When Can I Put My Baby on a Schedule?

Many people wonder when they can put their baby on a schedule. Today’s sleep quick tip is that babies will vary, but the average age that I recommend to start trying a sleep schedule is around 6 months old. Depending on how consistent they are, how sensitive they are to becoming overtired and how over-tiredness affects their napping will drive when a schedule is comfortably achievable. Of course, many people try schedules sooner and some will succeed, but if pushing them to be awake too long makes them nap worse, you aren’t helping you or him get enough sleep. The main obstacle in short-napping in babies under 9-10 months old is over-tiredness. When they are over-tired, they have more trouble settling down to sleep. This is usually done by keeping them up too long between naps. Strange, but true!

Would you like to learn more about baby schedules?

If you’re looking for ways to get your baby or toddler into a healthy sleeping routine during the day, I encourage you to explore Mastering Naps and Schedules, a comprehensive guide to napping routines, nap transitions, and all the other important “how-tos” of good baby sleep. With over 40 sample sleep schedules and planning worksheets, Mastering Naps and Schedules is a hands-on tool ideal for any parenting style. For those persistent nighttime struggles, check out The 3 Step System to Help Your Baby Sleep. Using the same unique approach and practical tools for success, this e-book helps you and your baby sleep through the night. For those looking for a more customized solution for your unique situation with support along the way, please consider one-on-one baby and toddler sleep consultations.

When did you put your baby on a schedule?


  1. Sarah says

    I put my daughter on a schedule around 8-9 months. I found that it was the only way to get her to sleep regularly! Before that I waited for sleepy signs which she never demonstrated, so a schedule worked out much better for us. It took lots of trial and error before we found one that worked, but it was worth it. We still have to stick to her schedule at 22 months or she gets messed up.

  2. says

    @Sarah Thank you for your comment! My 1st son also *had* to stay on schedule, but became a bit more flexible as he got a little older. All in all, though, he’s still sensitive to his sleep and we must keep him rested.

    Nicoles last blog post..6 Month Old Baby Schedule