The first weeks at home with a newborn baby are often described as a blur of sleepless nights, endless feedings, and trying to figure out the needs of this tiny new human that has entered your life. For first-time parents especially, caring for a newborn can feel totally chaotic and overwhelming. Enter Moms on Call - a company that provides newborn care schedules and sleep training programs to bring order and predictability to those exhausting early weeks.
What is Moms on Call?
Moms on Call is a resource for parents founded by two pediatric nurse moms, Laura Hunter and Jennifer Walker. They noticed that many new parents seemed unprepared for life with a newborn. Babies don't come with instruction manuals after all! So drawing on their medical backgrounds, they created a system of newborn schedules and sleep training programs to give structure and consistency to newborn care.
The Moms on Call philosophy centers around the idea that newborns thrive on routine. Their schedules and programs aim to help parents establish healthy sleep and feeding patterns right from the start. This brings order not just to baby's days, but also allows parents to predict key times they can rest or get other things done.
In addition to their schedules and sleep training programs, Moms on Call offers books, online classes, and even an army of certified consultants you can hire to help implement their newborn care system. They've become hugely popular especially among first-time moms looking for guidance through those overwhelming early weeks.
Overview of the Moms on Call Newborn Schedule
The Moms on Call newborn schedule lays out a structured routine aimed at helping baby eat, sleep and develop healthy patterns right from birth. The basic components of the schedule during the first 6-12 weeks include:
Feedings every 2-3 hours - Newborns have tiny tummies so can't go longer between feedings. Moms on Call recommends breastfeeding or bottle feeding for 30-45 minutes every 2-3 hours.
Naps - Newborns need 14-18 hours of sleep per day, including naps. The schedule has designated nap times between feedings.
Bedtime - An early bedtime between 6-8pm is key for establishing night vs day. The schedule includes tips for a consistent bedtime routine.
Playtime - Newborns should have designated play and awake time built into the schedule when they are not eating or sleeping.
An example newborn schedule is the Beckham’s Three Week Routine (named after one of the Moms on Call founder's kids). It lays out the timing of feedings, naps, playtime and bedtime in an easy-to-follow hourly format.
Why Use a Newborn Schedule?
Some new parents balk at the idea of trying to impose a strict schedule on their fragile newborn. But the Moms on Call schedule is not about forcing baby into a mold. It's about creating routines that allow both baby AND parents to thrive those first weeks at home. Here are some major benefits of using a newborn schedule:
Predicts Baby's Needs
New parents often struggle to interpret their newborn's cries and needs. Is she hungry? Tired? Need a diaper? The schedule helps parents learn baby's patterns. If it's been 2 hours since baby ate, she's probably hungry. If it's been 60-90 minutes since her last nap, she likely needs more sleep. This predictability reduces frustration and anxiety for parents.
Brings Order to Chaos
Life with a newborn often feels like a foggy haze of feeding, changing diapers, and trying to grab snatches of sleep when possible. The schedule gives shape to the day so parents can anticipate key times for their own self-care like showering or grabbing a meal.
Helps Establish Day vs Night
Newborns often have their days and nights confused, wanting to sleep all day and stay awake fussing all night. The schedule encourages waking baby at regular intervals during the day for feedings and activity. This helps signal daytime and consolidate sleep at night.
Babies thrive on consistency. Their eating, sleep and wake times help set their biological rhythms. Following a schedule provides consistency versus the constant unpredictability of responding to baby's needs in the moment.
The schedule encourages allowing short fussing periods to help baby learn to self-soothe versus parents immediately responding to every cry. This sets them up for better independent sleep.
How to Implement the Moms on Call
Ideally you would start the Moms on Call newborn schedule from the very first day home from the hospital. This allows you to establish patterns right away. But it's never too late to start scheduling. Even implementing parts of the routine can be beneficial.
Commit to the Schedule
At first following a strict schedule may feel unnatural, especially if you are used to baby dictating the terms. But resist the urge to diverge from the schedule. The more consistent you are, the quicker baby will adapt to the routine.
Modify for Your Baby's Needs
Remember the schedule is a framework, not gospel. It's fine to modify timings based on your baby's needs while keeping the overall routine. For example if your baby is still hungry after 45 minutes, keep feeding until satisfied.
You may face challenges like a baby resisting the schedule, short naps, or difficulties with the bedtime routine. The Moms on Call resources provide extensive troubleshooting so you can get back on track. Don't give up!
Seek Help if Needed
If you are totally lost implementing the schedule, hire help! A certified Moms on Call consultant can come to your home, assess your situation, and identify what is needed to get your newborn's routine running smoothly.
Modifications for Special Cases
While the Moms on Call newborn schedule is designed for typical healthy babies, modifications may be needed for the following situations:
Preemies or Low Birth Weight Babies
Premature babies and those with low birth weights need to eat more frequently, so require a modified schedule. Work closely with your pediatrician to determine appropriate feedings and wake times.
Twins or triplets present an obvious challenge! You may need to stagger schedules and recruit help to follow the routine with multiples. Seek advice from other parents of multiples.
Colic or Reflux
Babies with colic or reflux may struggle with frequent crying or vomiting episodes that disrupt the schedule. Work on identifying triggers and soothing techniques so you can recover from disruptions faster.
Babies with special needs like developmental delays, health conditions, or sensory issues may require more flexibility in the routine. Adapt the schedule in coordination with any therapists involved in baby's care.
In summary, the newborn period is a challenging time for all new parents. Moms on Call provides a scheduling system that can bring order and predictability to those chaotic early weeks. Implementing a newborn routine takes commitment and consistency, but the payoff is a baby who eats, sleeps, and self-soothes better. While not a fit for every family, a schedule gives many parents the lifeline they need to stay sane and enjoy their new bundle of joy. Sweet dreams!