Fitting in around PFBs routines

(52 Posts)
happygonicky Thu 29-Aug-13 17:21:30

Just wondered if I'm being UR re fitting in around other mums and their babies' routines. I have the 'easy baby' in our NCT group and have a loose routine for 9 MO, like to be out and about and baby happy to sleep on go, but it's really starting to get on my nerves that my friends want to be at home for mealtimes, can't agree a meet-up time until baby awake, need to meet half an hour later so baby doesn't need to be woken, literally as I'm walking out the door, can't meet at a certain time any day because it's nap time...

How does it work with second babies? I'm starting to feel like there's a 10 min slot we can all make, and that's with me bending over backwards. Do I just need to chill?

Tee2072 Thu 29-Aug-13 17:30:26

No, your friends do.

And they probably will once baby 2 comes along, if it does.

Until then, grin and bear it and do what you would do anyway, just do it on your own.

MortifiedAdams Thu 29-Aug-13 17:33:11

I worked to a routine. And I wouldnt wake dd from a nap to go out. However, I was always very happy to.be the host (so.not having to worry about getting out by a certain time), or if I.knew we were meeting out at a time dd would nap, id go out a little earlier so she would nap out.

You may think they need to chill, they might prefer a routine. Its apples and oranges.

AmandapandtheNightmareMonsters Thu 29-Aug-13 17:38:15

I think that many people get deep into 'my baby's routine' with their first. By the second/third when there are non negotiables like the school run, they have to be more flexible.

I think it is reasonable to plan the day around your baby at this stage, but it's unreasonable to be constantly phoning as you are leaving the house, etc to delay and leaving you stranded. There comes a point where you just have to plan better or be more flexible.

I'm surprised that your NCT group are still together TBH. We found that, after the first few weeks, meeting up in a big group is quite hard, for the reasons you have said. It's much easier to meet one friend and their baby. Or meet at toddler groups where you don't care if they are late.

I think YABU a bit. You're lucky to have an easy baby, not everyone has that luck.

I don't know why people assume that everyone on a routine does it for no good reason or because they are uptight or god knows what. Don't you think your friends would prefer to be out and about and not have to worry about things?

When DS was 9 months I didn't make plans for nap times because it was the only time I could sleep reliably, he still woke at night so often.

Obviously you break the routine when you have to for school run or whatever but socialising is not the same kind of necessity, you can be flexible -- or at least you can if your friends are in the same boat and so it's all mutual.

exoticfruits Thu 29-Aug-13 17:47:52

I think that many first time parents do it- I did. You don't have that luxury with the second, they just have to fit in and are much better off for it.
We kept our NCT group going until they started school- it was better than a toddler group, it is in someone's house and is they have to speak to you! However, it was a new group once the babies had arrived, I never used it before they were born.

AmandapandtheNightmareMonsters Thu 29-Aug-13 17:48:16

I agree Dreaming. I think the point I was trying to make is that, if OPs friends know nap time is X, it is unreasonable to keep making plans for just after nap time, so that they regularly cancel/push back because the baby has slept longer. Fix it for a time you can fairly reliably make, even if those times are limited.

Sirzy Thu 29-Aug-13 17:50:45

YANBU. If they want to be meeting up with people and going out and about they need to learn to be more flexible.

Having an uptight routine with no flexibility often isn't practical at all.

meditrina Thu 29-Aug-13 17:59:43

YANBU - if there are times of day during which they cannot meet up with others (for whatever reason, not just family routine) then they should not be making arrangements for those times.

It's nothing to do with style of parenting (each to their own), but a great deal to do with basic courtesy and consideration.

babybythesea Thu 29-Aug-13 18:08:42

"they just have to fit in and are much better off for it. "

I am debating this point with DH at the moment.
DD1 was easy as a baby - very laid back and chilled out. I didn't worry too much about a rigid routine but I did make life easier for myself - she used to have a big early morning feed, for example, and then fall asleep again. So I never made plans to do anything much before 11.00 so she could have her sleep out, and I took the chance to sleep myself. As she got a bit older (up to about 18 months) she kept the morning nap so I also kept morning activities to a minimum. It worked for us.

