep and getting a feed in my little girl – if her nap is longer, say 2 hours, it seems fine to waggle the routine as she obviously isn’t hungry, but after a 40 minute nap (we will have one or two of those a day) do I l try and get her back to sleep by whatever method, let her wake and try and stave her off with a pacifier, or do I feed her? The routine/method has to give somewhere – she is in a sling now, prolonging a short nap and I will get her out when it is time for a feed.
    Also, with a toddler, how do I get the time away form him to get her to sleep. To tell a 2 year old that mummy is going to put baby to sleep and then disappear for 25 mins isn’t feasible – he needs more attention and supervision than that! I am managing to get her to go down by herself about 2 times a day, the rest of the time she has a nap in the sling or pushchair – she has to fit in with our life!
    Thanks,

    • 151

      Vickie – It is very common to have the infamous 45 minute nap. In fact, NB was one of those! Unless your little one is hungry, there is no need to feed her at that time. I would stick with every 2-3 hours unless she seems hungry. For little ones that aren’t even 2 months yet, it may be necessary to help her prolong sleep with rocking, pacifier, swaddling, white noise. Definitely continue to swaddle and see if that helps. NB2.0 loved to be swaddled up. At first she protested when I’d hold her arms down, but once she was all snug, she slept much better and for longer. I know it must be difficult to be juggling a new baby and a 2 yr-old! Props to you! I think how you choose to distract your 2-yr-old during this time depends on the temperament of your son. Can he handle some independent playtime? Watch an educational video for 15 minutes? Or, perhaps you’ll have to bring him with you and teach him how to be “super quiet” while you put baby to sleep. Have him participate if that helps with getting the bedroom ready – involve him as Mommy’s helper. Also, like you mentioned … she will learn to fit in with your life. It’s ok for her to cry a little as she settles down. You don’t need to be breathing down her neck, so to speak. I’ve learned to do this with my 2nd, and she’s adjusted really well to self-soothing and falling asleep on her own. I let her cry for about 5 minutes or so (depending on how upset she is). Usually, she’s not even upset just settling herself. I think as the family dynamic changes, we learn to adjust our expectations and relax a little? Which is a good thing :)

  50. 152
    NiteOwlNoobMommy says:

    I’m so glad I found your blog! my Dear Daughter is now 5 months old but I’ve (still) been nursing her every 2 1/2 hours after I get home from work. My mom takes care of her while we’re at work and she gives her a bottle of my expressed breastmilk every 2 hours. It wasn’t until friends told me that DD should be able to go at least 3 hrs between feedings before bedtime that I realized my mom was off (she was the one who insisted DD should be fed every 2 hrs. her rationale: she’s growing so why starve her? I need to feed her often). I can’t wait to show her the EASY schedule. DD has been waking up every 4am or 4:30am crying starting when she was 4 months old. From 1 month to 3.95 months she was sleeping through the night 7-8 hrs straight. Her sudden change threw hubby & I for a loop (growth spurt? teething? picking up on my anxiety about going back to work? what??) I was following Dr. Karp’s “Happiest Baby Guide to Great Sleep” about dream feeds, cluster feeds and middle of the night dream feed to try to fix her night wakings but I didn’t realize that I was doing a cluster feed the entire day! I’m hoping that the EASY schedule you posted will get DD back on track. crossing fingers & toes!

  51. 153

    Hi there! I followed the EASY schedule with my first daughter and it worked like clockwork, she was sleeping through the night by 3 months (she was definetly a routine baby). My four month old started sleeping through the night at the same time but over the last four weeks she wakes up between 3 and 4am for a feeding. Don’t know how to get her back on track. Her naps during the day are usually 1.5 long. Please help!!

    Angela

  52. 154

    I’m running into the same issue as Amy with 2.5 month old. He will eat, play and sleep but then his sleep is sometimes short and he wakes up way before the next feeding. By the time he is hungry again he is also tired and ends up falling asleep after the feeding..any advice? Thanks!

