I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the second you figure your kid out, they go and change on you! I had finally fallen into a rhythm with Joshua and, wouldn’t you know it, he grew! Just the other day, I found myself putting away his newborn clothes to make room for his 3-6 month clothes. Where did my tiny baby go?
Joshua has stared babbling our ears off, watching us walk around the room, and crying when we stop paying attention to him for 3 seconds (drama king, much like his drama queen mother).
And just like there are new quirks and cues I have to learn about him, there’s a new sleep and eat schedule I have to figure out, too.
Two-month-olds eat, on average, every 4 hours and sleep 15.5-17 hours a day.
I tried a new schedule with Joshua that was much like our newborn schedule except I stretched it out to four hour periods, but I learned very quickly that he will not go to sleep on command like he was doing from birth to 1.5 months. Babies have their own little personalities, just like kids and adults, and no two 2-month-olds are alike. So, I will be including a couple of schedules for you to choose from depending on the habits of your baby, but I encourage you to try them out for a couple of days to get to know what works best for both you and your child.
Below is the schedule Joshua and I started with. This schedule is good for babies who take naps at the same time every day, respond well to a sleep-time environment (see #4 on my 13 Late Night Newborn Sleep Hacks post), and/or have determined parents who want to win the fight with their baby and have them nap at the exact same time each day. As I am a homemaker, I had no need to keep his naps on a schedule and decided not to add one more stress to my and Joshua’s life by forcing him to go to sleep when he wasn’t tired.
*The times I chose worked best for us. I figured out that Joshua tends to wake up around 7:30-7:40 am every morning, so I chose 7:30 as his wake-up time. I also am not a morning person, so anything before 7:30 was not going to work for me. Feel free to look at the schedule but move the times forward or back depending on your needs.
After figuring out that my son only napped for 25-45 minutes at a time and would tell me he was getting sleepy by rubbing his eyes and fussing for about 30 minutes prior to his nap, I decided to try a day of only scheduling his feeding and letting him tell me when it was time to nap. This was a much calmer and happier day for the both of us. He was way less cranky because he wasn’t being forced to nap when he wasn’t tired and he was sleeping more soundly during naps because I was setting the atmosphere by turning off lights and playing lullabies when I could tell he was tired.
Here is the schedule we are on now:
Help Your Two-Month-Old Nap More Soundly
Newborns sleep a lot longer and more frequently than they do when they get older. Gone are the days of hour to two hour long naps (although you may still get a few of those here and there). Here are some tips to help your 2-month-old sleep more soundly:
1.Keep track of his naps
Take note of his naps for a few days. Write down what time he went to sleep and what time he woke up. Calculate how long his naps are and for how long he is awake. This will help you know when to expect his naps and for how long to expect him to be asleep.
I learned that Joshua sleeps for 25 to 45 minutes and is awake for an hour to an hour and a half between naps. This helps me to know when I should get the environment ready for his nap by turning off lights and playing lullabies. This also helps me plan my day, leaving the chores that need more focus for during his nap times.
2. Be aware of her sleepy cues
During the few days that you are keeping track of her naps, also take notice of her sleepy cues. Joshua rubs his eyes and fusses for about 30 minutes before his nap. His eyes get heavy and he blinks more often and slower than usual. When this starts happening, I start turning lights off, rubbing his head, and singing to him to help him go to sleep faster.
3. Figure out what napping position and atmosphere works best for him
All babies are different. Some like sitting in a bouncer or swing to take naps while some like laying flat in their crib. For the first two weeks of Joshua being 2-months-old, he would rather take a nap in his bouncer. He would scream and kick if I tried to put him in his crib. Now, half way to 3 months, he sometimes doesn’t want to sleep in his bouncer and I have to put him in his crib. You have to be flexible and know that putting a baby to sleep could take up 30 to 45 minutes in and of itself. If your baby takes naps laying flat on his back, swaddle him to keep him from waking himself up with the Moro reflex (read #2 and #3 of my 13 Late Night Newborn Sleep Hacks). You can also swaddle in a swing or bouncer by using SwaddleMe swaddles (#9 of my 20 Newborn Must-Haves in 2020) and putting the harnesses through the hole in the back, but I don’t bother with a swaddle if Joshua is already content and falling asleep in his bouncer or swing.
Play around with different noises for your little one. Joshua likes a noise machine at night playing womb-sounds (#11 of my 20 Newborn Must-Haves in 2020), but sleeps better to lullabies during the day.
4. Let her sleep
If she is still sleeping during her feeding time, let her sleep. Joshua likes to fall asleep about 15 minutes before his 11:30 feeding. I just wait until he wakes up to feed him (unless he happens to sleep for longer than an hour — it happens sometimes). Ultimately, it’s your call, Mom! Sometimes I let him take super long naps and let the schedule fall to the way-side because he has had a particularly cranky day and I can’t take one more hour of crying. This could make him sleep less that night, but so far it hasn’t affected my son’s all-night sleeping. Again, it will just take time to get to know what works for you and your baby.
Also, if she opens her eyes during her nap, don’t immediately talk to her or turn on lights; she may go back to sleep. Sometimes I just shush Joshua or rub his head, or I just let him soothe himself back to sleep.
5. Give it time!
All of this is going to take time. Kids take time! Everyday they get a little older and change just enough that we have to relearn everything that we thought we knew. But that’s one of the best things about being a parent; realizing you made a human! How beautiful is it that God knit together a human inside your womb and gave him or her the ability to want and need and dream. When it gets tough and you can’t figure out how to get him or her to go to sleep or to stop crying, just hold on to the beauty of the moment. Just look at that tiny creature in your arms and thank God for taking the time and care to create this little bundle of joy and, at the moment, bundle of stress.
It will get better! I promise. It just takes time.
You’ve got this, Mom!
What helps your little one get to sleep best? I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment below.