I would love to have a sleep schedule for my newborn. It would be so nice that at 9, 1 and 4 I could put her down for a nap in her crib and do what I need to do. Some people somehow manage this with children this young. I think they must have easy babies, or have nothing else to do then get them on a schedule or spend all their time working on one.
It is very easy for a newborn to get over stimulated, and once they do it can take a lot to get them to sleep. After an hour tops, Ev starts to show signs of over stimulation. In an ideal world before this I would go up to her room (as most parenting books suggest) do a nap routine and put her in her crib sleepy. Since she isn't over stimulated and just starting to get tired theoretically she should easily go down.
This is great in theory, but who has the time. Every 2 hours to make sure this happens, I would have no time for anything else. By the time a basic breakfast of cereal is over Ev is already in over stimulation mode. Things like this is why idea like Babywise and other baby theorist drive me nuts. Yes if I had the time maybe, but who does?
So for these first few months I do what I have to to get my little girl to sleep. Often that is putting her in a baby carrier and getting ready or cleaning or doing whatever was needed to be done, and in the carrier she falls asleep. She may fight it if she is very over tired, but its rare that she gets to that point. Often I will sit on the couch and read with Liv while Ev nurses to sleep. We have a nice relaxing family time. When we are done reading I often sit with Ev for a bit, I am tired from having a newborn wake a night, and when she is over stimulated she wakes very easily when first falling asleep. This is common.
So I made sure to stock my mind, and bookcase, with nursey rhymes, fingerplays and movement songs to sing to my older daughter. She will dance around while we sit and watch. She will also read to us.
We sometimes dance or walk around the house or yard. I just put Ev in the moby or bijorn (always the bijorn when dancing)and Ev gets lulled to sleep while Liv gets some one on one momma time.
Today I laid down with Ev during Liv's nap to get her to sleep. I could use the rest too. I should of showered, cleaned, done laundry, all sorts of things, but I just laid down with my newborn and relaxed.
I learned with my first that these first few months can't be bothered with sleep schedules, or strict feeding schedules or worrying how clean your house is. Getting your child to sleep more at night, and soothing them when they are tired and upset is more important. And getting some rest for yourself too.
This is not the time to worry about when they can self-soothe, it will happen eventually. When they will sleep in their own crib, or or when they will sleep on schedule. It will happen. These first few months are a hard adjustment to your baby too. They spent 24/7 in your womb, being a nice warm temperature, being held and rocked, and always having a nice full belly.
I learned with my first this time goes so quick, so don't stress, enjoy this time. I keep telling myself this. It goes so quick. I don't know how I have a 2 year old already. That time went amazingly fast.
The cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,
for children grow up, as I've learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs. Dust go to sleep.
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep -Ruth Hamilton