To Schedule or Not To Schedule, That is the Question.
Do you maintain a schedule for you infant? There's so much controversy on scheduling-- feedings, naps, play time, bath time, bedtime. So what schedule should you go by? What book, blog, or mom-guru should you follow? There are so many resources out there, it's sometimes overwhelming as a parent choosing the "right" path.
My opinion... You do you! If I've learned anything at all from parenting thus far, it's been that EVERY SINGLE BABY IS DIFFERENT! Also, everyone's parenting styles are different, and truthfully, I don't think there's any right or wrong. I think every parent needs to do what's best for them & their baby. If that means a strict regimented schedule, then that's what you stick to. If that means having a more lenient/flexible schedule, that works too.
Some fellow moms are surprised when I tell them that Nash has no scheduled nap time... or bath time... or eating solids time... (yes, he does have a bedtime!). Truth be told, I don't follow any book, blogger, influencer, or anyone else's mom advice-- I'm playing it by ear, learning as I go, and if I'm listening to anyone's advice it's usually my moms. Somehow it just works for us, and I'm really happy with how Nash is growing and progressing.
So here's our non-schedule schedule...
Up until about 4.5 month old Nash was on a perfect feeding schedule. Bottle every 3 hours on the dot. Then we started solids. I noticed right away that he started refusing his bottle more now-- I'm still not sure if it's due to starting solids or teething. But either way, I think the nutrition in his bottle is most important for his development right now, so although he does eat solids everyday, we play it by ear with when & how much. If he's having a good day, meaning he's finishing his whole bottle during feedings, I'll give him a jar of food in the early afternoon. If he's having a day where he's not finishing his bottles and seems uninterested, I may only give him a half jar of food later in the late afternoon/early evening because that's when he has the best appetite and is more likely to drink his whole bottle and have real food too. I want him to get used to different tastes & textures and learn how to swallow & chew, but I also want him getting the proper nutrition, vitamins and minerals that only his formula can offer.
So feeding is weird right now. Some of Nash's little baby friends eat double the amount he does in a day, which is so amazing! He's just not there yet, and that's okay. He's getting what he needs and that's all that matters.
PS. His favorite foods are Pears, Apples, Prunes, Carrots & Pumpkin.
Naps are NOT Nash's favorite and they never have been. Since birth Nash has been a little cat-napper. 15 minutes here, 20 minutes there, a random 1.5 hour nap on a random day... you get the picture. Well, At his 4 month appointment I asked his doctor about it and her answer was "Well how does he sleep at night?" I replied "Amazing! 10-12 hours." She said "Does he seem overtired and fussy throughout the day." I answered "No." and she said "Some babies just don't require as much sleep as others and as long as he's sleeping great at night you have nothing to be concerned about."
After that conversation with his doctor I realized that the only reason I was concerned or questioning anything was because I was comparing my son to other babies who take perfectly scheduled naps. Then I learned, that my baby is an INDIVIDUAL and that he doesn't need to fit the mold in every way shape and form.
I will say, now that Nash is becoming more mobile, he is definitely getting more tired during the day. I've noticed he starts to crash around 9:30/10ish AM and around 3/4ish PM. So we do have some type of nap schedule organically forming. How long he naps during those times varies everyday-- especially because sometimes we're out and about during those times, and his nap might be 10-20 minutes in the stroller or car seat. Regardless of where the nap happens, like I said, it's the start of some type of routine and it works for me!
Sometimes, we nap in an inflatable tube toy and sometimes in the baby carrier-- You just do what works!
Honestly, I feel like we got lucky in the sleep department. Once Nash hit 3 months, he started sleeping through the night beautifully. I never followed any type of sleep training guide or anything like that. On his own, he would start waking up later and later for his middle of the night feeding, until that feeding eventually became his morning feeding. Perhaps, if I didn't feel as though he was naturally doing this on his own, I would have tried following some type of outside advice, but luckily I didn't need to.
I know so many people who have sleep trained and it's been amazing for them-- so if you're having trouble getting your baby to sleep through the night, maybe sleep training IS for you! Like I've been saying this whole time-- what works for one person might not work for another and vice versa.
Currently Nash goes to bed around 8:00 PM and wakes up around 6:30/7 AM. He was sleeping 7-7 for a while which seemed too good to be true... Then teething and eating regression set in and things changed. We don't use any night light or sound machine for sleeping-- he usually falls asleep in about 2-5 minutes of being put in his crib. In the event he's fussy and doesn't want to go down, we play soft classical music (set on 30 minute timer) through his Lollipop Baby Monitor (this happens maybe once a week-- if that). He did have a sleep regression around 5 months that lasted about 2 weeks. Waking in the middle of the night and generally just seeming uncomfortable at night (probably a combo of teething and eating regression). Nevertheless, he's back on track and mama's happy about it!
PS. If you are a parent having trouble getting your baby to sleep through the night, or like us having trouble getting our baby to nap, a wearable weighted blanket might be for you-- Check out Dreamland Baby!
I bathe Nash about 3 times/week-- sometimes it's at night, sometimes it's in the morning. We do not have a set bath time at all. And of course life happens, and sometimes he needs a bath more often and I will do so when needed. He's definitely prone to dry, sensitive skin like I have and he goes ballistic if it try to put lotion on him. So in the effort to keep his skin hydrated I give him a bath every 2ish days and try to lotion him once a week if he lets me lol. On his off days, I use Johnson's head-to-toe cleaning cloths which I LOVE because they are larger than regular wipes. I also sometimes use Aveeno Baby all over wipes-- these are just as good, but smaller size wipes.
I'm probably going to start bathing him every other day, just because he's been playing with his food and getting it all over himself, and his bowel movements are changing due to starting solids. That being said, his skin will dry out more and I'm very open to recommendations for baby lotions that might not make him freak out, please let me know! We've tried babyganics and Johnson's.
PS. If you're traveling and need a portable bath tub for any reason-- here's the one we got for Disney for $11-- Inflatable Bath Tub
Well, that's how we roll in the Doucette household. I guess we do have a schedule and a routine, but it's definitely not very strict and it's definitely custom tailored to our baby and our lifestyle. So in conclusion, YOU DO YOU! Believe me, I've compared my baby to other babies, I've judged other people's parenting and questioned my own parenting at times-- It's so easy to do. But one thing we all have to remember is that we are all doing our best and we all have our child's best interest at heart.
Cheers to raising babies!
See ya real soon,