Babywise schedule month 3: for baby around 3 months of age. On this page you’ll find schedules, information on naps, nighttime sleep, and more!
Cycle length: 2.5/3 hours
# of cycles: 5
Wake time: 1.5 hrs
Nap time: baby sleeps on schedule in crib, 4 naps
MOTN: 1 feeding
At 3 months everything starts to fall into place. Naps are when they should be and where they should be (crib). Eating is down to 5 times per day, and you are getting great awake time with your baby at this age!
Naps get cut a little short at this age sometimes, but the good news is once they get through the short nap phase (in a few weeks), they start to take good lengthy naps!
This is the month to really tackle your routines as well. Make sure that you are doing a very clear and relatively short bedtime routine and nap routines.
Start letting her try to put herself to sleep at this stage in short increments. They can start to self soothe at this age, so giving them a feel for it is ok.
Our bedtime routine had a few tweaks from last month:
Change into nighttime diaper and clothes, close curtains, feed, swaddle (we were using an arms up swaddle), turn sound on, and bounce to sleep.
Nap time routine:
Place in sleep sack, close curtains, turn sound on. At this point I started laying Caroline on her belly for naps only (so I could watch her).
Caroline had great head control from day 1, so I felt comfortable with this, but please do not do this if you are not comfortable with it.
I would lay her down awake and bounce the mattress until she fell asleep. This way she was practicing not being held and put to sleep, but I was still aiding her in the process.
She would fall asleep in about 1-5 minutes this way because she knew the routine so well- even though it was so simple.
The dogs even knew the routine at this point and would leave the room when I closed the curtains (they knew I’d soon be asking them to anyways).
I think they key here is to help them but have them start to partake in putting themselves to sleep as well.
You are preparing your baby for sleep training during this month. So the more you can prepare them, the less of a shock it will be next month!
A typical schedule might look like this:
Feed at 7am, 10:00am, 1:30pm, 4:30pm, 7pm
You’ll notice a couple of things with this schedule…
1. I dropped the cluster feeding as she no longer needed it.
Many would argue that until she is sleeping through the night she still needs it. You know your baby though… my baby was simply waking out of habit.
She continued to wake up once per night and was not really asking for food. I had simply gotten lazy (its hard work dropping motn feeds)…and I would feed her to get her to sleep quickly.
2. The bedtime is EARLY!
Now that she can make longer stretches in the night, it is actually to your advantage to put your baby to bed before 8pm. This may seem counterintuitive, however, it helps them to go to sleep easier and stay asleep longer!
We introduced the bouncer at this age! Caroline had a LOT of energy to burn starting this month and loved to be moving. Play the flying game, let her try out her standing legs, practice supported sitting, tummy time, etc.
Babies start to grab toys at this age, so placing new and interesting toys near their grasp is also a good idea. A jungle gym/play mat will be extra useful during this time!
Naps at this age should finally be in a rhythm… on time and in the crib. Now, that being said, you can run into the 30/45 cat naps all day long.
If they wake up early, wait 5 minutes before going in to get them. I have seen Caroline put herself back to sleep after loud cries!
If they don’t go back to sleep after five minutes, go in and try to help…bounce the mattress, but don’t pick the baby up and try not to make eye contact. If you are unsuccessful after 5 minutes of trying just accept that naptime is over.
Hang in there… they will grow out of it in a few weeks. In the meantime, instead of doing eat, wake/play, sleep cycles, you can do eat, wake/play, sleep, wake/play cycles. Focus on keeping those feeding times the same in order to stay on track!
Toward the middle or end of this month, you may notice that baby is fighting the last cat nap. Try removing the nap. It is difficult for them at first but give it a few days and see what happens.
We were able to eliminate the nap, and simply move the last feeding from 7 to 6:30pm. She slept just as well and we got more awake time with her in the evenings.
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MOTN wakes may be down or back down to 1 or 0! Starting at this age, babies should be put to bed before 8pm! There is a cortisol surge that happens around that time giving them their “second wind”.
Adults get this too, which is why it can be hard for us to fall asleep, although I believe it happens later in adult. This surge makes it extra difficult to get them to fall asleep.
If we get them to sleep before the surge, they will go down easier and actually stay asleep longer.
It is nerve-wracking attempting this for the first few times because you feel if you put them to bed earlier, they will wake earlier. Trust me when I say that this will likely not be the case.
You will most likely find everything easier and you get to sleep longer at night!
What to do if baby wakes at night:
1. Start by rocking/shushing/holding/etc –
Try to get baby back to sleep.
- If you are able to get them back to sleep, repeat this process 2 more times if they wake again
- If you are unable to get them back to sleep move on to step 2
2. Check basic things such as if baby is cold/hot/needs to be reswaddled/etc –
…and try to get baby back to sleep if you suspect and fix one of those issues
3. Change diaper-
Try to get baby back to sleep after the diaper change
4. Feed baby!
If you go through all of the above steps, and your baby is still crying, then go ahead and feed them. I always went through this checklist so that baby didn’t get reliant on eating in order to sleep. If you take the time to do this hard work now, your baby will sleep longer at night very quickly!
During month 3 start to wean your baby from this feed. Feed them less and less every night.
My personal experience-
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The big struggle this month was the 30 min naps. She outgrew them by the end of the month, but it forced us to do eat, wake/play, sleep, wake/play cycles and she wasn’t as rested as she needed to be.
Just remember to hang in there and she will eventually learn to transition from the first 30 min sleep cycle into her deep sleep. The amazing part about this month was how quickly she would fall asleep for her naps. Literally most days she would go down for most naps within 1 to 2 minutes of me just lightly bouncing the crib mattress.
So amazing! We had visitors this month and I was so proud to say that I was going to put Caroline down for a nap, and then able to return in a couple of minutes. Our visitors were impressed!