Bopping Your Way Through the First 12 Weeks

Feb 25, 2020

I have a TON of newborn clients right now and the Boppy keeps coming up, so I thought I would write about it this week as something different.  This brand might as well be called…The answer to your pregnancy, newborn and infant prayers.  I don’t know about you but I purchased the total body pillow the second my bump made its appearance and if I can be completely honest with you, I spooned with that pillow like it was my husband for the second half of my pregnancy.  It was basically the reason why I got any sleep at all during those last few months. Sorry Adam, but it worked wonders for this mama and her big, baby bump ???? Happy Wife, Happy Life, right?  That’s what I figured! 

Similar to that of the Boppy company, my life’s mission is to support families on their journey to raise healthy, happy and thriving children and give them the tools to be successful as they set out on the most important job there is, Parenting.   

I’m a mom to 2 wonderful kids, Max (5) and Sovella (3) and wife to Adam (remember, the guy I forgot about for 5 months because of the Total Body Pillow?), It’s ok, he got over it, but did schedule his vasectomy while I was in recovery from labor with Sovella…..excited much? ????.  I was revisiting some photos during that time and wanted to share. I also get to provide recommendations to families on how to use the Boppy products in your daily routines with your children.

As I mentioned earlier, I specialize in sleep coaching newborns through adolescents and have even helped adults with their sleep challenges.  For this particular blog post, I wanted to focus on the sleep schedule and the Boppy products that would be most useful for an 8-week old infant, as this is the time when you start to feel a little more human after the birth of a child and they begin to change.

It’s during that time period that things really start to come together for your little bundle of joy and they begin to eat more efficiently and also fall into more regular sleep patterns.  One of the most important things to focus on when you are looking to get your child on a more consistent sleep schedule is to focus on their awake windows during the day.  

As the old saying goes, Sleep Begets Sleep.  Although it seems counterintuitive to induce sleep with more sleep, it’s been proven that babies who get the proper amount of sleep during the day are less likely to become overtired, will often eat better during the day and require fewer feedings at night because they are getting the nutrition they need during the day.  You will also notice that they tend to settle down easier at night and actually stay asleep for longer periods because they don’t become overtired, exhausted and fussy which leads to a vicious cycle of being overtired and not being able to get the restorative sleep they need.

To help you navigate this process and map out what a day might look like for your 8-week old, I’ve included a sample schedule below and the corresponding awake windows to keep in mind as you start to build the foundation for healthy sleep habits with your child. 

How long should a baby be awake between naps if they are between the ages of 8 weeks and 3 months old?


Sample Activity, Feeding & Nap Schedule for an 8 to 12-Week Old Infant

7:00 am – Wake for the day, change and feed your baby in a well-lit room to signal the start of the day.  Regardless of the way you choose to feed your child (nursing or via bottle) I recommend that my parents use either the Boppy Feeding & Infant Support Pillow or the Boppy Best Latch Breastfeeding Pillow. Both will set you and your baby up for a successful feed because of the support and proper positioning they offer you and your child.  After the first feeding of the day, it’s playtime for you and your child. I suggest starting off the day with some floor exercises, skill-building with toys and reading.

8:15 am Nap #1 – try to lay your little one down in the crib when he/she is still drowsy so they can learn the critical skill of self-soothing.  Remember, your child should always be placed on their back for all naps and overnight sleep. Back is Best! 

10:00 am Wake from nap #1, change, feed and then practice Tummy time using the Boppy Feeding and Infant Support pillow. You can also use the Boppy Newborn Lounger if you want to give them an opportunity to play on their back and reach for toys overhead or enjoy some music and some singing time with you.  As with all infant products / pillows / loungers / seats, children should not be left unattended or unsupervised for any amount of time. (Yay Safe Sleep!)

11:30 am Nap #2.  Remember to put your child down drowsy (before they become overtired) so they can learn to put themselves to sleep and become independent sleepers. 

12:00 pm Wake from nap #2, change, feed and then tummy-time practice again.  Try to lay your child down on the floor with some toys/books to keep them entertained and engaged.  Then change it up by having them do Tummy time using the Boppy Tummy Time Prop pillow, so they are somewhat elevated and have a different view.

1:00 pm Feed then down for Nap #3 – remember to lay baby down drowsy but awake

4:00 pm Wake from nap #3, feed and then go for a walk outside (weather permitting).  Use the Boppy ComfyChic Baby Carrier, which will allow you to have your child close but also give them an opportunity to work on neck strength & head control as they experience the world and nature.

5:15 pm Nap #4.  This may be a shorter catnap and that’s totally normal at this point in the day.  Remember to lay them down drowsy in the crib or other safe, sleep space.

6:00 pm Wake from nap #4, then playtime with the family.

6:45 pm Kickoff the bedtime routine (bath, pajamas, books) then a full feeding before sleep.

7:15 pm Bedtime for the night in a dark, quiet and safe space. 

At 8 weeks old, you will start to see your baby taking one longer stretch of overnight sleep between 6 & 8 hours.  They are still waking to eat, then going back down to sleep until their next feeding in the night, as their capacity and sleep consolidation grows. At 8 weeks, their awake window also moves out a little bit to somewhere between 1 1/4  to 1 1/2 hours.

At this age, I recommend dropping the dream feeding so that babies can start to wake naturally when they are hungry and will sleep when they are not. When a baby wakes overnight, give them a minute to settle, then if they don’t – it’s likely they are hungry. Feed them, change them if you need to and do your best to lay them back down awake until the next waking. 

If you try this routine for a week and still don’t see any improvement or are experiencing some other sleep challenges, Tiny Transitions is here to help.  This Friday, February 28th we have a free Newborn Sleep Liveinar kicking off, so be sure to join and learn all about mastering those first 12 weeks, to build a terrific sleeper for life. I share my 7 Tips for Restful Sleep Guide, which you can access here and start changing your sleep today!

Feel free to contact us to set up a free consultation. You can also connect with us via our Facebook Group or find us on Instagram

Courtney Zentz is a multi-award winning entrepreneur, pediatric sleep specialist, and parenting expert for the next generation around the world today. She is on a mission to change the way the world views sleep and provide accessible resources for all families to build healthy sleep habits in their home.

As a Pediatric Sleep Consultant, Lactation Counselor, Postpartum Doula, and founder of Tiny Transitions, Courtney partners with companies, families, and postpartum organizations from around the world to teach healthy, sleep habits to infants, children, and adults. Through the use of her unique Slumber Made Simple™ approach, she builds healthy sleepers for life and empowers her clients to be the best they can be every day.

Named by Tuck as a Top 200 Sleep Professional in the United States, Courtney is a 4x “Best of Philadelphia” Sleep Consultant and frequent contributor to Fatherly, Yahoo, Thrive Global, Romper, Parentology, The Sleep Sense Show, and Bustle among others. Courtney hosts The Kids Sleep Show, launching this month on iTunes and is a frequent guest with companies like SlumberPod® and The Magic Sleep Suit® Company.

Courtney resides in West Chester, PA, with her husband Adam and two children, Max and Sovella, and has always felt passionate about making sleep & healthy living a priority in her family’s life.