I’m going back to work after a 12 week maternity leave. Can you recommend a sleep schedule for our daughter?
Also, our son gave up napping too early. Is it possible to get him back on naps? If he naps too long he has trouble at night. What length do you recommend? How do you reconcile sleep schedules between a 3-month-old and a 3-year-old?
Although it is difficult to ascertain the exact sleep needs for your 3-month-old (without evaluating things in more detail), there are general guidelines to help her sleep. Remember that for newborns, the most important theme to uphold is consistent daytime sleep, as it really sets the stage for a good night’s sleep and healthy habits as your baby grows older.
Here is a routine that may work for you:
7:00 a.m. Wake and have a feeding
9:00 a.m. Nap
9:45 a.m. Wake and play
10:45 a.m. Have a feeding
12:00 p.m. Nap
2:30 p.m. Wake and have a feeding
4:15 p.m. Nap
5:00 p.m. Wake and have a feeding
6:15 p.m. Offer a top-up feeding before bedtime
7:00 p.m. Now it’s officially night time!!
10:15 p.m. Wake and have a feeding, but put back to sleep
In regards to your son’s napping, most children give up naps around the 3-year mark. If you see that he is fighting bedtime or waking up at night, then that is a tell-tale sign that his naps are ready to go! But because he gave up sleeping during the day on his own, then that means his body was ready to do so. I suggest just going with his body’s rhythms and embracing his new sleep needs.
And yes–tackling a baby and toddler’s sleep simultaneously can often be draining and challenging. But if you always try to stay on top of both of them, making sure they are both getting their needs met–nothing will spiral too much out of control.