Eat, Play, Sleep, What?

Many mothers with babies swear by the Eat, Play, Sleep routine. It’s a simple enough concept: Feed your baby as soon as she wakes up, then let her play (or squirm around on the floor), and then put her down for a nap. Volia! Baby now has a “schedule” or a “rhythm”.

I tried to implement the Eat, Play, Sleep routine with both my girls. Babykins had dismal results–we had more of an Eat, Play, Burp, Cry, Eat, Cry, Sleep routine. Sweet Pea isn’t proving to do any better–she currently has an Eat, Play, Burp, Eat, Freak Out Because She Doesn’t Actually Want To Eat, Fall Asleep in the Moby Wrap. Sometimes she even throws in Spit Up a Prodigious Amount for good measure.

So, has anyone had real success with the Eat, Play, Sleep routine? Likewise, why do breastfeeding books claim that breastfed babies almost never need to be burped? My little ladies beg to differ on that point.



6 Comments on “Eat, Play, Sleep, What?”

  1. Rebekah says:

    I can’t remember reading about breastfeeding babies not needing to be burped. I nursed all mine and burping was pretty necessary. It can feel like it takes forever, but the extra time is worth it, I think, if it helps with baby contentment. I would usually burp after each side (didn’t always feed from both sides every feeding). With my last two I really tried to make sure I drained the breast pretty well so I knew they were getting the hindmilk, which also helps with keeping them satisfied longer and cutting down on fussiness due to gassiness.

    I tried the eat, play, sleep thing as well, and although it wasn’t the miracle solution I was hoping it would be, it helped ME to have some idea of what to do next/what was coming next. If you can avoid the mental trap of stressing when something gets out of order here and there, I think it is generally a good system. Something that worked for me was having the baby sleep in the same spot as much as possible, so that’s where they get used to sleeping. I had a cradle out in the living room. But anything like a rock n’ play or bouncy seat would work.

    I never got good at the Moby Wrap, so I don’t have any advice to offer there. Hang in there! I always figured if there was a sure thing method of getting babies to sleep then surely we would ALL know about it by now after all these generations and civilizations. You’ve got to go through the trial and error of figuring out what works best for your baby and also works well with your family, personality, and mothering style. You’re not only getting to know your baby better, but still getting to know yourself as a mom as well.

    • Katrina says:

      Both “Breastfeeding Made Simple” and “The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding” mention that many breastfed babies don’t need to be burped (supposedly they take in less air than bottle-fed babies)–but it’s seems like most breastfeeding mothers still burp their babies. But then again, breastfeeding books are very good at making breastfeeding seem simpler than it actually is. 😉

      I already nurse on one side only due to oversupply. It’s nice not to worry about having enough milk but it certainly adds some challenges when I have a newborn since they can hardly keep up.

      I’m actually fairly skilled at the Moby wrap since I used it so often with Babykins. Right now it’s the easiest way to make sure Sweet Pea has all her burps out before putting her in her bassinet. I’m not particularly fond of the idea that she’s learning to fall asleep on me, but at least I learned with Babykins that these sleep habits can change fairly rapidly in the first year.

  2. N says:

    I breastfed all my three boys (even the twins) and I definitely implemented a routine as soon as possible to keep me sane! Though in my case the routine was more eat-burp-change diaper-play-eat-burp-change diaper-sleep. Yes, the burp always very important because the few times I would forget (or one or both of us would fall asleep before), I would be reminded of my thoughtfulness five minutes later by a screaming baby…

  3. Ha it is all lies. Whatever works for you is what works. The never needing burping thing for breastfed, I have never heard. In fat I think they need it more, depending on what you have eaten. Yes the eat play sleep thing worked for me, but I was heartless, and it didn’t work right away. But again, it is really all about what works for you and your routine and family. There is no right answer except your answer. NO matter what the routine the first 6 weeks are always hard. FO rISabella, our second, I think she spent the entire first six weeks on my mothers shoulder with her trying to get the gas out of her. AFter that, things seemed to get a bit easier, or she had just worn us down so much that we had given up on life. HA!!! AS you know from felicity, it will get better, but really the first 6 weeks is the first hurdle, then the first 6 months, then the first 2 years. Then the first 10 years, then the first 15 then 18, then 21, then death!!!! Ohh ooops that may have gone a bit far… Hang in there. kathryn

    • Katrina says:

      I think using the Moby is our version of the shoulder carry–it’s the most efficient way to get the burps out (seriously, I can burp this child for 20 minutes and get nothing and then pop her in the wrap and get the biggest belch after just minutes). We’re just trying to get through this Advent season with as little crying and as much sleep as we can. :p

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