If you are like me a few weeks ago and are considering whether or not to start your little one on a schedule, my advice: go for it!
It can seem extremely daunting to figure out what kind of sleep schedule a baby should be on, what will work for your life, and how to then implement said schedule. In my opinion, the first few weeks are best spent getting sleep when you can and letting baby feed and sleep on demand (also great for your supply if your are breastfeeding). However, after the initial haze of having a new baby all I wanted was to have some normalcy, which was hard to accomplish when I never knew when Izzy was going to sleep or eat. I enjoy knowing when I will get a minute to do some homework, clean the house a bit, or spend some one on one time with Sammy. So I looked at a bunch of different baby schedules and figured out what gave Izzy enough sleep and what times worked for the family. Here is what we normally do:
Wake up 7:30am
1st Nap 9:00am-11:00am
2nd Nap 12:30pm-2:30pm
3rd Nap 4:00pm-6:00pm
Bedtime 7:30pm-until she wakes up on her own to eat
I feed her when she wakes up, let her play, and then feed her again before she goes down for another nap or bedtime.
When I first started this schedule for her a few weeks ago it was hard. She was used to being rocked to sleep and then being held most of the time she slept. I stayed consistent and used the fifteen minute rule, where if after fifteen minutes she was still crying I went in and change her diaper, re swaddle her, calm her down, and then put her down to try again. She will still fuss every once and a while when I put her down for a nap, but she has learned how to calm down and fall asleep on her own.
Remember, there is nothing wrong with holding your baby for a nap or trying again the next day if it is not working and you just need some peace. It can be easy to be hard on ourselves through this parenting journey, but if your child is happy, healthy and loved you are doing a great job!