If you have a baby between 0 and 15 weeks old, this blog is for you! We are going to deep dive into the EASY schedule, which was coined by Tracy Hogg from the book, Secrets of a Baby Whisperer.
EASY is an acronym that stands for eat, activity, sleep, and YOU time. It’s a helpful tool that can help develop a newborn daily “schedule” from day one!
You’ve likely heard my story— when I had Ellie, my first baby, I had NO clue what I was doing. She cried all the time as a baby, and I had no concept about sleep training. If I could rewind time, I wish I could hear the advice I am about to give you! And don’t forget, you can download our free newborn routine guide! This guide I created will give you strategies for creating a daytime routine with your newborn.
Before I share the EASY schedule, please know that if this doesn’t work for you, you are not a failure! Every family and situation is unique, so don’t beat yourself up if this isn’t a rhythm that seems to fit you well.
You can also try out my free newborn routine guide that offers a way to create a daytime routine with your newborn.
If you can do nothing else besides watching the clock and making sure that they are sleeping again by that 45 to 60-minute mark, you are golden. The short awake time includes eating, diaper changing, and interacting with your baby. In the beginning, most of that awake time is dedicated to feeding and that’s OK!
The first awake time begins when they get up from their nighttime sleep and that could vary widely every day. When you get them up in the morning, start with an “EAT” or feed. If they try to fall asleep, try to poke, tickle, and do whatever you can possibly do to keep them awake.
Probably the biggest question you’ll face is— does the awake time include the feeding and activity? Yes, it does! As newborns, there isn’t much activity yet. After a feed, you could do some tummy time and talk to them. I would encourage you to avoid doing something that might lead them to sleep—like a ride in the swing or stroller. This activity time might only be 5 minutes. As you approach the end of that 45-60-minute awake window, you’ll start getting them ready to go to sleep.
When it comes to newborns, there are no rules here. At Little Z’s, we think it’s entirely appropriate to help your newborn get to sleep. While we don’t recommend bed-sharing or co-sleeping, we do suggest that you aim to have naps in the bassinet or crib (though car seat naps do count!).
Nap lengths vary for newborns, but they can range from 20-minute naps to over 2.5 hours. Putting your child down for a nap in a safe-sleep location is key for the next part of the acronym!
It’s important as a new mama to get time for yourself. And while we can all roll our eyes about “sleep when your baby sleeps”, there are lots of things you can do during that time.
Don’t guilt yourself into staying busy! If you want to spend that time sitting on the couch scrolling on your phone alone or making a sandwich, then that is entirely up to you!
This time is for you. You have been taking care of a tiny little human, and we want to make sure that you have the space and the ability to take a breath for yourself.
So in a quick summary, the EASY schedule is eat, activity, sleep, and you time. And this is a daily routine guide that you can use with your newborn and just rinse and repeat all day long.
Why don’t we follow the Eat Sleep Play schedule? If your baby associates sleep with the need to suck on a bottle or breast for a few motions, and then they fall asleep, it’s going to invite shorter naps. When they awake from a sleep cycle, which may be only 20 minutes-40 minutes, they will be looking for a bottle or breast to help them back to sleep. Using this model might lead to more night wakings, which can lead to a vicious cycle.
If this is something that you are excited to implement, please try it. With a newborn, you can start implementing it right now! Give it a try when they wake up next; you don’t have to wait until tomorrow.
So I want to end with a little story and encouragement for you.
I have in the past worked with over 500 families in a one-on-one capacity. I vividly remember talking to a sweet client named Kaylee. She was so overly wrapped up in the fact that her baby was not doing an EASY sleep routine. One day I called her and I said, “Kaylee, it’s not going to happen all the time”. In fact, your morning may start off with a beautiful ‘eat, play, sleep’ execution. And then boom, your newborn takes a short nap and they’re actually not really ready to eat just yet.
It’s okay. Do what you need to do offer the awake time and try again after the next cycle. It is something that you can strive to do, but it is not something that you are going to implement with 110% success throughout the entire day. It will ebb and flow.
Do not let the EASY sleep schedule or this blog be the measure of your success or failure as a parent because it’s simply doesn’t work that way. I hope that this post was an intense encouragement for you.
>>>Don’t forget to grab our free newborn daytime routine guide.
Sweet dreams. See you next time.
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