I started using the Moms On Call method at 7.5 weeks and Harper went from averaging 6-8 hour stretches to 12! Yes, you read that right. TWELVE. I had a friend who was using the method and her daughter was only two weeks older than Harper and sleeping so much more, so I figured it was worth a shot. I have never looked back and now I recommend it to every single mom or expecting mom.
Before I get into the specifics, I must point out that I know every baby is different and what works for us might not work for you. I also should mention that when we started this schedule, I was no longer breastfeeding. I wasn’t making enough for her and her feedings would last over an hour and feeding on an “every two hours” schedule so I was going insane, but that’s for a whole other blog post.
This is the modified schedule that I discovered worked best for us/Harper.
7AM- WAKE/ MORNING FEED. Most days I had to wake her up. This was my favorite time of day because she wakes up smiling and its so sweet. I fed her 6oz of formula until she was 12 weeks and then started feeding her 7-7.5oz (Recommended 5-7oz)
7:30AM- PLAY. I usually laid her on her play mat, talked to her about our plans for the day and watched her happily wiggle about.
8:30AM- NAP. I put her back down in her crib in the same environment she slept in at night (swaddle/sleep sack/merlin suit, dark room and shusher noise). This nap is meant to be at close to 1.5 hours as possible and Harper usually made it between 45 min-1.25 hours.
10AM- BREAKFAST FEED. (Recommended 5-7oz) I fed her 6-6.5oz at this feed.
10:30AM- PLAY. This was usually the time I would take to run an errands or two because she was well rested, full and happy. If we were home, we would read books, practice tummy time or I would put her in her bounce seat while I showered/did my makeup.
11:30AM- NAP. Same set up as 8:30am nap except this nap usually lasted between 40-55 minutes. I didn’t force her to finish this nap or the next one since she slept a full 12-12.5 hours at night and had a strong morning nap. When she woke up, we would have “low key awake time” where we would play in her room with the curtain drawn just a tad to let a little light in and soft music playing so she was still relaxing.
1PM- LUNCH FEED. (Recommended 5-7oz) I fed her 6-6.5oz at this feed.
1:30PM- PLAY. We would use this time to go on a walk, meet up with friends, practice tummy time or play with toys.
2:30PM- NAP. Same as 11:30am nap. Around 14 weeks she stopped wanting to take this nap. If I put her down, she would last 25-30 minutes. I took this as a sign she didn’t need more day sleep and we would play. It worked itself out and she started wanting them again at the end of week 15.
4:00PM- DINNER FEED. By 11 weeks, Harper was taking between 31-33oz per day and our pediatrician was concerned that was too much formula and that Harper would just keep wanting more unless we added some rice cereal to the bottle to fill her up. So this feed we did 6.5-7oz with 1tbs of rice cereal to keep her full through her bedtime bottle.
4:30PM- PLAY. We could usually get a solid 20-30 minutes of playtime in before her witching hour hit around 5. Sometimes she would fall asleep during/after her bottle (but still finish it all) and I would let her sleep on me for a little to eliminate the fussy phase (and to get some cuddles in). If she got too fussy and nothing would make her happy, we would go on a walk during the recommended cat nap time and she would sleep then.
5:30PM- CAT NAP. Harper didn’t start wanting/taking these in her crib until week 15 (when she started napping on schedule again) and I felt that they helped her to make it through the witching hour, to be happy when G got home and to stay awake during her bedtime bottle.
6:00/6:15PM- BATH. Moms On Call recommended bath time to be at 6:30 but I realized when I started her bedtime routine earlier, she was much happier and the night went smoother. Harper LOVES being in the tub and this seat has been amazing. She has enough freedom to wiggle and splash around but it still grips her in place so she doesn’t slide out.
6:20PM- BEDTIME BLESSINGS. We read her this book that my grandmothers friend got her each night. She knows this is part of the routine and she watches the pages and hangs on our every word. I look forward to the day when she starts reciting it on her own after hearing it so many times.
6:30PM- BEDTIME FEED. Once Harper was exclusively formula fed, G took the nighttime feed and that is their special time together. He fed her in the glider in her room with the lights off and playing smooth jazz songs. Some days, this feed would take almost an hour because she would either fall asleep or play around fake eating and just smiling at him. At week 16 we realized that putting her in the sleep suit after her feed would wake her and she would want to eat more or play so he started feeding her 3/4 of the bottle, burping her and then putting her in the Merlin to finish her bottle.
7-7:15PM- SLEEP. From 8-12 weeks, we had Harper swaddled in the Dock-A-Tot in her crib and no matter what swaddle we used or how tightly we wrapped her, she almost always escaped. Around 12.5 weeks, we started having her sleep in the Merlin’s Magic Sleep Suit because she kept breaking out of all the swaddles and waking up and it was LIFE CHANGING. Let me repeat… LIFE CHANGING. She slept better than ever before and went from sleeping 10-11 hours average to 12 hours consistently. At week 16 we realized that putting her in the sleep suit after her feed would wake her and she would want to eat more or play so he started feeding her 3/4 of the bottle, burping her and then putting her in the Merlin to finish her bottle. Once he puts her in the Merlin, he turns on the “shusher“. We received this from our registry and once we started using it, we realized that it only runs for 30 minutes max, so we downloaded the app on one of G’s old phones instead and that runs for twelve hours.
Things I learned during this phase:
- “Cry It Out” is not for me… yet. I tried it for one full week at 13 weeks and let her scream and cry in her crib until the nap time was over but she never calmed herself or went back to sleep. Once I started adjusting her naps to when I could tell she was tired, she started self soothing on her own around week 15. I never had to use the Cry It Out method again.
- Making her bedtime routine start earlier made her sleep longer and she was much happier in the evenings.
- Around week 15/16 she completely stopped crying in the crib when she woke up. Sometimes she would put herself back to sleep and others she would just wiggle/fuss. If I went in to give her the paci, she would go back to sleep instantly and sleep the rest of the time. Ideally, I wouldn’t have to go in at all, but this would keep her from waking all the way up and wanting to be picked up.
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