I was one that believed you “don’t wake a sleeping child.” This led me to feeding on demand, as in when the child was hungry. However in recent years I have had my thoughts challenged and am now leaning more towards a scheduled child.
One of the reasons for this is that I’m finding that even I can get on a schedule and by doing so, train myself to be hungry at those times. And if I should be hungry sooner, I can always practice a little self-control and drink some water to help tide me over until it is time to eat again.
Some of this realization has stemmed from the book, Bringing up Bebe, which I have talked about before here and here. But I must admit that I woke my babies up during the daytime when they were newborns and threatening to get their days and nights mixed up. So even in that I was scheduling to a degree. And when it seemed that my child would nurse around the clock, I put them on a semblance of a schedule and was thankful when it was successful.
The benefits to having a scheduled child is that there seems like there would be less frustration and tantrums, once the child is scheduled. Of course, ensuring that your child can sleep any where would be a good idea unless you want to be bound by your schedule daily, even with naps and such. One way to accomplish this is to avoid the tendency to be quiet during nap time but also avoiding doing the same thing every nap time. Basically, you want to keep things varied, so that your child does not need his/her environment to be any particular way to be able to sleep.
Schedules and routines are tricky things. They look binding but are freeing. In giving a child a schedule, they know what to expect. They cannot tell time yet but they know that after lunch, it is nap time/quiet time or after a bath in the evening it is story time. These things can give a child security.
Remember, you are the parent. You set the schedule. And consequently, you can choose to change things up as you desire.
Until next time, God bless,