Baby Ralph’s Schedule

Amy Havins shares the schedule she has had her baby on since he was born.Since before baby Ralph was born we knew we wanted him on a strict schedule. Not just because it would help him out (in my opinion, everyone does better with some sort of routine) but also to really help us out. We wanted to make this as easy of a transition as possible, plus making your baby THAT much more predictable makes what could be the most stressful situations, not really a big deal at all. For us, putting baby Ralph on a schedule has made our ‘new life’ that much easier. I plan my day around his naps/feeds and we also plan our ‘outings’ around when works best for him. Yes, we adjust but grabbing lunch at 12:45 instead of 12:15 because it works better for Ralph and lets me actually enjoy lunch (just one of many examples I could give you). Plus, you know that moment when your baby is screaming at the top of their lungs and you could easily go into panic mode? Although it is still stressful, it is a lot easier to narrow down what is wrong when you know how many ounces they have had in the day, when their last feed was, how long their last nap was…you get it.

I have said this before but baby Ralph is a really easy baby. Part of that is his because of how he ‘is’ but I really give a lot of the credit to his attitude and overall happiness to his schedule. We learned early on that when all of your babies needs are met, they are content.  A content baby = a happy baby.

Before baby Ralph was born our game plan with his schedule was to give him the first 10 days to do whatever he wanted. Eat as many times as he wanted and sleep as much as he wanted but on day 11 it was go time. Oddly enough, Ralph really surprised us and ate for the first time around 10 am (he was born at 9:29); so we kind of just started the schedule on day 1. Not on purpose, it just happened.

Okay okay, now ‘the schedule’. I have to say that this has worked really well for us and even got baby Ralph to start sleeping through the night at 6 1/2 weeks but I know there are other great ways to keep your baby on a schedule (if you feel like commenting, I would love to hear what you are doing).

What we did was start baby Ralph out with 8 feeds a day. 7 am, 10 am, 1 pm, 4 pm, 7 pm, 10 pm, 1 am, 4 am. At week 4 we started stretching him at night (thank goodness for pacifiers) in hopes to drop his 10 pm feed, then his 1 am feed, then his 4 am feed to get him to the point he is at today where his last bottle is at 7, he is in bed by 7:45 and we wake him up at 7 am for his first bottle.

Three really important things I have learned about my baby/the way we are doing things, is that if Ralph is awake for more than an hour and a half he gets over tired and therefore meltdowns happen. I also learned that if you take his current weight and multiply it 2.3 you get the amount of ounces that he needs in a day. Finally, I learned early on that the app Baby Connect if a life saver. It allows us to all ‘connect’ on our phones so we can input how many diapers (dirty/clean) he has in a day and how many ounces he is intaking at each feeding. It was especially helpful when he was sick because we could look back and know the DAY he dropped in overall ounces. If you’re a mom you know how many feeds/diapers there are..if you asked me how many ounces Ralph took two days ago I would not have a clue..it’s so nice to be able to look back at an app and be able to answer that question!

Okay, in order to keep this as simple as possible, see below for Ralph’s current schedule. It’s amazing how he is like clockwork with his eating. He literally gets fussy minutes before he is supposed to take his bottle. By having baby Ralph on a schedule, it has made our lives so much easier because he is so predictable. An example of that is if he eats at 1 PM and at 2:20 he is crying it’s easy to figure out what is wrong. He just ate, so we know he is not hungry, he has a newly (ish) changed diaper; so we know that once we put him down for his nap he will be fine. Same thing with if he starts crying at 6:45. Since he eats at 7 PM, we know that he is crying because he is hungry! okay, now the schedule..which I honestly applaud you if you have made it this far in the post!!

