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When to start a 'bedtime routine'???

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Hiya.. i have a five week old baby boy and currently we don't really have a bedtime routine... basically I go to bed at about ten and my husband brings him up to me at about 2am (he bottle feeds him during this time) and he goes in his moses basket and I breastfeed him in my bed through the night and then put him back in his moses basket (which is next to me) so.. he is downstairs in his carry cot with hubby who has the telly on etc all evening... my question is when should we introduce more of a routine? should he be bathed, fed and put down at some point (say 8ish?) but put in another room which is quiet and dark (using the monitor of course!) any thoughts or advice would be greatly appreciated as I would like him to sleep longer at night but I know he's only wee and this will probably come.. I don't want to do any strict routine stuff with him like leaving him to cry or anything at this stage! :suspect:

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I can give you an idea of what we did with our twins.

At 10 weeks we started a bedtimne routine, until then it was a free for all to allow them to develop a diurnal rhythm.

So, at 10 weeks we started putting them to bed around 8pm - 8.30 ish in their moses baskets in our bedroom. I am a firm believer in sharing a room for the first six months (or more if it suits). We would then feed on demand through the night, using the baby monitor when we were downstairs and then as usual when in bed.

A few weeks later once we'd developed a pattern we brought bedtime forward slowly until we eventually arrived at 7.30pm. We did have problems with sleep training after we moved them into their own room at 7 months but then we used the controlled crying method and after around 9 nights we had it cracked, going in every 1 minute for 3 nights, every 2 minutes for 3 nights, every 3 minutes for 3 nights and we planned to go as far as five minutes but never needed to.

Ever since then they've gone to bed at 7.30 prompt.

Our routine really consists of changing in pjs (unless it's a bath night), having a story and then milk and bed. Even now age 2, our key phrase is 'milk and bed'.

I think your routine is absolutely fine for your baby's age and I'd be inclined to leave it a few more weeks before trying to instill a routine.

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We started to put our daughter in our bedroom at 8.30pm when she was 8weeks old. We just used the monitor to feed on demand (not that we needed to, she slept through on most nights straight away).

We brought bedtime forward gradually to 7pm. Her routine is change nappy, pj's, bottle, story and bed. She is now 9 months and the same routine is still working (apart from tonight as her teeth are coming through!!!!).

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At 3-4 weeks Babybaby would have a kip for a couple of hours, usually from about 7.30-8 onwards - she did this anyway, we didn't try to encourage it or anything. We'd leave her asleep in the (lit) lounge with us so that she'd know it was still day time when she woke. We'd then feed her and put her to bed properly around 10.30, and would follow her shortly after that. That way she'd sleep to around 3am (for a feed), then through to about 6.30am. Since she was a summer baby this fitted in really well with putting her in the pram and going to the pub beer garden for a couple of hours until she wanted feeding. Fab! It just about kept me sane and minimised the effects of PND!

 

By about 5 weeks she was sleeping from 10.30 to about 5-6am before waking up (ravenously hungry).

 

I should add that we didn't impose any routine on her - I wrote down her nap times for a week and went from there. Turns out she'd already got her own routine, but I jsut hadn't noticed.

 

Sadly, despite her fantastic sleeping pattern, I was up every 2 hours expressing for 45mins-1 hour to try to get my supply up to her ridiculously high standards.

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Hi - This probably isn't a lot of help but we waited until we saw a natural routine developing. I can't remember exactly but it was definitely over 4 months.

 

Prior to that she just used to sleep downstairs, usually laid on her dads chest. We fed her when we went to bed about 10:30ish initially would wake up again about 1ish (& 3ish on bad nights) but gradually this got longer & longer until she would go to 6ish. We were constantly getting told that we would never get her in a routine but we did. I don't think there was a big change the last feed just got earlier & she started sleeping longer until she was eventually going 7ish to 7ish. I think it was about 5 months.

 

If its your first its a bit eaiser as you aren't tied to school runs or anything so just go with what suits you & don't worry too much about routines at the mo.

