The secret to Calm and Confident Parenting. An official Gina Ford website

The routine of 15 Contented Little Babies

People who haven't read any of Gina Ford's books often assume that she suggests strict four-hourly routines that are set in stone with no flexibility. In fact, the routines are guidelines and can be adapted to each individual child as he or she grows and changes. The routines below show just how different Contented Little Babies can be!

Thomas aged 4 months

7.00am Breastfeed
7.30-8.45am Social time
8.45/9.00 Nap of around 45 mins
9.45/10.00 Social Time and outing
11.00 Breastfeed
11.45/12.00 Breastfeed top-up
12.00-2.00pm Nap
2.20 Breastfeed
3.30 Social time and outing - he will often have a cat nap in buggy
5.00 I usually offer him one side between 5.00pm and 5.45pm depending on how demanding my toddler is being.
5.45/6.00pm Bath
6.15 Breastfeed
6.30pm Settle to sleep - sleeps through until 6-7am


Alice aged 11 months

8.30am Formula feed
8.45am Breakfast of cereal/toast or porridge
10.30am Small snack and drink
12.15pm Lunchtime
1pm Nap
3pm Wake- small snack and drink
5.15pm Tea time
6pm Bath
6.20pm Formula feed
6.30pm Settle to sleep


Lucy aged 14 weeks

7/7.30am Formula Feed
Under cot mobile/play mat while I get ready/get brother ready
9.15-9.45am Nap
Social Time
10.30am Formula Feed
Social Time
11.30am Formula feed top-up
11.45am-2/2.30pm Nap
2.40pm Formula Feed
Social Time/Outing
4.15/4.45pm She might have a 15min nap but is often is happy to go without
5pm Formula feed
5.45pm Baby and Toddler bathed and dressed
6.30pm Formula Feed
6.45pm-10.30pm Settle to sleep
10.30pm Formula Feed
10.50pm-7/7.30am Sleep

It took us a while to get the routines working right (although was perfect with the bath and bedtime routine from the start) but suddenly at 10 weeks the day sleeps and feeds just fell into place. We persevered because we knew how much her brother benefited from Gina's routine. The 7pm bedtime is a godsend as both my children go down like a dream and I get my evenings - so important for me as I have 2 active children who have never been content to just lie under play mat/in buggy etc!


Oliver aged 12 weeks

7/7.15 Breastfeed
8.40 Nap of approx 30-40 minutes
10/10.30am Bottle feed of expressed milk
11.30/12pm Breastfeed Top up
12.30/12.45pm Wake up. Breastfeed again and might sleep for about 30 minutes
1.15-2pm Usually sleeps again
2.30pm Breastfeed - sometimes he takes it, sometimes he doesn't want anything
3-3.30pm Nap to make up for short lunchtime nap
4.45-5.15 Afternoon nap
5.15pm Breastfeed
5.45 Bath and dressed
6.15/6.30pm Breastfeed
7-10pm Settle to sleep
10pm/11.15pm Breastfeed
2.30/3.30am Breastfeed & sleeps until 7am


Millie aged 11 weeks

7:15am Breastfeed
Bath and social time
8:45am Breastfeed top-up
9:10-9.55am Nap
10:30am Breastfeed
Social Time
11:30am Breastfeed top-up
12:00pm Nap (has been waking up at 1pm, will sleep 2 1/4 hours in the car or his pram, however she wakes if in her cot)
2:30pm Breastfeed
Social Time
4:15-4:45 Nap
5:00pm Breastfeed
6:00 pm Bottle feed
6:45-10:20pm Sleep
10:30 Bottlefeed
11:00-7:15am Sleep


Sam aged 9 weeks

Bottle feed
7.30 Social Time
9am-9.45am Nap
9.45am-10.30am Social Time
10.30am Bottle feed and then quiet play
11.30am Settle for nap, asleep by 12
12.45pm Wakes - currently cuddling back to sleep
2.15pm I wake him
2.30pm Bottle feed and then social time
4pm Outing- sleeps about 30 min in pram
5pm Small bottle feed
5.30pm Kick without nappy on bathroom floor
5.45pm Bath
6pm Massage/dress/kick on mat in nursery
6.15pm Bottle feed
6.40pm Settles - asleep by 7pm
9.45pm Start to wake him
10.20pm Bottle feed
11pm Sleep


Leila aged 16 weeks

7/7.30am Breastfeed
9.00- 9.30am Nap
10.30am Breastfeed
Social Time
11.30 Nap - wakes after 35 minutes usually needs to feed again before going back to sleep until 2.30pm
2.30pm Breastfeed
4.30pm Nap of around 20 minutes
5.30pm Breastfeed - this is later due to feeding toddler
6.30pm Bath
6.45pm Breastfeed and top up from bottle and breast.
Always wakes after 35 mins again and needs a breastfeed to go back sleep. Sometimes wakes again with wind before settling for the night around 8.30pm.