Baby Ralph’s Current Schedule

  • 7 am: Feed (currently he is offered 7 ounces but if he sucks the bottle down, we ALWAYS offer another ounce..sometimes he takes a little more, others he just pushes the bottle away)
  • 7:30 am: Back to bed
  • 9:45 am: baby Ralph is woken up, change diaper, ‘play’ and get ready to feed at 10.
  • 10 am: Feed
  • 10:30 – 11:15: Play time!!
  • 11:20:20 – 12:35: Nap
  • 12:35 – 1: Diaper, play
  • 1 pm: Feed
  • 1:30-2 pm: more playtime
  • 2 – 3:30: Nap
  • 3:30 – 4 pm: Diaper, playtime
  • 4 pm: Feed
  • 4:30 – 5:20 pm: play
  • 5:25 – 6: nap
  • 6 – 7: playtime
  • 7 pm: last feed of the day
  • 7:30 (ish) pm: get baby Ralph to bed! (sometimes he goes right down, sometimes it takes a littleeeeee more work)

Please know that I’m not totally crazy and yes of course we are loose with the schedule but it really is nice to have a general ‘guideline’ for the day. Somedays it takes him REALLY long to go back to sleep for a nap and others we just lay him down and he falls asleep!

For us, keeping baby Ralph on this schedule has not only made him VERY predictable but has also made the very new (and somewhat scary) idea of having a baby much more stress free. Plus, knowing when your baby is going to nap/eat/play allows me to (somewhat) plan my day so I don’t miss anything (perfect example is working out at 8:30 am…Ralph is aleep and when I get home, I wake him up and play until I feed him at 10 am).

Feel free to ask ANY questions you may have but please remember, this is what has worked for us and all babies react and need different things, so this might not be the schedule for you! I am also super realistic that whenever we cross the bridge of having another baby, that baby may HATE the schedule that Ralph loves. You never know what to expect but all you can do is try your best!

 

50 Responses to Baby Ralph’s Schedule

  1. Liz Lozier says:

    Hi! Thank you so much for this information – I am due in 25 days and am feeling SO overwhelmed.

    I purchased the bottles you reccomended, but have you mentioned the formula you use? Also do you use the baby brezza or any bottle sterilizers? I have looked at the UviCube and am about to pull the trigger…

    Any information would be so helpful – you make it look easy and you look Amazing!!!

    • You are so welcome! So happy I can help ease some stress you maybe having! You will be obsessed with the bottles..you can even put them in the dishwasher!

      We started out using this liquid formula (http://bit.ly/2z1pMO6). They were great and so easy because I was not washing bottles all day (it comes in a bottle and all you do is shake). At 8 weeks, we switched to Baby’s Only Formula. It is organic and Ralph seems to love it. (this is when we started using the como tomo bottles).

      I bought the brezza and have not used it once. It really was a waste because it is so easy to just pour water into the bottle and add the powder formula. Plus with the Brezza you have to clean the machine after 4 bottles are made…personally, that sounds like a hassle to me!!! We don’t use a bottle sterilizer the dishwasher is great and occasionally we boil hot water and throw the bottles in (very rare but it does happen).

      LMK if you have anymore questions!!!!

      • Nicole says:

        Can you share a link to the formula you are currently using? My 4 month d is still struggling with spitting up a lot, so I’m thinking about trying a new formula. And, is there a book you’re reading as far as the schedule goes? That’s something else we need to work on! Thanks!

        • We are using this formula (http://bit.ly/2gYKBCD) and have used it since Ralph was 8 weeks old. Ralph has reflux, so at 8 weeks when we switched to that formula, we also talked to our peditrition and she put him on medicine to help control it a little bit!

          The medicine has for sure helped but apparently it’s just something they grow out of! xx

  2. Danielle says:

    So you keep the same diaper from 730-945? How is that working/what are you using because would love to eliminate the diaper change; that seems to be a distraction for us

    • Oh yes. He does have a wet diaper when we wake him up at 9:45 but it’s nothing worth waking him up to change it! They are totally fine in a diaper for extended times. We usually have about 5 wet and 1 poopy diaper a day.

      Ralph actually pees a lot (is that a thing???), so at night we actually double diaper him (put on two nighttime diapers) to ensure he doesn’t ‘leak’ and wake himself up!

      LMK if you have anymore questions! xx

  3. Irina says:

    This is so helpful! Thank you! Can you tell me more about how you pushed out each night feed. Did it move out a little each day? Are there times he gets hungry before his schedule feed during the day? Do you just try to hold him off then too or would you feed him and adjust the schedule. I’ve been trying to stick to a schedule as well, but that’s been my biggest hurdle. When baby derails it lol! Thanks again!

