Now ATTENTION here all you first-time mothers, listen up...

(169 Posts)
emkana Tue 25-Jul-06 21:02:36

I have a ds, he is my third child. He is five weeks old. Atm I feed him whenever and he sleeps whenever he wants. Evenings are mostly spent with him on mine or dh's lap while I'm MNetting or watching TV or even sitting outside. Ds comes to bed with me when I go to bed.
I did the same with my two dd's. Over time things started to evolve into some sort of a routine, gradually we moved to a proper "bedtime" etc., and now they are five and three and very, very good at going to bed, and have been for a long, long time.
It really saddens me when I read all these worried posts about how to get a baby of a few weeks to settle in the evening etc., and all it seems to lead to often (not always, granted) is stress and worry and more stress.
I just want to reassure you all that no bad habits will be formed if you just with the flow for now and enjoy your baby and let him/her be with you.

VeniVidiVickiQV Tue 25-Jul-06 21:03:35

I agree.

JackieNo Tue 25-Jul-06 21:04:21

Well said, Emkana.

hunkermunker Tue 25-Jul-06 21:04:25

Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.

I agree.

schneebly Tue 25-Jul-06 21:05:50


Twiglett Tue 25-Jul-06 21:07:04

Totally agree

DS (5.5) DD (2.2) both excellent sleepers who started off in exactly the same way as Emkana's

excellent feeders too

foundintranslation Tue 25-Jul-06 21:08:21

Fab post, em.

Just to add my experience. I did it the way you do with ds (now 14 months), and for a long time I was insecure about his sleeping - he woke up for a feed several (we're talking up to 6) times a night up to about a year, had phases where he wouldn't go to sleep until 10 or 11 pm - but now things are, slowly but surely, starting to come together. Provided he has a long enough sleep in the day, we can get him to bed at roughly the same time each night - usually I still bf him to sleep, but occasionally he has gone off on his own, also a recent development - and he will wake once in the night, two absolute tops, and sometimes not at all.

foundintranslation Tue 25-Jul-06 21:09:12

twice absolute tops.

Waswondering Tue 25-Jul-06 21:09:16

I agree with the experience of being a second time mummy, but first time round I was very anxious to get into a routine from the day dot. I think it's hard to see the bigger picture first time round as you can't look back on your previous experience with another child.

Rowlers Tue 25-Jul-06 21:10:36

Yes, I never really got how you could do a routine anyway - I went with the flow and my relaxed and happy baby soon found her own pattern which luckily suited me fine.
It is quite hard though when you are a first-timer to see things clearly.
Hormones / change of life / what everyone else is telling you all affect judgement badly I find.
Glad to hear you sounding so chilled!

serenity Tue 25-Jul-06 21:13:59

I created more problems and 'rods for my own back' (the phrase I've heard a lot) with DS1 by trying to secondguess him and get into a routine too early, than I ever did by essentially 'giving up' and going with the flow with DS2 and DD. You find your own routine eventually.

fruitful Tue 25-Jul-06 21:15:27

I'm sure that being relaxed about it will not make them worse sleepers, and will make the whole experience much nicer for everyone. I don't think it makes them better at sleeping though - I think you probably get what you're given!

I wish someone had told me, when I had my first, that bf'ing her to sleep in a dark quiet room wasn't going to teach the baby anything about sleep, and that bf'ing in front of the tv was much nicer!

morningpaper Tue 25-Jul-06 21:17:03

Emkana you are SOOOO right.

If only we would just ACCEPT that this is the way babies are - they can't "fit into our lives".

My 10-month old has just fallen asleep after fussing for about an hour - she didn't seem to want to sleep so I put her in her pram and she watched me water the plants in the garden, then I carried her around for a bit until my arms ached and my back hurt, then we lay on the bed and she nursed and whinged and nursed and cried and then nursed some more - then she eventually fell asleep, then she woke 20 minutes later, then fell asleep again when I went in and cuddled her - and she will wake several times in the night and I still have no idea if she wants cuddles or nursing or she's cold so I have to try everything and wing it ... and she drives me CRAZY sometimes when I just want to GET SOMETHING DONE in the evening but she is STILL SO LITTLE and before I know it she will be getting her nose pierced and listening to porno rock and drinking WKD Blue and leaving home, with me still watering the garden, missing her in the pram and wanting more than anything for just one more night with her fat round needy body to disturb my sleep.

Angeliz Tue 25-Jul-06 21:17:04

Well said Emkana.
Nice thread.
I remember passing sleeping dd2 onto DP's lap while he watched T.V and me escaping to Mumsnet and then i'd take her up in her moses basket with me.

She is 15 months and usually co-sleeps now from about 1 or 2 or whenever she decides.
DD1 is 5 and sleeps brilliantly, infact is often the last one up now she's off School.
I hope all these new Mams take our advice and chill out with cuddling the baby and ignore 'Rod for your own back' comments.

Socci Tue 25-Jul-06 21:18:00

Message withdrawn

Angeliz Tue 25-Jul-06 21:19:11

morningpapaer, i'll miss it too when i have no more podgy baby arms whacking me in the night and snuggling up to me. Not to mention the huge slavvering kisses that wake me every morning and the head snuffling.......


Xavielli Tue 25-Jul-06 21:19:56

Amen Emkana!

I have bottle fed [gasp!] both my babies on demand (as much as you can with a FF baby) and have let them lead the way as to a routine. They settle into one of their own if you let them, there is no need to even steer them. DD is 15 weeks old now, feeds every 4 hours on the dot and has just been put upstairs on her own at DS's bedtime and has gone straight to sleep. She has been going 8-8 for 2 weeks now and I have only just thought about actually putting her to bed literally. I always kept her down here with me... just incase.

I don't hold much faith in book routines, (whilst I know they may work for some) for a start I don't think I could stomach anyone telling me what to do with my baby and when, and the babies fall into a perfect little routine after a while anyway.

ilovecaboose Tue 25-Jul-06 21:20:40

I wish I'd known about this site when first had ds - it would have given me the confidence to do things in my own way and not worry about routines and sleeping patterns and everything.

I think this is a lovely thread - very good idea

FrannyandZooey Tue 25-Jul-06 21:20:53

Spot on Emkana - can we all bookmark this thread please and refer all worried new mothers to it?

Oh yes indeedy! I was such a panicky first time mum, convinced Dd had to be in a routine from the minute she left the womb! I am looking forward to whenever no. 2 comes along as I will hopefully be able to relax and enjoy a bit more than I feel I did with Dd.

Xena Tue 25-Jul-06 21:22:15

Agreed here too. Plus for us mums with more than one its a good time to spend with the baby without green eyes watching. Our big 3 all go to sleep at 7pm quite happily

TheLadyVanishes Tue 25-Jul-06 21:22:54

well said (again)
wish i had read this a year ago when i had dd, had no end of arguments with dh and it was all stress coz dd wouldn't sleep/eat etc etc, wish i had just gone with the flow (still having a minor teething problem over sleep but on the whole she is very good) at least when i get pregnant again (fingers crossed) i will be more relaxed (hopefully)

mears Tue 25-Jul-06 21:25:19

I totally agree Emkana. I also breastfed all of mine to sleep at night and they were all good sleepers when they got older. Be prepared to have your lived dominated by your baby - that's waht they are there for

controlfreaky2 Tue 25-Jul-06 21:30:11

you are so so right emkana.... makes me feel sad that i didnt have the confidence / intuition / whatever to do this with ds1

oops Tue 25-Jul-06 21:30:48

Message withdrawn

emkana Tue 25-Jul-06 22:03:26

Just wanted to add that I was feeling quite insecure initially with dd1 as well, which makes me feel all the more that I would love others to know that it will be fine.

oops Tue 25-Jul-06 22:57:39

Message withdrawn

Gingerbear Tue 25-Jul-06 23:04:59

Oh my, how much do I agree with you?!
DD spent the first 3 months of her life attached to me by breast or in a sling or over my shoulder. Everyone fussed and muttered 'Rod for your own back' But I didn't care.
DD still sneaks in with us now and again at 4, and I love snuggling up with her, rather than stressing about her getting back to sleep in her own bed.

