Do bedtime routines work - 7 week old(20 Posts)
I have a 7 week old daughter, we struggle to get her to settle to sleep for the night till around midnight. My husband has taken to walking her late evening just to give me a break and to keep her settled. She breastfeeds a lot in the evening still, has done since 10 days old.
Have bedtime routines worked for anyone out there in similar situation? It just feels like we're never going to get our evenings back, will she ever settle earlier/at all?!? Some people say she'll do it on her own in time, has this happened for anyone else out there?!?! I've heard 12 weeks is the magic time for this, is that true?!!
She will, but she's a bit tiny yet. Don't pressure yourselves about routines - you won't spoil her!
Also, be mindful if the SIDS guidance that advises you have LO with you until 6 months.
Sorry but LOL at a routine of ANY sort for a 7 week old!
I say that kindly, you're doing FINE, this is completely normal. The easiest thing to do is have the baby in with you, preferably in your bed or next to it, if you can, and just feed on demand and roll with it.
It will pass too quickly. You're being very harsh on yourselves by expecting anything more at such a tiny age. Don't listen to the books that say otherwise, they are money making exercises, and a load of balderdash frankly
Hope you get some sleep soon - but seriously don't stress it, it'll get easier and easier xxx
ps I have a 7mo and am now getting LOADS of sleep.
Thank you!! Am just so so tired, I just need to hear that things will change, I just don't quite believe it yet!
You poor thing. I totally understand. You're doing a marvellous job and you will look back on this and laugh fairly soon.
It is a testing time, that's for sure!
Cluster feeding - ie feeding alot in one set period of time is usual Breastfeeding behaviour and does settle
My DD used to do this between 5 & 9 every evening so I ate a lot of dinners one handed!
What everyone else said plus assuming its your first sleep when the baby sleeps (go back to bed for the morning) and if BF learn to do it lying down.
It will all get better, the weeks fly by and before you know it you will be missing the cuddle to sleep times! (mine is now 8months and prefers to sleep on her own spreadeagled rather than snuggled in with me!)
There is no harm in working towards a routine, but be flexible and don't expect it to "work" for a while yet. Your DD is very small still and growing and changing.
In reality the routine was of more benefit to me and DH in the early weeks!
I think our bath/bedtime routine helped DD learn the difference between bedtime and nap time, but it didn't happen quickly.
We were advised to start bedtime routine at 6 weeks for our first baby.
The advice was to do a 7/7:30 bath, quiet, dimly lit, feed, and then settle into the cot (nowhere near a TV).
He was a particularly unsettled and a round-the-clock feeder, so there was no let up and we were desperate!
Initially we poo-pooed the idea (a routine? For a newborn?!!!!) but tried it anyway, and were amazed at the results.
He settled better and slept longer! We had been warned it wouldn't happen on day 1, but it actually did. So a huge success for us.
However, I am currently with a newborn, a prem baby who is 10 weeks old (adjusted age of 5 weeks), and who is nowhere near a routine at all. This one is impossible to even take upstairs to settle in the cot, and we take it in turns to do a shift downstairs, so the other person can sleep through the disturbed night.
So my point is, every baby is different and a routine can be a God-send, but not for a tongue-tied, refluxy baby like the one I've got! Maybe it's a case of "suck it and see", be happy if it helps but hold it lightly in case it doesn't.
As for babies sleeping through at 12 weeks, mine didn't, and I can safely say the second won't either.
I've got a 5 week old and I've got her in a near routine from early on. I found 'teaching' her the difference between night and day really helped. Dark rooms that are quiet at night then bright And active in the day. Baths are really good too, we found dd liked to go to bed at 8 so we bath her at 7.
If she goes off at 12 maybe start doing the same nice bedtime things before her usual time so she learns the cues for bedtime than gradually start doing them earlier?
TBH I think you shouldn't pressure yourself too much and if she doesn't like doing any of what was suggested than do what's right for you. Like previous poster said its more for your sanity!. My dd still has her 'off times' but then she doesn't sleep enough in the day so I guess she's wacked out at night.
Goodluck anyway and just enjoy it!
