How to Create a Baby Schedule for Your Baby 4-9 Months!
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Now that your baby is out of the newborn stage, it’s time to start creating a healthy routine. Developing a schedule for your baby at 4-9 months will keep everyone happy throughout the day. An ideal schedule, that eliminates exhaustion and overwhelm, exists. I’m going to show you how to create a baby schedule for 4-9 months, so you can be confident in your baby’s daily routine!
The first few months of my life as a mommy were the most emotionally charged months of my life. I was elated to be a mommy, beyond grateful to be staying home with my baby, and experiencing levels of exhaustion I didn’t know was possible.
Adjustment time is over.
Those first few months are all about adjusting, now that they are over, it’s time to get intentional with your routine. What I did to get rid of exhaustion and overwhelm, was simple and effective. It can be the same for you. *If this feels fast to you and you’re still having trouble adjusting to life as a mom, please reach out to a friend. Additionally, I have found that when they focus efforts on next steps, many moms are able to get out of their new mom rut and restore hormonal balance.
Babies thrive on structure and routine. You’ll be setting your baby up for good behavior and healthy habits later by implementing a schedule now.
I’m going to give you a ready-made ideal schedule for your baby. This schedule will include all the sleep and feeding she needs. Tweak it for your family if necessary, but remember these 4 keys.
4 Important Tips to Remember When Making Your Baby’s Schedule.
#1. Start with the MUST DO. Then fill in the SHOULD DO. Finish with the WANT TO DO.
#2. Have realistic expectations for what can be done in a day.
- Doing so sets you up for success. You’ll get done what you set out to and feel great when you are able to do even more than you scheduled.
#3. Be only as flexible as necessary.
- When something pops up that sends your schedule flying off course, don’t panic. Go with it, and do what needs to be done. Then get back on track as soon as possible.
#4. 12 Hour blocks allow for a smooth schedule transition as your baby grows.
- This schedule structure can be used for a 4-year-old as well, so it’s perfect to grow as your family grows.
Applying a great schedule to your baby’s life early on, keeps the days running smooth. You’ll be teaching her great habits for life and making the most of the short time you have with her as a baby. The time goes by too fast to spend a minute of it living with overwhelm and exhaustion instead of enjoying every moment.
Alright then, let’s dive in…
How to Create a Baby Schedule for 4-9 Months!
#1. Divide baby’s day in half.
- Designate 12 nighttime hours and 12 daytime hours.
- Of those 12 nighttime hours, it’s best for your baby to sleep for all of them at one time. Read about baby sleep here.
Your baby won’t need less than 12 hours of sleep at night for many many years. So designating one whole half of the day as “night time” is the best way to simply and effectively train her to get the sleep she needs.
****Since we are focusing on baby’s day-time schedule today, just a quick note; if your baby is still eating throughout the night, now may be the time to limit it to 2 feedings, spread out evenly throughout the night, for example, 11 p.m. and 3 a.m. Then drop down to 1 nighttime feeding. By 9 months, I highly recommend no more nighttime feedings
The other 12 hours is “daytime.”
#2. Divide the “daytime” hours up into 4 equal parts like a pie.
- These four pie slices will be from wake time to wake time. This splits up baby’s sleep in a way that keeps her rested throughout the day, and ready to go to sleep at night! Within those 4 pie slices, will be time for baby to eat, be awake, and time to nap.
***The one exception!! There is one pie slice that does NOT include nap time. This slice is the one right before bed. Don’t give your baby a nap right before bed if you expect her to sleep at night! This time is also what some Mommies call the “witching hour.” We’ll talk more about that in a minute.
#3. Start filling each pie slice with what your baby MUST do.
- I’m talking: eating, being awake and sleeping. Those are really the only things your baby must do. She is after all… a baby!
#4. Next, fill in what your baby SHOULD do, based on the best time of day to do it!
- Morning time is when you’re baby will be the most compliant. Use this time to introduce new foods, practice play time on the floor, have tummy time (very important,) and learn new skills. (this would also be the perfect time to throw in a load of laundry, clean a bathroom, etc…)
- Alternatively, evening time is when your baby will start to get fussy. This is NOT the time to do the activities I listed above. This is the time for a bath, reading, rocking, and extra snuggles. Yes, I realize it’s also dinner time (I’ll get to that) That is why many Mommies refer to this as the “witching hour.” A term that I despise. Herumph!
Keep Things Positive and True.
In folklore, the witching hour is actually said to be, a time period at night when black magic is the most active and powerful. And a time when ghosts and demons roam about.
No, I don’t think so.
I wouldn’t use the term when my babies were fussy.
A baby will be fussy in the evening because she has reached her limit for the day. She is tired, and it’s your duty to train her how to sleep well at night and during naps so she can be healthy and rested. End of story. Read my complete about the witching hour here.
What About Dinner?
The implications for dinner time being smack-dab in the middle of “fussy-time” is simply that a wee-bit o’ preparation is needed! Having a baby means having easy meal options. Do what’s necessary to keep dinner simple, quick and easy to clean up.
Some great dinner options to try:
- Freezer meals. Spend one day a week prepping and freezing several meals to have on hand the rest of the week.
- Crockpot. (this is my fave) Find a handful of soup, stew, and crock pot recipes. Keep all the ingredients on hand. Pick one, dump everything in the crockpot at 10:00 a.m., turn it on, and forget it. Dinner will be waiting for you when you are ready for it!
- One sheet cooking. Cut up some chicken and potatoes. Toss them in some olive oil and salt. Throw ‘em on a baking sheet, and bake them in the oven at 425 for 20 minutes. Done. This is another option I use A LOT!
Don’t overthink dinner. Get your family fed and try your best to make it nutritious.
Back to the schedule.
Alright, so you’ve split baby’s day in half. Next, you took the “wake-time-half” and split it into fourths like a pie. Then, you filled those pie slices with what must be done, and what should be done.
#5. Finally, it’s time to finish filling in the pie with what your baby WANTS to.
- Now, this is actually what YOU want to do, since she is a baby and all. If you’ve done this process correctly, you will have time left over in the day. You may find there is a slice of pie with an hour and a half free for a walk or park trip, or visit with a friend.
This is an example of what this looks like. This schedule is pulled from my own life. My preferred blocking time is from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. You can switch this to 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. if necessary. However, things often start to go downhill if you push it up to 8 p.m. to 8 a.m.
Make these plans as time allows after the must-dos and should-dos are done. Don’t feel the need to fill every extra second with should-dos. Come up with a cleaning schedule that works for your family and allows you plenty of time to enjoy your baby. Get my cleaning schedules here.
Flexible, Rigid, Realistic Scheduling!
Learn to be flexible + rigid at the same time, have realistic expectations, divide your day up evenly, fill it up as you see fit and plan the right things for the right time. Most importantly, remember that you are in charge. You are the Mommy, you are a great Mommy, and what you say goes!