LaDiDaDi Tue 25-Jul-06 23:19:57

This is a great thread emkana! I let dd (11weeks) do what she wants and sometimes I can predict what that is and other times I can't so i just go with thre flow . I agree with Xavielli in that I can't imagine trying to get my baby to follow a routine devised by someone who had never met either of us.

god yesyesyesyes
absolutely right
do you want to know who I blame for this madness?

Ponka Tue 25-Jul-06 23:26:10

Totally agree. DS2 is now getting on for 4 months and is drifting towards a routine of sleeping in the evenings. I do like it when he sleeps because I can get on with what I need to do but I love it even more when he is awake because DS1 is asleep so it's special time for just him and me alone, something which is in short supply during the daytime.

hunkermunker Tue 25-Jul-06 23:27:47

Can I guess, HC, can I, can I, can I?

MarsLady Tue 25-Jul-06 23:28:46

well said emkana and as a mother of 5 I completely agree and second, third, fourth what you've said!

go ahead hinker

hunkermunker Tue 25-Jul-06 23:31:52

Is it...Tracey Emin?

VeniVidiVickiQV Tue 25-Jul-06 23:32:14

Dr spock?

VeniVidiVickiQV Tue 25-Jul-06 23:32:47

No no no no wait - Maggie Thatcher Milk Snatcher?

oops Tue 25-Jul-06 23:32:55

Message withdrawn

hunkermunker Tue 25-Jul-06 23:35:09
hotmama Tue 25-Jul-06 23:44:25

So agree Emkana! And your chill out with subsequent babies. I dropped my mobile phone on dd2's head when she was a week old- just hugged her and said 'Never mind - silly mummy'. Now with dd1 I would have been in hysterics and ran to A&E!

controlfreaky2 Tue 25-Jul-06 23:46:29

lol hotmama.... that's exactly what i did to ds1 at 3 days old... ran hysterically to hv round corner... ds was fine. i was gibbering wreck!

hotmama Tue 25-Jul-06 23:49:54

It's amazing that we ever get 'allowed' to have more babies as we obviously are sooo crap first time around!

kama Wed 26-Jul-06 00:09:04

I have gone with the flow give or take from the beginning & I have an 18 month old who takes half an hour to put to sleep through rocking, at 9.30pm at night. I am also struggling to get her to only have three breastfeeds a day (it is working, but still have tears over it a few times a day three or four weeks into doing it).

The moral of the story is that first time mother or not, routine or not, children have a mind of their own & you can not predict the effect of what you are doing with complete confidence!

But, I do tend to look around the world & realise that england is quite a neurotic country for getting babies to bed early/by themselves. And I comfort myself with that every adult I know is able to put themselves to sleep, regardless of what their parents did hehe.

NotAnOtter Wed 26-Jul-06 00:16:30


all4girlz Wed 26-Jul-06 00:25:18

lovely thread --totally agree especially with morning paper loving every minute with my dd4 esp b/f hopes she doesnt self wean to soon --

Sakura Wed 26-Jul-06 00:29:03

Thank you for this thread
I`m due my first baby in September, and just for fun and information I bought some books like The baby whisperer, No cry sleep solution, but my brain started hurting from overload of information. I`m in Japan where they basically carry babies everywhere and routines are unheard of. My original idea was to go with my instincts, but then when you start reading all the literature on "structure", you start thinking `well, maybe they know something I don`t.`Nice to hear thats not true, and I can revert back to my original plan of just going with the flow and responding to my baby, and taking it to bed with me whenever I want, and take it out with me whenever I want to go out, instead of being confined in the house because of schedules!!

NotAnOtter Wed 26-Jul-06 00:37:02

I have loved avery minute of my children esp ds3 and 4
I dont co sleep unless by accident
I do put my babies to bed in the evening
I do breastfeed
I do love cherish and worship my babies

emkana Wed 26-Jul-06 08:36:05

If people find themselves happier by sticking to routines then I wouldn't want to stop them, it just saddens me when some posters seem so stressed out by trying to get baby to sleep in a certain way, when these early days are so short-lived and tiring enough anyway.

nailpolish Wed 26-Jul-06 08:41:43

i agree emkana

i remember a poster stressing cos her baby wanted to sleep on her lap/shoulder all day

i just told her "ENJOY IT WHILE YOU CAN!"

and i think she did

God, they are tiny for such a short time

FoghornLeghorn Wed 26-Jul-06 08:42:56

I so agree Emkana.

My DB & SIL have just had a son who is now 8 days old, even by day 2 the midwife was coming into the room complaining about them holding him people keep making the rod for your own back comments but i've told them to just go with the flow and see how it goes, he is still so tiny and if they want lots of cuddles with him then why the hell shouldn't they

Pruni Wed 26-Jul-06 08:49:06

Message withdrawn

MrsJohnCusack Wed 26-Jul-06 08:52:59

I honestly wish someone had said this to me properly before DD was born and I would have enjoyed it so much more instead of stressing about everything and ending up with PND.

for this baby, I am determined to just do what I like and get on with it and enjoy having a baby that wants to sleep on me (as opposed to a toddler who is dead set against cuddles)

lazycow Wed 26-Jul-06 09:14:47

This sounds lovely - if ony those of us who did that could say it left us less stressed too. I honestly do believe this is the way to go and if I had more children would definitely do the same again.

HOWEVER DS most certainly did not find his own routine and I really did try to let him with slings, tried co-sleeping, letting him sleep on me etc. and by 6 months I was beyond exhausted with him spending most of the day crying through over-stimulation or over-tiredness. What he did need however was for his needs to be put before mine sometimes and for me to be home or somewhere quiet once twice a day to sleep and for me to have more structure to my day - something I hated doing but whch ds thrived on.

The truth is some babies do not just find a routine very easily - and need a bit of help to have some structure to their day. Subsequent babies often have that structure imposed (because of older children/school runs etc). First children do not get this. I too however do not see how you can impose a routine on babies who are very young. However let's be honest - from a very young age many babies have to fit in with school runs, older chuldren's events etc, if that is not imposing a routine I'm not sure what is. I do find this routine/non routine argument a bit irritating. By all means go with the flow with young neworn babies- you will save yourelf a lot of hassle but after a certain age most babies thrive on some sort of routine - whether it is one of their own devising or one that their parents have 'nudged' to suit them.

ssd Wed 26-Jul-06 09:22:05

excellent post emkana

Pruni Wed 26-Jul-06 09:23:56

Message withdrawn

lazycow Wed 26-Jul-06 09:33:23

Pruni - absolutely - you should go out if you need to . I certainly did go out a lot as I got fed-up staying in but my baby cried through most of the times I went out and I almost never had more than 30mins at a time while out when he wasn't crying for some reason. By 6 months old you need to review the situation. Neither of us were happy. What I wanted was to go out when I wanted, what ds wanted was somewhere peaceful to sleep on a regular basis (not a car or a pushchair - I tried all those for hours at a time sometimes) . In the end I was less depressed when I gave in and modified my life a bit - Not always but sometimes - because ds was happier. I do think though that early months of going with the flow did give me the confidence to be pretty certain what the problem was later on and try and rectify it.

clairemow Wed 26-Jul-06 09:55:37

I wish I was as relaxed as emkana. However, I find it more stressful when I haven't got some kind of plan for the day - this must be a character trait of mine. Horses for courses. DS went to bed in the evening at 7 after a bath and feed from a few days old (classic bedtime "routine"), and yes, some nights I then spent a lot of time up there with him, b-feeding him, rocking him, burping him etc., but by about 6 weeks we had an evening so DH and I could spend time together on our own. Personally this saved my sanity.

