I’ve got to be honest with you and tell you that from 4 to 7 months of age is about as simple as parenting ever gets...if you did your homework and implemented a routine early on. If not, you’ll be playing catch up, but the good news is that at this young of an age, training a baby to follow a routine for their health and metabolism, your milk supply, sleep and sanity only takes a few days and no longer than a week. But past this point, the longer you wait to put a schedule in place, the harder you will make it on the entire family…but mostly yourself.
A child within this age range should generally wake up and follow a routine that looks something like what I have written below…Of course you, as the mom and dad, should decide what time the day will begin. This may vary depending on work schedules, older siblings and school drop off, or just personal preferences. What follows is MY schedule with a child this age range, but after 14 (UPDATE:15!) children, I know what works best for OUR family.
8:00am- bottle/breastfeed with cereal.
8:30am- get outside for a run in the jogger
9:30am- read a book, play
10:00am- nap time!
12:00pm- bottle/breast and solid foods, usually veggies
12:30pm- play outside with siblings
1:15pm – play in a play yard, read a board book, or play on a mat with a big sister
1:45pm – quick bath
2:00pm – nap time!
4:00pm – bottle/breastfeed and veggie and fruit with cereal.
4:30pm – play outside with siblings, or go for a walk
5:30pm – while we eat dinner, baby sits in bouncy seat near table…by 10 months old the baby joins us at dinner time and the 4:00pm feeding is moved to 5:30 with the rest of us.
(Between 3-6 months of age there is still usually a nap at this time until 7:30… Which eventually becomes a catnap from 5-6 months of age until by about seven months this nap is dropped altogether…)
6:30pm – pack-n-play time while we tidy dinner, followed by a bath…sometimes an older sibling reads to or plays with them.
8:00pm – bedtime!
Now, if I am nursing, I usually add one more feeding between 10:30-11:00 pm. When breastfeeding, I like to keep a minimum of five feedings a day…and that’s a personal choice because I have either been too full after going 12 hours between feeds (you can also pump and store the feeding…my babies generally are not necessarily hungry at this time unless there is a growth spurt), or – and I am finding this even more as I age – my milk is not as thick or caloric enough without continuing with the extra feeding.
At around 19-20 months, the schedule takes another twist. But that’s fodder for another article. For now, enjoy your little infant…this is as easy as it gets in parenting folks. Don’t miss a minute of it!
Looking for similar information for your newborn to 3-month-old? Click here.
If you have any doubts, questions, concerns regarding the health of your newborn, please seek proper medical attention. I can only speak from my personal experience. I am not a doctor.