How important is routine for babies?

(14 Posts)
Vespar7 Wed 09-Jan-13 22:48:41

Just wondering whether I should be getting DD (10 weeks) into some sort of bed time routine. We like to go to restaurants and to see friends in the evening a few times per week (always taking her with us) and if we impose a routine and set bedtime we won't really be able to do this anymore. I really enjoy taking her out with us and have to admit I would feel a little trapped if I couldn't as we have no one to babysit so it would be an end to evenings out.

She is not a great sleeper so perhaps I have to choose between sleep or going out? Or can I just have a set bedtime routine on the days we are home?

Thanks

LadyKinbote Wed 09-Jan-13 22:51:34

If it ain't broke, don't fix it! Routines are great if you want your baby to follow a set pattern but if you're not at that stage yet, I really wouldn't worry about it.

JumpHerWho Wed 09-Jan-13 22:56:11

What Lady said - if I ain't broke don't fix it!

However - baby will eventually fall into a routine and then you'll need to fall into line with that in terms of going out etc. most end up having bedtime at 7pm ish - if you don't have family nearby I recommend sitters.co.uk or cutting a deal with mum friends so you can still go out. Means a lot to maintain some semblance of a life outwith baby.

<she writes, a tad wine d up, and having polished nails and read Grazia with snoozing baby upstairs whilst workaholic DH still at work>

Seriously, if you are enjoying being a mum, and baby is happy, do not change a single thing. The end.

Vespar7 Wed 09-Jan-13 22:56:58

Thanks. She normally cries for a bit when we put her down to bed and most of the time falls asleep in my arms. I guess this is kind of our routine. DP thinks we should be able to put her in her cot after her last feed and that she will sleep. In general I am quite happy to watch TV and cuddle her till she falls asleep. Just don't to set myself for trouble down the line!

JumpHerWho Wed 09-Jan-13 22:58:24

Oops hehe not v helpful

I recommend a routine at this stage in the sense of always bath baby and bottle or bf in a soothing and dark location, tuck up in cot - or pram if going out. Then deal with wake-ups as briefly as poss whether out or in. I'm assuming you're not out every single night?!

Flisspaps Wed 09-Jan-13 23:01:18

Remind DP that SIDS advice is that baby should sleep in the same room as you until 6mo - this includes naps and 'bedtime' - if she goes up to bed, he'd have to go to so you could stay up with the big telly grin

JumpHerWho Wed 09-Jan-13 23:03:42

Honestly? I'd persevere with putting her down awake. Leave the room despite tears, count to ten, go in and rock til soothed (but not asleep) and put down again. Repeat ad infinitum.

Crap and long but not as crap or long as doing the same thing with a toddler, believe me. It's not controlled crying, it's getting them used to being put in their cot.

I think I'm in a minority on MN for recommending not rocking to sleep, everyone else is always 'aw but it's niceee' but srsly, it's so easy to do and they never learn to be put in their cosy cot, smile and snuggle with teddy or whatever and self settle to sleep. So many mums on here rocking to sleep and saying its not a problem through gritted teeth - don't be one of them!

<srsly too much wine this has to end>

Vespar7 Wed 09-Jan-13 23:04:53

No no! Probably twice or maybe 3 times per week. Like the idea of same routine whether we are in or out. Will try and keep the times as similar as possible.

I am the first of my friends to have a baby and while they are all keen to babysit I just don't feel comfortable as they don't have much experience. Perhaps when she is a bit older!

JumpHerWho Wed 09-Jan-13 23:07:49

I'm sure you've heard it before... but you ain't in Kansas anymore sweetie and like it or lump it your life has changed. You will be the one saying no to nights out, leaving early sometimes, staying sober too.

It's worth it though smile

wonderstuff Wed 09-Jan-13 23:10:25

I would carry on while you can! When they are older going out with them becomes increasingly difficult. Also having them sleep in your arms is really nice and they are only tiny for such a short period of time.

Nightmoves Thu 10-Jan-13 09:43:55

I would try to introduce a cuddly toy or special blanket at bed time as part of the routine. Especially if you're saying she's not a great sleeper. It will help as she gets older and for when you want to settle her in her cot.

melliebobs Thu 10-Jan-13 09:46:53

Dd has an order of events rather than routine. Bath/wash, feed, story bed. That way whether it's 7:30 or 10pm she knows it's wind down time

teacher123 Thu 10-Jan-13 10:14:44

I found with DS (who was a rubbish sleeper at the beginning) that routine was the only way that we could get any rest at all, and that an early bedtime suited him best. It also suited me as I had to go out in the evenings from when he was 8 weeks old. However, it now means that we are trapped a bit by the routine and sometimes I wish he was a bit more flexible. But then I tell myself that they're only little for a short time and it won't be long until we can go out for an early meal in a restaurant and things like that with DS.

5madthings Thu 10-Jan-13 10:18:43

She is tiny still, enjoy the flexibility whilst you can.

I agree with mellie about doing the same things in the same order so they get the idea this us what hapoens before bed but it doesnt have to happen at the same time each night.

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