JessaJam Wed 26-Jul-06 09:55:47

Great thread emkana.
I found the lack of routine in the early weeks quite distressing - not knowing when ds would sleep or for how long and when he would next be hungry - really odd as I am not a organised, structured, forward planning kind of person normally ( at all!!). Was lent Jools Olivers "oooh I have had a baby or 2 " book and noted her passing comment to getting her newborn into a routine...I toyed with the idea...couldn't imagine ds going for anything like 4 hours between anything, stressed a bit and then gave it up as a silly idea and too much hassle. SO glad I did. Ds fell into hs own routine ( was bottle fed formula and ebm, but he dictated when he was fed - when he was hungry..!) of 2hourly feeds and sleeping in our room with us and then co-sleeping. He is a total DREAM at sleeping (is nearly 12mo) and has been since about 2 or 3 months of age. Settles himself, in his own cot in his own room and sleeps 11-12 hours through. Yes his routine 'fits' around ours to some extent but that wasn't imposed, it was gently 'moulded' and we 'moulded' our routines to fit his...

NotAnOtter Wed 26-Jul-06 10:05:39

It also saddens me when peoples relationships - including those with their children -start fraying due to lack of sleep

Raggydoll Wed 26-Jul-06 10:18:56

great thread for new moms... havent'y read it all yet so apols if repeating. I just wanted to add if you are STILL convinced a routine is the answer you need to know that babies change so frequently that even if you have a great routine at 3mths it will all be out the window by 5mths and again at 7/8 then 10mths etc... I think if i'd known this with my first I definately would have relaxed on the whole routine thing.

Oh and my second bit of advice for new mums... NEVER wake a sleeping baby ... if they are asleep relax and make the most of it. Even now at 2.5 I have dificulty bringing myself to wake ds when its a late nap.

FioFio Wed 26-Jul-06 10:21:14

getting baby to settle at night = MTV

LilacWine Wed 26-Jul-06 10:28:40

emkana, that is an excellent post and i very much agree. DS is 7 weeks and in a good routine which came to be following his lead. and it was just the same with DD. the only thing in his day that was planned was the school run!

bakedpotato Wed 26-Jul-06 10:37:46

You have to find the path that makes you happy.
I'd hate a new mother to feel extra-rubbish because she desperately wants some sleep/time to herself. IMO feeling like that is not a character flaw.
Some people crave structure with a baby (I did, and when I got it with DS, I began to have a lovely time); some don't. Bully for both of them!

quootiepie Wed 26-Jul-06 10:38:21

Im the same.. let him feed and sleep when he wants, but then watching all these baby programmes I got panicy that he had no routine and asked my HV about it... she said not to worry, so I didnt. Then I saw more programmes and go panicy again but then found out about attachment parenting, and letting them feed when they want, and a routine is coming naturally. I dont put him to bed at 7pm, He feeds most the evening anyway, he just comes to bed with me. He doesnt know what time it is!

JessaJam Wed 26-Jul-06 10:41:00

Fio- Yup, I found ds was soothed by metal bands, particularly those along the lines of slipknot with "uuuuurrrgggh" vocal styles - honest.

LilacWine Wed 26-Jul-06 10:43:21

i find a bedtime at 7pm for a young baby very strange. DS goes to bed somewhere between 9-11pm and then sleeps till 5-7am. and so do i

clairemow Wed 26-Jul-06 10:49:34

bakedpotato, you said what I was trying to say.

Why is 7 pm bedtime strange? Whatever makes for a happy parent and a happy baby is surely what matters - and DS was certainly a happy baby and is now a happy 2 year old. And I am a happy mummy. And I wasn't when I felt I had no time at all on my own. We're all different after all, and so are our babies. Next one arriving soon, so we'll have to see what suits him when he gets here.

Sakura Wed 26-Jul-06 10:53:03

Yes, I`m not knocking anyone who feels better with a routine. I`m just glad to have come accross a thread like this. I would have been one of the mum`s who felt she couldn`t go out because the baby was supposed to be napping etc, and I just keep thinking how bad that would be for my mental health. I need to go out to coffee shops and walks when the mood takes me, but a lot of the books imply that you can`t. Also, the "not let the baby fall asleep while nursing because it won`t learn to sleep without it" was stressing me out. Also "don`t take the baby to bed with you-it`ll come to expect this" was another one. Its just nice to be given the go ahead to do what you want, and to hear advice from people who have already been there

cazzybabs Wed 26-Jul-06 10:55:45

That is just how my children started their lives too!

notsogummyanymore Wed 26-Jul-06 11:08:36

I'd just like to say I've been battling with my conscience now with ds's(10 months old) bedtime. Me or dh take him up to bed after his bottle and sit and rock him in his room till he falls fast asleep. It's wonderful. Now we have the dilema of lots of people telling us he should be settling himself to sleep by now or else we'll never have a life to ourselves in the evening! He's fast asleep by 8pm max! Every few weeks I think we should be trying controlled crying, then I think bugger that he goes to sleep so easily most nights they can go and take a running jump!

Phew that's better, I'll go now...

clairemow Wed 26-Jul-06 11:14:01

it sounds lovely notsogummyanymore.

Pruni Wed 26-Jul-06 11:30:28

Message withdrawn

notsogummyanymore Wed 26-Jul-06 11:37:35

would do to me too! Not trying to turn this into a sleeping thread but ds was up with us til we went to bed till he was about 4 months ish. It was only when he started falling asleep for longer periods that we eventualy put him to bed earlier. People thought we were a bit daft i think at the time but he has definiely lead and we've followed! He's content.

emkana Wed 26-Jul-06 20:53:42

"She desperately asked me at about 10 days old "How did you get your ds sleeping at 7? because we are trying and ours wont, and dh is furious." Sent a chill down my spine, that."

OMG that is horrible.

BoilingHotFrayedKnot Wed 26-Jul-06 21:13:49

When I was PG I had several friends and relations who were singing the praises of "that" book and so when DS was born I duly read it and tried to work out how on earth I was going to organise me & DS to stick to it

I tried and tried but it was a complete disaster. I then turned to the other slightly less contentious book and that didn;t work eitehr.

Unfortunately by this time I was indoctrinated by the "rod for you own back" line and felt like a complete failure for quite a long time.

With hindsight now I know of course what a load of old mumbo jumbo, I so wish I hadn;t beaten myslef up in those first few months.

I wish someone had said - I wish lots of peole had said - what Emkana has said to me, when i was PG or a very new Mum.

Thanks Emkana. Great thread. People keep asking me how my 'routines' are and what my 'routines' are.

Routines - WTF are they?! I don't have any . Its good to know I'm not the only person just trying to chill and enjoy the summer.

NotAnOtter Wed 26-Jul-06 23:28:42

that dh is a toss pot ..thats all ! there are as many toss pot pro- routine fathers as there are anti -routine fathers

Pruni Thu 27-Jul-06 08:14:16

Message withdrawn

happybebe Thu 27-Jul-06 12:54:10

pruni that is very sad horrible man

i am sure you all know i am routine led and which routine that is (wont mention the name!)

although it has worked for me without any abusing my child etc when asked for advice on it in the early days i will offer help but also stress that if routines are making your baby and you miserable then JUST DONT DO THEM, whats most important is that you enjoy your new baby and not end up resenting them because they wont stick to routine times etc.

hate the thought of new mothers desperately unhappy and feeling like failures, i know how that feels and it nearly split my family apart...babies just need love most of all...unconditional love.

Caligula Thu 27-Jul-06 12:58:12

Great thread.

Oh yes don't spend those precious first weeks agonising about routines. Just enjoy the time together, it goes so quickly.

youknowwhat Thu 27-Jul-06 14:00:21

Agree that following a routine imposed by someone else isn't going to work. Especially in the firt weeks, it's not going to work.
BUT when babies are getting older (2~4 months), I think it's a different matter.
If I hadn't been carefull with DS2 about when he is sleeping during the day, being carefull that he has a nap in the morning and yes sometimes saying 'No I can't come, it's time for a nap', it would have become distreous. WHY? Because, he is a child who is extremely sensitive to tiredness and can not settle if getting slightly overtiried, will not sleep if he has missed his 'slot' and so on....
Also, I wuld have struggle to cope with a small baby and a 2yo if I hadn't have some sort of routine like 'everyone sleeps in the afternoon between 12.30 and 2.00'. It gave me the break that I needed and wouldn't have been able to do without it.
So, NO to Gina Ford atc... but YES to a routine that suits you and your children.

