What is Eat, Play, Sleep?

What is Eat, Play, Sleep? | Baby Chick

What is Eat, Play, Sleep?

When it comes to caring for baby, many baby experts— including the author of the widely lauded Baby Wise book — advocate a parent-led schedule. With a parent-led schedule, you (the parent) set the daily agenda: you determine when baby eats, plays, and sleeps (usually in that order). Parents who operate on this kind of schedule, aren’t fond of deviation. Many say that timing things (down to the minute) and being consistent helps baby learn to regulate her internal clock, and gives her the structure she needs to thrive.

Children (babies included) love routine. Creating a schedule is beneficial to both baby and mom — but listening to baby’s cues is imperative. You have to be willing to be flexible. Otherwise you are going to go crazy. Baby is not a robot; baby is a human. And every human is unique and different. It stands to reason that one solution might not work for every baby, every time.

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How does Eat, Play, Sleep work?

EAT.

Whether baby is breast or bottle feeding, she must get a full feeding (a full tummy) every time. Experts say this help’s baby to establish her metabolism (or internal clock), which should help her to more quickly understand when it is time to eat, be awake, and go to sleep. Sounds great, right? But many breastfeeding newborns tend to cluster feed, especially in the evenings. Advocates of the Eat, Play, Sleep method suggest baby should get about thirty minutes of feeding time at the breast — and say mom should do whatever is necessary (tickling baby’s feet, increasing stimulation) to keep baby awake for the full feeding. They say this helps baby to ultimately sleep more soundly.

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PLAY.

Many baby experts say although it’s tempting to put a “milk drunk” baby straight down for a nap after a feeding, this does not teach baby to fall asleep on her own, without the assistance of the breast or bottle. They advocate keeping baby awake for feedings, except the one right before bedtime and any middle-of-the-night feedings. This awake time after a feeding should be used for play: this could look like tummy-time, a lively bout in an exersaucer, or even reading books and singing (lively) songs with mommy and daddy. Once baby shows signs of being tired, you can put her down for a nap. The activity and exercise should help baby sleep longer and more soundly. Don’t wait until baby is over-tired! This could actually work against you. Keeping baby on a schedule should help you to better learn and identify baby’s cues.

Baby Chick, Jessica Morgan Creative Services, newborns, eat play sleep

SLEEP.

Establishing a regular feeding and waking schedule can help baby to recognize when it’s time to nap. She will come to even expect (and desire) it. Create a soothing environment for baby to sleepbaby should sleep in her own safe space, preferably in a dark, quiet room (a white-noise sound machine or soft lullabies are perfectly acceptable and often quite helpful, especially in the beginning when baby is missing all of the familiar sounds inside mommy’s belly). Dress baby in something comfortable, and make sure the room is a comfortable temperature. Try swaddling baby, or placing her in a sleep sack. Ideally, baby should nap for at least an hour at a time. If baby is going through a “nap transition,” this might look more like 30 minutes. Sometimes baby will sleep less and eat more when she is experiencing a growth spurt. Teething is beastly, and can also interrupt baby sleep patterns, but we won’t even go there (now). As baby becomes older, her naps will become shorter and less frequent. But hopefully by then, she is (mostly) sleeping through the night!

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Baby Chick, Jessica Morgan Creative Services, newborns, eat play sleep

Is an Eat, Play, Sleep schedule right for your baby?

Many breastfeeding moms say that it’s a whole lot easier (and less stressful) to Eat, Sleep, Play — because breastfeeding obviously lulls baby to sleep. The baby experts say this can be a hard habit to break, because baby will come to expect to eat before bed every night. But for some moms, forcing baby to do something she just doesn’t want to do seems nonsensical. They complain about feeling like a failure, and become extremely frustrated when they can’t make their little ones conform to an Eat, Play, Sleep schedule. They say why not do what feels most natural?

We believe every mom has to decide what is best for her baby, based on her baby’s specific needs. Stop worrying about being “the perfect mom,” — this is a big fat lie created by Hollywood and the media — and instead concern yourself with being the best mother that you can be. Because you rock, mama. And eventually that baby will learn to sleep, one way or another.

About the Author /

Wife, mommy to three precious little girls, currently pregnant with baby a boy, and owner of The Plaid Pony.

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Instagram post 17899717765403522 ❤️ How to Help When Visiting a New Mom – Podcast Ep 21 ❤️⁠
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Becoming a new mother, whether it be your first baby or your sixth, is filled with so many emotions. 🎢 Figuring out your new normal can take a minute as you recover from giving birth and get to know your new baby. People will be at your doorstep in no time wanting to congratulate you and meet your baby, but sometimes people aren't necessarily thinking about what they can do for YOU to be helpful. If you know someone who has recently had a baby or if you are currently expecting, today’s podcast episode is for you! ❤️ {Link in bio!}⁠
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Regardless of where you were at, there are things you can do to make your heath a priority and be a good example to your little ones.⁠
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2. Schedule your workouts. Like most things in life now, you're on a schedule. Create time in your new life for you -- you'll thank yourself later.⁠
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Speak your partner's love language in postpartum. Send this resource to your loved one so that they can make you feel loved and supported in a meaningful way.⁠
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Instagram post 17857907638591275 Dinner time with toddlers can oftentimes be hectic and stressful. Sometimes they’ll eat what you’ve made them and other times they won’t. 😒 We’ve been there! This is why we are sharing two yummy dinner recipes that have been toddler approved that the whole family can enjoy—Taco Pizza and Stuffed Sweet Potatoes! 😋
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We substituted sour cream in these recipes with @stonyfield YoBaby yogurt because it provides not only the calcium they need, but also probiotics, protein and vitamin D! 👍 (Our pediatrician says our little guy needs 2-4 servings of dairy per day!) The yogurt still has that tangy flavor that you’re looking for but with even more benefits! Cheers to full tummies and happy families! 🙌 #ad #stonyfield
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