Edward aged 6.5 weeks

Breastfeed and back to sleep
7.30am Breastfeed (after expressing small amount)
9.00 - 10am Morning nap
10.15-11.00 Breastfeed and social time (usually one breast at 10.15 and other at 10.45am)
11.45-2.15pm Lunchtime nap
2.30-3pm Breastfeed, then social time or outing
4.15-5pm Nap
5.15 Breastfeed
6pm Bath
6.15pm Bottle feed of expressed milk
7pm Bed
9.30-10pm Express both breasts
10-11.15pm Father gives expressed milk from bottle so I can get to bed
11.15pm Back to bed
2-3am Breastfeed, back to sleep within half an hour until 6.30/7am

He was waking at 2am and 5am each night but since we introduced a split feed at 10pm a few days ago he now wakes between 2-3am and then 6am-7am.


Sarah aged 6.5 weeks

7.15 am
Wake her up
7.30 Breastfeed
7.40-8.30 Social time
8.45 Sleepy / settle her
9.00-10.00 Morning nap
10.00 Change / social time
10.30 Breastfeed
11.00 Top and tail
11.15 Sleepy/settle her
11.30-2pm Lunchtime nap (this is not consistent and usually broken)
2.30 Breastfeed
3.30-4.00 Sleep
4.45-5.15 Relax with dummy
5.30 Breastfeed
5.45 Social time
6.15 Bath
6.30 Breastfeed
6.45 Settle down
7.00 Sleep
10.30 Wake up
10.45 Feed (expressed breast milk), split with a nappy
11.15 Goes to sleep
4.30am-6.30 am Wakes for breastfeed


Henry aged 21 weeks

7.00am Wake and formula feed
8.45am Settle for nap
9.00-9.45am Morning nap
10am Social time
11.00am Formula feed followed by one cube of solids
11.45am Top up of formula
12-12.45pm Lunchtime nap - he normally wakes after 45minutes and has recently started to resettle himself after 5-10 minutes
2.00pm Wake him if he has had a good lunchtime nap
2.30pm Formula feed & social time
4.45pm 15 min nap
5.00pm Formula feed followed by 1-2 tsp of baby rice mixed with formula
5.45pm Bath
6-6.15pm Formula feed
6.30-7.00pm Bed
10.15pm Wake him
10.30pm Formula feed
10.45-11.00pm Back to sleep again!


Emily aged 4.5 months

7.00am Wake up baby, breast feed
7.45am Social time
8.45am Begin wind-down for nap
9am Sleep
9.45am Wake up baby
10am Outing
11am Formula feed
11.45am Settle for nap
12.00 Sleep
2.15pm Wake baby
2.30pm Breast feed & social time
3.15pm Offer breast feed, often declined (if so will need split feed at 5.00pm)
4.00pm Offer cool boiled water
4.45pm 15 min nap
5.30pm Bath, and massage
6.00pm Breast feed and then story time
6.30pm Nursery for the rest of her breast feed and quiet cuddles
7.00pm Asleep
10.00pm Wake baby and give formula feed
10.30pm Back in cot


Holly aged 5.5 months

6.30am I get up, organise expressing equipment and own breakfast
6.45am Express and eat
7am Wake baby if not already woken
7.10am Breastfeed
7.45 Social time
8.50am Settle baby
9-9.45am Morning nap
10.15am Breastfeed
10.45-11.20am Outing
11.30am Top-up breastfeed
12pm-2.15pm Lunchtime nap
2.30pm Breastfeed
3.00-4.15pm Outing/social time
4.30-5pm Afternoon nap
5pm Breastfeed
5.30pm Bath and massage
6pm Breastfeed
6.40pm Settle and offer breast if wanted
7pm Sleep
9.45pm I express
10.20pm Wake and change nappy
10.30pm Bottle of expressed breast milk
10.50pm Settle and offer more expressed breast milk if wanted
11/11.10pm Bed


Sophie aged 16 weeks

5am-7am Breastfeed and then social time
9-10am Morning nap in cot
10 - 10:20 Social time, wash and dress
10:45am Breast Feed both sides. A little baby rice after the feed and then social time
12-2.30pm Lunch time nap in cot
2.30pm Breastfeed and then social time
4-4.30pm If we are at home I put her down for a sleep at this stage
5.30pm Nappy free kick under her mobile
5.50pm Bath and massage
6.15pm Feed and story
6.45pm Bed
9.30pm Express both sides
10.30pm Wake to feed, this is usually formula feed, then nappy change, then 2oz expressed breast milk
11.00pm By this time she is usually settled for the night


Ewan aged 4 months

7am Wakes
7.20am Formula feed followed by social time
8.45am Nap time
10am Woken up and then social time
10.50am Formula feed and first stage solids
12pm Take up to nursery for lunchtime nap
2.15pm Woken up (or wakes up)
3pm Formula feed then social time/outing
4.30-4.40pm Brief nap in car on way to get big sister from nursery
5.20pm Baby rice and fruit
6pm Bath
6.20pmish Formula feed
6.40pmish Cuddle and left to settle for night


Christopher aged 5.5 months


7.30am Formula feed
9am Morning nap
9.30am Wake and social time/outing
10am Offered 1oz of water (found it stops him getting constipated)
11am Formula feed
12noon 2hrs 15mins lunchtime nap
2.30pm Formula feed
4.30pm Afternoon nap (sometimes up to 30 minutes)
5.45pm Bath
6.05pm Formula feed
7pm Bed


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