DD2 is now 16 weeks. She also, if left to her own devices, sleeps a lot in the morning and is more awake and alert, and mostly cheerful, in the afternoon. But she rarely is left to her own devices. And on days when she is having to be taken out for the school run etc, she is noticeably more fretful and tired in the afternoons. She hasn't learnt (at least not yet) to sleep whenever, wherever, unless she's exhausted, at which point she gets cranky. More often, if disturbed (being put in her carseat to go in the car for example, or even carrying the carseat out to the car) she fights sleep so she can see what's going on. She is still very easy compared to some babies, but she is more prone to getting overtired and grumpy than DD1 ever was. I do wonder if it is her personality, or if actually having to fit round DD1 has not made her more adaptable, but has meant she finds it harder to settle because she hasn't had the same sort of routine as DD1.

There's not much I can do about it, but I am now questioning the truth of the claim that having to fit round the older ones makes the younger babies more flexible - not so far in this house! DD1, at nearly five, is very flexible so it will be interesting to see how DD2 develops.

Wibblypiglikesbananas Thu 29-Aug-13 18:15:45

I feel for you! My NCT group was great and we didn't really have anyone like this in it - we just used to put the babies down in their prams for naps and go out when we needed to - but I have a friend who must stick to one in ten meet ups we try to schedule. The dynamic is different as this is just one person, but it does get frustrating when you've planned around a certain time, got yours down to sleep 45 mins early or whatever in order to meet at a specified time/place, only to get a last minute call or text to cancel. It's doubly annoying the day you forget your phone and end up standing like a lemon waiting for someone who is never going to turn up!

9 months is quite young but by then, DD was down to a mid morning and a mid afternoon sleep. So we'd meet people for lunch, eg 11:30-1:30, or after the afternoon sleep around 4pm and maybe go for a walk or a coffee. My timings were never set in stone and we'd be flexible where possible.

DD is now almost 2 and sleeps after lunch for an hour and a half or so. So we plan activities for the morning, come home and have lunch, she has a sleep and then we head to the park late in the afternoon. Most of her little friends are pretty similar.

Re your NCT group - are people starting back at work soon? That did change the dynamic in ours slightly, and whereas our regular coffee catch ups were sacrosanct in the early days, they became less important to those going back to work at 9 or 12 months. Could that have something to do with it? Also, there was only one person in our group who was a local - the rest of us had moved to the area and didn't have family nearby. I think that also made us more committees to the group somehow - so what I'm trying to say is don't take it personally!

neunundneunzigluftballons Thu 29-Aug-13 18:16:19

You need to find a balance between the easy baby mothers and the routine mothers. We had 3 anytime, anywhere mothers, one of whom had twins and 2 routine driven mothers in our mother's circle. The routine mothers dipped in and out between meals and naps which were taken at home and the rest of us sat and drank coffee and watched babies playing until we were ready for off. It worked well and we are all still great friends with the kids off to school next week I can hardly believe it and they are all in the same class smile.

sameoldIggi Thu 29-Aug-13 18:29:03

I lived for my baby's naps when he was tiny, the thought of missing one of them because I'd gone out would have floored me.

SomethingOnce Thu 29-Aug-13 18:35:12

These routine threads always make me wonder what happens in traditional, indigenous cultures (or whatever the anthropologically correct description is).

Perhaps Bruce Parry could do Tribe again, but focus on child-rearing. I think it would be very interesting.

Jinty64 Thu 29-Aug-13 18:40:29

I had to go back to work 3 nights a week when ds's 1&2 were 14 weeks old. I didn't have any childcare during the day and so routine was crucial. We spent the morning out but had to be home by 12:30 so that they could be fed and in their cots by 1:15. They would then sleep until about 4:30. Friends would often ask me out in the afternoon and found it difficult to understand why I wouldn't keep them up if I wasn't working that night but I was afraid to disrupt our routine in any way as it was the only sleep I got.

With ds3 I had 8 months off and went back on days so it was all much easier and it didn't matter when he slept.

So I think YABU. Everyone arranges things to suit themselves but they shouldn't be arranging to meet and then cancelling/turning up late.

happygonicky Thu 29-Aug-13 18:57:51

Thanks, all. So helpful to get different perspectives! I think things are starting to shift re people going back to work and there's been a run of it, which has worn my patience thin. I do like doing things on my own, so think'll I'll get out and about more on that basis for a bit...

