Baby has NO schedule - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 17 Old 09-18-2009, 10:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Is that okay? He recently turned 5 months and I have yet to unlock his sleep schedule. We try to go to bed the same time each night (between 8pm-9pm). I usually just let the baby wake up whenever he wants. That is varied. Yesterday he was wide awake at 7am. This morning it's almost 8:30am and he's still out. Every hour and a half I make sure he's in a dry diaper and fed and try to encourage him to nap. (He HATES naps so it usually means we wear/hold him while he cries himself to sleep...rarely I can get him to just lie down in bed with me and nurse to sleep) But even that isn't routine. Sometimes after 1.5hours he's dead tired and sleeps...sometimes it's 2 hours....sometimes longer. Then his naps are varied. Some are 20-30mins and some are and hour or longer.

It's just hard to schedule anything. DH was asking what time to make our picture appt for and I had to guess because it depends on when the baby wants to get up and if he naps and for how long.

I'm looking into the "no cry sleep solution" for my next purchase...would it help? Am I making things worse by letting him have his own schedule? (should I be waking him up at the same time each morning and trying to put him down certain times for naps?)

Biggest question: Is this normal? I know my mainstream friends are going to say that I'm letting him run the house and that can't continue...

Kas (24), Helpmeet to Stefan (25), Mom to Franklin Gaudelio 4/15/09, Jonathan Boswell 1/2/11
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#2 of 17 Old 09-18-2009, 10:29 AM
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Zack sleeps when he goes to sleep (profound, i know). He usually falls into a pattern, but varies greatly during the day. If I want to go out, I just grab him from a nap and go -- if necessary.

I cannot predict his daytime naps at all. I just roll with whatever he does. A pattern is forming, but it's irregular.

I generally do things as early as possible, since he is a morning person and smiles the most on cue. There are always exceptions.

He doesn't really run the house if I keep him awake longer or steal him out of the crib when I need to.

That's the deal here ... sounds similar.

Wacky Zack! Born 23-Apr-2009
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#3 of 17 Old 09-18-2009, 10:31 AM
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I think it's perfectly normal! We still don't have a schedule here either. I am noticing more of a pattern in the last week or so, but that's usually what happens....a pattern for a week or 2, then she changes.

I have yet to understand how anyone gets their baby on a schedule??? I mean if a baby puts himself on a schedule that's one thing, but my kids never just went to sleep when I said it was sleep time. Miss K doesn't even alwys wake up when I wake her up! I pick her up from bed to get her ready to take ds to school, and she sleeps through it...I think it's fine...

mama to dd20, ds17, dd6, with a new little person on the way!
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#4 of 17 Old 09-18-2009, 10:31 AM
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It's totally normal, and it's totally fine. At 5mo babies change and grow rather quickly so it can be hard to predict what they will want or need... I always found that just when we settled into a routine, something would change and it would be a few days or weeks before we settled into a new one.

I never pushed a schedule on my children, just worked with them and my own needs so that everyone is happy and has their needs met.

It's impossible to spoil a baby - you sleep when you're tired and eat when you're hungry, yes? I think it's a good thing to teach a child to listen to their body and understand that it's ok to sleep and eat when you need to, not when the clock says it's time to!

Amanda - wife to DH Kellyjog.gif, Mummers to Trentreading.gif born 03/03/05 Bridgetdust.gif born 08/08/07 and a IT'S A BOY! Kennedy babyboy.gifborn 02/20/11!
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#5 of 17 Old 09-18-2009, 10:49 AM
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Your title caught my eye from the front page and had me laughing b/c I had one of those babies, too. B/c she was my first, I let everyone make me feel like I was doing something wrong. I did nothing differently with dd#2 and she fell into a schedule nicely b/c that is just what her body needed.

Dd#1 just didn't have an internal schedule and any attempt to impose one on her was wildly unsuccessful. She wasn't much of a napper and totally stopped napping btwn 16-18 months. She never slept as much as she was "supposed" to and was just a high needs little person.

She's 11 now and sleeps well and on a normal schedule. Not having her on a schedule didn't turn her into anyone you wouldn't want to have around as an older kid. She's really a great kid with faults like everyone, but not a problem child by any means.
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#6 of 17 Old 09-18-2009, 01:54 PM
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DD 8 months old... and still no solid schedule.