  53. 155

    Also, should I have persisted at trying to get her back to sleep for the second sleep cycle so she would’ve slept until 10. I tried for 5-10 mins but she just got more and more worked up. 

  54. 156

    Hi. I am a newbie and loving your blog. What do you do if bub doesn’t sleep the entire “you” time? Do you then play until feed time is due then put down to sleep earlier than scheduled. Or do you feed straight away? I’m just starting to try this as I have a very unsettled baby in the evenings. I can never get her to bed before 9pm. If I try for bed at 7 (which would be 2 hours awake time) she just cries and cries through every method of trying to get her to sleep until 9 and then she’ll sleep. So that becomes 4 hours she’s been awake. Exhausted baby and mummy. So I’m trying the schedule idea as I wonder if the problem starts earlier in the day and snowballs.  This morning She woke and I fed her at 7am, played then bed at 8:30am. She woke at 9:15. Now her feeds not due till 10 but shes crying and i think she’s hungry… So do I try wait and feed her at 10 then play more and then put her to bed at 11:30 or do I bring her sleep time forward as she woke early? Am I making any sense? Is it the length of awake time that is the key? My baby is 5 months old but I’ve still be 3 hourly feeding so will start on that schedule and try transition to 4 hourly soon. I have fed her early as she was hungry, but if she didn’t seem hungry would I wait till 10 to feed her as per schedule?

  55. 157

    Hi there,
    I am sleep training my 8 1/2 month old. I am currently using the pick up/put down method.  I had created a bad habit for my little guy and would rock him to sleep, and also offer pacifier at sleep time.  Now at over 20 pounds he would protest and cry, and I knew there had to be a better way than CIO.  So I have begun implementing some things from The Baby Whisperer Solves all your problems. I have also just moved him to a 4 hour schedule. 
    Thank you for your article.  I was getting caught on the schedule itself.  We are going on day 3 and there has been progress.  My little guy is indeed putting himself to sleep after doing pu/pd. since I just started this method, it takes us close to an hour but then he falls asleep. I stay in the room the whole time until he is asleep.

    Here are my questions:
    He still uses paci. I leave it in crib, and he grabs and puts in his mouth. Should I take paci away now, or just focus on pu/pd now until he soothes himself to sleep in a shorter amount of time and leave it there if he chooses to use it?

    When can I begin to leave the room, or do I continue to be his hostage? I have a video monitor so if he does stand or sit up, I can walk bake in to put him down? Or do I continue to stay with him until the pu/pd is within 20 minutes?
    Thank you.
    From Ninja in the making

  56. 158

    I have been doing this routine from day one. My little one is just over three weeks now and fights nap time. She will cry and cry and cry and half the time won’t even fall asleep and I’ll have to start the cycle all over again. Do you have ANY advice as to what I’m suppose to do. At this point I feel like a failure. It seems like the only way she will sleep is if I’m holding her. PLEASE HELP! 
    ~ Hannah

    • 159

      I have 3 month old boy/girl twins. I am trying to get them on EASY and it has been going well until very recently. Suddenly I am having great difficulty with the length of the naps. It is really ruining the routine. Example: babies wake up 40 minutes after the activity, they want to play and they are not hungry yet. By the time feeding time approaches, it’s been over an hour that they have been awake and when the feeding is done, they are really tired and want to sleep. My biggest goal was to dissociate eating from sleeping in the first place. That’s how I got them to sleep for longer stretches of time. I also feel that they might be overtired a bit because by the time bedtime arrives they are so exhausted that they fall asleep before the bath! Should I try an earlier bedtime? And what to do about the short naps?