The 'easy baby' isn't so easy at the moment, perhaps that's contributing to lack of patience too!!

fluffandnonsense Thu 29-Aug-13 18:58:21

I think maybe you will be more sympathetic next time round if you find yourself with a not so 'easy baby.' I've always just got on and got out but I wouldn't wake the kids if they were asleep and I respect that my kids aren't the same as other people's and if that means we meet up late then so be it!

waterrat Thu 29-Aug-13 19:15:12

Nap time was when I rested - I think you are being insensitive - I was up a lot at night still at that age and even when ds slept through I found it hard always getting up early

I was not strict about being home for a nap always but I completely understand people who are

Dancergirl Thu 29-Aug-13 19:19:43

Can see it from both sides.

Yes it's frustrating for you and I would also find a strict routine too limiting. BUT have you considered that it might just be easier for THEM? It's not unreasonable to put you and your baby first.

Xmasbaby11 Thu 29-Aug-13 19:21:23

I can understand to a certain extent, and I agree that some babies benefit from a routine. DD was adaptable and would sleep anywhere, but I know not everyone is so lucky.

A few of my NCT friends had routine babies and it meant they missed some activities, but could still come to others. It wasn't a problem at all. As others have said, getting everyone together wasn't really possible, but often it was 3-4 of us. I thought the point of having a routine would be that you knew when was a good time to leave the house? I think your friends need to be a bit better organised and maybe just plan something that doesn't matter if one person turns up late or not at all. You shouldn't have to alter your plans at the last minute.

HandMini Thu 29-Aug-13 19:24:39

It's annoying when people change plans at last minute but otherwise I'd just go with the flow.

Perhaps try not to organise all being together for every meet up.

We used to get endless back and forth emails trying to hit on a perfect time for everyone....I got fed up with this so just used to send a message to everyone along the lines of "I'm going for a walk and a coffee in x park at 11, come along if you can". Nearly always had someone come along and people really can't be cliquey and whinge if you've extended the invite to all.

exoticfruits Thu 29-Aug-13 19:24:50

I have a good laugh now with friends about how we were with first babies!

RobotHamster Thu 29-Aug-13 19:31:34

My friends with easy babies didn't understand either.

BuggedByJake Thu 29-Aug-13 19:33:52

I could of written your OP about 9 years ago. My ds was summer born & I made the most of it, nice long walks in the sun etc. I would just let ds sleep in his pram & would be free to meet people at whatever time they wanted.
I feel sorry for parents that take routine too seriously, why stay in the house half the day when you can be out with friends etc.
In my experience it tends to be these parents that end up really uptight & don't really enjoy the new born stage.

Keep doing what you are doing & hopefully meet some like minded people to socialize with.

SlowlySlowlySlowly Thu 29-Aug-13 19:40:04

I'm with RobotHamster

My baby never slept on the go. I had to be home for nap times. I still had time to meet friends though. It wasn't really an issue to be honest.

DontmindifIdo Thu 29-Aug-13 19:54:00

I hate these anti-routine threads with people with 'easy' babies with the clear view that being routine focussed is somehow an sign you are uptight, or it's the parents fault their baby isn't 'easy'.

DS had a routine, and following it meant he slept through the night from 9 weeks, however any deviation from the routine meant he didn't sleep at night. An extra hour sleep in the day didn't mean one less at night, it meant 4-5 hours less at night. Also not getting enough sleep in the day meant he got over tired and wouldn't sleep. It was a balancing act. We quickly learned it's a big price to pay to be flexible.

DD (DC2) is now 12 weeks. We started with no routine, fit round DS's summer activities (which are all over the place compared to how things will settle down once scheduled activities restart in the autumn term next week). That as proved rather disasterous. We started with a routine 2 weeks ago and since then, she's slept from 7-8pm to 6:30 -7am with only one waking in the night, rather than from 10:30pm and then 3-4 wakings we had been having. Quite frankly, I feel like a new woman and no coffee catch up is worth messing with that now.

If your DC sleeps no matter what's happened in the day, then you probably don't get it. If you've not suffered sleep deprevation, then it might seem as difficult to stick to these routines, but if the alternative is no sleep, most parents will sacrifice their social life for feeling more human in the day. Lack of sleep is hell, there's a reason they use it as a form of torture.