I totally agree that it's optimistic to have a routine at 7 weeks. Like PPs we found giving DS cues like putting him in bedtime clothes and his sleeping bag, feeding in darker room and baths all helped gradually move bedtime earlier. The first two to three months were tough for me, I remember just desperately wanting a sleep that lasted longer than three hours. DS is now 6 months and is (touch wood) normally able to settle himself at 7pm most nights.
Don't worry - it does get easier
Oh yeah you'll never get more than three hits yet but, having a near on routine for feeding/changing does help you work out when you can afford to not sleep or sleep (IMO)
I had one baby that arrived with a routine built in (he wanted four hourly breastfeeds even when we were in hospital) and another who sounds from your description rather like your dd (dh had to jiggle her for hours before she'd relent and go to sleep, if we left her to settle on her own she would cry at a very steady pace for as long as it took us to get her up again, whereas ds would scream for a few minutes and then conk out).
I think it's worth trying to get a routine going, but also to accept that for a while this might be how it is. If it's any reassurance I can tell you that our 'awful' baby has been the easiest child ever since
DD2 is 11 weeks old & last night went to bed at 7:30 & stayed there for the first time (DH should do bed time more often!). AND dream fed at 11 & just woke up. Amazing!!
4 weeks ago I was stressed because she would not be put down in the evening at all. DD1 had been going off to be happily from 6 weeks.
Things do change so quickly just go with it. And if you need an excuse for well meaning family advise the current SIDS advise is to keep them in the same room with you, this includes in the evening, not just over night ;-)
At 7 weeks old DS was sleeping for, at most, 4 hours at a time.
He lived in a moses basket in the living room and I moved down to the sofa to join him! I reasoned that it wasn't worth me going to bed for 4 hours at a time.
I used to get into my pajamas and brush my teeth at 8pm and doze on the sofa till he woke up at 12.00, then feed him while watching netflix.
I did consider a bedtime routine - but to be honest it seemed like a lot of hassle for someone who, lets face it, is going to be awake again in a few hours.
As she gets older, you will hopefully find her sleeping for longer periods and you can put in a bedtime routine then. Then once you've established that, you can mess about with the time you start the routine, to achieve sleep at the right time!
It sounds like your doing alright though. When she goes down at midnight- how long does she stay down for?
My DS was similar but my 5 week old DD is already going to bed at 7 and usually settling well then. We have some rituals to let her know its bedtime (nappy change and massage with lullaby playing, then feed then bed, all in dimly lit room). But I think the key thing is making sure she gets enough day time sleep so she's not over tired in the evening. She can only be awake for about 1.5 hours at a time, sometimes less. Looking back I think my DS was so unsettled in the evenings because he was overtired - we had no idea how much he needed to nap. Having said that, all babies are different! My son started settling in the evenings at about 12 weeks
I began a bedtime routine at 8 weeks and it worked for me.
I did bath, feed then to bed in our room in Moses basket / crib going up when a feed was required.
DS is now 10 months and goes to bed at 7 in his cot without any assistance needed to settle him.
I have friends with 18month olds and no bedtime routine, they just nurse them to sleep then put them in their bed, I couldn't do that, so glad I started it early and it's stuck
We had a flexible routine to help ds wind down in the evening. He had a feed at 7, an hour or so of play (after an hour he'd get grizzly), then warm bath, massage and boob in quiet bedroom (no tv, dim lights). We fed on demand so obviously, if he didn't feed at a certain time we wouldn't start it until he had, but ds certainly responded to the change in atmosphere, and a nice warm bath guarantees a good few hours sleep for him. Babies don't need a routine that early, but parents sometimes do!
Dh and I would alternate who did bedtime do one of us could relax (he'd just give ebm in a bottle instead). We're now at a point where we can relax together, it's great, but 7 weeks is a bit early to hope for that!
I have one for my 7wo because I also have a two year old so I just do them together. I feed te baby, then upstairs to bath both at 6ish, baby dressed and into bouncy chair while I play with DS1 in bath, then DS1 gets the iPad while I feed and settle DS2 into his basket. This is about 6.30. Then I do stories and bed with DS1.
I carry the basket downstairs and have DS2 in the sitting room with me during the evening, lights dimmed. Early evening is unsettled like you but he has just started sleeping 10-3 ish then 3-6 so it is getting better.
Join the discussion
Please login first.