    • Hi!

      We just used his pacifier to hold him off. Yes, we would be in there 10000000 times but after a little time it worked!!

      He does get hungry somedays before his scheduled feeding and if it’s 10 minutes early, I just go ahead and feed him..if not, we just distract him and use that pacifier until it is time to eat! He is now like a baby alarm clock and knows EXACTLY when it is time to eat!!

      I will say that sometimes it is hard not to want to feed him when he is sad before his feeding but with the help of baby TV, we just hold him off!!!!

  4. Momx3 says:

    hi! Do you plan on stretching him every 4 hours anytime soon? With mine, I was “strict” like you but by around 4 months, when they are more active e and getting enough ounces/day, I switched it. Our morning were also a bit different. Most babies are tired an hour/hour and a half after they first wake, so we woke, fed, kept up and then put back down close to 10. You’re doing a great job, and I’d also like to add, that a schedule gave me confidence, too.

    • We will when he starts taking more ounces. Now he is 5-7 ounces per feed getting him to average of 29-31 ounces in a day. When he starts consistently taking 7-8, we plan to stretch his feeds!

  5. Bella says:

    Did you opt out of breastfeeding in order to have a better schedule? I know what works for some doesn’t work for all but I love that you guys have such a great schedule going. I’m assuming being able to count ounces and time feeds is great instead of just random on demand nursing. Would love your honest opinion about this! Also, what method did you use to have your milk dry up and prevent it from coming in? I used a band with my first after a few weeks but not sure how it works if you never fed at all.

  6. Maggie says:

    Thank you so much for writing this! I have a 2 month old have been also attempting to follow a schedule. It does make it a lot easier on everyone. When you put him down for naps do you swaddle (or were you swaddling at 2 months)? My baby fights the swaddle no matter how hard I try. I still swaddle for every nap and sleep. Works at night but not during the day.

    • You are so welcome! We just switched him to the merlin when he hit 13 pounds but prior to that we used the miracle swaddle! We had to start using two of them because baby Ralph would ‘escape’ it really helped get those naps in during the day!!

      LMK if you have any other questions. xx

  7. Natalie says:

    Was there a certain book you read to figure out the schedule?

    • We didn’t read a book. We had a professional help us with the schedule! xx

      • Shelly says:

        I’ve never heard of a baby scheduling professional! Tell me more! I’ll have to return to the office a few months in, so I’m curious how that’ll work! Most child care professionals have a schedule of their own!

  8. Taylor Shaver says:

    Couldn’t agree more w babies and schedules!!! It makes everyone happy and makes life so much easier. From one scheduler to another, I applaud you!

  9. Ashley says:

    This is so helpful, thank you so much for posting! I have a 7 week old and am struggling with getting long stretches of sleep at night. For daytime naps – do you wake Ralph up if he sleeps longer than the schedule?

    • So glad this was helpful! Yes, we ALWAYS wake him to feed!! I know it sounds crazy to ‘wake a sleeping baby’ but it really is amazing how once they get used to their schedule they are not really fussy and are happier in general!

  10. Lisa says:

    I’m trying so hard to get my 6 week old down every 1.5-2 hours for naps. Do you put Ralph down awake? He’s so cute! Love seeing all of your Ralph posts and insta stories

    • So exciting you have a 6 week old!! Yes, even when Ralph is still in ‘play mode’ we now put him in his merlin (prior to that we would swaddle him) and put him down when it was nap time. Honestly, even if they don’t seem tired, they really will go to sleep easier than you think!!

  11. Jeannie says:

    I love this so much, we will totally be trying this. Curious, do you always wake him up for naps?

  12. Carrie says:

    My twins are 12 years old and their schedule was identical to yours and let me tell you it saved my life! Schedules are the best! They still wake by 7 everyday..lol

    • love hearing this! it’s just so nice to be able to plan. everyone told us that ‘our lives would be over after baby’ and honestly, it was so discouraging. our lives are no where near over and really have not changed that much thanks to the schedule! now we just adjust what we used to do, so we can spend as much time with baby ralph as possible.

      plus it makes him so much more predictable!!!!

