I haven’t done a “Temple Update” since she was just 4 months old, which feels like yesterday! How is my baby already a 7-month-old?! It’s gone by so fast and so slow all at the same time – I’m sure you mamas can relate!
This month, I thought I’d share all of Temple’s favorite products along with a schedule update. Things have changed a TON in the past two months. Temple is officially eating, and it’s been so much fun. Check out my Guide to Baby-Led Weaning for an in-depth look at our approach to “baby food”… which isn’t really baby food at all! It’s packed with so much info and some of my favorite recipes for her!
When Temple hit 6 months, I decided to give my sleep coach, Jessica from Sleep Happy, another call. I mentioned in Temple’s 3-month and 4-month blog updates that having a sleep coach was BEYOND helpful for us. I’ve only had 2 phone consultations with Jessica at this point, and they’ve both been absolute game changers! Temple had always been a great napper, but once she hit 6 months, I was struggling to adjust her schedule to accommodate real food. She also started regressing when it came to nighttime sleeping, waking up more frequently again.
Our sleep coach gave me some amazing tips after I explained my goals, which were to:
- Establish a better daytime nap schedule that fit with her new eating schedule
- Get Temple sleeping better at night again
- Set a consistent 6:30 – 7:00 pm bedtime
After talking through our struggles, Jessica explained that Temple was taking too many naps during the day! This was pushing her bedtime back and affecting her nighttime sleep. Our new 6-month-old goal was to stretch Temple’s awake time to 2-2.5 hours between naps and work toward a 3-nap schedule during the day.
GOAL FOR NAP 1:
We plan to keep nap #1 to 1 hour. If she sleeps longer, the schedule for the rest of her day can be thrown off. We’ll continue to cap Temple’s morning nap at 1 hour until she drops to only 2 naps/day (which won’t be for a while). Honestly, she rarely sleeps longer than 1 hour during nap #1 anyway, so I rarely have to wake her up!
GOAL FOR NAP 2:
Nap #2 should be the LONGEST nap of the day! Ideally, we want her to sleep for 1.5 – 2 hours during the second nap. Jessica explained that this one should be longest because it’s the one most kids keep for years, which makes so much sense! You are setting them up for a great routine.
Not gonna lie, it was hard for Temple at first. She would naturally wake up after about 45 minutes to an hour (which is a full sleep cycle). That first week, I would have to go into her room and soothe her, walk around the room with her and hum, then put her back in the crib once she stopped crying.
BUT, I always wait at least 10 minutes before going in to soothe Temple. Like I said, one full sleep cycle is around 45 minutes, so babies often naturally wake at that 45-minute mark. I’ve found that Temple will usually fall back to sleep after a few minutes of fussing. It took about 4-5 days until she began to sleep for 1.5-2 hours on her own without waking!
This is my favorite nap of the day! I love having those almost 2 hours to get things done. It’s insane how a slightly longer nap can make a huge difference for Mama!
GOAL FOR NAP 3:
We now cap nap #3 at 1 hour (just like nap #1) or make sure Temple is awake by 4:30 – 5:00 pm, given her bedtime is 6:30 – 7:00 pm. That way, she is up for a full 2 – 2.5 hours between nap 3 and bedtime.
NIGHTTIME SLEEP GOALS:
Our goal is to consistently put Temple to bed between 6:30 and 7:00 pm. I’ve honestly been shocked at how quickly this became a routine once we moved to 3 naps per day. Before, our biggest struggle was Temple waking up wanting a quick “snack.” She just wanted a quick breastfeeding fix and then would go right back to sleep. This was really wearing on me, and I knew she wasn’t actually hungry. She had just regressed a little and knew I would give her the boob! OOPS!
After working with Jessica, we determined that Temple only really needs 1 feeding per night, usually around 2:30-3:00 am. But now at 7 months, Temple is starting to sleep through the entire night! On the nights she does wake up, I’ll allow for that one feeding, but only if she cries for over 10-15 minutes.
