I would have to say that I am definitely a fan of having some sort of routine/schedule with my baby. It's not something that is rigid or set in stone, but something that is flexible to go by since each and every day is different, but yet similar.
Last week Matthew switched from 4 naps per day to 3 naps per day. We've been working on extending his awake times since he would be fussy after only 45 minutes-1 hour and need a nap. I noticed that his first nap was a super short one lasting from 30-40 minutes on average and that his two middle naps were 2-3 hours long followed by one last short nap in the evening. He slept 11 hours total at night with waking up one time to eat about 5-6 hours from being put down and I couldn't help to think that it could be better. So, I decided to make the switch.
It went pretty well, but keeping him awake is sometimes difficult. The goal is that he's awake from 1.5-2 hours and sleeps for the same amount of time trying to get in a 4 hour block from one feeding to the next. Again, we're pretty flexible, so if he's hungry sooner or naps longer, we feed him when he's ready. He only eats between 4-5 ounces of formula at a time (if he finishes his bottle) so he needs to eat more often and doesn't end up eating a ton in a 24 hour period.
During our awake times, we are doing a number of things. One of his favorites is the swing which I try to use if he's fussy or I need to get something done. We've been trying to keep him off of his head more so we're using his new activity saucer and he is doing really well with it. He's a little short for his jumperoo so we're waiting until he's grown a couple of inches to really be able to get moving in that. He hates tummy time with a passion so we don't do that too often (also because the pediatrician said that it might make his reflux/tummy worse so we do it sparingly) but still try to do it daily most of the time.
He loves to be tickled and talked to with big expressions and will really laugh and smile more often now. He's still a high-maintenance baby (the pediatrician agrees) so he needs a lot of attention. We put him down for a nap when he's tired and shows some sign by being fussy, yawning, or rubbing his eyes and he's pretty good about going to sleep on his own especially now that we have the Baby Einstein soother attached to his crib.
The one BIG change we are doing is trying to put him down to bed earlier. He was going to bed around 9pm-ish, but we would have to wake him up to do his bath and he would end up wanting to party at 3:30am which is not cool for me. I'm hoping that putting him down earlier between 7:30-8pm will help with that problem and help him sleep longer since he'll be awake a little more before his bedtime and will wear him out a little bit more.
I'm still hoping that as he gets older, he'll be happier once he can do a little more. We're working on sitting and he tries really hard, but isn't quite there with balancing himself. It shouldn't be too long for that and for playing with toys (although the kid loves to nom on his hands every chance he gets) a little more intentionally.