Posts Tagged ‘scheduling’

Getting Your Baby on a Schedule with Older Siblings Around

Friday, May 22nd, 2015

IMG_1067You get your baby to sleep. Finally—nap time! Just a few seconds later, you turn around to see your 2-year-old running at you, screaming happily. Baby wakes up, cries, and never settles back down. Sound familiar or is just my life? Getting a young baby on a schedule with a toddler or other older siblings is a challenge. I am no expert here, mommas. I will tell you that it can make a huge difference for your baby, however, if you try.

Schedules are so important for babies. With my kids, I have tried to stick to a schedule for the most part. With one child, I was a slave to naptime. We had to be home when she would get tired. If she fell asleep in the car, I was a mess. With baby #2, I have been less rigid. Levi was not on much of a morning nap schedule until recently. He is 8 months old. Not having him on a nap schedule was a nightmare. We would get out and he was cranky, fussy, and overtired. We would get home and he would be the same due to his catnap in the car or in my Tula wherever we were. I put his naps off to take care of Johanna or to get ready myself. I felt like we didn’t have time for a nap.

Recently, Levi has started sleeping better. He takes 2, sometimes 3, naps during the day. At night, he is still nursing anywhere from 1-3x. Let me tell you, scheduling has changed his demeanor! We now stay home until after Levi has had some sort of a morning nap. Sometimes, it is only 45 minutes because of an appointment, and sometimes Johanna watches “Daniel Tiger” in its completion.

Benefits of Scheduling:

  • Routine creates security. Even though babies are not always a fan of naps, it does make them feel secure to know what’s coming in their day.
  • Schedules help you in your journey of motherhood. It is comforting when you know you can handle baby. Scheduling helps mom establish some kind of normalcy in her day.
  • Daycares and babysitters appreciate schedules. If your baby is being taken care of by someone else, it helps to know what time baby will go down for naps.

Tips for Getting Started:

  • Don’t get frustrated. We all know that baby’s needs and cries are really not that complicated, but it can be overwhelming trying to figure it out all out.  Be forgiving with yourself and do your best establishing a schedule. It may take time.
  • Start easy. Start with a bedtime routine. Giving your baby the same attention each night before bed can be an easy way to start a schedule. For us, it is bath time, lotion, PJs, nursing, song, bed. Levi knows it’s time to lay down when I turn on his crib music aquarium.
  • Choose what’s best for your family. There are parent-led schedules that are stricter and more descriptive and baby-led schedules that allow your baby to dictate more of his or her schedule. Depending on your other children, choose what works for you.

With anything, remember to give your other children plenty of affection and attention. I had to learn to find something for Johanna to do while I get Levi down for naps. She colors, watches cartoons, or helps me out. She’s 2 ½ now, and she’s learned that she has to be quieter while Levi sleeps. It’s our special time. We play, read books, or she puts on pretend makeup with me so I can get ready for our day.

Schedules can seem overwhelming, but in the end, they are best for baby and your family when you figure it out.

Karyn Meyerhoff lives and writes in Northeast Indiana. It’s naptime right now, so she is using her free time to write this blog!

Finding Time for Nap Time

Thursday, May 7th, 2015

Making Time for NapsI can’t be the only one: Nap time is my jam. Like, there are few things in the world I like more than nap time. Nap time was kind of a pain to have to carve out each day when I had one baby (but oh so worth it), but then I went and had another baby.

My kids were spaced enough that once my younger boy was an infant and on a fairly regular sleep schedule, he still required way more nap time during the day than my older son. And my older son, cute as he is, had an ever-growing amount of energy that made tiptoeing around the house each day during his baby brother’s naptimes not really a reasonable request

How to juggle it? Here are my super sacred rules for nap time:

  1. Whatever you do, DON’T SKIP NAP TIME! Seriously. Don’t. I know things come up like impromptu doctor visits, but if at all possible, put them down for a nap. If you have more than one child and your infant will sleep in her infant car seat, maaaaaybe you can sometimes plan things for your older child(ren) during the morning nap time. Sometimes.
  2. Naps at the same time are also crucial. Kids are creatures of habit. I once made the tragic mistake of scheduling one of my boys for kindermusik where the class time encroached on his first nap time. Never again. Half the classes ended in hysterics (on both our parts).
  3. Try and get your kids on the same nap schedule. Perhaps your older child is down to one afternoon nap a day. You can make slow adjustments to your younger child’s nap schedule if you need to align their afternoon nap time. When my younger son was napping frequently, his afternoon nap time didn’t quite line up to my older son’s, so I bumped back the time I put him down a little each day until they matched.
  4. If at all possible, no sharing of nap spaces! Even if your kiddos can share a bedroom at night, try to find a separate spot for nap time. Pack n’plays are excellent helpers in this case.
  5. Don’t try to enforce total silence during nap time. Your younger child will learn to sleep through minor disturbances, and your older child will still get to have fun while his younger sibling saws logs.

 

Meaghan Howard is a mom to two little boys, ages 3 and 6. She’s currently enjoying the expat life in Japan.

Pregnancy Week 21: Bucket List

Monday, September 29th, 2014

Pregnancy Week 21: Bucket ListIt is funny how pregnancy can make you take a different perspective on life and family. As summer winds down and school begins, I’ve started taking a mental inventory of my “bucket list” for our family of four. After asking my boys what they would love to do this summer as a final hurrah before preschool begins again for us in October, we planned out our monthly calendar.

Pregnancy sure does bring out the planner in me. While normally I am a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of girl, this time around I find myself planning and scheduling things much more. To say I’m obsessing is an understatement. I want to have as much fun as we can in these last weeks of summer and to enjoy my boys to their full extent before my nights are a blur and my days are filled once more with nursings, taxi driving and diapers. I love that my boys are gung-ho for whatever crazy idea their mom has in mind these days, from rearranging their room to canning grape jelly.

Having a bit of fun with these guys before we get to the larger and heavier levels of pregnancy has been pretty high on my list of priorities – and as I review our summer I see lots of beach trips, a few lake ones, carnivals and fairs, many family outings, splash pads, parks, ice cream, and many wonderful times with friends. Now, as we hit September running I plan on at least one last beach trip, a cider press day and one last favorite festival. I’m hoping this time to get in the fun before the worrying over nursery items and freezer meal prepping takes over.

Pia Watzig is a stay at home mom of two little boys, with a third on the way this fall. She enjoys canning, gardening and trying to cram as much fun into summer before life becomes crazy again.