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Should my 4 month old have a schedule?! I feel like such a terrible parent!

Kendall will be 4 months old on Thursday. I'm ashamed to say it but she has really no schedule...she basically sleeps when she wants, eats when she wants....she used to consistently go to bed around 7:30 each night and sleep until about 8 am. Id get up change her give her a bottle and she'd go right back to sleep until about noon- within the last week she's been going to bed at 8.9. 10 or even 12 at night and sleeping til 8 9 10 or even noon!!!...can i get some suggestions on how to get her on a schedule? I start school 8/2/10 from 9-4:30 and she'll be going to a sitter then if that will help..Id appreciate any advice but no criticism please :(

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mommyof3girls10

Asked by mommyof3girls10 at 2:41 AM on Jul. 14, 2010 in Babies (0-12 months)

Level 2 (11 Credits)
Answers (9)
  • My littlest will be 5 months on Friday. She used to sleep through the night a good 10-12 hrs and now she wakes up around 3 or 4, then again around 7 and she is up!! Between 4-6 months they're own routine changes drastically! I've got three older kids and each one changed at this age! Once you start cereal or fruits and veggies, she shouldn't need to eat but every 3-4 hrs or so. The new foods will take longer to digest and help keep her fuller longer. As far as a set schedule- let her pick her own for the first week, write down when she falls asleep, when she wakes, when she takes a bottle, or cereal, naptimes, how long she sleeps,etc. Write everything down, then the second week, try to make a schedule around what she does naturally. If she wakes on her own around 9, but you need her up at 8- just wake her up, then adjust the day a little. It's not always going to go according to plan.
    KariLyn84

    Answer by KariLyn84 at 2:48 AM on Jul. 14, 2010

  • My oldest is fine without a schedule but my youngest is happier with one. I think it depends on the child. I am not a big schedule person...I actually can't stand to do the same thing at the same time every day...it really makes me literally crazy. My hubby however is very scheduled...it drives me nuts sometimes.
    MommyH2

    Answer by MommyH2 at 3:07 AM on Jul. 14, 2010

  • your baby is only 4 months. it will come with time. she is still a baby. do what you feel is right in your heart. dont worry, you are a good momma! just relax aND ENJOY YOUR BABY! : )
    Preggydyke

    Answer by Preggydyke at 3:25 AM on Jul. 14, 2010

  • I am not a schedule person and I let my son lead the way 100% when he was that little. I don't see a point to a strict schedule - how do you tell a tiny baby that it's time to sleep when they aren't tired? How do you get them to eat when they aren't hungry? You can't. It's just not a battle worth fighting, in my opinion. Relax and enjoy and follow her cues.
    Now my LO is 18 months old and we have developed sort of a schedule, but it changes from day to day. I guess if I worked or had somewhere I needed to be at certain times of day, it would be different. But we don't need to schedule him, so we don't. There are a few exceptions - like, next week we will be waking up early because we have swim lessons.
    getrealmama

    Answer by getrealmama at 3:35 AM on Jul. 14, 2010

  • try getting her up at 8 or when you get up. and play for a little bit maybe nap. then she might stat to even out
    pooh2you

    Answer by pooh2you at 8:27 AM on Jul. 14, 2010

  • No schedules here either and my baby is now 9 months old. When hungry she eats, when tired she sleeps. I can take her out anywhere at anytime because we don't have a fixed schedule. It happened naturally and we are both well fed and healthy. She gets a bit more sleep than I do, but that's okay because I get more sleep than most modern mothers LOL (we cosleep). Because a baby's schedule changes a lot especially in the first year due to teething, growth spurts and milestones I don't have expectations of things always being the same. She sets her unique schedule and I do what I need to do, and we sort of adapt to each other. I wear her in a sling to so we do a lot of things together.

    You are doing great. There is nothing wrong with what you are doing. Babies have no knowledge of clocks. :) To them YOU are structure and that's all they need.
    amileegirl

    Answer by amileegirl at 8:43 AM on Jul. 14, 2010

  • I never scheduled my children I followed their cues. I did try to make sure around the time the napped that we were home so they could nap and I tried to eat (once they were on solids) around the same time every day. My kids were sling babies and spent almost all their time in my arms. If you are worried about the schedule thing for the fall don't worry about it and trust that it will work itself out when the time comes. You may have a couple days at first that are pretty cranky days, but LO will adjust to a schedule like that pretty quick.
    aeneva

    Answer by aeneva at 9:10 AM on Jul. 14, 2010

  • Most will tell you do whatever feels right. I had a pretty set schedule that we were working with...rather I was trying to get jake into. By four months, I had observed and tracked his natural schedule enough to know he did have one, then I we stuck with the one that naturally evolved. I read (in I think it was Ferber or Weisenbluth's book) about the circadian rhythm that a child develops and then sticking to it can help him developmentally, especially as it relates to sleep (night and nap) patterns. http://www.nigms.nih.gov/Publications/Factsheet_CircadianRhythms.htm is one site. Here is a better article relating to infants: http://www.sleepreviewmag.com/issues/articles/2000-09_02.asp
    JRB101009

    Answer by JRB101009 at 10:34 AM on Jul. 14, 2010

  • She's only four months. No need to worry about a schedule yet. Routine is needed, but you don't have to be bound to a clock.
    gdiamante

    Answer by gdiamante at 1:30 PM on Jul. 14, 2010

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