If you’re a new mom there’s no doubt you’ve heard about the mythical “E.A.S.Y. schedule.” You know, the one where your baby Eats, has Active playtime, Sleeps for 2 hours, and You use their naptime to catch up on laundry, respond to emails and chat with your friends on Facebook? Yes, we’ve all heard about this so-called ideal daily routine that involves a peacefully sleeping baby and loads of “your time.” But, how many of us have actually been successful in implementing it and how many more of us are suffering needlessly trying our hardest to make it work and FAILING?
Many of the families we work with at The Baby Sleep Site report trying to get their baby on this E.A.S.Y./eat- play-sleep routine and being unsuccessful. I tried it, too, when my first child was a baby. It sounds perfect, right!? But, I believe there are some very inherent flaws with this idea:
- While the E.A.S.Y. routine might be OK for a newborn with very short awake times and frequent naps, it often spells D.I.S.A.S.T.E.R. for older babies who need to eat before and after every nap.
- Breastfed infants often need to eat more often than every 3 hours.
- Limiting milk/formula during the day equates to MORE feedings at night.
- Breastfeeding moms may suffer from low milk supply as a result of going too long between feedings.
- Young babies do not eat or sleep on a true “schedule.” It is normal and expected for every day to look different the first 6 months of your baby’s life.
While we do promote implementing a daily routine including a nap and bedtime routine with your baby early on here at The Baby Sleep Site, we like to help the families we work with set realistic goals for their baby’s sleeping/feeding patterns. Books such as Baby Whisperer and On Becoming BabyWise have been criticized for misguiding parents’ expectations and in some cases, setting them up to “fail.”
The truth is: The E.A.S.Y. schedule can hinder breastfeeding and can actually make your baby sleep worse! Babies who go to sleep on an empty tummy tend to take shorter naps and fight going to sleep because they are hungry. Limiting daytime feedings can also mean your baby will need to wake up more often at night to feed. It makes sense.
If you have been trying to implement the eat-play-sleep schedule and are finding it impossible to achieve, you are NOT alone! If your baby is waking prematurely from naps, waking every hour at night or too early in the morning, this E.A.S.Y. schedule might be to blame! It’s best to feed your baby on-demand or approximately 30 minutes before each nap, possibly after the nap, and approximately 30 minutes before bedtime. Full babies are sleepy babies. 😉
Need help creating a baby-friendly schedule? Use our free schedule generator app to create a customized schedule for your baby or contact our team of expert Sleep Consultants to help you find the right schedule for YOUR baby!