Monday, November 17, 2008

Three Hour Schedule or Routine with Baby Samuel and my other 3 children.

Anyone who has visited here long knows I like to be organized. So I'm sure no one is surprised that after being home from the hospital for a week I have put ink to paper and formed a new schedule for my little family.

It's necessary for my sanity, Will to have school, and Sam to get fed. I realize some of my readers may find putting a newborn on a schedule shocking or controversial. I've done this with all of my children and find it helps them to have regular feeding and sleep cycles and gives me a consistent milk supply.

Without further ado, here is my new schedule or routine.

You'll notice that Sam is on a 3 hour routine and I'm fitting him into what we already do. I've had to move a few things around but not much. In a couple of weeks Joel will bottle feed Sam's first daily feeding in order to give me a little more sleep.

In a couple of months I'll transition Sam to a 4 hour schedule. Hopefully he'll be sleeping through the night by then!

Now to answer a few questions from the comments on the Schedule/Routine I posted before going into the hospital.

Amy asked: "do you have separate Bible time with Ellie before bed or all 3 kids together?" Until about a month ago, Joel read a book of Ellie's choosing and I put her to bed. Then we had evening Bible reading. But at 2+ years she's sitting still longer and paying attention better so we've begun including her with the boys.

We are currently reading one section (NOT chapter!) of Acts a night. Joel will ask each of the boys a question after he reads. This helps keep them focused on the reading and helps them remember the passage. Ellie often demands her own question, which she usually answers with "Jesus" or "God." It's a little chaotic with all three together but at this stage we're more interested in consistently exposing them to Scripture than for them to be theologians.

Melissa asked: when did you have your quiet time? I keep wanting to get up before Silas but that doesn't work because he gets up at different times even with the same bed time - 8:00. I have two responses to this. First, ALL of my children nap/rest from 1:00-2:00 pm. Non-negotiable. This is when I usually have my quiet time. I also need to sit down and rest by that time so it accomplishes two things at once.

Secondly, when my kids are still in a crib I get them out at the same time every day. This requires training them and me. It may mean a few days of them crying in their crib until I'm ready for us to start our day (my pediatrician tells me it's ok for children to cry). They learn to play independently while they wait on me to come.

Let me say my home and the people in it are not perfect. We don't follow the schedule to the minute every day. It's really more of a general guide to keep us on track. As I watched my home spiral into chaos last week I remembered why we live by a routine/schedule. Without it my children pick at each other, whine, cry and find trouble; which results in my behavior not being much better than theirs. Peace has a fighting chance of existing when we have a plan for each day.

Whether live by a schedule/routine or fly by the seat of your pants, the key is to find what works for your family and use it. I hope you have enjoyed seeing what works for my family.

4 comments:

Amy said...

Praying for you today...thanks for sharing your routine! It always helps to have a plan--and naptime to look forward to! :)

Flamingo Mama said...

you inspire me;)

mine would read...sleep to the last possible minute....bedtime 12:30am.

sigh.

perhaps that's why I sleep to the last possible minute;(

Stephanie's Mommy Brain said...

LOL! Don't be too impressed. This is only my plan and goal. Not necessarily my reality!! Today is the first day Joel is back at the office. My first day all alone with all 4 kids all day. Praise God it is sunny and dry and the boys are playing outside!

The day has gone like this. Fed Sam at 11 pm last night - formula so he'd sleep longer. Fed him at 1:30 - drat! Didn't sleep longer! Fed him around 3:30 (only vaguely remember this). Fed him about 5:30 AM. Fed him at 7:30 AM. Drank a cup of tea and read email/blogs. Children finished breakfast and looked for trouble. Boys finally went outside. Ellie is stuck on me today. 10:30 fed Sam. Afterwards I retrieved a REAL spear from the backyard where Will was playing with it (Joel got it from Zimbabwe and the boys are NOT allowed to play with it). Washed one sink full of dishes. Fill sink again with dishes to soak. Straightened living room. Prepared lunch for kids. And now I'm typing as I'm eating my lunch.

Notice that no shower or breakfast was done for me. Nap will begin as soon as lunch is over. The delimma - sleep? shower? blog? quiet time?

Lara O. said...

I am also so impressed with your organization! All the things I try to do, you seem to do better--even if your day doesn't go perfectly all the time. Trying to get my kids on a routine is like pulling teeth most of the time. I guess I'll have to try harder. (sigh)

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