DontmindifIdo Thu 29-Aug-13 19:58:59

oh and as for the "DC2 can't have a routine, they need to fit round DC1's school/pre-school run", I don't get this, the school run is the same time every day, so you arrange a routine that factors this in surely? I guess if you are doing a baby led routine it might be tricky.

Goldenbear Thu 29-Aug-13 20:12:07

IME second time around people are less sociable as they have children to occupy each other so don't rely on the social outlets of groups and meeting at people'shouss houses. Indeed, having the first is unique in that sense, you have time to think and worry about these things. Quite apart from the fact it is highly unlikely that you are going to socialise with a load of people that have had a second child at the same time. In my own case the novelty of such gatherings wore off by the second. I have a four year gap between my two so this may be the reason for not wanting to meet up with people to talk about 'development' and purrees! I do a lot of things with my 2 year old on my own whilst my DS is at school. I had/have too much to do when she naps. It feels indulgent to go for a coffee or someone's house in that time now. I never felt like that with my first.

mootime Thu 29-Aug-13 20:21:35

Both DS and DD have been really good, regular nappers. But while ds would sleep in the buggy at 9mo, dd never has. She would sleep in a sling until about a year, but ideally would prefer her cot. They now both (on a good day) nap from 1-3 but only if home in bed. As such I rarely arrange meet ups for that time. Luckily most of our friends kids nap at similar times so we meet in the morning or afternoon. Those two hours are a saving grace, particularly now I'm heavily pregnant.

mootime Thu 29-Aug-13 20:23:54

Both DS and DD have been really good, regular nappers. But while ds would sleep in the buggy at 9mo, dd never has. She would sleep in a sling until about a year, but ideally would prefer her cot. They now both (on a good day) nap from 1-3 but only if home in bed. As such I rarely arrange meet ups for that time. Luckily most of our friends kids nap at similar times so we meet in the morning or afternoon. Those two hours are a saving grace, particularly now I'm heavily pregnant.

AmandapandtheNightmareMonsters Thu 29-Aug-13 21:25:52

Dontmind - I had two nightmare sleepers. I can sympathise with that bit. DD2 was nearly 2 before she slept through. I didn't have a strict routine - tried it and it was a disaster for us. Not having a strict routine doesn't mean you had an easy baby - and much as it must annoy you to hear people knock routines, it irks me to hear people assume I had easy babies when I certainly didn't! But as I said, I get the feeling of doing anything for another minute or second of sleep yourself, so I'm certainly not anti for people they work for. Whatever works for your family is right for you.

My response wasn't so much towards the being home at nap time, it was the "can't agree a meet-up time until baby awake, need to meet half an hour later so baby doesn't need to be woken, literally as I'm walking out the door". If you have a routine, surely you have some clear times in the day which you can reliably be around for. If your child regularly overruns their nap, it is really rude and inconsiderate to arrange meet ups just after.

I think I was the first person to mention the school run. I wasn't really referring to flexibility from day to day. I meant that some FTM's get so deep into a 'book' based routine that it doesn't actually fit their life. Which isn't an option later on.

Pigsmummy Thu 29-Aug-13 22:05:08

I won't meet anyone, as much as I love them during the hours of 1-3 due to DD's nap. She won't sleep in pushchair

arethereanyleftatall Thu 29-Aug-13 22:37:54

I was you OP, so for me YANBU.

I have found over the years that there are 2 very different types of parents (and neither is right or better, just different). We (as a family) have slowly and naturally got to the point where we mostly only hang around with only those who are our 'type'.

It's just easier.

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Fri 30-Aug-13 01:26:25

I find one way to reduce the stress from things like this is to meet somewhere that you would be happy to go on your own - then if the other person/people don't turn up, it's not so important. We have a great place near us that has a playground, a library, a toddler group and a lovely cafe. I count anyone else actually turning up as a bonus. Same with a coffee shop in town, or the park on a sunny day or softplay. I'm happy to go with the kids so don't stress if someone cancels at the last minute.