CheesyFeet Thu 27-Jul-06 14:07:04

Emkana, what a great post .

DD was bf on demand until I went back to work when she was 6 months old. She went to bed when I did when she was tiny. There was no routine as such, until I went back to work.

She was fed to sleep until she was about 9-10 months old. She was then cuddled to sleep for another couple of months. We never made a "rod for our own backs" as at 2.0 she now goes to bed perfectly happily and goes to sleep on her own.

Looking back, I only got really stressed when I went back to work and a routine was imposed on us by my working hours. It was all lovely and relaxed until then.

fruitful Thu 27-Jul-06 14:54:10

Very of all you who have children who will snuggle up in bed with you! Both of mine think that being in the same place as mummy means it is playtime. Sleeping with them worked until they learnt how to hold their heads up and grab things. After that they'd roll around in bed and play on me - and I'd give up and put them in their cot in a dark room and they'd go to sleep.

That thing about it all being an experiment is so true. The important thing as a new mum is to think - what do we (me and the baby and dh if he is here) want to do? What works for us, now? I didn't have the confidence for that, with my first.

Also I think that the essential bit of baby equipment that every new mum needs is...

a toddler.

Provides entertainment, and a bit of structure to the day, and prevents you stressing out about every little thing that the baby does or doesn't do. Perfect!

Waswondering Thu 27-Jul-06 21:13:57

LOL at the toddler fruitful! I have one of those, and he adores his dd and provides endless entertainment. At dd's 6wk check, she wouldn't follow the penlight as she was too busy watching what ds was doing with the toys . . .

emkana Wed 22-Aug-07 21:08:26

I feel that it is a good time to bump this thread.

Ds now 14 months, still b/fed to sleep or carried to sleep by dh, but then sleeps through the night, albeit in our bed.

I feel confident that in a year's time there will be more progress to report.

Reesie Wed 22-Aug-07 21:54:03

What a lovely thread. I wish I had read it before i had my baby. My lo barely slept and i spent much of the early days spent pushing my baby in her pram getting obsessed as she wasn't sleeping to a routine (wtf!). I felt a complete failure as a mother and walked so many bloody miles that my poor pelvic floor gave up and I now have a prolapse. I wonder if i should sue the person who wrote that particular book....?

Luckily - i have come to my senses since then. Oh - also try co-napping - my lo will nap for 2 hours with me rather than the usual 1/2 hour on her own. Perfect excuse to say sod the housework and have a lovely kip!

Spidermama Wed 22-Aug-07 21:55:35

Great post emkana. Very well said. Wise, wise words.

LadyTophamHatt Wed 22-Aug-07 22:05:25

ohhh Em, what a lovely lovely thread.

I absolutely, totally agree...4 times over

Ds4 has fallen asleep upstairs twice in the 7 months he's been here and thats only been by accident while I've been sorting out the big Dsses. I always take him up when I go to bed, I like having him down stairs with me i the evening when its just us.
If I had my way I'd keep him a baby forever.

MyTwopenceworth Wed 22-Aug-07 22:12:57

Women have been having babies for a very very very very long time. Somehow the speices is still here. Some people try to take advantcage of what is, obviously , a very nervewracking time, by trying to convince you, that you cant possibly do it, that you need stap by step instructionsfor £24.99 [

You don't you just need to understand that having a baby is like nothing else in your expecrience but that you are designed to cope wit it. It's not going to be a walk int he park, if thats what you hope you will get from the books, or planning or whatever - ease - then you're stuffed, frankly, cos with or without, it's a challenge.

But it's one you are well prepared for. millions of years of evolutino have equiped you to be a parent.

You know what to do, but sometimes you just don't know you know???/

The 'rod for your own back' thing is utter nonsense.
Great advice for new mums, emkana. Too bad you haven't written a book which will fill new mothers with insecurity and make you a million pounds!
But I suspect you are a happier person, and you have certainly made some mothers feel more confident with this thread!

massivebigpantsface Wed 22-Aug-07 22:15:59

my very first thread on mn was when dd was six weeks old and yep, you guessed it, i was worried and stressed about getting her into a routine! the response - well, lets just say once i read through the answers i completely relaxed and things have just happened beautifully (if you overlook the very frequent night wakings )
dd is nearly 7m now and has her own little routine, i know exactly when shes going to want food, milk, sleep etc .

wise wise words emkana

WinkyWinkola Wed 22-Aug-07 22:51:33

Lovely post, emkana. Things do seem to fall into place, don't they?

columbolover Wed 22-Aug-07 23:35:37

This is a great thread em!

ds is 6 months and I just went with the flow from the beginning, not that it was easy mind you but it was definitley more rewarding trying to follow (find!) your own instincts than constantly checking a book to see, let alone remember what with all that sleep deprivation, what someone you and your baby didn't even know was telling you to do at 11.57am

And all this nonsense about "don't feed on demand" .. er why not?? It just didn't make sense to me

I haven't found a rod in my back yet despite those telling me I'd get one for cuddling and loving ds too much - who is happy as larry and sleeps fine most of the time

Someone needs to tell the floggers of these confidence chasing books that people have been happily raising babies for years before they came along and took away the fun!

oh dear, this sounds like a rant! and I can't even blame sleep deprivation anymore!

CrookshanksinJimmyChoos Wed 22-Aug-07 23:47:49

Fab thread!!! Can remember me standing over DS asleep in the moses basket with a baby book and saying to my mum but he's supposed to be having an activity after a feed (EASY routine - Eat, Activity, Sleep, Your time etc) and my mum just smiled and said sagely yes dear, but he hasn't read the book....

If I had another one, would be totally free flow from day one - they get into a routine when they are ready imo!

Bewilderbeast Wed 22-Aug-07 23:50:48

well said emkana

LittleBella Wed 22-Aug-07 23:51:43

Great thread

The only thing I regret about the early days is that I spent too long thinking about how I ought to be doing things and not enough time just enjoying my baby

New mums, enjoy, enjoy enjoy - don't let all the dictatorial bastards out there spoil it all for you by worrying you about nothing

hotchocscot Thu 23-Aug-07 00:49:21

cheers, emkana, think this thread should be compulsory NHS prescribed reading for all mums at 8 months pg... was totally shell shocked and an anxious wreck for first 3 months but then ds sorted himself out and things got better, despite rather than because of me! As someone said to me, they are hardy wee things, if they weren't, humans would've gone the way of the dodo long ago! Just wish i'd known about MN back then, and the Wise Wummin here.

slim22 Thu 23-Aug-07 02:33:58

wise words. Just enjoy.

MrsJohnCusack Thu 23-Aug-07 08:57:47

definitely wise words

flamingtoaster Thu 23-Aug-07 09:16:27

Well said emkana. With both of mine I went with the flow and was a lot less stressed than friends who were trying to impose some sort of routine. It is important to enjoy those first few weeks - and I agree you can only do that if you go with the flow, nap when the baby naps etc.

mamadoc Thu 23-Aug-07 10:34:39

Whilst pregnant I read GF, BW and although even i could see it didn't make sense to impose a rigid routine as someone said it seeps in and I thought I needed to space out feeds, let her learn to sleep on her own, not spoil her. Even when people tried to dissuade me thought they were probably a bunch of lentil weaving hippies.
Fortunately after 3 weeks of hell I gave in let her feed whenever she cried, sleep on me and bought a sling to carry her round all day and whaddyaknow we were both happier.
Now 18 weeks time between feeds stretched itself out to about 3hrs anyway, she falls asleep at 8pm and only wakes once or not at all til 8am and my personal favourite she falls asleep on her own- just turned around one day and there she was asleep on her playmat! So despite 4 months of rocking, bouncing, carrying no bad associations here!
Seems to me no-one puts the other side of the debate- all books are so pro-routine with a really preachy tone. Case studies where useless parents ruin children with their silly ideas until fabulous guru comes to sort it out in 3 easy steps. Of course you are so vulnerable at that time just wanting someone to tell you what to do when actually all you really need is someone to say you ARE doing OK.

