Mother and Baby

Baby bedtime routine: EASY Principles

Section: Sleep
baby sleep in cot

This method is great if you’re after a simple and structured routine for your baby that also gives you some ‘me’ time

Those looking for a routine that’s easy to stick to but will gradually encourage baby to settle himself may be suited to the EASY method. Devised by Tracy Hogg, it stands for the Eat, Activity, Sleep, You structured routine.

Note the ‘you’ in there – yep, this does give you time to yourself. So, what’s it about?

What is the EASY method?

It’s a recurring three-hour routine that involves food, play, then a nap. While your baby sleeps, you rest or get things done. How often you repeat the routine comes down to your own judgement.

E is for Eat: Feed your baby until he’s had enough – he’ll let you know when that is but if not you can check our milk tally.

A is for Activity: Play with your baby until it’s time for his nap. Simple things are great, such as changing his nappy or singing to him but try not to over excite him before naptime. 

S is for Sleep: The method suggests regular naps for your baby to encourage him into a sleep routine. Settle him in his cot and leave him to sleep on his own. (A regular bedtime has plenty of benefits).

Y is for You: Whether you’ve been dying to spruce up the house or want to sprawl on the sofa with Grey’s Anatomy, now’s your chance. But enjoy it while it lasts – your time relies solely on how long your baby snoozes for.

This routine will eventually help your baby settle himself without the tears

How does it work? 

This method is all about enforcing a proper schedule, which lots of sleep experts swear by. You can start this routine when your baby is around the four week point and eventually it will help him settle himself without the tears.

To make this happen, your baby will need more feeds before bedtime, which Tracy calls ‘cluster feeds’. She advises that you feed your baby between 5-7pm and again between 6-8pm to fill him up for the night. You should then only need to give him one final feed at around 10pm while he’s asleep (his dream feed).

The EASY routine is strictly structured, but it does allow a certain amount of freedom for you. The activity can vary each time you do it as can the length of nap and feed. So it’s a good balance between baby and parent-led parenting.

How to manage it

This routine can be tricky to keep to if you baby refuses to sleep when you want him to. Try not to overexcite him during the ‘activity’ time and use soothing methods before you put him down to comfort him.

Try not to be disheartened if it takes a while for the routine to work for your baby – it may take a couple of weeks until you get that ‘me’ time.


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Having worked across a variety of magazines, on topics from food to travel to horses, Stephanie now works as a Digital Writer for Mother&Baby online. 

She loves taking her lurcher puppy Moss for long walks in the country, and spending time with her niece and two nephews. In her spare time she writes fiction books and enjoys baking (her signature bake is lemon drizzle cake).

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