Most nights she goes to sleep between 8 and 9... but there are times where she wants to stay up till 10 or 11... usually this happens on the weekend, so that is okay... I think she tends to sleep in longer on the weekend... which is my own schedule... so maybe she is like me? lol

Naps are all over the place. LOL

I wouldn't say she runs the house... we do what needs to be done, and she sleeps either in the sling while we are out, or in the car seat as we are driving. If we need to do things around the house while she is awake we have toys in each room for her to play with, which she is LOVING independent play much much more now... she scoots herself over to us when she wants us to play with her or pick her up or if she is letting us know she wants to eat now.

I just listen to her, and balance it out with my own needs as well.

I felt really freaked and worried for awhile that she didn't have a real schedule, but she seems pretty happy, so I'm trying not to worry about it as much.

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#7 of 17 Old 09-18-2009, 02:15 PM
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Ditto above posts! My 8mo old has only fallen into a schedule in the past month or so - and that seems to change from week to week!

Once thing I have done is - when he seemed to be falling into a sort-of schedule - watching both him and the clock. (Falling into schedule, for us, means his sleep habits are somewhat similar two days in a row!) I will try to help him fall asleep around the same time (naps or nighttime, etiher one). E.g. If he falls asleep between 9-9:30 for a couple days, I will work with that, and try to help him fall asleep (nursing down, cuddles, etc.) even if he hasn't shown much in the way of tired signals yet. It seems to work more often than not for us.

Fresh air seems to help too. On days when he won't nap, but is obviously tired, I pop him in the wrap in a front carry and we go for a walk. I usually pick up some fresh produce. Sometimes he's asleep by the time we get home.

And, like PPs, we do what we have to do. If it's a time-sensitive/scheduled thing, I sometimes try to keep him up (so he'll sleep in car/on walk), but ultimately, we go when we have to. Having most necessities in walking distance helps lots, though.

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#8 of 17 Old 09-18-2009, 05:21 PM
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DS is 11 months and I still can't tell you what time his naps will be tomorrow. I can make a guess but it just depends on when he wakes up. I have never woken him up. Sometimes it is 8 sometimes 10 and if he wants to sleep till 10 I'm not waking him for anything, ykwim?

It has gotten easier to schedule things because he makes it longer in between naps. We have even had to skip naps here and there and it is not the catastrophic situation it would have been at 6 months.

My general rule for deciding whether to embark on some change is ask yourself 3 questions....

Is baby happy and healthy.....check
Am I happy and healthy....check
Is DH happy and healthy... check.

Then why rock the boat. If it works for your family it is all good.

Oh and by the way. I mostly still hold my DS while he naps. More and more though I am lying down with him and after about 15 minutes I can leave him. I'm actually a little sad. I miss our long baby cuddles from 5 months. Tear.

Happy happy mama of 3!
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#9 of 17 Old 09-18-2009, 05:47 PM
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Ds is almost 11 months & still has no predictable schedule. It is starting to become loosely the same day to day but I still cannot say with any certainty what time he will go to bed or wake up or nap. We've tried to be consistent too & that really doesn't seem to matter. If he's not interested in sleeping he's not going to sleep regardless of the time on the clock.

Doula mama to dd (Oct '11) & ds (Oct '08) and expecting (Apr '17)
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#10 of 17 Old 09-18-2009, 07:27 PM
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We only just developed a predictable schedule about six weeks ago, and DS is almost 10 months old. Until then, every day was entirely different from the day before. Sometimes I found it really frustrating but mostly I just went with the flow and plowed ahead. I planned things but didn't hesitate to cancel if he happened to sleep at that time. I wore him A LOT - pretty much whenever he showed the slightest signs of fussiness (and was fed and dry). It made me physically so tired but it was much easier on me mentally than struggling with not knowing when I'd get a chance to do this or that, or trying desperately to get him to sleep when I thought he should. In a wrap or Ergo, I could just let him be awake or asleep as he pleased, no matter what I was doing. I never tried any sleep training but on his own he fell into a pattern that appears to be really precise and reliable. I'll admit that life is much much easier now but I'm glad I waited and let it develop naturally. Personally, I would have found the stress of any kind of sleep training including NCCSS too hard on me. Every single baby I know IRL has fallen into the same pattern (the 2-3-4 hours of wakefulness with 1-2 hour naps in between) so hopefully yours will to.

