Having a schedule for your baby is so important! We talk more about the awesome reasons to have a schedule for your baby here (Why Having a Baby Schedule is Important). But what if you’re totally convinced that you need a daily schedule for your baby and have no idea what it should look like??
Question Answered! Here 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.
Want a place to track your baby’s daily schedule?? I’m here to help! I created a Daily Baby Schedule Template for you to write down all of your baby’s feedings, naps, and activities. Having a place to easily track your baby’s day is a HUGE help when you’re trying to figure out your baby’s daily schedule, nap schedule, and feeding schedule.
My Daily Baby Schedule is super flexible and easy to use because all you have to do is plug in the what activity your baby is doing at what time and for how long and you’re done! Be sure to download your copy of my free Daily Baby Schedule Template!
I’m not going to use specific times in this daily schedule but just specify activities so you can accurately use this as a template for your daily schedule. The time of the schedule also doesn’t matter because it will change from day to day depending on when your baby wakes up and starts their first initial activity of the day. We want to focus on each activity and length in between each one. Not exactly focusing on the exact clock time of the activity.
Important Schedule Tip: You want to be feeding your baby around every 3 hours and having no more than 2-2.5 hours in between each nap. Following the length of time between each activity is what will help you create your schedule- not the clock time.
(For those of you are interested in times, I will include times in parenthesis in case you wonder how the schedule timeline is). I suggest writing down everything your baby did during the day, documenting when they woke, when they ate, how much they ate, how long they are sleeping and so on.
Sample Daily Schedule:
- Wake: Baby wakes in the morning. If your baby is still waking for an early morning feeding and going back to sleep, that’s fine! Just add that to your schedule first. (Wakes at 7:00 – 7: 30 am.)
- Feeding: Baby should eat a full feeding. You can read more on full feedings here. (Starts feeding between 7:45 – 8:00 am.)
- Playtime: Play for a small amount of time or read a morning book until baby shows tired cues (rubbing eyes, yawning). This is usually no more than 45 minutes in my experience. Use this time to set a schedule for what you would like to do every morning with your little one. Make sure its time you have together, good body and eye contact so you can continue to bond. (Activity time from 8:30 – 9:00 am.)
- Nap: Put baby down for a nap. Take note of how long baby naps so you can see if there is a pattern for the next couple of days. This will help you with your nap schedules. (We talk more about nap schedules here). This nap is also the second to be dropped when your baby is about 10-12 months old. When this nap is dropped the next nap will get longer. Another side note for nap times- I never let Baby L be up for more than 2-2.5 hours. I find this is the optimum time between naps for her to have time to play and still be tired enough to nap but not overtired. (Start nap routine at 9:15 am.)
- Wake/Feeding: Depending on your baby’s age, this is the feeding that usually solids are introduced. It serves as their “brunch” but does not substitute milk. (Your baby will sleep between 45 minutes to an hour so wake time will be around 10:00 – 10:20 am and each feeding is about 3 hours apart.)
- Playtime: Feel free to insert here what you would like your baby to be doing. Maybe it’s time on a play mat or a swing. Or maybe its tummy time or time you play together. Maybe it’s a combination of everything. You can also mix things up and do one day a week a different activity. Be creative! Make sure to check for hunger cues like you did in the morning. (This playtime is usually a little longer than the first activity of the morning. I usually start this playtime activity around 10:30 – 10:45 am.)
- Nap: Put baby back down for a nap. Be sure to continue to take note of how long she sleeps. (I start the nap routine roughly 2 hours after the last nap routine, which is around 11:45 am – 12:00 pm.)
- Wake/Feeding: If your baby is old enough for solids this feeding is usually still all milk and they do not eat solids at this meal time. (I start feeding my baby around 12:45 – 1:00 pm.)
- Playtime: Another opportunity to include some sort of activity. Maybe this is the time you want to take your baby out for a walk or playtime in the park. Or maybe you want to run errands. Don’t feel boxed into staying home to follow the schedule by the minute. Do something you and baby can enjoy together! (Playtime is 1:30 – 2:30 pm.)