My friends and I are all different and they range from 'baby sleeps anywhere when she is tired and never gets put in her cot even if they're home' to 'baby only naps in his cot, he does this twice a day and I wont wake him, ever, or deviate from this for anything less than a family wedding and even then I am hmm' Friend one is lovely and flexible, can meet anywhere, anytime etc but is a tired wreck, friend two is much harder to meet up with but her kids sleep through and she is well rested. Then the others in the middle.

Life is what you make it really.

DropYourSword Fri 30-Aug-13 09:17:59

Maybe you have 'the easy baby' precisely because you are laid back enough to go with the flow?

wonderingifiam2013 Fri 30-Aug-13 09:22:27

I look on in envy to those who push sleeping babies around ... mine never ever ever slept in buggy (I lie - once, and it was sooooooo unusual my mum got the camera out to take a picture of the momentous moment!)

I think you're very lucky to have an 'easy' baby but there are lots of babies that like to wake up/scream/cry/ ALL night and push their parents to breaking point. Therefore if a baby gets into a routine which means they will sleep better at night - go for it I say!

Sleep deprivation was a massive factor in my very slow recovery from an EMCS and I believe a huge contributor to my PND.

Please go easy on those mums trying their best to turn their little monsters into an 'easy' baby like yours

MiaowTheCat Fri 30-Aug-13 09:29:30

Dd1 has to be horrifically tired to sleep out and about. She just has to either sleep or cope if I need to be somewhere though, but that's just my general approach to things and I wouldn't try to push that onto anyone else - I can often do an early nap to get round issues if I need to.

Dd2 easily zonks out in the buggy but not all kids are like that.

Goldenbear Fri 30-Aug-13 09:46:25

My response was a reference to your question about second time around- I can honestly say I don't know anyone with the same enthusiasm and commitment to 'meet-ups' and visiting people's homes. Two means even more to organise and get out of the door, you don't want to be working to someone's agenda when you are doing that as inevitably you cannot synchronise everyone as easily.

I was very flexible with my first but babies are more mobile then toddlers and young children and it's just you and them, it's very easy to be laid back in that context. I have a four year gap between mine so one is at school and one is at home but I find I can do something in the morning after I've dropped my son at school and then my toddler has a nap and then it is nearly time to pick up my son from school. This basically writes off the whole afternoon for activities that I would've done with my first. After school my DS sometimes has clubs, he has phonics homework and reading practice every night. However flexible you are personally, a more rigid structure is imposed on you as your babies become children.

thebody Fri 30-Aug-13 09:52:35

not going to bite you with my personal routine for dc1 but it was ridged.

fast forward to dc4 fitting around school runs, football practise, after school stuff, pre teen drop offs and pick ups, sleep overs, etc. amazingly enough she didn't have a routine and was the most placid of the lot.😃

thebody Fri 30-Aug-13 09:53:03

lol bore not bite!!

Friend one is lovely and flexible, can meet anywhere, anytime etc but is a tired wreck, friend two is much harder to meet up with but her kids sleep through and she is well rested.

I know this is a big generalisation but this has been my experience exactly. I have a friend at the moment who has no routine, always wants to do stuff all day, but both her and her DC always seem so stressed and tired.

I think in the same way people can be ideologically rigid about routine, people can be ideologically wedded to this idea of 'I'm so free and easy, I don't need a routine, I just have fun all day'. That's great if it works for you but I do see people doing this even when it's clearly not really that great for their kids.

happygonicky Fri 30-Aug-13 12:20:28

Some very interesting points! I think I've realised that I'll fit in if I can but that essentially I don't want to be constrained by someone else's baby. Am also gearing up for return to work and have realised that time is short and I'm going to be busy over coming months, with even less patience and inclination to be super-flexible. I can see how parents tend to stick with those of their kind!!!

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Fri 30-Aug-13 12:38:19

I can see how parents tend to stick with those of their kind!!!

Yes and IMO as they get bigger this gets even more the way things go because you start to get things like eating habits/behaviour/choice of activities really starting to divide you as well. It's harder work to be out and about with people you parent very differently to because it's hard for the children (esp toddlers) to understand why they can't 'have & do' what they others can (or vice versa - it's hard to be the one allowing it but feel judged or a bit guilty).