Happy mumma to my boys Henny Tom (Nov 30, 2008), Arlo Odie (Oct 5, 2010), and baby SISTER! due mid-Dec 2014.
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#11 of 17 Old 09-18-2009, 07:44 PM
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Originally Posted by AFWife View Post
Biggest question: Is this normal? I know my mainstream friends are going to say that I'm letting him run the house and that can't continue...
Wow, what a negative way to view for people to view a little baby: as if he were in some sort of power struggle with the rest of the family. Your baby is just being a baby. It sounds like he's good at getting his needs met peacefully; to me that sounds like something to celebrate.

And if we're even going to accept that there is necessarily such a power struggle at all, then to me it seems like, conversely, the baby would "running the house" if everyone has to work around his "schedule" all the time (racing home at scheduled naptimes etc.).

How would it benefit your family for him to have a "schedule"? To me that sounds like such a hassle. What a lot of worrying and micromanaging to have to do! Blech! It sounds like going with the flow is working just fine for you.

Yes, you and your baby are totally fine and normal. But I think it's important when we hear pronouncements like this to question the assumptions behind them. If you think about it, they're pretty absurd.

Meg, BFARing mama to two spirited daughters, born at home June 05 and April 08.
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#12 of 17 Old 09-18-2009, 08:12 PM
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With both of mine I never made a big deal about sleep. They sleep when tired and wake up when done. If we have somewhere to be I pack them up and we go. If they can sleep in, I let them.

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#13 of 17 Old 09-19-2009, 12:27 AM
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My baby (almost 8 months old) does this thing where he falls into a schedule for just long enough for us to get used to it, and then all of a sudden changes it around. Honestly, though, we don't usually stick to a schedule ourselves, so I guess I can't blame him.

Amanda- mama to Lincoln 1/09 and expecting #2 10/11!
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#14 of 17 Old 09-19-2009, 12:38 AM
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That's perfectly normal.

You're mainstream friends are right about one thing. Don't let him run the house... But, they're wrong about how to approach it. Go ahead and do whatever you want to do. With baby wearing and breastfeeding, he is 100% portable. Live your life how you want to and just take him along for the ride.

My DD didn't have any kind of schedule until 9 months. And then it was more of a routine.

Until then she was a cat napper. She'd be awake for 30 to 120 minutes, and then sleep for 30 to 120 minutes... Repeat all day long. It wasn't a problem because I didn't let it limit anything. I just did my thing and she dealt.
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#15 of 17 Old 09-19-2009, 03:37 AM
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We don't have a schedule, per se, we have more of a routine. We tend to eat dinner around the same time every night, but if we eat earlier or later it's not such a big deal. Ds2 tends to go to bed around the same time every night, but other nights he may go to bed later than usual (he never seems to go to bed earlier than usual )

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#16 of 17 Old 09-19-2009, 10:28 AM
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Eh, I think schedules are overrated for babies. If they are the type that thrives by a regular routine then they will naturally fall into one and then there are ones who prefer not having one. I've had one of each so far and I did nothing differently. DD1 just always slept when she was tired, DD2 likes to go to bed/wake up at a certain time every day and she started doing that herself sometime after a year.

I just follow Julian's cues, sometimes he will sleep in till 11 or he could be up at 6. If we have to be somewhere, which is often, then I have to wake him up and off we go.

There is no way to happiness, happiness is the way.
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#17 of 17 Old 09-19-2009, 11:15 AM
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I think listening to baby's cues and letting him find his own natural rythym is a lot easier on everyone.

DD2 is 8.5 months old and her sleep schedule is still largely unpredictable. In general, about 2 hours after waking for the day, she wants a nap. Other than that, all bets are off. She's a much easier baby in general and easier to get to sleep (knock on wood!) than DD1 ever was at this age.

DD1 is/was a sleep fighter, and would take 45 minutes for me to get her down for a 45 minute or less nap. I was reading her sleepy cues just fine, SHE wasn't! Around 9 months, we found that a modified version of 2-3-4 worked for her. 2.5 hours after waking she'd go for her 1st nap, 3.5 hours after waking, she'd go for her 2nd nap, 4.5 hours after that she'd go down for the night.

DD2 seems to be trending in that direction, but she's not there yet.
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