If you find yourself struggling to find the right balance between ensuring your child is eating enough during the daytime AND getting the right amount of sleep, keep reading!
If you’ve been in any of the parenting sleep advice groups or a part of the sleep world, one of the most popular routines taught is the EASY method or an eat, play, sleep routine. This is a simple equation that makes sense. Separating your child’s feeding from their sleep with some sort of activity/play will lessen the chance of them developing a feed to sleep association and doing so will hopefully make bedtime and overnight wake-ups a little easier to manage. As logical as this all sounds, we also found that the EASY method:
- Can be very rigid and stressful on your infant
- May be anxiety inducing for parents
- Doesn’t fully support the breastfeeding relationship
- Doesn’t allow your baby to really feed on demand
So now what’s the alternative?
- Keep trying eat, play, sleep and hope for the best
- Do nothing and pray it works out
- Keep reading this article because something good is coming
Well, at The Mama Coach, we discovered a more flexible schedule that not only allows you to go with the flow and follow your baby’s cues but also supports the breastfeeding relationship by allowing your baby to nurse more frequently during their wake windows and prepare them for longer nap/overnight stretches. We call it MAMAS and it works AMAZINGLY especially for babies under 7 months while encouraging them to increase their caloric intake during the daytime so they require less (or none!) at night time. MAMAS stands for:
- Milk – feed your baby when they wake from overnight or a nap
- Activity – tummy time, holding, play mat, etc
- More Milk – this is where the magic happens & where your bedtime or nap routine would start. Offer your baby a second feeding during their wake period to ensure they’ve filled their tummy for a nice, long nap/bedtime stretch
- Activity – this is more of a pause between the feeding and sleep. Give your child about 15 minutes before placing them into their sleep space. The older your child, the longer the pause
- Sleep – the ultimate goal & end of your child’s wake window
Don’t worry about keeping your baby awake long enough to fit two feedings in one wake window; instead, keep one eye on your baby and your other eye on the clock. It’s also VERY important to remember to prioritize watching and listening to your baby to ensure that they take a full, effective feed versus watching the clock for how long they eat.
If you’re in search of 1-on-1 feeding or sleep support for your little one, I’m here to help. I am a Registered Nurse and Infant Feeding + Sleep Expert providing you with all the evidence-based education with solutions to work for you and your family through ALL stages of your parenting journey. Sending you all the love, and remember to give yourself grace mama– even on the hard days, you are the best parent for your little one. To schedule a quick chat with me or learn more about how I can help, check out my website here.