Spidermama Thu 23-Aug-07 13:29:57

Big bump up for a great thread.

sheepgomeep Thu 23-Aug-07 17:20:16

do you know what, I'm so glad this thread has been started.

I feel such a failure with dd2, i really really do. she is 14 weeks tomorrow and so changeable and contrary. She was big at birth 9 pound 8 oz and is over 14 pound now yet not very hungry, well one day she is next day she isn't. Her sleeping varies so much too. sometimes she will sleep 9 pm till 5 am but mostly she needs feeding every 2 to 3 hours. quite often she will go 8 till 1am but she keeps changing her routine and i'm so knackered.She is ff as well

We used to swaddle her but she gets out of her swaddle now and she keeps rubbing her eyes till she cries and wakes up. last night she rolled over and slept for 4 hours on her front. I've tried co sleeping but she fidgets so much.

first two dc were ok, ds slept throught at 12 weeks and i co slept with dd till she was 13 months and that was fine.

does this get better, has anyone else had a dc like mine

Megglevache Thu 23-Aug-07 17:25:38

Message withdrawn

beansontoast Thu 23-Aug-07 17:33:01

sheepgomeep...ahhh RUBBISH so cant help you...but im worried that your post will get lost in this huge thread..start a new one9smile)

rubbish as i am i do know however that you are not a failure and that our sweet babies arrive with their own foibles to catch us off guard/trip us up etc

sheepgomeep Thu 23-Aug-07 17:41:10

thanks beansontoast i will do.

sfxmum Thu 23-Aug-07 17:55:16

to OP yes indeed

dal21 Thu 23-Aug-07 18:19:19

Just wanted to say - what a fantastic fantastic thread. One of the ladies on my antenatal thread posted it. Am 35 weeks tmrw - have read BW and tbh was bowled over by it all! This thread was exactly what i needed to see. Thanks for showing what is most important - enjoying your baby without feeling pressured to do things a certain way!

Thank you!

I have worked as a maternity nurse. I still do the odd stint. One of the main reasons for hiring me is 'to get the baby into a routine.'

Nobody, having coughed up several hundred quid a week, wants to hear 'put the baby in a sling all day' and 'controlled crying will not work on a 2 day old' and 'cuddling will not ruin your baby' and 'he can cry alone in the Moses basket or in someone's arms - I suggest the latter.'

This is NOT a dig at maternity nurses and those who hire them - some babies and families thrive on set routines, but I agree that there is a widely held belief that routine will silence every crying newborn and make you a better parent. IMO and IME, this simply isn't the case for everyone.

This thread has made me very happy - I agree with you all utterly.

And yes, I am shit at my job

Hence, a) my advice is to hire a mother's help and a cleaner for the first few weeks and b) I am blardy broke.

Oh, and all those baby books? None of them was written about your baby. And you will gain great satisfaction from hurling them against a wall, though my professional recommendation is to use them to prop up one end of the cot if your baby has a cold.

bumbleweed Thu 23-Aug-07 21:06:28

yay to emkana for this thread - wish someone had told me that 22 months ago while I was earnestly wondering why my baby didnt do what the baby whisperer said she should

I am going to enjoy baby no2 (due in 3 months) so much more

and morningpaper's post is lovely

and WanderingTrolley's post below is very funny

sheepgomeep Thu 23-Aug-07 21:29:10

I like morningpapers post too. I never get a lump in my throat at the things what other people post but I did when I read that especially the last bit

My dd2 is a fat little thing too.

policywonk Thu 23-Aug-07 21:36:48

morningpaper, you have just made me cry, god dammit

Aitch Thu 23-Aug-07 21:42:31

emkana started this post a year ago, round about when i first came here. It's one of the main reasons i wanted to stick around.

Marina Thu 23-Aug-07 21:47:06

I might print this off for my dsis and her partner, they have just had their first baby. It will probably be more useful than any of the other gifts they are given.
So many wise words on here

shreddies Thu 23-Aug-07 21:59:36

I love this thread. Amongst my NCT mates I often feel like a bit of a chaotic parent with my co-sleeping and my lack of routine (a strict one anyway), so it is really really lovely to hear other people talking about parenting in the same way

theUrbanDryad Thu 23-Aug-07 22:05:24

this thread has just come along at the right time! ds is 7 months and i've been feeling really crappy because he still feeds every 3 hours and wakes in the night etc's so lovely to read the posts on here, gives me the confidence to just carry on doing what i'm doing at the moment!! thanks!

sweetkitty Thu 23-Aug-07 22:08:47

emkana well said you could be me, I coslept with both of mine, fed whenever and slept whenever

DD1 slept 11-6am at 6 weeks DD2 still wasn't sleeping through at 12 months both treated the exact same, solids made not a jot of difference. Both found their routines eventually and are great sleepers now.

policywonk Thu 23-Aug-07 22:09:15

Having moved to a new area recently, I've made friends with two women (well, more than two, but YKWIM), both of whom have babies (now about 8 months old). They are BOTH doing the routine thing, and every now and again will slip into a parallel universe in which they discuss 'dropping the 10 o'clock feed' or somesuch, while I just gape at them. I have literally no idea what they are talking about - it just never occurred to me to do the routine thing. Mind you, they think I'm pretty odd for still feeding my 2-and-a-half year old on demand.

K75 Fri 24-Aug-07 09:50:17

Agreed. DD is 10 weeks, has slept from 8pm to 6am since 7 weeks, she just fell into her own routine. Only thing we did was the have her sleep downstairs with us in day. Upstairs at night. They do their own thing. I read all the books, spent a week worrying about it and ignored it all!

foxybrown Fri 24-Aug-07 10:28:20

Couldn't agree more - thats what I'm doing with DC4 and at 6 weeks she's sleeping up to 9 hours at night. Can't really ask for more than that!

Saying that I do like a routine, but all in good time.

LadyG Fri 24-Aug-07 12:49:34

Definitely would say go with the flow for the first few months.
Having said that when DS did settle into a daytime routine of sorts having a baby who could nap in the cot so I could sleep rather than having to be pushed around in the buggy was Heaven. I think it was sometime between four and seven months can't remember exactly when. When I went back to work he was in a good routine which was fab because we had a nanny share and the two babies who were around the same age both napped at the same times for around 3 hours a day (at 8 months). This allowed our nanny to get some much needed rest too!
I think going with the flow after the first few months doesn't really work for working mums-when you have to hand your child over to someone else they (child) will be much happier if they know roughly what follows what. So up to 2-3 months before you go back to work I'd GWTF and after that gently but persistently settle into a routine

Desiderata Fri 24-Aug-07 12:51:45

I couldn't agree more with your OP, Emkana. There's way too much stressing going on smile

crayon Fri 24-Aug-07 13:15:27

Morningpaper - that last bit really choked me up sad

crayon Fri 24-Aug-07 13:23:43

DS3 is still often up at 9-10pm. I get his brothers to bed (8-8.30)and then feed him and snuggle, watch TV while I feed him, & snuggle again. I feel he should be in bed earlier (1 yr now) but it is 'our' time - the only time DH and I have with him on his own - just the same as we had with his brothers when they were little cuddly dough balls too.

Xavielli Fri 24-Aug-07 14:00:00

Just read MP's post again. It made me cry. This first year has gone so fast with my kids and neither of them are chubby and edible anymore. But I can hand on heart say I made the most of it when they were!!

Rochwen Fri 24-Aug-07 14:25:40

Well I can't speak for everyone but routines worked a treat for me. I just couldn't cope with constant feeding and no sleep. Once dd was put onto a routine she slept through the night beautifully. I was a nervous wreck beforehand. I needed the routines !

I think the best advice is DO WHAT WORKS FOR YOU.

Aitch Fri 24-Aug-07 14:28:16

of course, rocwen, but some people get more wound up by following the routines than just mooching along with the baby. each to their own. smile

Issy Fri 24-Aug-07 14:40:28

Yes and No Emkana. I agree with whoever said you have to thinkg "What works for us, now?"

