Baby sleep schedule

Before Kitana, I never realised how important is it to have a sleep schedule for a child. When Kitana turned 7 months, we started having sleep problems. She was never on a proper schedule before that. Vije and I decided to go for a sleep training course which meant we had to follow a strict schedule with her for the next 21 days. We tried it and I failed, I could not continue as it tortured me and Kitana. 1 night she did sleep for 11 hours straight! That was amazing, I wish I could have that every night! It consisted of the cry it out method and I could not handle it so I decided to quit sleep training and let Kitana fall asleep the way she was used too which is the breast. It wasn’t the best idea but it didn’t consist of any crying and instead lots of cuddles.

Kitana is 17 months and still doesn’t sleep through the night, I don’t blame anyone but myself. I’ve gotten so used to it that I don’t even realise I’m breast-feeding at night (not good I know). It does make it easier by co-sleeping, that way I do not have to sleepwalk to the crib. My point is If I could go back in time, I would put Kitana on a schedule from the beginning as it would have been much easier for me now. When I mean schedule: Feeding and sleeping times. I feed on demand and I think that was my biggest mistake as she takes it when she feels like it, sometimes just to snack and hold it.  I think its best to start a schedule around 3 months, before that you can keep a casual schedule and follow the routine of your baby. It is advised to sleep train from 6 months.

I feel it’s too late to sleep train now even though many people say it is possible. Im finally comfortable with the way we are now, shes slowly sleeping better and I know a goodnight’s sleep is on its way! Her day nap is fine. She sleeps for 2 nd a half hours and sometimes longer, it’s just the night sleep but it is improving.

Please note I am not a qualified sleep trainer and if you are looking for a sleep trainer, I suggest you speak to Petro from Goodnight baby.

She is absolutely phenomenal at this and is such a pleasure to work with. I am definitely taking her advice on sleep when we have a second child.

How much sleep can you expect from your baby or toddler?
Below is an outline of the average sleeper. By definition, this means some will be on the lower end of sleep needs and some on the higher end. However, it is generally accepted that most babies and toddlers under 2 years old will not need less than 10 hours of sleep at night to be the optimum restoration for their little bodies.

6 months and younger: 11-12 hours night, 3-4 hours day in 3-4 naps.
6 to 9 months: 11-12 hours night, 2-3 hours day in 2-3 naps
9 to 18 months: 11-12 hours night, 2-3 hours day in 1-2 naps
18 months to 3 years: 10-12 hours, 1 nap
3 to 5 years: 10-11 hours, sometimes 1 nap (most lose between 3 & 4)
5 years+: 9-10 hours, no nap

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Hi, I’m Shan. I’m an entrepreneur and a sucker for good adventures. I was listed in Forbes Africa 30 under 30 2019 and just recently launched my start-up – MomSays.

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  1. Jean
    2014-02-02 / 20:45

    I remember going through this with our daughter when she was about 11 months. We had moved countries and travelled for a bit and she was waking up very often the night and I had to breastfeed her to get her back to sleep. My husband and I decided to do sleep routine once we had settled again. It was a softer version of the cry method – basically a pick up and put down method. We tried very hard for the required number of days and I think it helped a lot but ultimately things were always just easier putting her to sleep with a feed. As she got older she stopped feeding during the night but would still wake at times. We eventually got down to just one quick feed at bedtime. I weaned her the week she turned 2. It was much easier than I anticipated. She had a bottle of milk with honey in it for a week. Then switched to a cup and I think after two weeks she didn’t want anything at bedtime. Just stories – but I still held her on my lap until she fell asleep. By then I was pregnant with our son and Zoe was then sleeping in a “big bed” and I would lie next to her until she went to sleep – my tummy was getting too big to have her on my lap:). I remember telling a new friend who has a son a similar age my “guilty secret” and she said she does the same. I wonder why we feel all this pressure to do it right. I actually love our story time and cuddles when she goes to sleep. If we are not at home she doesn’t struggle to go to sleep without her regular routine – so what was all the fuss about I try to remember. Now we have a 10 week old and I am mindful of what habits we are forming with him but i think whatever I resolved when we had bad nights with Zoe, will go out the window. I don’t quite breastfeed on demand but I’m a bit of a softie – I guess we’ll see…

    • Shan
      2014-02-04 / 20:34

      Glad to hear I’m not the only one.. I think I will try your method. Kitana is slowly reducing night feeding but day is still hectic. I want to wean her off soon. Congrats on Baby no.2 🙂 I’m sure it’s much easier this time around as you know what to expect. It’s good to keep some kind of routine to guide them however I don’t believe in a strict routine anymore. I used to have Kitana on a strict routine and then realized as she grows she gets her own. Please let me know how it goes. Lots of love

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