 

With dd1 I tried really hard to get her into a routine form the off as my sister convinced me this was the way forward. It did work out well but I do wish I had fretted less sometimes & just made a bit more of the baby time. Those first few months go so quickly. I miss cuddling babybell to sleep sometimes now - at 12 months she won't entertain it.

 

Lisa xx

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We started our bathtime bedtime routine at 6 weeks & we were glad as it all went swimmingly and we quickly started getting her to go down around 7.30pm. She was doing just one feed in the night at 3am and sleeping til 7am. A couple of weeks later we decided to be clever and reintroduce a dream feed at 11pm to see if we could get rid of the 3am feed (even though she had never wanted to be fed at this time. And we completely screwed it up. Then the clocks changed & she started waking at 5am. So we started not putting her down so early. Then she got a nasty bug & was coughing gunk up badly so we kept her asleep downstairs with us where she was upright. I just wanted to hold her in my arms and know she was OK and started to reflect on this routine business.

 

I think routines are good, and important particularly for bigger babes who dont go down well at night. But I do think you can overdo it with tiny ones. They are so precious and grow up so fast, and often they just want to be held which is the most natural instinct in the world. I am now going far more with the flow and loving that bond between us. I think you can get so hung up on the routine, and who's baby is sleeping through the night, and forget to snuggle up and enjoy your baby as well. I also instinctively want my baby close to me. Gina Ford would say, yes in the own room, complete darkness etc. Government guidelines are 6months in your room in their basket/cot. Many of my friends moved babies out much sooner and said they and the baby slept better for it. But other than the closeness, on a practical note if you are breastfeeding its easier to have them next to you.

 

i could go on all day but its really early days. I would say go with the flow. Its important you get your rest too. Think about it again in a while when your baby is feeding less regularly and you are more rested :)

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Thank you all so much for you responses.. one thing I've gained from them all is that every parent and baby are so different and that I need to 'chill' and not feel panic when listening to other mums who claim their 5 week old is sleeping through the night..!!! my baby's sleep routine changes nightly (I guess that really means it isn't a routine!) but gradually he is going that little bit longer between feeds and one day I'm sure we'll get there! I particularly loved Sam MT's comment: "I do think you can overdo it with tiny ones. They are so precious and grow up so fast, and often they just want to be held which is the most natural instinct in the world." this made me feel so much better and validated my own feelings! thank you all xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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I can only tell you what we did but you tend to fall into a routine from day 1, it sounds like your in one already. It our first child so don't know if it's right.

 

Bath about 6.30 7ish then she went to sleep in the carry cot at the back of the room we would take her up to bed with us about 10 where I would also give her a feed. As she was in the moses basket at the side of the bed I fed throughout the night.

 

Went to a bottle and kept up the above rotiune but she slept every 4 hours however this just reduced until she would have us walking upstairs for hours until about 11 then she started sleeping through at about 6 weeks (very lucky but she didn't sleep between 7 & 11).

 

When she had outgrown the moses basket at about 5 months we started putting her in bed at 7ish and she has gone 7 - 7 till then however she didn't get up till 0 today joy.

 

She is now 13 months and I still give her a small dream feed at 10ish but it works for us so if you feel ready for a routine start now but make sure you stick to it because we still control cry occasionaly when she is over stimulated and has other ideas about going to bed.:hihi:

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Breastfeeding babies often have different sleeping patterns and needs to bottle fed babies so you maybe aswell checking in with some BF mothers for comparison?

 

We started our routine at 2 weeks. Bath, bottle and bed. He was sleeping through by 5 weeks. Once he is upstairs, we dim the lights, he goes for his bath. Afterwards we chase him round the bed for 5 mins trying to get his nappy and pj's on. We give him his bottle and off he goes to sleep.

Would read him a story but he gets very excited about books so its counter productive.

 

Alot of factors are involved when settling baby. Vaccinations, birth experience, how settled the house is. Not to mention the natural disposition of your LO. I am a night owl see, but our wee one takes after his dad and is a morning person. Much to my dismay lol

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