Here are some thoughts behind this “wait” time:
- #1 tip is to STAY CONSISTENT
- I know 10-minutes seems like a lifetime when your LO is crying, but they learn so quickly. As mamas, we know the difference between “a cry” and “A CRY.” If Temple is truly upset and something is wrong, I would run in there quickly. That’s usually not the case, though. Typically she’s just trying to pull a fast one on me to lure me in!
- If Temple cries past my 10ish minute mark (which is rare), I go in and hold her until she stops crying.
- I DO NOT nurse unless it is during the ONE nightly feeding, which she is starting to drop now that she’s eating real food twice/day.
- Once she stops crying, I immediately place her back in the crib. If she instantly cries when I lay her down, I DO NOT pick her back up. This is when you can start the clock again for your next wait period.
- The time goes up for your second wait period, so instead of waiting 10 minutes as I did initially, I might wait 15 minutes this time. I can almost guarantee Baby will stop crying far before the 15-minute mark, but if she does keep going, continue with this “soothe and wait” cycle, adding time with each round.
If you decide to work with Jessica at Sleep Happy Consulting, she can help you with this Scheduled Check Chart. It is a game changer, and if you stay consistent and really wait the full time, IT WORKS! Within a few days, you can have a sleeping baby that isn’t waking as often.
Temple’s 7-Month Schedule:
6:00-6:30 am: Temple wakes up for the day! She usually wakes up naturally at this time since we moved up her bedtime. We immediately change her diaper, and I breastfeed her.
8:00 am: Down for Nap #1, which we cap at an hour.
Note: Temple’s shortest wake time is before nap #1. This tends to be when babies are the most tired. We try to keep her up for a full 2 hrs, but she usually only stays up for about 1 hr 45 mins before nap #1. This is often when we’ll take our morning walk to keep her up a little longer – it’s also just a great start to our day!
9:00 am: Wakes up from nap #1. We nurse and play!
10:00 am: First “real food” meal of the day. Like I mentioned above, I feed Temple food twice/day now that she’s 7 months. I wait at least 30-45 minutes after nursing Temple before feeding her real food.
11:00 am-12:00 pm: She goes down for her second nap. Our goal is to keep Temple awake for 2 hours 30 minutes before nap #2. But, right now, she gets fussy after about 2 hours…we’re working on it! Nap #2 is Temple’s longest nap of the day, and our goal is for her to nap for a full 2 hours.
1:30 pm: Temple wakes up from nap #2. Nurse and Play.
3:30 to 4:00 pm: Temple goes down for nap #3- the last nap of the day.
5:00 pm: Temple wakes up from nap #3.
5:30 pm: Second “real food” meal of the day.
6 pm: bath and bedtime routine. You can find more on in Temple’s Bathtime Products + Bedtime Routine post!
6:30-7 pm: Bedtime!
Temple’s Favorite Toys Right Now
Temple’s Sleeping Items
We love our Woolino Organic sleep sack. Temple has been using this since about 4-months, and we anticipate using this until she no longer needs a sleep sack. At 6-months, I put this exact pink lovie in her crib with her, and she loves it. It really helps with self-soothing. Temple easily flips both ways and can sit up on her own, so I don’t worry about a lovie being in her crib with her. Use your judgment on this for your LO.
We Still Breastfeed On Demand
I do not follow a strict breastfeeding schedule. I feed her after each nap, which ends up to about 4 times a day. We have been so lucky that breastfeeding is still going well for us. Make sure to check out my breastfeeding post for all my tips, recipes, etc. to help with your breastfeeding journey.
Reminder: I love using the supplements from Legendary Milk. They use only 100% organic ingredients, and I have seen a significant improvement in my supply since taking them. They have several blends to choose from, so make sure to do your research to find what’s best for you. I’m currently taking Liquid Gold and Pump Princess. BONUS- I have a discount code for 15% off!! Use code MADA15 at checkout for 15% off any items.
I also love Miracle Milk Kookies for increasing your supply. Doesn’t hurt that they are SO YUMMY! I noticed an increase in my supply after have one every day for a few days. Use code: madaleighblog for 30% off first purchase. PS- these make an excellent gift for a new mama friend since you can ship them right to their door!