Thursday, 29 May 2014

Walter's Baby Schedule

In doing some computer-house-cleaning, I found the very detailed schedule of Walter's day that I typed out for David last year, in anticipation of my return to work. Needless to say it was a lot more detailed than David needed, and the two of them came up with their own way of doing things, but I want to keep a record of it as it reminds me of Walter's baby days.

Walter’s Normal Schedule

On a good day, I try to keep Walter as close to this schedule as possible. The times are approximate, as they depend on when he wakes up and what sort of mood he’s in. He is fairly flexible so if you need to head out with him for any reason he can adapt to the day:

8am: Walter wakes up “for good”. He likes to sit up and tell you about his sleep. He’s usually in a really good mood, unless he’s woken up crying because he’s wet himself. The first thing to do when he is ready is to change his diaper. If necessary you can put him into clean jammies.

8:30/9: Once Walter is changed, I like to give him breakfast right away. For breakfast he has cereal with fruit (you just add water and stir it to a consistency that he’ll take). He wears a bib and I try to get him to eat the whole bowl. I have breakfast at the same time. When we’re both done eating, or if Walter finishes first and is really fussy, I wash his hands, face, & highchair tray with a warm damp cloth. Then I put the bib aside for his next meal, rinse out his bowl & his spoon, and release him from his chair.

9-10: After breakfast we try to have playtime. I encourage him to entertain himself and I usually take this as an opportunity to read. He hates being left on his own, so if I have to leave the room I usually put a show on that he likes so that he can watch it when he gets bored of his toys.

10-12: Usually within 2 hours of waking up, Walter is cranky, rubbing his eyes, and ready for his morning nap. He likes to drink a bottle (pause halfway through to burp him, and then once again when he finishes) as he goes to sleep. He sleeps on his tummy, in his crib, with a light blanket covering him. He likes to be rocked to sleep while being sung to, and I usually wait until he’s dead asleep before trying to put him down in his bed.

Once he’s asleep it’s the ideal time to get things done, so it’s worth the effort it takes to get him to fall into a deep sleep. He’ll usually nap for 1-2 hours, although sometimes he goes a bit longer (it’s best not to let him nap for more than 3 hours at a time during the day unless he’s had a really bad night).

12: Walter will usually let you know when he’s awake, but it’s up to you at what point in the process you want to pick him up. Sometimes he wakes up and plays happily with toys in his crib, in which case you can leave him be (he’ll want to come out of bed as soon as he sees you), and other times he wakes up shouting/crying and demanding instant attention.

If he’s crying a lot and didn’t finish his bottle before bed, I sometimes give him the rest of his milk to drink. Otherwise I just change his diaper straight away. This is the time that I put him into his “big boy clothes”. He can wear any daytime outfit of your choosing – just remember to put socks on him! I use this as an opportunity to get dressed if I haven’t managed it thus far. If by some miracle his jammies are still clean, they can be put aside for the evening.

12:30: Now it’s lunch time. For lunch I like him to try some grownup food. He doesn’t always like to eat a lot at lunch time. I try to have my lunch either with him or shortly after he does. Same routine as the morning in cleaning him up after eating.

1-2 or 3: This is Walter’s second playtime. Same as the morning. This is usually a good opportunity to take him out for fresh air or to run any errands/get out of the house, as he’ll have already had one good sleep in the day.

2/3 – 4/5: Around 2 hours after he wakes up, although sometimes closer to three hours, he’s ready for his afternoon nap. Again with the crankiness & eye rubbing. Same as before with milk, songs, rocking, and on his tummy to sleep. I usually use this nap to get things done and make sure dinner is prepped.

4/5: Walter may only nap for an hour, or you may get lucky and he’ll stretch it to two. Once he’s awake I change his diaper and, if he’s soiled his daytime clothing, he goes back into jammies. He can use this time to finish any milk that he has left from before his nap, or he may want a fresh bottle made up.

Late Afternoon/Early Evening: His routine at this time of day is a lot more flexible, since it depends on what time the adults are having supper and if there are any plans for the evening. If it’s early & light out, it’s sometimes a nice time to take him out for a walk if you didn’t get out earlier in the day, especially as you don’t need to be home until bedtime. Other than that he can play, drink milk, and harass you as he sees fit.

Sometimes he will start vigorously rubbing his eyes and acting incredibly cranky. He often likes to take a 30-60 minute ‘cat nap’ in the evening. He is allowed to do this any time before 7pm, and if he does sleep then he needs to wake up by 7:30pm.

Around grownup suppertime is when he has his last solid meal of the day – right now he eats rice cereal, because he needs to have something plain & easy to digest, but as he gets better with solids this will change to more of what we’re eating.

If the evening’s activities are done early, then I like to give him a bath around 7 or 7:30 to help him stay awake & relaxed until bedtime.

8/9: It is very important that he heads to bed no earlier than 8 and no later than 9. I change him into his special night time diaper (pampers baby dry), make sure his jammies are relatively clean, and put him into his sleeping-bag. Then I turn the lights off and give him his bottle while we say prayers. Then follows the drinking/rocking to sleep. For night he goes to sleep on his back.

Ideally, he’ll sleep for 11-12 hours after going to bed, maybe only waking up at 5am for a drink of milk. In reality he might wake up every 3-5 hours, until he is up for good the next morning (around 11 or 12 hours after he goes down to bed), and then you get to do the whole thing all over again!


  1. Ah 11-12 hours sleep - sounds nice! We've hit what (according to google) is known as the four month 'sleep regression' and have gone from waking twice a night to waking every 1-2 hours. Remind me how old Walter was at this point? It reads like a dream schedule to me right now, hoping we're over this hump soon!

    1. Oh, I left out the part about his dream-feeds, although he never stayed awake after eating. I didn't get a consistent long sleep from him until he hit 10.5/11 months, and it's still a bit on & off.

      I hate the four month sleep regression, and I think there must be one at around 7 or 8 months because Emily seems so insistent right now that she needs to eat a lot in the middle of the night, so 1-4am is eat-snooze-eat time as far as she's concerned. But hopefully she takes a page from Walter's book and starts sleeping well again by 11 months.

      The main key for us was when Walter started having several meals of solids a day, plus sleeping in his own room, plus sleep training. Good luck and I hope you get over this soon. Hopefully he'll hit a big growth spurt soon and just start sleeping all the time.