• Katie

Daphne's Sleeping and Feeding Routine: 10 Months Old



I have resisted the demand to publish Daphne's sleeping (and more recently, feeding) routine for a long, long time. As I said in my stories the other day, the "mommy blogger" world is a bit of a scary one. In my opinion, there is no other space where people are quite as quick to judge and criticise another for her choices. And so, it can be a bit terrifying to share details of your day-to-day so publicly.


However, I also recognise that Instagram is a strange little world where we grow to feel like we're good friends with the people we follow, and sometimes we truly become that. And while we all joke about being "influenced", I know I personally really love hearing advice and recommendations from some of MY favourite 'influencers', because it feels like a friend giving me a hot tip on something they've discovered!


I also understand that when it comes to motherhood, there is no credential more impressive then basic experience - and I definitely have a lot of that! So here I am, sharing what works for me, in hopes that maybe it helps you too!


7am: Wake up + nurse


7am is the goal wake-up hour in our house. Anything more is a bonus, anything less is unfortunate, but fiiiine. I can't say Daphne is guaranteed to sleep until 7am every day just yet, but it is always the goal. What that means is, if she wakes at 6am, I don't just give up and start the day. I'll go in her room, keep the lights off, remind her that its still "sleeping time" and try to settle her back down. If we've already reached 6am, she's usually pretty hungry and very well rested, so I'll often nurse her and then encourage her back to sleep for the remaining hour.


Does it work? Sometimes, yes. But oftentimes she kinda hangs out happily in her crib, in and out of sleep (or not) until she's had enough. Sometimes that's at 7am, sometimes its 7:30! And sometimes its just ten minutes after I put her down.


If she wakes any earlier than 6am my husband will go to her first and do everything I mentioned above, except he gives her a water bottle instead. We've been using this tactic since she she was six months old - that's the age its safe to give a baby water, and its also when I was very confident she could sleep through the night without a feed. The water helps with her being genuinely thirsty, as well as the sucking action which she associates with sleep.



I will say though, that we don't do this step repeatedly. So if she wakes at 4am and chugs a bottle of water, and then again at 5:30am, at that point I will nurse her because she may just be legitimately hungry.


Sometimes this process is a lot more work than just starting our day, but it is so worth it in order to establish a normal, consistent waking hour, that will set the tone for years to come!


7:30/8am: Breakfast


Once we're up and Daphne has been nursed and changed, we pop her in her high chair and basically immediately give her a banana. She loves it! Next is baby oatmeal. If she's particularly hungry, she'll finish the bowl and sometimes I'll give her some toast too. But more often than not she doesn't quite finish the whole bowl. We always serve water with her meals!


9:30am: Short nap (30 minutes max, must be up by 10am) *optional


If Daphne sleeps uninterrupted until 7am, we usually cut this nap out. She's approaching one year and at that point most babies really only need one nap a day, so if she's had a good night sleep we can stretch her out until her mid-day nap.


However, if she got up extra early, or had a restless night due to teething for example, then I aim to settle her down for a nap around 9:30am. While she could probably sleep for much longer, I never let this nap go on for more than 30 minutes. If I do, I won't get her down for her next nap until much later in the day, and it has a real knock-off effect on the rest of the day.


A quick note on this: babies will basically ALWAYS want to sleep away the mornings. And most Moms will allow them to, because "never wake a sleeping baby." Well, you do you, but I personally don't roll that way. The routine I've always followed (The Contented Little Baby by Gina Ford), has had me waking my babies from their morning naps from a VERY early stage. And that's because the 12:30-2:30pm nap is crucial and will stay with them for literally years to come (like we're talking four years old!), so it's important to not mess with it by allowing a longer (or late) morning nap. If you're currently in the habit of putting baby down for a long morning nap, and then a second nap around 3 or 4pm, and finding your baby isn't sleeping well through the night, or not going to bed until later and later in the evening, I'd highly recommend cutting down, or completely out, that morning nap, and establishing a long mid-day nap you can count on.


11:30am: Lunch


I get messages from Moms every day whose babies are the same age as Daphne and simply don't eat as much or as consistently. I think an important contributing factor to Daphne's appetite is that she literally eats at the same time every day, and I'm careful not to compromise a meal for snacks in between. This ensures she's properly hungry by meal time and knows when its coming. She therefore is always willing to try what I put in front of her, and has generally been fairly easy to please!


I don't want to get too into HOW I feed Daphne (purees vs baby led), mostly because I don't have a simple answer. Its a real mix over here, and I always tell Moms that they can only do what they feel comfortable with, because feeding can cause a lot of anxiety for parents. Choking, to this day, is a deep fear of mine, and I often catastophize about it. I think I'll probably cut my kid's grapes and cherry tomatoes in half until they are teenagers!


But I will say that at this point Daphne is basically eating a version of whatever the whole family is eating. Tonight she had pizza, ripped up into pieces, with some fruit and veg on the side, because we were having it too. Last night she ate the Greek tuna pasta salad I made for everyone else, but I removed the chunkier hard veggies from her bowl. For the most part, I know what she can handle, and what she'll struggle with, and if I don't know, I find out quickly!


12:30 - 3pm: Long nap


I settle Daphne down with a full belly from lunch and some water right before bed. At this time I give the big kids free quiet time, which usually translates to a movie on the couch, but sometimes they'll choose to play quietly on their own. My four year old often has a little nap on the couch too (after all, she's always known this time as her nap time too!). I just can't let her sleep for two hours or I would NEVER get her to bed at night!


3pm: Nurse


When Daphne wakes up, often in a very happy mood, I will nurse her again. This has become a very short feed, but I'll try to keep it up until she turns one.


4pm: Light snack + water


Between Daphne's afternoon nap and dinner time, we usually head outside to a park. I always bring Daphne her water and some light snacks like rice husks or digestible cookies. Something to keep her happy, but not enough to offset her dinner around 5pm.


5/5:30pm: Dinner


We are slowly pushing back Daphne's dinner so she can eat with the rest of us, but often I will whip up something quickly for her, and she has our dinner leftovers for lunch the next day. As far as dinner ideas go, I try to ensure it ticks off all the major food groups if possible. Ideas include:


- Fish on rice with peas and carrots (from frozen!)

- Pasta with tomato sauce and lentils, plus a dollop of cream cheese

- Sweet potato mixed with tuna and kidney beans





6:45: Nurse


We head up to Daphne's room around 6:30/6:45 to change her into her pyjamas, read a book, and set up the room for bedtime (blinds closed, sound machine on, toys removed from the bed). Unless of course its bath night (which varies, I don't do it every night because of her eczema, and also because I don't have time for that LOL), in which case we start the process earlier. Once everything is all set I nurse her one last time. Sometimes she falls asleep, sometimes she doesn't, but either way if the rest of the day has followed the above routine, she's very easy to settle to sleep for the night.


7pm: Asleep for the night


Getting her down by 7pm is not only so good for her, but it allows me dedicated time with the big kids before they go to bed an hour or so later, as well as some child-free time with my husband and/or to relax, finish up work, clean up, etc.!


To recap!


7am: Wake up + nurse

7:30/8am: Breakfast

9:30am: Short nap

11:30am: Lunch

12:30 - 3pm: Long nap

3pm: Nurse

4pm: Light snack + water

5/5:30pm: Dinner

6:45: Nurse

7pm: Asleep for the night


Let me know if you have any questions, and I'd love to hear if any of it has helped!

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