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Old 03-12-2009, 12:12 PM   #1
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Do you need to have a baby on a schedule?

My son is 5 months old. I feel like I need to put him on a schedule because that will help him sleep better and yata yata yata. Yet at the same time I am loving that I am having the time I am having with my son. I co-sleep with him at night and he sleeps more or less in my arms all night long, nursing when needed. Which I admit I only recently started doing but I like it and so does he.

It has been hard to try to get him on a schedule because everytime I think I got one figured out, something comes up and I have to change it on him, or he decides that he hates it and he wants it changed.

I waited a LONG time (almost 5 years) to have my son and I have guilt over loosing his 2 brothers and his sister so I admit that I "spoil" him (do you really blame me?). I just want to know that I am not going to scar my child for life because I don't have him on a schedule.

Thank you for your help!

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Old 03-12-2009, 12:13 PM   #2
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Re: Do you need to have a baby on a schedule?

He's still really young...I wouldn't stress over a schedule yet! Just take time and chill...lord knows you'll have enough of scheduling when he's older!
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Old 03-12-2009, 12:15 PM   #3
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Re: Do you need to have a baby on a schedule?

No, they don't need a schedule really. We didn't do anything according to the clock, we just did (and still do) what worked for us, and my son developed his own schedule eventually - although it's still not very regular at 20 months old. Just do what works for you guys and it will be fine, you won't scar him.
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Old 03-12-2009, 12:15 PM   #4
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Re: Do you need to have a baby on a schedule?

I love that ours DS is on a schedule but we both work fulltime right now so he has to be on one to survive and thrive at our house. If you don't want or need a schedule then I think that would be fine. As long as your DS eats, sleeps, and plays as much as he needs and you have the time you need then do what you feel comfortable doing.
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Old 03-12-2009, 12:21 PM   #5
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Re: Do you need to have a baby on a schedule?

Schedule, no. Routine, yes! I suppose the difference is that a routine is recognizing when your DS needs what based on certain times of the day.

I really really loved reading the Baby Whisperer when it came to setting up a daily routine. She outlines an E.A.S.Y method. Eat, Activity, Sleep, You time. What a lifesaver that was! It helped me to watch for certain cues DD would make, and it also allowed me to rule out certain factors when she was upset. I would know if she was hungry, or over-tired, or over-stimulated, etc...

So basically, yes, I think it would be beneficial to have DS on some sort of a routine. That doesn't mean that you can't still co-sleep and love on him as much as your heart desires!
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Old 03-12-2009, 12:49 PM   #6
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Re: Do you need to have a baby on a schedule?

Babies don't need a schedule. After all, they can't tell time.

DD fell into a pattern after a while, and while I do apply times to it now, that's a fairly new thing, and she's 16 mos old.
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Old 03-12-2009, 12:59 PM   #7
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Re: Do you need to have a baby on a schedule?

All about a routine here. Saw how incredible it was in our friends' lives and have followed suit with our 2. Can't say enough good about it. We wake, eat and are awake, then sleep in the same pattern daily and at roughly the same times everyday +- 30 minutes. I love it because I know when I have "me" time, "work" time, "married" time, etc... and I never have to NIP because I have babies with stabilized hunger metabolisms that eat at very predictable times. I don't think you have to be on a routine at all, I can tell you its amazing if you decide to do it.
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Old 03-12-2009, 01:22 PM   #8
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Re: Do you need to have a baby on a schedule?

ROutine yes, schedule no.

Babies (as already said) cannot tell time.

Scheduling babies is forcing them to adapt to YOUR lifestyle. Not what I signed up for when I became a parent. Life will be hectic for a while, but routines will lead to much more order in your life. He's an infant, you need to follow his cues right now.

ETA: you cannot spoil an infant.
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Old 03-12-2009, 02:00 PM   #9
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Re: Do you need to have a baby on a schedule?

i agree with the others...a routine is helpful and appreciated by babies but a schedule goes against nature. they will tell you their own schedule, it just takes time to learn it. my son was more than 6 months old before we established any kind of routine around here and that was okay - i felt like it took that long for the dust to settle after his birth and to get to know him. don't stress over it. it might take some experimenting but he is still really young.
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Old 03-12-2009, 02:44 PM   #10
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Re: Do you need to have a baby on a schedule?

So are you saying that I should put him down for naps the same way everyday (assuming that we are not out and about and he falls asleep on his own... which honestly we don't do that often but it does happen)?

He will not sleep any longer then 1 hour at a time right now. So he has 4 naps even though all the books say he should be on a 3 nap a day schedule.

What else would be part of the routine other then how he goes to sleep for nap/night time?
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