Around baby's second month, another merge happens in their nap routine, making it necessary to adjust their feed-wake-sleep routine yet again. We're here to help with a sample baby sleep schedule for babies 7-10 weeks old.

Between weeks seven and ten, most Babywise babies drop their middle-of-the-night feeding and begin sleeping 8 hours at night. Eight cycles are now reduced to seven. Your baby, however, will not be reducing his daily caloric intake, just rearranging when he takes those calories. He will consume more milk during his daytime feedings, especially at the first morning feeding.

If you are wondering how many hours of nighttime sleep your baby is capable of handling before he needs to be fed again, here is the rule of thumb: By five weeks of age, most babies can extend their nighttime sleep by 1 hour for each week. The average healthy five-week-old can handle a 5-hour stretch at night. A seven-week-old can handle a 7-hour stretch at night.

Adjustment to Baby’s Routine after Merge Two

Once baby merges the “middle of the night” feeding, Mom will need to make some adjustments to the daytime routine. Before baby was sleeping through the night, Mom fed every 3 hours, which fit perfectly in a 24-hour routine. However, now that baby is sleeping through the night, it appears that the math does not work quite as well with the seven feedings.

Here are the new figures to work through: 24 hours minus 8 hours of sleep, leaves 16 hours to work in seven feedings during the day. If feedings are divided equally, it would put them at every hours, so it appears you are moving backward. What mom wants to do that?

However, there are times when mom must feed less than hours. Let’s digress for a moment and consider these examples:

  • Due to busy schedules, many nursing mothers experience a lower milk supply, quantitatively and qualitatively, during the late afternoon feeding (4:00-6:00 p.m.). As a result, she may need to offer the early-evening feeding within 2 hours of the previous feeding.
  • Growth spurts will also necessitate sooner-than-normal feedings.
  • When the late evening feeding falls between 8:30 p.m. and midnight, some Moms feed their babies at 8:30 p.m. and then again at 10:30 p.m. The decision to feed within 2 hours is a practical one—it allows Mom to go to bed earlier but does not disturb her baby’s nighttime sleep.

Now, let’s get back to the time challenges associated with Merge Two. Mom has 16 hours to work with, and she has seven feedings to get in. Here is what we suggest:

First: Decide the time for the first morning feeding. Do you keep the original morning feeding time to start the day or do you establish a new one? No problem either way, but a decision has to be made. If you start the morning feed later than what was normal, you could be pushing the late-evening feeding to midnight. Do you really want to do that?

Second: Regardless of what you decide, schedule seven feedings, from the first morning feeding to the late evening feeding.

Third: Remember the first-last principle noted previously. When reworking Baby’s routine, Mom must fit the other five feed- wake-sleep cycles between the first morning feeding and the late evening feeding. However, those five cycles do not all have to be of equal length (and probably will not be); some will be longer and some shorter. Every mom must determine what works best for her baby and herself.

Sample Nap Schedule After Merge Two 
(Weeks 7-10)

Activities

1. Early Morning: 6:30-7:00 a.m.

  1. Feeding
  2. Waketime
  3. Down for a nap

2. Mid-morning: 9:30 a.m.

  1. Feeding
  2. Waketime
  3. Down for a nap

3. Noontime: 12:30 p.m.

  1. Feeding
  2. Waketime
  3. Down for a nap

4. Mid-afternoon: 3:30 p.m.

  1. Feeding
  2. Waketime
  3. Down for a nap

5. Late Afternoon: 5:30-6:00 p.m.

  1. Feeding
  2. Waketime
  3. Down for a nap

6. Early Evening: 8:00-8:30 p.m.

  1. Feeding
  2. Waketime
  3. Down for a nap

7. Early Evening: 10:30-11:00 p.m.

  1. Feeding and diaper change; down for the night.

For more help getting your Baby on a Babywise sleep schedule, you can read more articles on Baby Sleep here on Babywise.life.

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Excerpted with permission from On Becoming Babywise by Gary Ezzo, M.A. and Robert Bucknam, M.D., copyright Parent-Wise Solutions, Inc. You can learn more and purchase the book here.


Sleep Schedules


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