      • 160

        Sylvia-
        I have the same problem with my 3 month old. Does it get better? Did your twins grow out of the short naps? Do you have any suggestions on how to get him to nap longer? If he’s in the car or stroller or swing he’ll nap for 2-3 hours, but in his bed only 30-40 minutes :-(

  57. 161

    Hi there

    Great post, thank you so much. I bought Baby Whisperer for my first child (now 2.5 years) and it worked like a charm, can’t remember when I started it. Now I have a 3 month old son and I’m trying to observe to see if a natural pattern is coming out yet so I can work to get him on a schedule. The trouble I’m running into is bedtime, because he still can’t stay awake longer than 1.25 – 1.5 hours, so it’s hard to have a consistent bedtime when he could be waking up from his last nap anywhere between 4 and 7 pm. He still has at least 4 naps a day, and 5 naps on a short-nap day. Should I wait until he’s a bit older? I know with my daughter we wouldn’t let her sleep past 5 pm to get her down by 7:30, but he just can’t stay awake that long yet! Help!

    Thx
    Sarah

    • 162

      Hi Sarah! My first son was an angel! Now I have a 3 month old boy and I’m having the same issues as you were in your post below. How did you manage? My little guy will not nap longer than 40 minutes so I’m having struggles making it the 3 hour cycle of the EASY schedule. Does it get any better? Thanks

  58. 163

    HI there, great site, I too have an almost 3 week old and am looking to start the beginnings of a routine as I have to go back to work at 6 weeks pp. He is not sleeping through the night and that’s to be expected but in the day time he Eats then Sleeps a lot of the time, and he is in his crib right now working on the Sleep part but won’t give in to sleep. How do you get your baby from the Activity stage to Sleep stage during the day??

  59. 164

    Hi there,

    I love your blog, its made me feel like I’m doing OK…I have a beautiful 3 week old son and have read bits and pieces of the Baby Whisperer when I have time. I am now on day two of implementing EASY, but one area I am having difficulty with is sleep. My little guy cries every time I put him down (sleep, activity as well). I’m getting the feeling that he does not like to be away out of Mom’s arms. He cries for about 1/2 an hr before nap and sleep time. Sometimes I feel as though he is still hungry (initially I was feeding on demand). Any advice to get my little one to feel more calm on his own during activity, naps and sleep. I also feel like I need to EAESY…I have a bit of guilt when he cries:-(.

  60. 165

    I don’t know how I found the Baby Whisperer when I had my first 2 years ago but she practically saved my sanity!  I could never really figure out why Sarah was crying until I read that book and immediately put Sarah on the EASY routine.  Within a week Sarah had adjusted to it, cried less, and when she did cry I immediately knew why (i.e. oh, you’re hungry, hm, you’ve been up for a while, now you’re tired.)  I LOVED this book and really enjoyed reading your take on it.  Now that #2 is here and starting to grow out of his colic I found your site and love your cheat sheet on the EASY routine.  I’m your newest follower!

    • 166

      Natalie – Thank you so much and very glad to have you here on the blog! I also found the predictability of a routine such a relief after months of questioning and frustration. I am also going to have #2 in a few months… so we’ll see if the Baby Whisperer proves lucky again :) Thanks for your comment!

  61. 167

    I have a question about NAPS on the EASY.  Is it more important to get the naps in, or where she naps?  We have been trying to get her to nap in her crib but now she isn’t napping  (no more than 20 min) where as if i swaddle and put her in the swing she goes right down.  So should I get the naps in or get her in the crib???  The EAS part is fine its just getting the actual sleep in during the day. 

    Also I am unable to get her a dream feed, should we wake her up at 1030/11 and feed her or let her wake up at 1/2 to feed.

    • 168

      Michaela – I’d say that getting the naps in is more important. How old is your noob? If she’s just a few months old, you can worry about transitioning her to the crib later on. If she’s already 3 months +, then you do want to think about getting her accustomed to her crib. I understand that at just a couple months, you need your break and rest time, which means swaddling, swinging, sucking (pacifier), sound (white noise) etc. to get our little ones to sleep. As for the dream feed, you can give it a try if you’d like or wake up at 1/2. I tried the dream feed and it never sank in. It wasn’t a big deal though. Good luck!

