I have definitely learned with each additional child that a schedule is something babies thrive under. With J,like most first born, I was learning as I went. He had a general schedule of eating every 3 hours or so
not withstanding his growth spurts of nursing every hour! Torturing long nights. But naps was pretty much whenever he would fall alseep he would nap. I never specifically put him down in his bed for naps. So one day it might have been that his first nap was at 8a while the next would be at 10a. Same thing happened with afternoon nap and bedtime. I didn’t learn until he was nearly a year old that he needed a specific schedule for nap and bedtime for everyone’s sanity.
When E was born, J and I had a good schedule going and that was thrown for a loop. So we started building one all over again. E was put down in his bed for naps at about the same time everyday. This was beyond wonderful in those first few surviving months-both boys would take afternoon nap at the same time which allowed me to nap and catch up on sleep lost in nighttime feedings.
Now with G, naps and bedtimes are all flex scheduled. Meaning my kids have naptimes in their beds. Well E and G do. J boycotted his nap almost year and half ago. Bedtimes for everyone at about the same time each night. But the flex is that we can be out on a day trip or running an errand and my kids won’t freak out cause they aren’t in their own bed.
However the glory of being at home is of G is tired and has the cutest bags under her eyes totally giving away how tired she is, I can put her in her crib, walk away, and listen on the baby monitor. Which usually ends up looking like this:
When we are not at home-say like grandma and grandpa’s house- you usually get this if you try to lay her down:
That would be the brightest smile and wide open eyes she can give. She doesn’t want to miss a moment.
So while I have gotten better with naps, kids still throw me for loops. But I think that is parenting in general. Once you think “ok, I got this” the kids do something that changes the game again.