  13. Madeline says:

    Love this! My son is 7 weeks old and scheduling is a struggle. I never know what to do!

  14. Joni says:

    Lollol you are a few months in lady!! Have you hit teething? Or any sleep regression? Relax your self righteous attitude because you haven’t even hit the rough stuff! Also, put that poor kid in a helmet already. If you don’t start before 6 months it is harder to fix their head shape.

    • Hmm.. I really must have struck a nerve with you. I guess internet trolls, using anonymous names who try to put others down have a lot of bad days, so I’m glad that you found a place online (haha) where you exert your negative energy from McAllen.

      I didn’t claim to be self righteous. I have gotten a lot of questions about our current routine, so I decided to share because the people who read my blog are actually interested in what we are doing with our baby. Also, I’m very realistic to things that are to come hence why I do ‘updates’.

      If you’re going to be a bitch, I suggest you read elsewhere. Maybe there is a local blog in South Texas that might be a better fit for you and your ‘interests’. Have a great night! xx

      • Kristen says:

        I just got my six month old to sleep (for the third time tonight, ugh!) so I’m a little cranky, but that comment really ticked me off. It’s mind blowing how ugly people are when they’re anonymous on the internet. Anyway, Amy – thanks for posting this schedule. It really encouraged me to reassess my baby’s current sleep situation/lack of schedule. And let me tell you – I needed that encouragement tonight. So thank you. Keep up the good work – baby Ralph clearly has a very loving mother doting on him!

        • That happens to us some nights too! Ralph does this weird thing sometimes where an hour after he has been asleep he just wakes up. Literally for no reason. Sometimes it turns into me running up and down the stairs for a bit!

          Oh I totally agree with you. People can be so silly. I am so pro voicing your opinion but if you are going to say something and ‘hide’ that’s pretty lame. Maybe she is having a bad night and needs to take it out on a stranger? Whatever makes her sleep better at night! haha

          Your comment made me so happy because I am so glad that it helped you out tonight. Schedules are so hard but so easy (if that makes sense). It really does take everyone to keep it on track and I totally get how easy it can be to blow it off (especially when you are napping and your baby is napping). There have been days where I am EXHAUSTED, Ralph is passed out but I just set my alarm to make sure he gets his food at his ‘feed’ time. Yes, a pain but totally worth it to keep him on track (in my opinion).

          YOU’VE GOT THIS!!!!!!!!!

  15. Madeline says:

    What do y’all like to do for play time? Right now we enjoy the fisher price kick and play.

    • How fun! All my friends loved the kick and play!

      For playtime we have this little wood gym that we put over his pebble play mat that he loves. We also lay outside on blankets, he watches baby TV, we do tummy time, he sits in his little fisher price sit up chair, we ‘read’, he has a bath, we go on a walk, we listen to music and ‘dance’ (I just move his arms, haha) or we play in front of the mirror.

      There really isn’t a whole lot he can ‘do’ right now but I just try my hardest to keep him really alert for the duration of ‘playtime’ because it makes it so much easier to put him back down for his nap!! Plus he LOVESSSSS any type of activity (especially chewing on his burp cloth).

  16. Robin says:

    Amy,
    Thanks so much for sharing baby Ralph’s schedule! He’s so cute!
    I have a 6 week old and would love more insight on how you actually weaned the night time feeds. At 4 weeks what did you do to get to skip the feeds? Feed him more at 7pm and then paci and let him cry at 10pm? I feel like we can’t get my daughter to calm down for a long period of time without putting a bottle in her mouth. Any help/insight is greatly appreciated! I’d love longer stretches of sleep!
    Thanks again,
    Robin

    • Hi Robin!

