We are very excited to have a guest blogger, Miranda from The Busy Bee Blog, here today. Miranda, the busiest bee, is a 24-year-old wife, mother, amateur photographer, and life blogger. She lives in Georgia with her loving, patient husband and two energetic children; a son (3 years) and a daughter (9 months). Today Miranda wanted to talk about baby's schedule. Schedules aren't for everyone, but those of you who want to learn your baby's unique habits, Miranda thinks it's great to figure out baby's natural routine and let baby lead the way. Thanks for sharing and for the printables Miranda! The following has not been edited or may not necessarily reflect the views of Milk & Baby.
First thing's first; What is a Baby-Led Schedule? Like the name implies, it is a schedule or routine where the baby takes the lead. These schedules are usually pretty lax and (in my opinion) much easier on both parent and baby. There is also some indication that it makes babies smarter in the long run.
Say, for example, that your baby usually goes down for a nap at 11 am, but isn't sleepy until noon, the schedule shifts accordingly. This doesn't mean that there is absolutely no structure to your day. It just means that you look for the patterns in your baby's needs and demands and build a loose schedule around that.
You may be asking, Why choose a Baby-Led Schedule? Usually this method appeals to parents who believe in learning their baby's unique habits. The emphasis is on your baby's needs and what she is communicating to you rather than a strict routine.
So, Where do you begin? The very first thing you need to do is figure out your baby's natural routine. They probably already follow a basic pattern as far as their habits everyday. That's where today's printable comes in!
You can use this printable to keep track of their eating, sleeping, and diaper change habits everyday and use that to develop a loose schedule that fits your baby's demands.
When I did mine, I realized my daughter does basically the same thing every day (with wiggle room, of course). Here is what her schedule usually looks like (it may be different than yours since my daughter is a year old and no longer breastfeeding).
Now, based on her pattern, I've been able to develop a sense of what she is feeling. I can usually tell when she's tired, if she's sick, etc. based on how closely she follows her schedule, yet we have room for her to play longer if she wants or take an afternoon nap if she's extra tired.
This method seems to be the best of both worlds, doesn't it? A predictable schedule that you can use to plan your own day, and also flexibility to let your baby figure out what it is that they want! Some parents that follow this method also say that their little ones are more adaptable. They are able to sleep easily on the go, for example, or at different times, because they haven't been trained to follow a strict routine.