- Nap Time: Put baby back down for a nap. Be sure to continue to take note of how long she sleeps. (I start my nap routine again at 2:45 – 3:00 pm.)
- Wake/Feeding: If your baby is on solids then this meal is considered “dinner”. Or if your baby is on a combo of milk and solids then you can feed him milk first then use the activity time as the mealtime sitting int he high chair at the table. (This time can be anywhere around 4:00 – 4:30 pm.)
- Playtime: Usually the baby’s mealtime is incorporated into this activity. Maybe you want to sit at the table and eat dinner together as a family activity. It’s great to introduce baby to table time as a family. Simply pull up your baby’s high chair or seat to the table! (This is usually around 5:00-5:30 pm.)
- Nap: Depending on how old your baby is, this nap may be a short cat nap or this usually one of the firsts to drop. When this nap is shorter or dropped, your baby’s bedtime will most likely be a little earlier. Knowing your baby’s cues comes in handy here! (If your baby is still taking this nap then it will be a short cat nap starting somewhere around 6:00 pm.)
- Night Time Routine: Having a night time routine that you do every night before your baby goes to bed is very beneficial. Doing the same thing every night before your baby goes to sleep helps your baby understand that it is time for nighttime sleep, which is different than naptime sleep. Nighttime sleep will begin to stretch longer and longer as your baby grows. (If your baby is still taking that last cat nap then they will be up around 6:45 pm and have a little activity.
You can begin the bedtime routine during this activity such as a bath or reading books together. If your baby is still taking the last nap then the naptime routine will start at around 8:00 pm. if your baby is transitioning and dropping that last nap then the bedtime routine will begin at 7:30 pm.)
- Feeding: This is the “last” feeding of the day. If your baby is still waking for a midnight “dream feed”, that’s fine! Usually, this is considered the last feeding of the day that the baby is fully awake until the next day where your schedule starts all over again.
- Down for the night! (I followed this schedule from the first month since my daughter was born and she was sleeping 9-11 hours through the night by 4 months old!)
Be mindful that your baby’s times for this schedule will change based on their age!
As I mentioned above, be aware that your baby may not follow an exact “time” each day in their schedule. Your schedule will be different some days based on what time your baby woke up in the morning. Don’t get too hung up on the time factor of the schedule- the goal is to follow the full feeding and nap schedule, which should be eating around every 3 hours and being awake for 2-2,5 hours in between naps. If you are following that pattern on a daily schedule then your baby will be good to go!
As you can see above, your overall schedule will consist of 2 different schedules- a feeding and nap schedule. To find information on How To Know Your Baby’s Feeding Schedule, click here. If you need information on How To Start Your Baby on a Nap Schedule, click here.
Don’t forget to download your copy of my free Daily Baby Schedule Template so you can track your baby’s feedings, naps, and activities for yourself! Track all of your baby’s activities on one sheet- simply print out a new one each day or print out one and use it as a dry erase sheet by laminating it or putting it inside of a frame!
I created the Baby Daily Schedule so you can create your own schedule. I know how difficult it is to try to follow someone else’s schedule and after trying to follow someone else’s schedule for a few weeks, it just wasn’t working for me. So started from scratch and simply wrote down everything my baby did each day for a week. Then I tracked the following 2 weeks and saw an amazing pattern that ultimately became my baby’s schedule!
It was so easy to do once I started using my own daily schedule tracker and followed what my baby was already naturally doing. I hope I can help you start a schedule too! It’s really easy- just download and print the Daily Baby Schedule Template and write down each activity that your baby does, such as feedings, naps, and playtimes. You’ll start to see an amazing schedule form before your eyes! Be sure to download the Daily Baby Schedule!
Get Your Free Daily Baby Schedule Template Now!
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.
Feel free to move things around that you feel are not working or implement more things that you see do work. Also, know that having a schedule will not magically “fix” or “change” your baby. Read your baby’s cues and learn with them as they grow!
You can do it!
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