      Thank you so much. Oh wow, congratulations on your little!! Aren’t they just the best??? We always fed him the same amount (or at least offered him more). He would wake up around 9:40 (ish) and we would ‘work the pacifier’. Some nights he would reallyyyyy get upset, so we would feed him but honestly, he just kind of dropped the feed on his own (I know that’s not really any help to you). When he would cry, we would set the phone timer for 2 minutes. If he would take any ‘breaks from crying’ in that two minutes, we would start the timer over.

      Once Ralph didn’t ‘cry’ for food at 10 pm 3 nights in a row, we knew he could do it, so that feeding was gone altogether. He would just then maybe wake up at 2, so we would feed but we always woke him at 7 am for that first feed of the day (regardless if he had eaten at 4 or 5 prior).

      I really recommend double swaddling her with the miracle swaddle and make sure your littles room is at about 68 degrees (babies naturally run hot, so I know it feels cool but it is perfect for them). We learned that Ralph would wake himself up if he was hot, if his diaper leaked (which is why we double diaper him) or if he ‘escaped’ from his swaddle (we doubled him at night to ensure that he didn’t).

      Another thing we really had to work hard at was keeping him awake during the day during his ‘up time’ because at that point all Ralph wanted to do was sleep! The more we stuck to the schedule the better his nights were!!!

      I hope this helped maybe a little bit!! Sounds like you are doing an amazing job, keep up the good work!!!!

  17. Mahli Caceres says:

    Just love that you do with Ralph, my baby Mateo is 3 months old, and try to Take and follow all your advices, hoy are such a great mom, lot of love to Ralph and you

  18. Carolina says:

    Hi Amy!
    Thanks so much for sharing baby Ralph’s schedule! He is so handsome 🙂 I have a 6 week old and we started to adjust her hours when she hit 4 weeks. I do have a question.. when do you thing is better to go out for groceries or errands with the baby? During “awake” hours or during nap time? What about visiting friends? How do you handle this with Ralph? My baby girl is super unpredictable when I take her out.. sometimes she stays completely awake and others she just sleeps the whole afternoon (none of them are great if you are trying to stick to a schedule). Thank you 🙂

    • You are so welcome!! Congratulations on your new baby!! It sounds like you are doing such a great job. I’ve actually never been to the grocery store with him. I either run that errand on the way home from a work out (when my husband is watching him).

      As far as errands go I like to go when he wakes up from a nap, then I always plan a ‘coffee break’ where I can get a cup of coffee and also feed the baby. After I feed Ralph, I put him back in his car seat and he usually falls asleep or just looks around and eventually falls asleep. I do plan my errands, so if he misses a nap at home it is only one nap to ensure that he gets really ‘deep’ sleep the other naps during the day.

      This isn’t an errand but on Saturdays we usually go to brunch. Since Ralph eats at 1, we alway make a 12:45 reservation so we can get settled, I can order, feed him at 1 and by the time the food arrives, Ralph is fed and usually about to zone out, so we all get to enjoy our food.

      I guess the short answer is I plan more around his feeds. So it’s ‘after’ and ‘before’ his next nap. Also, I live in a neighborhood where all of my errands are super close, so I can literally do all of my errands really really fast.

      LMK if you have any other questions! xx

  19. Katie says:

    Hi! Do you have any tips for how you got baby Ralph to eat more ounces in a setting? I️ have a 2 month old with reflux and it’s been hard to get him to eat over 3 oz and sometimes just lucky to get 3 oz.

    • Hi Katie!

      We have that same issue with Ralph sometimes. For example, if I start his feed at 10 am and he quickly eats 2-3 ounces then seems disinterested we ‘take a break’. We play or do something else for 15 min (give or take) and by that time I am usually able to get a few more ounces in him!

      That is just what I have found works for us, I hope that helps you too!! xx

  20. Katie says:

    Hey Amy one last question from me! How do you fit Ralph’s reflux meds into his schedule, we do Prilosec 2x a day and it seems hard to do it and not mess everything up!

  21. Amy says:

    Did you have a favorite (stylish) diaper bag you used/are using? I’ve been looking and so many are unattractive!!

    • I just use normal totes and put a ‘make up bag’ type thing in the tote. I plan on doing a post this week about how I carry around Ralph’s stuff when we are out! xx

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