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As a new parent, I lived for a schedule, it was something I knew I could count on for mental clarity time when we would walk, and a nap for Max as he bounced along in the stroller, so new and eager in this big world. Since then, over 7 years ago, and supporting several thousand people later as a Sleep Consultant, I have found other new mothers love the same sense of structure I did, to balance their day and set their little one up for sleep success.
With a newborn’s schedule, there are really just two main things I tell parents to be concerned with:
  • Getting the right amount of sleep at the right times. Babies need 14-16 hours of total sleep at 3 months old. So that would be between 4-5 hours in daytime sleep (naps) at 3 months of age.
  • Intake – full feedings, about every 3 hours in the day, to ensure proper growth and maximum overnight sleep, which for many babies this age, means 1 longer stretch of sleep that for tired parents, is amazing and needed. Babies the entire first year need between 24 & 32 oz, of intake, to that should be a goal for parents daily, alongside rest and building those healthy sleep habits, so you don’t ever have to sleep train your little one later. I would aim for a minimum of 25 oz in the day to start, knowing that overnight feeds drop when they have the skillset to self-soothe and the right intake in the daytime hours.
So, with that in mind, here is a sample 3-month-old sleep schedule for how you should break out your day, to ensure you set up your baby for sleep success, giving them the gift of sleep and a bit more confidence in parenting. You can follow this through 4 months of age until your baby will drop the 4th nap and start to naturally consolidate sleep {which is a biological thing that happens between 4 & 5 months old}
  • 7:00 am: Wake for the Day
    • Open the windows to allow sunlight in
    • Offer a feed upon waking, but make it clear it’s daytime through lights, engagement, and cheer!
    • Feed #1: Goal of 5oz if bottle feeding or offer both breasts.
  • 8:30 am – 9:15 am: Nap #1 – In the crib, unsupported, allowing baby to settle independently. {45 minutes}
  • 10:00 am – Feed #2 – Goal of 5oz if bottle feeding or offer both breasts.
  • 10:45 am – Nap #2 – Walk – Supported in the stroller where they can sleep. Supported sleep is typically longer, so the goal is 90 minutes, you get some fresh air and enjoy the exercise.
  • 12:15 pm – Wake from the walk, change, enjoy some sunlight looking out the window at the birds (the sun helps set that new body clock that’s forming for them at this age)
  • 1:00 pm – Feed #3 – Goal of 5oz if bottle feeding or offer both breasts.
  • 1:45 pm – Nap #3 – In the crib, unsupported, allowing baby to settle independently. {45 minutes}
  • 2:30 pm – Wake and Play
  • 3:45 pm – Feed #4 – Goal of 5oz if bottle feeding or offer both breasts.
  • 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm – Supported nap, cuddles, wearing, walking, rocking, you name it – just getting the sleep is most important
  • 6:30 pm – Bedtime routine kickoff
  • 6:40 pm – Final bedtime feeding – Goal of 5oz-6oz if bottle feeding or offer both breasts.
  • 7:00 pm – Bedtime, down to sleep and settle independently for rest.

By following this, you will set up your little one for a solid amount of rest on a full belly and with the right sleep going into the overnight. Don’t stress about being 100% perfect, {like I did and drove myself crazy} just know this is a loose layout, they are babies, not robots, you need to align with their needs while supporting biologically what they are looking for. Not every day is groundhog day, the doorbell will ring, they might have a blowout mid-nap. It happens, just keep going and remember that watching that awake window between sleep is a #1 thing to focus on, which is about 90 minutes – 2 hours {4 months} of age.

If you are struggling and would like to speak with me or a member of my team, let’s connect, we are here to help and support you in your new journey of parenting. We offer preliminary discovery calls, to see if hiring a baby sleep coach is the right choice for your family.