Before I had my son (14 years ago), I had the Instagram version of me as a mother running through my head (even though Instagram was still a decade away). I thought I would be chill, relaxed, and have my son follow my cues and hang with me - eat when he needed and of course sleep anywhere.
Let’s just say that this version didn’t unfold as I hoped it would. I wasn’t chill at all, in fact, I was a whirlwind of stress. I never knew when he wanted to eat, and then just when I thought he was hungry, he would sleep. He didn’t know what to do, and I certainly didn’t either.
I tried on demand feeding, but he had a lot of demands — and not all of them were hunger. It was a mess.
My first Mommy-friend put me (and him) on a schedule. I of course bristled at this notion, but nothing was working anyway … so we followed the schedule. We ate at certain times, walked so he would nap at certain times, and woke him from his last nap to protect a bedtime that I came to treasure.
Ironically this schedule, this predictability, made me into the mother I envisioned. I started to relax. I started to be more flexible about a lot of things - just not about feedings and naps.
I grew more confident, evolved the schedule, and made it through with him, and then with his two sisters.
So if nothing is working …at … all — then try it. Start with feedings every 3 hours and a nap (even if you have to hold, bounce or walk) in between. Then as your baby gets older, move to feedings every 4 hours and some crib naps too. And if you need help with any of this, reach out. We can help.