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...to wonder how "routines" (GF et al) actually work in reality?

(59 Posts)
MsElisaDay Fri 10-May-13 10:24:19

Usually DS (6 months) goes to bed at 7pm ish, has a last feed at 11pm ish, wakes once or twice, and is up around 7am.
However, last night he was up virtually non-stop between 11pm and 4am. I think his teeth were bothering him, as he finally settled back down at 4am after some Calpol. He then slept through til 8.40am (a lie in!!) as clearly he was shattered.

Anyway. The backdrop to this is that various friends are telling me I should have him on a more strict routine to try and encourage him to sleep through. They also say that his mealtimes and naps should be more set in stone, rather than fitting around whatever we're doing during the day.

What I'm wondering is, if I were doing a GF routine, what would I have done last night? Would I have woken him at 7am despite the fact that he didn't sleep properly until 4am?
AIBU, therefore, to wonder how routines work in reality? Or do people just abandon them when teething issues or other problems come along?

I seem to spend half my life dragging my DC (10 & 6) out of bed, and treasure days when I don't have to, so I now regard those halcyon days of leaving PFB to sleep with a certain amount of nostalgia.

stopmovingthefurniture Fri 10-May-13 21:20:14

I woke DD from the word go and don't regret it, found she needed to feed that early in order to feed well in the mid morning feed.

Sleeping-wise it was like dominoes. If she slept into the morning she then didn't sleep properly at lunch time which meant she'd be cranky late afternoon and I wouldn't be able to keep her awake till bedtime which meant she wouldn't go to bed at bedtime which meant I would have no evening and be up during the night. I preferred to get her up and start the day right. Would not have bothered otherwise.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Fri 10-May-13 19:42:53

Well yes we wake DS for nursery. Other than that no I don't wake him, I figure he needs to sleep and I'll have a grumpy DS on my hands otherwise.

littleducks Fri 10-May-13 19:39:53

Exactly miaow, only my first baby when I was on maternity leave didn't need to be awake for the day. After that there was a family 'routine' that needed observing

MiaowTheCat Fri 10-May-13 19:16:26

Mine get woken up - necessity... need to be up and out of the house to drop DH at work!

LimitedEditionLady Fri 10-May-13 18:26:40

Oh no i never woke him as a baby,i do now hes older

Pobblewhohasnotoes Fri 10-May-13 16:53:29

I'm firmly in the camp of 'never wake a sleeping baby'. Why on earth you'd wake a baby at 7am every day is beyond me. My DS wakes when he wakes.

BalloonSlayer Fri 10-May-13 16:48:42

TBH there is waking up and waking up.

There is going into a room wherein a baby or toddler is sleeping, opening the curtains and tidying stuff while cooing in a peaceful voice "Hellooo poppet, are you waking up? Aaah! " as they blearily come to consciousness and smile dreamily and lovingly at you.

And there is the going into a room wherein a [usually older] DC slumbers, opening the curtains and tidying stuff while speaking gently to them, then speaking more loudly to them, then saying sternly "Oi! It's 7 o'clock," then pulling the duvet off, and leaving the room, returning 10 minutes later to find the duvet back on and the DC snoring again oblivious, wrenching off duvet in a temper snarling "Get. Bloody. Up. I am NOT driving you AGAIN." Repeat.

If my baby was as sleepy as the 2nd scenario (which my 12 year old eldest usually is now! ) I would not wake them, I would let them sleep in. But when the routines work properly, you go in to wake them and they are nearly awake anyway, so it's not like you are being unkind.

Thurlow Fri 10-May-13 16:32:08

Brices, you're right, I think there is an absolute terror there of what might happen if you deviate too much from the average sleep times!

Brices Fri 10-May-13 16:23:09

I always wake mine up at set times. The HV asked me what happens when you don't wake them? How pathetic I have never even thought about letting them sleep in (1 and 2 years) as I think they might wake up in the night. I think I'm Gina indoctrinated grin

Thurlow Fri 10-May-13 16:10:18

Pressed post too soon! Actually no I wouldn't have, just saw how little sleep the OP's baby actually had, poor thing.