  62. 169

    hi there!
    we follow a 3hr EASY with our 2.5 month old with some ajastments. i m a strong beleiver in taking the baby for walk practically every day but since we leave in texas and it is extremly hot here during the summer, the only some what sutable time for the walks is after 7pm.
    so our EASY in the evening would typically be
    7pm- feed
    7:30-8:30 – walk
    8:30-bath massage
    9pm – feed and to bed
    the problem is that she doesn’t sleep through the night. she wales up around 3am
    for feeding since i can’t make her take the dream feed.
    after 3am feed she would usually wake up around 5:30am-6am.
    i would love to here any advise on how to make my lo sleep throught the night.
    what should i change in the schedule?
    is going to bed at 9ish causes the problem?
    thank you

    • 170

      Tami – I’d definitely shoot for an earlier bedtime. I feel for you and the crazy humid Texas weather! Is it possible to get out early (right after the morning feed for some air) instead of the evening walk? Or you may just need to push it to an early evening walk. I strongly believe that earlier bedtimes equal more well-rested babies. And surprisingly, they will sleep better and longer more often than not. I’d give that a shot and see how she adjusts to an earlier (7:30-8:00) bedtime. She may also adjust herself when she hits around 3 months to hold more in her tummy. When she wakes up at 3, is she eating well or just snacking? If she’s just snacking out of habit and not truly hungry, then it can be a habitual wake up. If she’s eating well for that feed, then she probably just needs the nutrients as her tummy can’t hold so much quite yet. Good luck!

  63. 171

    Hi Noob Mummy,

    I’m the proud Mum of a 3-week old son and was given The Baby Whisperer by my sister-in-law.

    I had a bit of a meltdown with it around 10 days ago when my perfectionist self decided I was an abject failure because I couldn’t see how my 10 day old baby was going to be able to get into a routine in time to impress my in-laws who were coming for tea the following weekend. So, I really appreciate your common-sense, down-to-earth attitude and the advise of so many of your posters here. As my parental confidence grows I find that I’m deciding that a routine based strictly on times and numbers isn’t going to suit us for several months. However I’m starting to work some of the principles of the book, such as separating Feed and Sleep, and using Shush/Pat. To be honest it is just nice to have some skills up my sleeve…

    Thanks for writing about all this parenting stuff. Your attitude makes me feel so much calmer and better about the road ahead.

    • 172

      Thanks Catriona for the kind words! Congrats on your noob. For someone with a 3 week old, you sound like you are informed and totally on top of things :) And when you’re not, that’s ok!! It’s hard for fellow perfectionists to let go a little and not interpret everything as personal failure or weakness, right? Hope to see you around here regularly!

    • 173

      Thank you everyone for all of your comments. I have a 5 week old and have been struggling with routine as well. It’s so nice to hear other Moms out there are as anal and controlling as I:)

      • 174

        I was pleasantly surprised to read all of the posts too, being a bit anal and schedule oriented myself! I have an almost 3 month old and looking back at 5 weeks my son was not quite on a routine but working himself into one. Adopting the 3-hour routine was natural and easy. It makes him MUCH happier during the times that he is awake. I read Babywise, Happiest Baby on the Block and have now read a little bit about EASY. I have found that a mesh of EASY and Babywise has really worked for me and my son. The only trouble I am having is having his nap run for longer than 45 minutes during some (not all) naptimes. The trouble typically happens in the afternoon/late afternoon. I have taken to rocking him quietly for the remaining time and he sometimes falls back to sleep. The trick is to not tire him out during the time in between when he is supposed to be napping and his next feeding. I have to remind myself CONSTANTLY that my baby is an individual and not going to follow the schedule I set just because I set it. That said, it is still hard for me and I still sturggle when he gets off schedule.