Sometimes it's better to keep some friends as 'socialising without the kids for the large part' type friends.

happygonicky Fri 30-Aug-13 13:34:51

Chipping, I'm with you on that!

neolara Fri 30-Aug-13 13:42:17

I started writing a reply to explain why your views are limited by your experience of an easy baby. But then I really couldn't be arsed because (and I do honestly mean this in the nicest possible way) I suspect even if I did, you still wouldn't really get it. Just be grateful you have an easy baby. You may feel differently when or if you have dc2 with a different temperament.

BettyandDon Fri 30-Aug-13 14:12:47

I've experienced this too. There is nothing you can do about it really. Just try to find more like minded friends.

I have a NCT friend and I reckon her last minute cancellation rate due to her DC farting or something is about 60%. I never plan to see her 1 on 1 as I know she's likely to cancel.

It's hard though as it is important for you to socialise too. I just signed up for activities and classes to get out.

I can't help but wonder if children are less flexible as they have never been given the opportunity!

Dackyduddles Fri 30-Aug-13 14:57:48

I learnt with my first to NEVER wake a sleeping baby

I too couldn't have borne too as my own state was knife edge at times

Baby2 gets on with it. Dunno if she's easy but she is accommodating and I'm more accustomed to the necessary. I've never understood why you would make yourself busy in the few moments peace you get when baby slumbers though.

DontmindifIdo Fri 30-Aug-13 15:10:35

Betty - we gave DD 10 weeks of being flexible, doing her own thing in the day and fitting around our plans, it was hell of no sleep at night. 2 weeks of set routine, and she's sleeping. I think it's clear that suits her. It might suit me better in the day to not have to fit round her timings, but I'll happily give up easy life in the day for a good nights sleep.

Honestly, if you've not experienced weeks of not getting more than 1 hour sleep at a time, you can't understand they mentality that once you've found a way to make that go away you'll do anything to avoid going back to no sleep hell!

Dreaming - I think in the same way people can be ideologically rigid about routine, people can be ideologically wedded to this idea of 'I'm so free and easy, I don't need a routine, I just have fun all day'. That's great if it works for you but I do see people doing this even when it's clearly not really that great for their kids. I know so many people like this. They would complain about lack of sleep, when I suggested a routine because it worked for us, they'll react like I'm crazy. Then again, I do think you get to a level of sleep deprevation where you just can't think, and even if something might work, the idea of thinking about it seems too much to cope with. If you are just 'getting by' it's hard to have headspace to do anything other than just get by....

ThatBintAgain Fri 30-Aug-13 15:46:10

"however any deviation from the routine meant he didn't sleep at night. An extra hour sleep in the day didn't mean one less at night, it meant 4-5 hours less at night. Also not getting enough sleep in the day meant he got over tired and wouldn't sleep. It was a balancing act. We quickly learned it's a big price to pay to be flexible." << exactly THIS. DS1 was one of these sort of babies. I did break with routine sometimes but it was just painful - he wouldn't sleep out and about and got absolutely Satanic with overtiredness. DS2 wasn't much better!

I think that you just really don't get what it's like if you have an "easy" baby - that hour or so sitting down recuperating in the peace and quiet was the only thing that kept me mildly sane and functioning...

happygonicky Fri 30-Aug-13 16:53:18

Perhaps I should have kept quiet about the 'easy' baby bit!!

Weissbier Fri 30-Aug-13 20:38:58

It isn't so much the extent of routines that gets on my wick, as unwillingness to make ANY kind of concession that might signal your company is important to the other person e.g. if baby will only nap at home, they could invite you to come for lunch or coffee at theirs...

I had a friend who would only meet between the hours of 530PM and 8PM on weekdays at her end of town. I didn't mind that she had her kids on a late routine 'cos it suited them, but as my kids go to nursery and are falling over with tiredness by 530 on a weekday. I offered weekend mornings in her neck of the woods or weekday evenings in mine so could still get dd to bed early enough, but neither was any good because she only wanted to see me if it was a way to use the dead time before her DH got home, without much effort hmm

soverylucky Fri 30-Aug-13 21:36:34

I was flexible in the day as dd would sleep in her pram if needed although I did prefer to be at home. However one thing I was very unflexible on was her evening/bed time routine. Both of mine have been excellent sleepers and I think this is partly due to the evening routine they have followed from about 6 months old. So for me it was worth it.

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