Blueskiesandbuttercups Fri 10-May-13 16:07:43

I did Gina with my 3, fan bloody tastic however your times look very similar and with teething/illness all normality goes out of the window Gina or not.

Thurlow Fri 10-May-13 16:06:19

Not unreasonable, as each baby is different. I've only had one DC and no doubt any future ones will be completely different, but if DD didn't get up at roughly the same time in the morning, and nap at roughly the same time through the day, then the night would go wrong too. In the OP's case I might have stirred the baby at about 8.

ppeatfruit Fri 10-May-13 16:01:13

I agree about the afternoon nap Thurlow esp. when they get older, but in the morning if there's nothing to get up for and they've been teething its unreasonable to wake them up for some arbitrary routine.

Thurlow Fri 10-May-13 15:56:04

Normal rules tend to go out of the window when babies are ill - but I did sometimes have to wake DD from sleeping. If she slept too long in the afternoon she wouldn't sleep at night, and then she'd wake up late the next day, and nap late, and before you knew it everything would be out of the window. And this baby got very grumpy if she didn't get a good enough night's sleep!

Also, personally I was always happier if DD was going to bed around 8ish in the evening because I was often on my own at night and needed an hour or two to myself for my own sanity. So I'll admit I did sometimes wake her to try and keep her standard 8-8 roughly going.

ppeatfruit Fri 10-May-13 15:51:18

I 've not read GF but you are supposed to wake a baby that's been up most of the night with teething or a temp.? That's cruel IMO To the mum and the baby BTW ! You'd have a very miserable baby to put up with until it's 'time' to put him or her down for a nap wouldn't you? eff that for a game of soldiers!

DumSpiroSpero Fri 10-May-13 14:54:46

The backdrop to this is that various friends are telling me I should have him on a more strict routine

Tell them to mind their own bloody business then revel in smugness when you have a laid back sociable toddler and theirs are having a meltdown if lunch is 0.0328 seconds late grin.

Seriously, what works for you, works for you. For some people that's GF, for some it's baby wearing, co-sleeping go-with-the-flow, and for most of us, I suspect it's somewhere in between.

No further advice re routines from me, because as you can probably tell, we've never had one!

neunundneunzigluftballons Fri 10-May-13 14:45:59

I am not against or for routine for babies as such. My 2 older kids fell into their own natural rythmn and my little man needs to work around the school run and so has a loose routine based around that. He never normally sleeps in a cot during the day as he naps on the walks to and from school.

A group of 5 women met up when we had smallies. 2 of them observed strict routines and the rest of us were much more casual. To be honest the ones who were most strict ended up punishing themselves more than necessary imho. They left every coffee morning, evening social or anything any of us organised early as the little ones had to have a meal or a nap or a whatever. I could never see how the payback could have made up for all the rushing to and fro that they did especially as neither of them had children who slept anyway. Even if they did sleep I would still find missing out on the social inteaction (mother's social interaction not babies) would not be worth it. In my case most days would follow a similar pattern for food and sleeps but if we got the chance we would hang out late in grannys or in pals houses and the kids would drop off in the buggy on the way home or go with whatever flow we had on that particular day. I agree with the other poster who said flexibility is the key to routine oh and I think GF iis totally unrealistic. Before I had children mine 'theoretical offspring' would have behaved exactly like they do in Gina's book.

lyndie Fri 10-May-13 14:24:32

I had a routine with DS and was convinced it made him happy and settled. Obviously subsequent DC we had to be much more relaxed about things though, especially now the older ones have activities etc. and the younger DC have survived! I do however think its lovely, and respectful to take a baby home for a nap though - if your child is fine napping in the buggy then that's ok, if you know your baby is more settled at home in their then why not? It's only for a short period of your life and if it prevents babies being overtired and grumpy then it can only be a good thing!

