Setting a Routine for Your Baby
Finding the right "flow" to your day is as important for you as it is for your baby's sense of security. We help you assemble a schedule that works for both of you.
The Structured Routine
Some experts tout a fairly specific program because it helps babies learn what to expect and to adjust their body rhythms. One popular example is the late "baby whisperer" Tracy Hogg's E.A.S.Y. (Eat, Activity, Sleep, Your time) plan, in which parents pace their baby through regular cycles of these events, roughly every three hours. Like Hogg's plan, structured routines tend to feature sample schedules and timetables.
Benefits: What to do is all laid out for you, which some moms find less stressful than a blank slate.
Drawbacks: The reality is that life with a baby tends not to fit neatly into a chart on the printed page, which can cause plenty of frustration for some parents and their children. Plus, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that you breastfeed when your baby shows signs of hunger, not when the clock tells you to. "A lot of new parents are looking for a framework," says Laura Jana, M.D., coauthor of the AAP's Heading Home With Your Newborn: From Birth to Reality. "But then they take that framework to be an ideal that has to work the same way every time. That's not very real."