My son schedules himself.
If he's not maintaining his usual pattern, it's because something is wrong.
Nobody believes me.
I have friends all over the spectrum of parenting styles, and everybody thinks I'm doing it wrong.
The more mainstream types are convinced he's never going to sleep on his own because I nurse him to sleep, and any disruptions to his naps or night sleep are laid at the door of "You must not be maintaining his schedule consistently" or "Could you be feeding him too much?"
The more AP-leaning sorts say things like "It's normal for a six month old to still be waking up multiple times a night, you know," and "You know it's really hard to make a baby stick to a schedule."
Now, I'm pretty crunchy. We cloth diaper, babywear, cosleep, baby-led weaning, homemade toys, sensory play, yadda yadda yadda. I'm breaking ground for that garden so I can grow our veggies instead of buying produce that got sprayed with God knows what. I'm learning to make sourdough bread from scratch, including my making own starter.
Some things, we do more mainstream. Vaccinations and baby-entertainment gear, mainly, because there have been pertussis outbreaks here recently, and it's really tough to cut sod with a baby on my hip.
But scheduling? Nope. He really is that predictable, as long as he's comfy. Everything's right with his world, JJ takes two naps during the day, of 90 minutes to 2 hours each, and conks out for the night between 6:30 and 7. He rouses once after bedtime to top off his tummy, then sleeps until 6:30 or 7 in the morning, with one wake-up during the night to nurse, anywhere between 1 and 3am. Takes 15-20 minutes, and he never really wakes up.
Now, if he's having a growth spurt, his gums are super sore, or his reflux is acting up, all that goes haywire in extremely short order. But that's the point. If he's a happy baby, he sleeps like an angel. If he's waking me up more than twice a night, something is wrong, and because I'm sleep-deprived at that point, I usually require a little help figuring out what that something might be.
I know that most babies aren't nearly that predictable. I get that. I am aware that I was blessed with an incredibly easy baby for my first time out, quite likely I'm using up all my free passes on this one, and his next sibling will probably be one of those all over the map babies that's perfectly happy with random naps and being wide awake at 3am.
I can hear my mother already. It's your turn, dear. I hope you have a child JUST like you.
Thanks, Mom. 'Preciate it.
But honestly, folks... it seems like a thoroughly unpredictable child is considered some kind of AP badge of honor, like if your kid is sleeping through the night "too early" you must be forcing the issue, and baby being off their routine is really nothing to worry about because it's normal.
By the same token, the far end of the scheduling school of thought has a predictable baby that sleeps through the night, takes regular naps, and has planned out meal- and play-times followed like clockwork as its Holy Grail, leaving very little room for a child's individual needs or personality. If your kid isn't meeting that standard, well, you must not be doing your job!
Lucky me, JJ does six of one and a half dozen of the other, so they all think I'm nuts!
Don't mind me, I'm just going insane over here.
Okay, enough ranting, time for baby cuteness.
A couple of days ago JJ was seriously bored and I was a little tired of entertaining him, so I improvised.
Pimento jar (baby food sized), Parsley jar, Meat Tenderizer jar.
All with a dozen or so red kidney beans inside and the lids glued on.
Little dude was FASCINATED.
They all move differently and make different sounds. The pimento jar is glass, so it's louder and kinda musical. Plus the pop-top lid makes it drum-y, which he loves. The parsley jar, he mostly rolls, and the meat tenderizer jar... heh. It's his favorite because it's just small enough around for him to get a grip on, and you should have seen his face when he worked out how to make it make noise.
*shake* Those little eyebrows start to lift.
*shake shake* His eyes pop and his mouth does that surprised "Oh!" thing for a second, and then he flashes me this huge wide-eyed open-mouthed grin and proceeds to make with the maracas.
It also apparently makes a really awesome chew toy.
I love my life!