Thursday, July 11, 2013

Sample Infant Schedule : Princess

When I am going through the early days of having a baby home with me, I watch all the bringing home baby shows and scour the internet for examples of what I should be looking for and doing with child.  What should their sleep schedule be?  What should their feeding schedule be?  Yes, I have 3 kids, but every time I have a new one, I feel like I am getting reinforced support from others who are or have gone through what I am at that moment.  It just makes me feel less alone in the groggy haze of newborn life.

In case you are one of those parents who are experiencing those first days and weeks, I thought maybe you might like a glimpse at how things went for me and my little ones.  I am planning a 3 day series, one for each baby because they were each different.  It is nice to see a variety because every baby is different even siblings within the same family in a short period of time. 

Baby #1: Princess July 2008

It was a hard pregnancy, hard birth and a hard transition from 0-1 children.  I had tons of experience with children, even infants, but nothing prepares you for the hormones and sleeplessness.

The first four weeks felt as though I never slept.  The fact is, I really didn’t.  My husband worked nights and slept days.  He had a long commute and a stressful, physically demanding job that was fairly new.  That meant he didn’t have time to take off.  He was back to work the first night I was home from the hospital and I was scared to death to be by myself.  Hormones raged and I fell into a pretty bad bout of Postpartum Depression.

Princess only slept in my arms which meant I slept on the couch with things propping me up so that I could hold her and doze off.  I nursed her, but somewhat unsuccessfully so it seemed like she was always hungry.  I was no better than a zombie for quite a while.

Each week she increased her sleep bit by bit.  We worked our way from constant feeding, to 3x each night to 2x each night and then 1x each night.  One night when she was 6 weeks old, I woke up in a panic because she had been asleep for 6 hours!  It didn’t happen every night at first but we got there.  

Week one:
  • Nursed on demand, but never went longer than 4 hours between feedings.
  • She napped for about 30 mins at a time with the exception of a longer nap in the afternoon.

Week two:
More of the same

Week three:
  • Nursed on demand.
  • Added 1-2 oz of formula at last nighttime feeding.  
  • Naps began to get longer, which made for better stretches of sleep at night.

Weeks four and five:
  • Nursed on demand.
  • 2-3 oz formula 2-3x/day.
  • sleep remained the same as week three.

Week six:
  • Nursed on demand and 2-4 oz of formula about 3x/day.
  • Napped 3-4x during the day.

Weeks seven:
  • Began giving formula at every other feeding in anticipation of going back to work.
  • Napped 3-4x/day.

Weeks eight-ten:
Similar to week seven

Week eleven:
  • I returned to work.
  • Nursed or pumped at AM feeding, 1PM and 6PM.
  • Formula mid-morning, mid afternoon and before bed between 7 and 8PM.
  • Naps were 3x day.
  • Bed time was from 7ish - 5:30-6AM with one feeding during the night.

After twelve weeks, her schedule only changed gradually and not as frequently as before.
At four months I stopped nursing and began introducing rice cereal.
At 6 months I introduced vegetables (organic, jarred) and then fruit.

Month seven-eight:
  • Napped at 10AM and 2PM.
  • Cereal and bottle at 6:30AM.
  • 10AM Bottle before nap.
  • Veggies and fruit for lunch after nap.
  • Sometimes amid afternoon bottle before 2PM nap.
  • Veggies and fruit at dinner ~5:30.
  • Bottle 7-8PM.

Princess began solid food as her teeth came in, began napping only once in the afternoon at 17 months and stopped with her nap and bedtime bottle at 18 months (switched to a cup).

When I look back at it, it went so fast, but during the adjustments I felt totally overwhelmed.  It can be so draining!

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