Phase 3: Extended Day (16-24 weeks)

By the end of stage 2 (extended night phase) the average baby is sleeping 11 hours straight at night and averaging 5-7 feedings per day.

As I am writing this, Sweet Pea is 14.5 weeks old. (She is now almost 18 weeks old! Yes, this has been in my drafts for quite a while!) I’ve known all along that Sweet Pea is not going to make these milestones when Babywise says the average baby will achieve these things because of her tummy troubles. And that is perfectly okay, because we just keep plugging along making progress on “Sweet Pea time”. As I say every time I write one of these posts, this is just a guideline (or average) and each baby will do things in their own time.

At 14 weeks, Sweet Pea has achieved this:

  • She has gone from 8 feeds per 24 hours, down to 6 feeds per 24 hours. (8am, 11am, 2pm, 5pm, 8:15/8:30pm, 11:30pm)
  • She is sleeping a consecutive 7-8 hour block with no feeds during the night. (She dropped the 4/5am feed during week 13.) ***Unfortunately, at the time I am writing this, Sweet Pea is no longer doing this. She is back to waking at 3-4am (ish) and through trial and error I have determined that Sweet Pea does not need this feed anymore. And now I am trying to figure out how to get her brain trained to sleep though this time without doing CIO.
  • She is taking 4 naps per day that range in length of 1-2 hours.
  • Bedtime is consistently 8:30-9:00pm.

At 18 weeks, Sweet Pea has achieved this:

  • About a week ago, Little Bug started extending her nights a wee bit. (Woo hoo!!!) She is still not sleeping straight through 11:30-8am like I would like, but she is now making it pretty consistently to the 6am hour each morning, which is improvement. I give her the paci and she goes to waketime. Not bad.
  • The only thing I haven’t tried to get her to sleep through the night is making bedtime earlier. I do know that young infants tend to do better with earlier bedtimes. It is just so hard to consistently be at home at 7pm to start the bedtime routine for an 8pm bedtime! I am thinking that once Sweet Pea drops the 4th nap (which will probably be this month or next) it will then become necessary to have an 8pm bedtime.

That’s pretty good progress for a baby that has “issues”. Smile 

Next up for Sweet Pea will be dropping the “dreamfeed” (11:30pm) and sleeping a consecutive 11ish hours with no feedings! Honestly, at 14 weeks old, I don’t see this happening anytime soon, but you never know! (At 18 weeks I still don’t see her dropping the dreamfeed anytime soon. Little Bug was around 5 months when she dropped the dreamfeed and started sleeping 11 hours straight every night.)

So, here is what the average Babywise baby does during Phase 3: The Extended Day phase.

Feeding:

  • Sometime between 16-24 weeks solids are introduced! I do not introduce solids until 6 months as my pediatrician suggests.
  • Continue with 4-6 liquid feedings per 24 hours.
  • Once solids are introduced, three feedings will have liquids plus solids.
  • By 24 weeks baby’s main mealtimes line up with the rest of the family’s: breakfast, lunch and dinner with a 4th, 5th, and for some a 6th liquid feeding

Sleeping:

  • Baby moves to 10-12 hours of consecutive nighttime sleep with no feedings (Woo hoo, but will we ever get there??!! Smile Yes, we will. Eventually!)
  • Three naps of 1.5 to 2 hours in length (some may only take 45 minute nap in the evening)

While Sweet Pea is certainly not “average”, she is doing remarkably well and we are making great progress in developing healthy eating and sleeping habits from the start.

Contrary to what many may think is the end goal, getting baby to sleep through the night is NOT the end goal when it comes to Babywise!!

Is that surprising??

Developing healthy eating and sleeping habits in baby during their first year is just the good, solid foundation Babywise parents desire to lay for their baby!

Having these basic needs (eating and sleeping) in order only lays the foundation for baby to experience optimal growth in the other areas of life: emotional growth, obedience, cognitive growth, social development, etc.…

I feel even despite her stomach problems, I’ve been able to stabilize Sweet Pea’s little world and get her off on the right track with healthy eating and sleeping habits.

Thank you, Babywise!