When baby was first born this first time mother read Gina Ford and thought, what absolute rubbish, how can such strict schedules be adhered to? And it turns out that for the first couple of months it was indeed impossible. Basically she was just stuck to my breasts and we had no control over when she did anything. However, after we switched to bottle feeding and Sophia is getting fixed amounts at each feed, surprisingly we settled into a schedule very close to what Gina advocates. I am pleasantly surprised since this means I can follow her weaning guide 🙂
I’m not quite sure how it happened and it surely didn’t happen as a result of me intentionally following her (quite difficult to follow) routine. Initially I started with just feeding baby round the clock and trying to make her sleep at a decent hour (say 10). When she was getting more settled, I tried putting her to bed every day at 7 but other than that basically had no schedule whatsoever. She started sleeping through the night when she was around 2 months old but thereafter there was no further progress in routine establishment. Until exclusive pumping came along. When she started to take fixed amounts of milk, feeding times became quite fixed. We started with 120ml 3 hourly then moved on to 150ml 4 hourly. I discovered to my surprise that without me intentionally following Gina, the feeding times ended up being quite close to what she recommends. Mine were 7:30, 11, 2:30 and 6.
For the first 4 months or so of Sophia’s life, scheduling still revolves round feeding. Only recently have I decided to regulate her naps as well, as her feeding time often clashes with the times she is extremely sleepy. Moreover, I am getting very tired as she sleeps only half hour at a time in the day and as a result it is impossible for me to nap with her. I started trying to work out convenient nap times. Every morning when I walk my husband to work she falls asleep in her carrier. I have no control over that. Hence a half hour nap happens around 9am. The next opportunity for a nap would be between the 11am and 2:30pm feeds, which is perfect as this is the time I lunch and it would be good to lunch in peace. At around 4pm she starts grumbling again and wakes in about half an hour. Sometimes she falls asleep later but I have found that if I allow her to nap too late in the day she has difficulty falling asleep at bedtime. Hence the 3 naptimes: half hour around 9, 2 hours around 12 and half hour around 4 again roughly coincides with Gina’s recommendations, not on purpose. Makes me think she must actually know what she’s talking about and those are actually a baby’s natural rhythm.