So many parents with new babies are told, “get your baby on a schedule. Things will be a lot easier and you will get more rest.”
The problem with this advice is that it comes too early and without enough information. When babies are born, they schedule us and we do not schedule them. We need to follow their lead. For three months they should be spoiled. After three months children can learn some scheduling. But the first thing to work on is night sleep. After three to four months, children can learn to sleep for longer stretches. So parents can let up on their responsiveness to their children at night and see if they can learn to fall back to sleep again without cues from us.
After night sleep is accomplished, children develop into nappers over time. Napping is usuallly haphazard until closer to 9 months of age. By that time children start developing a natural schedule of two naps a day. By 15 to 18 months those two naps become one longer nap and then you have your child scheduled! But you didn’t do it. Children evolve into that schedule over time. Don’t let anyone tell you to push your child into a schedule before they are developmentally ready.