Establishing a Schedule and Sleep Training

by | May 14, 2024

establish a schedule, sleep training

Establishing a schedule and sleep training are two of the most highly engaged content pieces on social media when it comes to new moms.

 When you google “establishing a schedule” and “sleep training you’ll find that there are a lot of experts in this space. There is no lack of advice being thrown at new moms, and it’s coming from all different angles. 

At Baby Settler, we’re like your non-judgy nurse friend who can helps you sort through it all so you can make more confident decisions, faster.

How do you go about establishing a schedule and set your baby up to be able to sleep through the night?

Here’s some good news. 

It’s actually way easier than you think. And all it requires is logical thinking and some foundational knowledge that anyone can understand. 

The first step to setting your baby up for nighttime sleep.

If it’s important to you to work on establishing a schedule or if you think officially sleep training is the only way you’ll be able to get your newborn to sleep, this information is for you!

Implement the feed, wake, sleep cycle. This is best implemented in the first 3 months.

Whenever your baby wakes up from sleep, feed him. 

This is critical, because your baby will take the fullest feedings immediately following a sleep cycle. There will be times when your baby wakes up and it has only been 30 minutes since the last feeding. It doesn’t matter—feed him. 

Why? You don’t want to be feeding your baby at the end of a wake window. When you do, your baby will fall asleep and will have taken a snack feed instead of a full feeding.

Now, there are some nuances to this.

It’s important to ensure that your baby is able to take quality, efficient, effective feeds whether they are breastfeeding or bottle feeding if establishing a schedule is important to you. This feed, wake, sleep cycle can be interrupted if your baby isn’t an efficient, effective feeder.  

Unsure if your baby is taking good quality feedings? I highly recommend working with a feeding specialist like a lactation consultant or speech language pathologist who specialized in infant feeding.

Other variables can affect sleep too.

When breastfeeding, remember that your available supply fluctuates throughout the day. There may be times when your baby is ready to eat closer to a 2-hour interval due to your supply and the time of day. 

Sometimes your baby will be woken up from his slumber before he is ready to wake up. As a baby transitions through sleep cycles, sometimes he will seem to wake up but really isn’t ready. 

Here’s an example

Grandpa is holding your baby, who just fell asleep 15 minutes ago. Your baby starts to stir in Grandpa’s arm, and his eyes momentarily pop open. Grandpa starts talking to your baby, stimulating him and waking him up. But he wasn’t ready to wake up. 

What do you do? 

First, help your baby transition back to sleep by rocking, swaying, swaddling, shushing—whatever you have to do to get your baby back to sleep. Then explain the feed, wake, sleep cycle to Grandpa!

To recap, here’s the plan!

Now remember, you’re not doing anything wrong if you don’t follow this plan. But if your goal is establishing a schedule and you want to. try and avoid the seemingly unavoidable sleep training milestone, this is the plan.

Feed your baby as soon as he wakes up (on his own), but be sure he’s supported to get good pockets of sleep between feeds. 

This doesn’t mean you have a set period of time when he’s supposed to be sleeping. 

It means you are supporting his sleep with the ideal sleep environment and letting him wake on his own for feedings (after the first 2 weeks of life and back to birth weight).

Learn how to read YOUR baby’s cues and you’ll begin to see patterns and a routine emerge. 

All cues do not mean Hungry

I get so annoyed when I see other medical professionals or sleep consultants or really, anyone, claiming that every time a newborn cries, clenches their fist, or puts their hand to their mouth they must be hungry!

A newborn is going to do these things when they are uncomfortable, and also when they are hungry. They are going to want to suck on something when they are tired. 

The reason the newborn period feels hard is because it can be really hard to figure out your baby’s cues. 

There is no shortcut or fast-track to learning your baby’s cues. It takes time. 

But one way to get there faster is to follow the feed, wake, sleep cycle 

Following this rhythm (As well as some other key foundations) helps you establish a schedule that ensures you promote quality, efficient, effective feeds and support pockets of rest between each feed. In return you’ll be able to find a pattern and feel more confident as you figure out exactly what it is your baby needs at that moment. And you’ll likely be able to completely avoid “Sleep training”.  

Here’s the thing…

Having no routine

Not having any idea how much your baby is taking at the breast and/or if it’s a good quality feeding

Finding your baby is always tense and uncomfortable 

No pockets of sleep between feeds 

Any of these scenarios can leave you and your baby stuck in a cycle that’s exhausting, and physically and mentally overwhelming.

The Feed-Wake-Sleep Cycle is a Holistic Approach

This approach lets you navigate feeding, establish a schedule, and set your baby up to naturally sleep through the night, confidently. Without having to do formal sleep training.

You become the expert of your own baby and you are able to pivot and use your own knowledge to troubleshoot challenges and navigate a path forward to a happy, predictable baby that sleeps through the night. 

If you found this information helpful and you want to know more about Baby Settler and our methods, you’ve got a few choices!

You can order Hillary’s book on Amazon (Babies Made Simple). The book is a great place to start if you’re currently expecting or if you have a baby that is under 6 weeks old. It really lays the foundation. 

If you like more easily accessible on demand content, we have Videos and PDFs Guides in our On-Demand Babies Made Simple course. You can learn more by going to babysettler.com. We’re excited to share that we have all things early-momming in one searchable app coming in Summer 2024! 

Hillary also offers one-on-one support through her Baby Settler VIP program. You get exclusive access to Hillary via texting, voice memos, and video calls. She only works with a few clients at a time. If you’re interested in working with her, get on her waitlist

In Your Corner, Always!

Hillary- The Baby Settler

hillary sadler founder baby settler

Baby Settler participates in various affiliate marketing programs, which means we may get paid commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites.

Our editorial content is not influenced by advertisers or affiliate partnerships. We only recommend products and services we genuinely believe will add value to our readers.

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Thank you for supporting Baby Settler!

Meet Hillary

Hi! I’m Hillary, the Mama behind Baby Settler. These days you can find me with my four children and husband… probably outside, and helping Mama’s and families. I also have a lot of letters behind my name which translate, I’m also a Labor & Delivery nurse and Lactation Consultant.

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