        • 175

          Thanks, GAV! My little one is 7 weeks now and I’m having the same problem with the afternoon nap. I am also using Babywise. Are you letting him CIO at all during nap time?

  64. 176

    I read this book and On Becoming Babywise (oh, and about a million other books) and had great success with implementing the eat/activity/sleep routines described in both. I think I did a Babywise/Whisperer mash-up. This was counter-intuitive to what I thought going into mommyhood: I assumed I would nurse to sleep, but after a couple weeks of seeing it in action, I understood why. It wasn’t so much getting on a time schedule, but getting into a pattern. For me and my DD anyway, the predictably of this FLEXIBLE routine helped produce a great sleeper and alert baby (now 2). I would also agree that flexibility should be stressed (see my ALL CAPS) since – it’s your baby, not a DVR that you program. I too, got caught up in the clock at times, trying to troubleshoot 15 minutes here and there. I had to remind myself that if I was hungry or awake 15 minutes earlier than normal, would it be such a big deal? No, of course not. But for an infant 15 minutes (or even 5 minutes!)of extra awake time can be a big deal, so that’s how you wind up going down that road of dreaming of schedules, clocks, spreadsheets, etc., whirling through space (true story :). I found that if I focused on the e/w/s or EASY pattern let the actual times be a little fuzzy it helped me roll with the punches and find my inner ninja, so to speak :)

    • 177

      I think a Babywise/Babywhisperer mash up is the perfect route! I have read bits and pieces of Babywise and I plan on going back to reread for “research” or because I’m just that dorky … but it sounds like you are a total ninja!

  65. 178

    I don’t really set a schedule until after 1yr. The first year I mainly let them set it and follow their cues and as they get closer to their 1st birthday start setting a schedule for them. The only thing that I really have set with baby girl is afternoon nap at the same time as my big boy takes his nap (that way I can get stuff done and get some me time) and bed time. I started off letting baby girl (and my son when he was a baby) fall asleep while nursing. She still does from time to time, but is growing out of that (she’s 9months). If she’s really tired and hungry she usually falls asleep, but most of the time now she’s still awake when I put her to bed. I also don’t pay much attention to time when nursing. My son would chug and be done in 5 minutes each side some days. Baby girl is the opposite and takes her time.

  66. 179

    I’m just trying to incorporate the EASY schedule with my 3 month old. I know some people say that’s a little early, but I really felt like he was craving some routine. And of course I was, too. We’re getting on pretty okay so far. Just as you’ve outlined above, I’ve learned it’s really important to go with the flow and non-stress over the numbers. I was trying everything I could think of to try to extend naptime – CIO, nursing and putting back down, just patting and shushing… I’ve come to realize that what he wants is a 30 minute nap 1.5 hours after waking in the morning, following by a long 2 or 3 hour nap mid-day, and another hour in the late afternoon.

    One thing I’m struggling with is the nursing…. Right now it is more like an ESAEY routine. Looks like that should be the British version with the extra vowel, right? Anyway, I know he’ll sleep better if he goes down nice and full, so that’s how I got in this mess, but now, of course, I’m beginning to feel that he has become dependent on that last suckle for sleep. So… that’s the next new goal to tackle I guess.

    All in all, we are seeing good progress with the EASY approach. We went from no naps and just screaming all day…. everyday…. to finally some structure and predictability. It’s not perfect, but it’s better.

    • 180

      Haley – Thanks for sharing your EASY experience. I think one of the most common habits is nursing to sleep. It’s just so hard not to do that. Glad to hear that you have some structure and predictability in your day!

      • 181
        FleurDeLiokis says:

        3 Months is too early? Heck! And here I am at 6 weeks trying to institute this!  Is it really too early? I certainly doesnt work perfectly but I am trying.  I am finding that my little girl doesn’t like to sleep as much as this schedule allows though… She has days where she will sleep at each nap but wont go down for the night until 11pm… and other days where she will not truly nap at all (catnaps only) but then falls asleep for the night at 8:15.  I think a droid baby would certainly be easier…
        Also, there are times I can drop her in her crib and she puts herself to sleep (rare) and other times the only way she will sleep is on my chest, in my bed!