Kasterborous Fri 10-May-13 14:13:12

Our DD is now one and in a sort of routine but she sort of fell into it herself rather than our doing, but if she has days where it is not followed its fine. Its not strict times either she has her lunch when shes ready then a nap but it doesn't have to be twelve on the dot. Like last weekend we went to a party and she didn't have her afternoon nap, which wasn't an issue, yes she was tired and a bit grumpy by bedtime but it was worth it. Especially as she slept from 7pm until 9.15 the next morning! She has the odd night when she's up its strange its like she's tired but can't switch off, just like we get sometimes really.

HandMini Fri 10-May-13 14:03:25

I am a routine-loving Mum. I wanted an hour or so in the middle of the day and some time in the evening when I was having some peace.

One caveat to that though is that I encouraged both of mine to sleep in a variety of places - pram, cot, basket, lap, sofa, so that I could try and not miss out on day time things. It's a bit of a halfway house but works for us.

I think a really central part if Gina's routines is that you DO wake the baby at 7am (regardless of his/her nights sleep). Speaking of which, I need to go and wake DD2 from nap.

Ledkr Fri 10-May-13 14:01:39

I've always chuckled at routines for babies and rolled my eyes as friends rushed home for naps and food.
Then I had dc5 and have to stick very much to routine or she's horrendous.
They are all different. It's a tie but worth it.

BalloonSlayer Fri 10-May-13 13:53:56

I did GF with all mine. I adapted it for how I wanted to do things though. eg she says feed and put to bed at 7pm, then wake baby up for another feed at 10.30. Well for a start, 10.30 is past MY bedtime, and secondly the one time I tried that the baby really didn't want to be woken up and then the bugger wouldn't go back to sleep! So there was me sat there half an hour after I would have normally gone to bed with a moany bewildered VERY AWAKE baby wondering what the Fuck I had just gone and done, and with no one to blame but myself! So after that I used to let him wake me for the night feed when he wanted it and we were both happy.

After a night like you have had I wouldn't have woken baby at 7 - I'd have let them sleep in a bit.

Similarly - the lunchtime sleep, if they slept longer I wasn't going to be banging on the door waking them up.

Ways I obeyed the routine was 99% of the time making sure I was back home at lunchtime so they could sleep in their cot. So I would hardly ever go out for a shopping trip into town that went on for hours and resulted in them sleeping in their buggy. In fact, I looked upon a baby asleep in a buggy as a waste of a good sleep - they could be doing that at home while I relaxed!

The best bit was when I had the two of them and they both napped at the same time and I had 2 hours a day EVERY DAY to myself. Saved my sanity. Thanks, She Who Should Not Be Named. flowers

Thurlow Fri 10-May-13 13:47:19

The thing is, if something works for you then it's almost impossible to imagine how something different might work. So if you and your baby are happy taking each day as it comes, or your baby just sleeps when it wants to, then you are probably going to picture a routine as very restrictive. We've never co-slept bar the odd few hours during a night when DD was very ill. I can't for the life of me imagine how co-sleeping works - where do you put the baby to bed? How do you stop wriggly toddlers falling out of the bed? Doesn't everyone just wake each other up? - but that doesn't mean it doesn't work brilliantly for some people.

littleducks Fri 10-May-13 13:26:45

With my pfb I was very baby led but by the time ds came along I needed a routine, it's tricky to be baby and toddler led at the same time! As soon as I could I got them napping at the same time to begin with I napped too and later I would watch TV or do housework.

Dh was working away a lot so having a structure to the day meant we went out daily and things like feeding and bathing got done.

I'm due dc3 later in the yr and I think the baby will have to fit into a routine. Things like the school run are non negotiable and mean there will be times when I just can't bf.

Wrt to the wake up question, I wouldn't have needed to wake the baby at 7 as the toddler would have done that!! This baby I will have to wake even after a bad night to ensure it gets a feed before taking bigger ones to school.

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