For almost two weeks, Caleb has been on a pretty predictable schedule. It is unbelievable how much more enjoyable everything is for me now that I have a general idea how the day is going to go. I can plan for outings, make appointments accurately, know when he's going to be hungry, etc. I LOVE THE SCHEDULE! He gets up in the morning sometime between 6:00 and 7:00. We usually play, talk and cuddle in my bed for about 30 minutes before we get up, get dressed and get the toys out. He plays on his own for about 10 minutes while I brush teeth, feed dogs, etc, and then I join him on the floor. We rarely go anywhere in the morning before his first nap, and so this time has become consistent Mommy-Caleb time that we both enjoy very much. His goes down for his first nap (yes he actually takes naps now!) at 9:00 am. He almost always falls asleep right at 9:00, and sometimes he even falls asleep in his crib on his own, without rocking first. (I usually put him in his crib around 8:45 to let him wind down, and if he's not asleep in 10 minutes, or if he cries, then I pick him up and rock him to sleep.) He naps for an hour or so. We usually go out and do something between 10:00 and 1:00, like lunch with a friend, errands, grocery shopping, etc. Caleb enjoys going out, and a change of scenery is good for both of us. I try to be home by 12:30 so he can wind down for his afternoon nap at 1:00. It's funny to me how consistent his internal clock has become with this schedule. Today I was running behind with my errands and then checking out at the grocery store took 20 minutes b/c of some mechanical error, so we ended up pulling in the drive-way right at 1:00. I rushed around to get him out of the seat so I could get him and rock him to sleep, and discovered that he had fallen asleep in the car seat!
His afternoon nap usually lasts about an hour, though he sometimes sleeps for two hours. If his afternoon nap is short, he takes another short nap from 4:30 to 5:00. Atypically, Caleb seems to be the most energetic and the happiest in the evening hours from 5:00 to 7:00. He laughs, squeals and "talks" the most, and seems to enjoy playing more too. Bedtime routine starts around 7:00 pm, and it includes some time in the swing outside, watching the dogs play, a bath (which he LOVES), pajama time, reading several books in his bedroom, and then nursing and rocking. He is almost always asleep by 8:00 pm, and sometimes a little earlier.
With as much as a planner as I am, it was really hard for me when I had no idea if he needed to eat or sleep or what was supposed to come next. I was not willing to try to force a schedule on him, but I'm so glad that he allowed himself to be eased into one. I tried scheduling him at four months and at five months, but it seems that six months was the right time for him.