Schedules, Sleep Training, & Breastfeeding

January 8, 2021

I found this post in draft from 2015 and thought I'd give it a little update, ya know... just a whole kid later. Harrison was nearly one when I wrote this and now he is nearly 6, meanwhile his brother is 2. 

A Few Updates: 

Breastfeeding - Harrison nursed until 18 months and gave up the paci shortly after that. He's continued to be a great sleeper, but once we surpassed the original Baby Wise book I went onto the Moms on Call app to help with his food/nap schedule. 

Elliot nursed just up to a year, it was half due to the fact that I was under so much stress that I quit producing and he was a distracted nurser by the time he was creeping to the age of 1. My supply was amazing in the beginning with him, I was even able to donate milk before the stress that was the later part of 2019 set in (work). 

Schedules/Sleep Training - I mentioned it above, but once Harry aged out of the first Baby Wise book we moved onto the Moms on Call app for our daily schedule. With Elliot I stuck to their app and initially planned to use them for sleep training. While I love that they are a softer take on Baby Wise, I kept hearing about Taking Cara Babies when I had just gotten home with Elliot. I splurged and it was a miracle lifesaver of a program. 

With Taking Cara Babies, Elliot learned to put himself to sleep and it taught me how to easily soothe a fussy newborn. He was being plopped in his little crib when he was tired but not asleep, and then soothed himself off to dream land. While I didn't rock Elliot as much as Harrison and I miss some of that, he was really a dream newborn and slept amazing (for a breastfed newborn). 

Funny enough with Elliot he continued to try and wake up to nurse at night nearly his entire first year. I was too tired to really figure out that he wasn't like his brother. Harrison quit nursing at night around 9 months on his own, but Elliot is a midnight snacker who was going to call Mama if Mama was willing to come. Once I caught onto him we put Harrison in our room for 3 nights (they share a room) so Elliot could work out the fact that he didn't need to eat at 2 AM. It only took one night of a 10 minute fuss. The second night he peeped for a minute. The third night he didn't budge. 

Now for the original post that I wrote 12/20/2015. 


I've talked about being a scheduler before on the blog, but now that we are two months shy of a year of this routine I thought I'd share what I've liked, disliked, and what I've done from the past several months.

Especially since I've spent so much time googling and browsing other blogs to see how other mamas felt about things and what they did.

To start, we loosely followed Baby Wise. I say loosely because I never truely did Cry It Out, we skipped purees, and I broke a few other BW rules. 

What I did get out of it was the schedule. It gave me an easy guide for how often the baby should be eating, a minimum mind you (feed that baby if it's hungry), and an idea of how much he should be sleeping. 

I know a lot of people hate BW but it really did help me get a feel for how many naps he would need at each age, when to drop feeds, how to drop feeds, and how to set our daily schedule. I didn't have the option to feed on demand since I had to go back to work and creating a schedule (and drinking a ton of water) forced my body to produce the amount of milk I needed at each feed or pump time. 

I seriously still get excited when I get 8 ounces at 2:30am. 

I've said it before, but we followed the BW schedules verbatim until the 4th month and then stalled at that schedule until 6 months when we began Baby Led Weaning. (Which is really just introducing table food, allowing the baby to self feed, and not giving purees.)

So basically I followed BW for schedules and their advice for sleep to an extent. 


Harrison had his days and nights mixed up early on so for the first few days I kept him by a window during the day and in a dark room at night. 

After that we did the 5 S's - swaddle, side position, shush, sway, suck.

He also slept in the Rock n' Play for the first few months. I liked it, but any bassinet by the bed would be my ideal until they are done nursing several times a night sleeping more. He stayed in our room in the RNP or the Pack n' Play until he had gotten down to one feed during the night. (We have a 2 story house and there was no way I was running up and down stairs all night.) 

We did break the rules with sleep position and I let him sleep on his stomach once he could push himself up and roll over good. I really think it made him a better sleeper though. 

Around month 4-5 he had to really learn how to put himself back to sleep when he woke up and wasn't hungry. It started with fussing, we'd let him fuss for a few minutes before going up there. Eventually it turned into him talking and cooing, so we wouldn't go at all. Finally he has gotten to where he doesn't cry at night unless he actually needs someone and it's only during growth spurts and he wants to nurse. 

There's a lot out there about how they should be "sleeping through the night" and how they should be able to go all night without eating. I don't buy into it very much for two reasons - 1) I don't sleep through the night and never have, and 2) sometimes I wake up hungry. 

So if once in a blue moon he wants to nurse at night then I'm not arguing with him. It isn't an every night occurrence. 

The only issue with him not waking to feed, that happened between 4-5 months old, is that to maintain my milk supply for pumping I had to continue to wake up and pump at the time he was waking during the night. So in two months when we start weaning down to only morning and night feeds I'll get to sleep through the night too! 

I also know this is an extremely good sleeper, and I don't believe for one minute that every baby is this way. However, the scheduling really helped to set his metabolism so expect to eat and sleep at certain times. Now if you're nursing and exhausted from middle of the night feeds...I read that your milk during the night contains more serotonin to help the baby sleep. (We actually sleep later in the morning if he wakes up during the night to feed.)