I need sleep, uninterrupted sleep, because without it I'm grumpy, short-tempered and miserable. I'm also the main bread-winner and couldn't return to work after adoption leave without some reasonable expectation of 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep most nights. DH needs sleep, uninterrupted sleep, because without it his Multiple Sclerosis deteriorates. Babies need sleep, but I personally don't think it matters when or how they get it.

So, what worked for us was pretty much forcing DD1 to sleep at night-time from about 5 months onwards. I doubt if it was the best option for DD1, but it was what we as a family needed.

jujumaman Fri 24-Aug-07 14:55:53

It's true all those books, naming none in particular, are out there to scare us and no one should follow them in the first few weeks. Laughed when a dear friend asked if I had dd2 in a routine yet? She was one week old. Friend's baby was a preemie and had come home from the hospital on a strict four hourly schedule, she had no idea that they didn't all pop out in the maternity ward like that.
Having said that, I have had two screamy, colicky babies who disappointinly are definitely happier in routines. If you have a baby who can get itself to sleep anyhow anywhere then lucky, lucky you. I am with the poster whose baby yelled down coffee shops, restaurants, malls etc. I've had no choice with either o my dds but to stay at home to let them get the naps they so clearly crave and find hard to get the hang of and then take them out cheery and refreshed. As with all bits of parenting (hate that word) to each his own, I'd have loved to go with the flow a bit more but had no choice and I think the total anti-routiners don't understand how difficult some babies can be

sarahc123 Fri 24-Aug-07 14:59:40

I let my boys sort out their own routines while they were babies, although you do have to remember that they change the routine on a frequent basis. I used to cuddle them to sleep until they were about 2 and I really enjoyed it - still have lots of cuddles with ds2. From 2 we insisted on the 7 o'clock bed time, and they have been very good. Even if they are awake, they will stay in bed and look at a book and not get up.

I think you have to sort out what works for you and your baby, but I don't agree with a fixed routine - it feels very restrictive.

LoveAngel Fri 24-Aug-07 15:30:28

Great thread.

Those bloody parenting guides. Making women feel they are bad mothers because their babies cry a lot, sleep erratically and don't do as they are told. They are babies not fucking Tiny Tears dolls.

* Think I am going to write an extremely expensive manual called 'How To Make A Lovely Bonfire Out of Parenting Manuals: A LoveAngel Guide'. *

* maniacal, witch-like laughter emoticon *

p.s. I always feel like saying to stressed out new parents: 'There is a secret club of women who's 2 and 3 and 4 yr olds still dont sleep through the night. We are the hardcore sleep deprived. You are merely a little bit sleep disturbed. There is a time for stresisng. That time is not now.'
But of course, that would be mean :-)

Tigana Fri 24-Aug-07 15:38:08

Great thread but somewhat <cringe> reading my posts (old nickname).
Ds is 2 now. Relax.
Childrens lives are a series of phases.
There may be a 'won't settle to sleep alone' phase, followed by a 'will settle after 15 minutes but will probably wake at 3am and not settle for 2 hours' phase and then a 'takes 4 hours to settle despite various attempts at shush pat, leaving the room,singing, stories, babytv dreamy journey' phase.
It is not neccessarily a bad thing to bring your toddler into your bed if they wake in the night.

Caz10 Fri 24-Aug-07 18:02:10

These all sound like very wise words indeed but I am concerned re - how does it work when I have to go back to work??? Can't feed on demand when I am not there??

Not critcising in any way, I'm in no position to, but truly DON'T GET IT!! Help me please?!

canadianmum Fri 24-Aug-07 18:46:43

Having twins adds a whole new dimension to this, unfortunately you need a routine or you pretty much get NO sleep. You also realise how different babies are from each other when one twin regularly needs 1.5 hr nap and the other needs 2.5 to 3 hrs.

Now I am 37 weeks pregnant with one baby and am definitely planning to be more chilled out in the first 2-3 months. But as someone else mentioned, when you have older children your little one is pretty much forced into some kind of routine re: school runs etc....

I guess the ultimate advice is to go with your instincts, every baby is different, and if a book makes you feel uncomfortable then just get the matches and toast yourself some marshmallows grin.

Caz10 Mon 27-Aug-07 20:18:00

Can anyone advise?

LittleBella Tue 28-Aug-07 22:00:19

Caz10 when are you planning on going back?

You might need to start a new thread, would depend on how old your baby would be i think

hurricane Thu 30-Aug-07 20:37:45

Totally agree with OP. I breastfed dd2 on demand and had her in a bedside cot next to my bed with side rolled back till she was 13 months. Did not worry about routines. Wish I had not stressed with dd1 and gone with the flow. she wouldn't have any thing to do with routines and in the end sorted herself out. Now both dds (5 and 3) sleep beautifully.

I also feel the same way about eating. SO many first time mums angst about how much and what their dcs eat as we probably did when dd1 was a baby. If they stopped worrying and allowed their dcs to be the judge of how much they want to eat they would save so much stres.

specialmagiclady Thu 30-Aug-07 20:55:12

With my first, I spent hours alone in a darkened room trying to get him to go to sleep at 7pm. It was awful.

My second, I wore him in a sling. And to get him to sleep, I went for a little walk down the road and back again. For about 8 weeks he always slept on me. It was heaven for both of us. I knew where he was, didn't have to check if he was breathing, could rock him back to sleep if he so much as stirred.

Then there came a point where it wasn't workking for me or him any more. We gradually moved him up to his own room.

At 10 weeks, he discovered that he liked to suck a muslin. Since then he's been a doddle at bed-time.

He's rubbish at staying asleep, mind you. But he's only 5 months. I'm just going to give him a bit longer. And when I feel that things MUST change, we'll do some training as per the books.

The thing is, the books are all there to try and help you be a more confident parent. But they often play to your insecurities and at the end of the day, the best thing to do is LISTEN TO YOUR BABY and listen to what makes YOU happy.

Bluestocking Thu 30-Aug-07 21:10:53

Huzzah for Emkana! You are so right! I ignored (almost all) suggestions about "getting into a routine" and I followed my instincts and did exactly the same as you. DS was in my arms almost all the time until he was three or four months old, he demand-fed all day and night, he co-slept with us off and on until he was eighteen months old, and he still comes and gets in with us in the early hours some nights. And you know what? I haven't created any "rods for my own back" (how I hate that phrase). He goes to bed in his own bed with no trouble, he stays asleep most nights, he is a good and non-fussy eater, and is a confident, secure and outgoing little human being. So all you first-timers out there, follow your instincts, and if you want to cuddle your baby all day long, you just go ahead and do it!

Gemmitygem Fri 31-Aug-07 16:55:54

I am a classic first time mum (e.g. anxious) but I am also by nature pretty anal and organised, so I'd always imagined that I would try to get the baby into a routine at some point, and I did. He is actually a very chilled out, calm baby by nature, probably would have been whether we'd had a routine or not. For me, the routine was about feeling in control, where after the birth you're all over the place. I was hanging on to even the smallest shred of being able to have a plan. For some it might feel relaxing to go with the flow, but I'm just not that kind of person (for example I'm the kind of person who will look at the shampoo and think 'ooh no, I used that last time, better rotate them blush..

So it really is so individual. For me the routine enabled me to stay sane and certainly didn't harm DS (he seemed so happy anyway).

However I do remember the first few days in the hospital where he was in this perspex cot beside my bed and I really really wanted him to be with me, but I thought I couldn't because then he wouldn't learn to sleep on his own (so ridiculous but you're crazy just after the birth), and then I got very upset about our individualistic culture and how he would never sleep with anyone until he was more or less grown up and had a girl/boyfriend, and yet I was already making that decision not to co sleep with him!

Phew! So might sleep with the next baby for at least the first few days. but probably still stick with the routine. .. Not sure what lesson anyone can draw from that!