        • 182

          so firstly a little background about my experiences with routines…I’m a full on stickler for routine however my first was such a good sleeper she did it all herself – she’d sleep anywhere with any amount of noise, was sleeping through the night (with a dream feed) by 8 weeks, also had good naps and we had no problems at all so had no need for a routine as such. with my second he showed no signs of doing it by himself but once I’d implemented his routine (before 4 weeks!) he loved it and he was also sleeping through from 8 weeks however because i’d been a bit stricter with the routine he now (at 13 months) goes to sleep at 7pm on the dot but he needs his room to be very dark and he needs to be in his cot (he has never ever fallen asleep in his pram…even if he was way past his nap time!) so now my dilemma- I’m 5 months preggers with my 3rd and I’m a little worried as my oldest is starting school in 3 months and the school doesn’t provide lunch so that means 4 school runs per day…how am i going to get my 2 little ones to fit around 4 school runs every day? eek!

        • 183

          Hey, 6 weeks isnt too early, i dont think!! Ive tried to have a routine from quite early on,but ive realised that it is a routine and not a schedule at that age, ive had to tell myself 100 times or more not to stress and not to watch the clock!! LO is 9 weeks now and im really trying to get her to eat every 2.5-3hrs but sometimes shes just too hungry, shes a little porker!!! The most important thing,i think,is the EAT,ACTIVITY, SLEEP routine, my LO can put herself to sleep at night ( naps are a whole other issue) and can usually sooth herself back to sleep, from the begining i have always changed her nappy after food and then sleep.
          Im still learning though,its my 1st time but thought this might help a bit! :-)

          • 184

            Thank you, Georgie! How’s your LO now? We are getting better with the schedule, or “routine” now:) She is almost 8 weeks now and is sleeping from 8:30p-4A and then wakes up again about 7:30 or 8:00. I’m wondering if I should keep the same wake up time everyday?

    • 185
      Allison says:

      Hi, I love the EASY 3-hour routine and it was working PERFECTLY for my son. However, lately his naps have gotten a little bit shorter (he’s almost 3 months old). So when he wakes up, he’s not hungry. By the time he IS hungry, he’s fussy/cranky/tired. So lately I’ve had to feed him to sleep!

      Also, he’s not hungry after 3 hours anymore. Last night he woke up at 2am and had 5 ounces. He wasn’t hungry again ’til 7:30am and only ate 3 ounces! I’m so confused. My perfect schedule is ruined! LOL. I know I need to be flexible, but I like to feel in control and know what my son’s cries mean. When we’re out of routine, I don’t know if he’s cranky, hungry, etc. Any advice? Thanks!!

    • 186

      Thank you for the really helpful blog posts!!

      Did you have a chance to write about why you shouldn’t let your noob fall asleep during a feeding?
      Because I do and didn’t realize/think it was a bad idea. Sometimes she doesn’t want to nap and is so fussy, I don’t want to do anything to wake her up–burp, move to crib, etc.

      Please kindly share the link if you did! Thanks!!

      • 187

        Tina – I responded to your inquiry on Facebook… but for others with the same question – it just boils down to not creating any sleep crutches for your little one. If your LO is accustomed to falling asleep “on the boob,” then eventually you’ll have a hard time getting her to fall asleep on her own. And, just like you said, NB was used to being rocked to sleep… and any sudden sounds or heaven forbid, our ankles popping on our stealthy exit, her eyes would pop open and the whole nightmare process would start over again. So, it’s ok to nurse before naps and bedtime, just try and set your LO down slightly awake so she can learn how to soothe herself to sleep. Good luck!

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