Thinking about putting your baby on a schedule? Find out the 7 reasons why having a schedule for your baby is beneficial to you and to your baby!
The first time someone told me to put my baby on a schedule, I just rolled my eyes and nodded my head. I was pregnant and it was honestly the last thing on my mind.
9 months later, I immediately regretted not paying closer attention because I quickly found out how important having a schedule for my baby was!
Why does my baby need a schedule?
Why is a schedule so important?
It’s impossible to get my baby on a schedule, why try?
I have heard all of these questions time and time again and trust me, I hear the validity in all of them!
Having a schedule for your baby comforts them by giving you baby something they can expect daily- this, in turn, will benefit both you and your baby greatly!
Your baby’s overall daily schedule will consist of 2 schedules within a daily schedule:
- a feeding schedule, and
- a nap schedule.
The feeding and nap schedule will create your overall daily schedule. (I know it sounds like a lot of information but it’s really simple- I promise!)
Take a second to think about your normal day… I bet it has some sort of schedule. It may or may not be a super detailed schedule but in some way, shape, or form you follow a schedule.
Wake up, go to the bathroom, get dressed, have breakfast, etc.
Babies are the same way! Only they can’t create their own schedule because they can’t do anything for themselves. This is where parents come in…
7 Reasons Why a Schedule For Your Baby is so Important!
1. Babies Thrive on Schedules
Did you know that babies actually love schedules? I’m not a doctor or therapist or scientist so I cannot tell you the actual facts behind this, but from experience, the babies that I have helped get on a schedule have drastically, positively changed.
When a baby is fed, bathed, plays, naps, and sleeps around the same time every day it gives them a pattern. This pattern will help you teach them fundamentals- such as eating, sitting up, self-soothing, etc.
When your baby knows what’s going to happen next, it becomes a part of them and then begins to flow naturally as they grow.
When I first started taking my daughter with me on errands she would be up the whole time and get fussy because she was overly tired. Then I started nailing down her schedule.
When I started planning my day with her schedule in mind, she completely stopped all fussiness because she wasn’t tired and uncomfortable anymore!
2. Schedules Can Help You Know Your Baby
Having your little one on a schedule can help you know them better. Because you can already anticipate what your baby will need from you doing or what he will be doing, can better guide and help him.
I started a schedule with my daughter when she was about 2 months. I began to know my daughter on a whole new level because I started to notice her moods at certain times.
If she was fussy at 2:00pm then I knew she wasn’t tired because this is the time that she usually plays, so it had to be something else.
I started to notice she was fussy and crying at certain times throughout the day and that’s when I was able to predict that she might have gas issues/colic.
If it wasn’t for her schedule, I would have just thought she was hungry or tired.
You begin to know your baby because your baby knows their schedule.
3. Schedules Help You Learn Your Baby’s Cues
When you know what your baby is about to do next (such as nap), you begin to quickly learn their cues.
When a baby is tired they can start to rub their eyes or rub their nose/face. Sometimes this can be confused with hunger because if you don’t know your baby you can maybe think they are touching their mouth for food.
By knowing your baby’s cues (hunger cues, sleepy cues) you can better understand them. This is their early way of communicating with you!
Truth is, a lot of parents miss out on these early communication cues. When your baby is on a daily schedule, it can help you learn your baby’s cues and help them communicate with you better.
4. Schedules Can Help You Teach Baby New Things
Having a schedule can help you teach your baby new things by allowing you to introduce something new to your baby at a certain time each day.
Let’s say you want to start your baby with tummy time and then eventually help her start sitting up. Use your scheduled play time to start baby exercises that you can do together.
After implementing the activity for a couple of days in a row, your baby will begin to learn those patterns, therefore remembering what you have done the day before.
Obviously, they can’t “remember remember”, but they can little by little learn the things you are teaching them.
This came in handy for me when I was teaching Baby L sign language. I knew I wanted to give her a way to further communicate with me so when she was 9 months old, every day at a certain time I would teach her one sign.
After 2 weeks she did the milk sign I was teaching her! AND it was a couple of minutes before her feeding time. Talk about a mommy win 🙂
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5. Schedules Can Help Baby Sleep Through the Night
Having your baby on a daily schedule can definitely help your baby sleep through the night sooner and smoother. (Sound amazing right??)
It sounds odd but when Baby L doesn’t have all of her scheduled naps during the day she doesn’t sleep well that night. In my mind, I would think because she’s so tired she’s going to sleep harder but that’s not the case with babies.
Babies need a certain amount of sleep to be regulated. When they miss a nap or have an irregular feeding it can mess with the schedule they are used to and throw them out of whack.
Having a consistent schedule throughout the day can help your baby feel rested, full and satisfied so they can go to bed easier.
Having a bedtime routine also helps with this too!
6. Schedules Can Help Make Baby Outings Easier
I remember being terrified of taking my daughter out in public. Call me a compulsive, new mom or whatever you like– but man was I worried.
I was afraid she was going to cry too loud and I wouldn’t know what she wanted so I would have to use trial and error. Having a schedule completely trumped these fears!
When you have a schedule for your baby you can already anticipate what your baby is going to do or what they are expecting you to do for them.
Maybe you have an appointment at 1:30pm and you know your baby eats at 12 and starts his nap at 1. You can plan so much better because you know what your baby is going to need.
You don’t have to just rush to the appointment and hope your baby sleeps. You can have peace of mind knowing that you have it under control!
7. Schedules Give You Sanity
When you have peace of mind knowing you have it under control, you find your sanity!
Sometimes the unpredictably of having a baby can be super stressful and overwhelming. Always being worried about what your baby needs and what you have to do can so debilitating.
Having a daily schedule can give you the reassurance because you know when your baby will be eating, sleeping, and playing so you know how to plan your day.
Baby goes down at 1, maybe 1:15 the latest- now I can get dishes done, fold the laundry and find time to feed myself. If I was stuck worrying when my baby was going to go to sleep for me to get things done I would be a mess! (Which I was before I got the schedule going!)
What if you’re totally convinced that you need a schedule for your baby and have no idea what it should look like??
Question Answered! Read my post “What My Baby’s Daily Schedule Looks Like” here!
It is a sample daily schedule for your baby that I used for Baby L from birth. I adjusted the activities and times as she grew and took away some naps and feedings as she got older.
Be sure to get your FREE copy of the Mommy & Me All-In-One Planner!
The planner & tracker includes everything you need to help you start your baby’s schedules including a Baby Journal, Weekly Feeding Tracker, and Daily Baby Schedule Template!
Trust me, it will take the stress out of starting a schedule for your baby!
Be sure to get the Free Planner Now!
And there you have it! These are just some of the really great reasons to have your baby on a schedule.
Having a schedule for your baby comforts them by giving them something they can expect daily. This, in turn, will benefit both you and your baby greatly!
Remember that everything takes a little trial and error and that most things will take a while to adapt to. So definitely keep that in mind as you are beginning your schedule.
Don’t be like me and just roll your eyes at the mention of a baby schedule. Learn from my mistake and see how a baby schedule can change you and your baby’s life!
As always, feel free to drop me a comment or email me if you have any questions! Do you have your little one on some sort of schedule? How have you seen any benefits? Join the conversation below!
You can do this, mamma!
P.S. If you are convinced that your baby needs a schedule but have no idea how to start- do not fret!
Remember, your overall baby schedule will consist of 2 different schedules- a feeding and nap schedule.