Annie75 Fri 31-Aug-07 21:55:31

This is just what I was looking for New mum and was feeling guilty about not having attempted any kind of routine at 3.5 weeks. Was going to buy some parenting manuals, but maybe I won't bother. I'm feeding on demand and it's lovely (still getting a decent amount of sleep), bed-sharing (which I'd been feeling like a Bad Mum about, but we're all enjoying it) and using a sling. Plus am happy spending hours just cuddling and staring at her grin (but was feeling guilty about the housework!). Now I'm more confident that it's going right after all. Also, reckon the baby seems quite chilled out as a result (that's not to say she doesn't cry though!).

I remember being in hospital after my emergency c-section and cuddling my baby all the time. I was tutted at by two other mums who told me I was storing up trouble by paying her so much attention at a few days old! I remember thinking, 'sod them' then. If you can't marvel at your baby when it's just been born...

Caz10 Sat 01-Sep-07 15:10:42

littlebella I will have to go back between around 4-6 mths after the birth (waiting for mat pay statment!).

Like the sound of what everyone is doing here, but can't see how I could manage co-sleeping, feeding on demand etc when I'm back at FT work. Can anyone give me any experience of juggling the 2, or is one or the other do you think?

Gemmitygem Sat 01-Sep-07 16:52:49

caz, I went back when DS was 4 months (lucky enough to have a nanny cos living abroad).. I must say that it was good having a routine.. I expressed milk at work and fed him myself when I was home. Bear in mind that with the easiest baby (which mine is), they're not realistically going to sleep for that long till about 3-4 months. My DS started to go from 11 pm to 6-7 am at about 4 months, but I don't think I could have handled work so easily if he hadn't... there's a great site if you are planning to..

Bluestocking Sat 01-Sep-07 20:44:47

Caz, I didn't go back to work until DS was thirteen months old. By then, he wasn't feeding much during the day, so I carried on BFing on demand except when he was at nursery (he was there Mon-Thurs). On reflection, this is the one thing I might change - he went on feeding two or three times during the night until he was 18 months old and it was very hard on me being woken up that much. But it may also have been very important for him to have that extra closeness and reassurance at night, given that we were apart for four longish days every week. Who knows? I am sure it would be possible to express enough to keep EBF going if you did go back to work earlier (in fact, I had a colleague who did exactly that) but it would be demanding, I think.

geekymummy Thu 18-Oct-07 21:31:17

Bumping this rather spiffing thread! grin

Oh how I wish I found this sooner... my DD is 7 months old and I give her all the cuddles I can - she's already starting to want to get put on the floor to play so I'm gonna hold her as much as I can.

I remember when DD was just 3 weeks old I posted on a message board (didn't know about MN back then!) how she didn't want to be put down and I was scared of "spoiling" her. hmm Thankfully I got pretty much the same advice as Emkana's OP.

NoviceKnitter Mon 22-Oct-07 23:12:56

Great thread, it's so important to empower new mums to trust their own instincts - hard when we live in a culture that looks outside for "expert" advice.

I'm a first timer and pleased I followed my instinct to keep my baby with me at all times (well she kind of decided and I followed rather than doing battle) - lots of sling action by day and co-sleeping at night. She'd cluster feed and snooze on my lap in the evening and come to bed with us. She's now 4 months and I've just tried putting her to bed again (after failing miserably early doors) because she was starting to get distracted by the telly and it felt like time... and she's taken to it like a duck to water. She, and I, were ready. She's also dictated her own routine - for now - which helps us both navigate our day.

Also glad I've finally bought Dr Sears, but glad I read Baby Whisperer too.

cupcake78 Tue 23-Oct-07 08:05:27

What a coincidence. I am a new mum. In my old life I was list and diary queen!! I was time management.

DS is now 3.5 weeks and still no signs of any feeding patterns etc. Some nights he feeds 4-5 times and then there was the momentous night of only 1 feed. It was only this morning I asked dh, should I wake him each day at the same time to encourage a routine. He already has a bath and bed time but that is more for me and DH to try and keep some sanity.

I now see I would probably be wasting my time and energy. Not having him in a routine is really hard I am not laid back,I need to know what is happening next. That with the only just recovering from baby blues and the general shock of being a mum has made the last three weeks the hardest weeks of my life!!

I have been told by everyone "after six weeks you can see your way out, by twelve weeks things should be better". Please let that be true.

countryhousehotel Tue 23-Oct-07 08:25:45

I remember arranging to meet my NCT group when dd was about 12 weeks old and the emails went something like "let's make it 10am, ds will be due his next feed then" and I remember thinking "wtf!! how does she KNOW that!!!" and feeling like a total failure because i was still feeding dd on demand. But it worked out in the end and once I started to concentrate on regular 3 hourly feeds, so I could actually leave the house without her and know she'd be ok (she wouldn't take a bottle and I gave up trying after a while) she took to it effortlessly, so she must have been ready for it.

Cupcake - my best friend said to me when dd was born and I was in the depths of babyblues and wondering what I'd done to my life that by 8 or 10 weeks I'd be able to have a meal and watch a dvd with dh with dd asleep (and not on our laps / in the sling / in the bouncy chair!!!) and I held on to that - and generally speaking she was right!!! It just kind of happened - I made no effort to get a routine together, we just fell in to a pattern and I started to follow her schedule. By 6 weeks i would say it all got much easier to plan things, by 12 we were on our way to being in a predictable routine.

Great thread, but as a 1st time mum, can we have a follow on thread about how to deal with mother's and MILs who are saying things like "you'll make a rod for your own back" or "babies need routine" or "she needs to learn to detach from you"?

flowerybeanbag Tue 23-Oct-07 08:47:14

Agree with Bumperlicious -we went visiting family over the weekend and DH got told several times by an aunt that he was 'spoiling' DS (5mo) by bouncing him. hmm

Also got told by the same aunt that baby boys should only wear powder blue and white. DS was looking rather handsome in navy and green at the time. grin

MurderousMaveta Tue 23-Oct-07 09:04:54

cupcake - it is true, it really is. When ds (now 6mo) was only a couple of weeks old and we were still in shock/ bfing problems etc. 6 weeks seemed a lifetime away and 12weeks inconceivable! But you do feel like you pass a bit of a mark where the dust has settled a little bit. And I am still passing little milestones like that along the way, I'm sure I always will, where certain things just seem that bit easier or manageable.

FWIW I have avoided buying any baby guides at all, going with the good old 'instinct' theory, derided as it may be wink, let ds eat and sleep when he wanted, somehow he has now worked himself into going to sleep at 7-7.30pm but wakes every 3 hours through the night when he used to only wake once hmm oh well, can't have everything.. I think the getting easier thing is in large part down to getting used to functioning at constant low level exhaustion grin

I've also found, generally speaking, that everytime we've come up against a difficult phase/ time just riding it out and not fighting it has made it much easier. Trying to fix things like a baby waking when it wants to wake only leads to frustration..

anniemc Tue 23-Oct-07 16:11:57

First baby 7 weeks old and he was 8 weeks premature, won't sleep at night - screams as soon as he is put in his cot, only settles when being held - very tiring especially during the night. He sleeps well during day but screams at night - considering buying a sling but worried he may become clingy! as i've been advised by parents etc. Any suggestions would be helpful, also considered buying an all seeing all doing baby swing but dh thinks this is a bad idea. Doc thinks baby has colic but we think its reflux as he keeps throwing up. This is my first time on this website and reading the previous posts hopefully will help.

lauraloo25 Tue 23-Oct-07 19:58:54

I have a 7 week old girl. She doesn't tend to settle very well in the evenings, and can quitye often be feeding her on and off for hours before she finally settles about ten ish. I never had this with my son who is now 2 so was finding it hard and exhausting. I have been informed by the health visitor that this is quite normal and lots of babies do it, normally between 6 and 10. I was also told that, they normally settle down by about 12 weeks. I was also worried about getting her into a routine, as obviously my son is in one, and I'm sure if I remember rightly he was in a routine pretty early on. Now I've been told she should settle down by 12 weeks I'm not worrying so much about getting her into a routine and just taking each night as it comes, and I have actually had a couple of better eveings with her.

