Answering your questions ... in this blog I answer a mom's question about her 3mo and getting him on better schedule.
Q. I would love to see a sample schedule as my son is the king of cat naps and we want to get him on a better napping schedule.
A. The timing can vary greatly at this age and a schedule doesn't usually develop until 4-6 months. What I would recommend you do if he is a short napper, is to work on drowsy but awake for bedtime. Once bedtime is going well, move onto to drowsy but awake for the morning nap, as the morning nap develops about 4 months of age. You can also try a nap extension (try to get him back to sleep w/ patting or shushing etc). Then get the remainder of the day sleep in any way you can even if you have to use a crutch – motion usually works well at this age. Also watch those awake windows and don’t let him stay wake more than the 1 ½ to 2hrs.
Finally, I would recommend you gradually begin applying very gentle Sleep Lady slumber rules to start weaving routines and patterns into his life.
This is a gradual process so don’t expect huge, dramatic changes in his sleep patterns. But you are laying the groundwork for improvement in the coming weeks and months.
THE SLEEP LADY’S EIGHT RULES OF INFANT SLUMBER
1. Create a flexible feeding and sleeping routine. Not a minute-by-minute schedule but a sensible framework. The predictability is calming for a baby, and will help you get better at reading your baby’s signals and clues.
2. Encourage soothing techniques other than nursing.
3. Offer a pacifier for soothing and sucking.
4. Sometimes feed your baby when he wakes up after a nap—not just when you are trying to get him to sleep.
5. Put him down drowsy but awake at least once every 24 hours.
6. Introduce one bottle a day—even if you are committed to breast feeding, as I was with my own children— around the third or fourth week if breastfeeding has been established.
7. Create a quiet, gentle sleep-friendly environment.
8. Carefully think through the question of bedsharing (or co-sleeping) and roomsharing. Know how to co-sleep safely if that’s your choice. But if you don’t want to co-sleep, don’t get into the habit simply because you don’t know how to avoid it.
Michelle S. Donaghy, Certified Gentle Sleep Coach
firstname.lastname@example.org (714) 651-5116 www.makingsweetdreams.com