Joekate Fri 26-Oct-07 11:40:17

Crossing my fingers and toes that more first time mums have read this thread than watched Bringing up Baby!! Great thread

Both my two are "go with the flow" babes and are happy and contented. And is it just me - I actually don't mind if my DS wakes me up in the night. A couple of nights ago she woke so I took her in with me and she told me a long story, sang me a song, played with my hair and fell asleep holding my hand. She's 7 months old and won't do this for ever and I kind of cherish our quiet times when there's no TV or other people there to intrude. I'm not going to have any more after her, so wan't to savour every moment!

lillypie Fri 26-Oct-07 11:56:46

I absolutely agree I'm on my third "go with the flow" baby, and loving it so much that I'm already thinking about number four.

New mums spend far too much time reading crap books and not enough time just enjoying their babies.

PhantomHaunteDDeath Fri 26-Oct-07 12:01:43

I think this is a lovely thread, wish I had read it 6m ago = on the other hand everyone did say "relax" to me whenever I was freaking out with ds, who refused ever to be put down. "It'll pass so quickly," all the wise mumsnetters said, and it was true.

I was able to relax about the sleeping thing when a friend of mine said she'd CC'd her 10week baby (!) because she "didn't want him to be dependent on anyone else for sleep", and I thought, what?! He's dependent on you for absolutely everything, a quiet dark room must be terrifying to someone so vulnerable -- that was me sorted. Ds goes to sleep like a dream. He wakes for feeding, for cold, and sometimes, I think, because he just wants to snuggle up to mama, and although I'm knackered, I am also Fine With That.

babyphat Wed 14-Jan-09 12:37:47

bumping this lovely thread as i was just looking for no routine, co-sleeping, going with the flow stories with happy endings.

my little one is 20 weeks and mostly feel i confident that i'm doing alright but then someone will freak me out with talk of 7pm bedtimes or asking about sleep (she sleeps fine by my standards but i suspect 2-3 hourly feeding at nights is not seen as fine by some). big advantage of taking them to bed when you go: no wasting hours in a darkened room, you can drift off to sleep together, and you get a lie-in in the mornings (we got up at 10 this morning )

i would recommend '3 in a bed' by deborah jackson as a great book that gives you permission not to bother with all that crap and just enjoy the cuddles, even if you don't plan to co-sleep (it covers more than just that)

i'm sure i'll be back for reassurance along the way, but for now am feeling good!

MamacitaGordita Wed 14-Jan-09 13:33:01

This is a lovely thread- v reassuring! Last night I 'put' 9week DS to bed and hated him being in the bedroom when usually he's with us all evening sleeping/feeding. I thought sod it and went and got him. I love cuddling him and he's only going to be this tiny once...embrace the chaos!

notcitrus Wed 14-Jan-09 14:02:46

Haven't read whole thread, but thanks for that emkana - I seem to be doing OK with A at 4 months, but everyone I know is telling me how just responding to a baby doesn't work when you have more than one of them and I'll need more 'discipline' aka strict routines then...

Glad to hear it's possible to avoid that even with multiple children.

meandjoe Wed 14-Jan-09 20:10:29

aww what a lovely thread. i did same with my ds, he spent evenings in our arms (wouldn't have it any other way). i wasn't stressed about the evenings though, i have to say i didn't actually realise til my ds was about 8 weeks old that babies go to bed before their parents blush. i suppose it just never entered my head to not have him on me, he was just attached to me from day one. i always fed him to sleep til 12 months, he learned to settle himself on his own, no controlled crying or any sleep training, he was just developmentally ready to do it. he did sleep through early though so i was lucky.

Cheekster Wed 14-Jan-09 20:39:04

Im a first time mum and totally agree with you emkana (sorry havent read all the thread).

I tend to go with the flow, I books like Gina Ford etc. My little boy is 6 monhts and has never slept through the night, although he does have a bedtime routine and goes to bed at 7pm but thats just what he fell into, he wasnt forced.

However, I must stick up for other first time mums, it is often pressure from other mums or professionals on that note that make us think we must get them into a routine and get them sleeping through the night.
I wish I had a pound for every silly comment or disapproving look I get from others when they hear my ds doesnt sleep though the night and is still up 3 times a night sometimes

Cheekster Wed 14-Jan-09 20:42:12

Sorry, should say I hate books like Gina Ford

BlueJellie Wed 14-Jan-09 23:45:09

I'll never forget when my ds was 4 days old and in neonatal, we'd just started BF - after an unsuccessful feed I put him back in his cot/incubator and he cried out for me. I went to pick him back up and the nurse told me off! She said I shouldn't pick him up every time he cried as it would get him into back habits and get him accustomed to being held. This really upset me at the time as I was already desperate for every minute with him. He's four months now and I still look back at this moment, it makes me angry as I wish Id have said something now! The amount of people I've had making comments if I pick him up to comfort him, my dad even said recently 'I see you're giving in to him', and I've heard the 'rod for your own back' one more times than I can count. I just don't listen anymore, I have a content happy baby who sometimes needs a cuddle from his mummy and Im happy to oblige. I also bottlefeed on demand as we tried a routine on many peoples advice and it just made him and me miserable, he has his own little routine anyway! For my next baby I will stick other peoples unwanted advice!

meandjoe Thu 15-Jan-09 07:02:04

oh god the old rod for your own back comments, we were selling our house when ds was about 2 weeks old (bad timing i know!) and the lady who bought it passed comments when she came to view the house and ds was asleep in dh's arms that we shouldnt let him sleep on us and lots of talk of rods for our back blah blah blah! i didn't even know this woman! grrrrrrr

Pempe Thu 15-Jan-09 07:22:02

Ok - this has put a big smile on my face - I'm going to be a first time mum in a few weeks and the sleeping routine thing was one on a long list of things for me to worry about (labour! the birth?! breastfeeding!! oh my god!!). I have THE books....Gina Ford etc....and they scare the hell out of me.

You have honestly made me feel more relaxed. Thanks everyone. We'll see how it goes.

RealityIsMyOnlyDelusion Thu 15-Jan-09 08:07:05

Yes yes yes!

Brilliant thread. How have I not seen this before?

I co-slept both of mine and until they were 18mo ish they just fell asleep on me or the sofa. By the time they were three or so they had a bedtime routine all sorted, and now at 4 and 6 they are lovely at bedtime, song, cuddle, sleep, ta-taaaa!

The same with feeding, on-demand all the way with no problems and now they are fantastic eaters.

My BIL and SIL have a 10mo DS and their life is so stressed and has to fit in around his 'routine' of feeds every four hours and sleep at rigid times. they put him in his own room at 3mo so he could learn to settle himself sad. He is a very stressy, fractuous child (he may have been one way or the other, who knows) and IMVHO they would be much better off relaxing and going with the flow <disclaimer-I have never ever said this out loud to them>.

Pinkjenny Thu 15-Jan-09 09:31:33

Mmmm. As someone who fell into a co-sleeping arrangement more by accident than choice, and now has a 20mo dd who she has to go to bed with at 9pm and has never slept through the night in her life, I'm not sure.

Each to their own, I say. But don't be fooled into thinking that cosleeping is an easy option.

It's not.

<sorry for the cynical post>

Pinkjenny Thu 15-Jan-09 09:35:04

That sounded a bit harsh, so I would just also say that dd is loved, cuddled, kissed and cherished every day of her life. She is the most wonderful thing that has ever happened to me, and I can hardly believe that my heart can be so full of love for her.

I do, however, wish she'd sleep in her own room, at least for part of the night. grin

hazeyjane Thu 15-Jan-09 10:06:28

I think you're right about going with the flow, but that can also mean having a routine ( I know that sounds really stupid!), dd1 hated co sleeping, didn't much like cuddling, fed infrequently at set times, went to sleep at 7 and woke once in the night, and hated being in a sling! She was much happier when she was in a routine, and knew when things were coming, and even now (2.9) likes to know exactly what we are doing and when each day.

Dd2 (19 months)on the other hand was a swaddled, sling carried, cosleeping, eat allthe time, blw, waking in the night cuddle monkey. smile

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