how do you start a routine?

(29 Posts)
sprite25 Wed 19-Feb-14 19:28:47

Just that. DD is 10 weeks old but I think we need to get her into a routine bit don't know where to start. She's a terrible sleeper in the day, cat naps on me but never lets me put her down meaning as the day goes on she gets more and more cranky (read screaming until she's breathless) but at night she's great so don't wanna interfere with that. She doesn't have a pattern of feeding either, we just give her what she wants, when she wants. Any advice will be appreciated

darjeelingdarling Thu 20-Feb-14 06:01:42

hi sprite, what do you mean by routine? do you mean how she sleeps in the day?

or bedtime routine?

There's a big difference between schedule and routine. tbh I'd be led by her as much as possible if nights are good! If she naps in the day on you have you tried a sling? At that age a caboo would be good or pop to a sling library.

Alternatively let her nap on you, put your feet up and get through some box sets!

There seems to be a lot of difference between babies. My ds has always had predictable naps during the day which he fell into through bf to sleep or pram. I know others who have only ever catnapped. However ds is a very frequent night waker! When he went through a phase of change in his naps I'd offer as many nap opportunities as possible to work out his new 'schedule' - generally pram, sling or bf (he's gone through very nosy phases though so bf didn't always work)

I decided I couldn't be bothered with all the cot sheneigans plus he was a bit refluxy and had to sleep propped up. As he got bigger I found the pram (out n about) very handy esp for others to use or when we were away. I have a very understanding nursery who used it till just the other week. he's now in a cot (mixed success there!) He's 14 months and we're still bf.

sprite25 Thu 20-Feb-14 09:27:41

More of a routine for her day time sleeping, so that maybe she has a few proper sleeps during the day instead of catnapping and getting increasingly grizzly and unsettled as the day goes on cos she's so tired. Was also thinking maybe a bedtime routine of bath bottle cuddling then bed. However don't know how a routine would work around her wanting to feed as this varies depending on how much she has, how long she's been asleep etc. I wouldn't mind her just catnapping in the day if she was happy but she looks permanently tired in the day and as I say just gets grumpier until she goes to sleep in the evening

darjeelingdarling Thu 20-Feb-14 15:40:37

how far apart are her cat naps? I think ds stayed awake roughly 2-3 hours then slept for around an hour or so around then but it's fuzzy.

I started bobbing/ walking around with him on my shoulder to sleep then put him down and kept a mental note of times awake between naps rather than the actual time of the nap.

I find this easier as as they get older as time lengthens, plus if they wake earlier/ later than usual you can count from then.

sprite25 Thu 20-Feb-14 20:44:18

It's hard to say really, she'll sort of wake around 6-7ish then get tired around 9 and I'll try and get her to go down which she might do for a max of half an hour then throughout the day she'll go between dozing on me for about 20 mins to grizzling, feed doze again then back to crying until about 6 when she'll play on her playmat if I'm lucky just long enough for me to guzzle down some dinner then it's back to the same until 8 or 9 when I go to bed and cuddle her and she goes into a proper deep sleep then she lets me put her down and usually goes about 5 hours (sometimes more) wake for a feed then back to sleep easily til the morning...phew

purplemurple1 Thu 20-Feb-14 20:53:40

I spent a few days writing down feeds amounts and Times and nap Times and lengths and built a schedule from there. It was roughly a 3 hrs cycle.

Bottle 5
Play a bit
Nap 7- 7.45
Bottle 8
Etc

I then used a bit of tv to keep him awake, walks in the pram to get him to sleep etc to get the routine a bit more of a suitable fit for my day.

Tbh she sounds over tired I think I'd try to work on that first if you can.

darjeelingdarling Thu 20-Feb-14 21:22:36

the morning half hour seemed / seems to be a common one that stays till about 8 months or more.

is she feeding to sleep when she cat naps? are you bf or ff?

darjeelingdarling Thu 20-Feb-14 21:29:53

I think I tried the 'easy' routine around that age (only attempt at baby training ever) simply cos he seemed to nap better. he had tt and a bad latch so would get bad wind / reflux. after first half hour nap (1.5 or couple of hours after waking) I'd encourage a bf then or a little while after and then clock watch and rock to sleep or walk in pram when I spotted some sleepy signs.

I might do the same next time, but I'd get tt checked and also really do a good tummy massage regularly as I think that upset a lot of his sleep.

sprite25 Fri 21-Feb-14 21:00:35

She does get very over tired which is why I need to get her into a routine of having proper naps in the daytime. I did BF until 8 weeks but she's now ff and doesn't really feed to sleep, she did seem to start off with a rough feeding routine of around 5 ounces every 3 hours but the past week or so she's been very unpredictable, wanting different amounts and going different amounts of time between. For the past 2 evenings we have given her a bath, bottle and cuddle around the same time but it's more the daytime sleeping that needs working on, as she looks so tired all day but just won't sleep properly (let alone let me put her down to sleep) might try the writing down of what she does and when to see if there's any type of pattern there

purplemurple1 Sat 22-Feb-14 00:04:07

If your going for seeing what she does don't encourage sleep at certain Times and keep things generally calm throughout the day.

If it doesn't work I'd just force a 3 hrs routine with walksetc to get her to sleep.

sprite25 Sun 23-Feb-14 09:52:21

Just wondering how a routine works around things like being out and about or if visitors come round (she can be very nosy if other people are about)? We went out yesterday in afternoon and she fell asleep in her pram for ages then was little harder to settle down in the evening. I also don't know how many naps I should try to get her to have during the day? Also am unsure what to do about her feeding, as she's getting older she's wanting to feed more often (about 2 hrs instead of 3) but she won't take anymore formula (she used to guzzle down 5 ounces everytime but now will only take between 3 and 4 but then get hungry again quickly) sorry for all the rambling, 1st time Mum here lol

purplemurple1 Sun 23-Feb-14 10:34:59

Don't worry I'm a first timer too, but my babies older so this is just what I found worked for us.

Mine did the more frequent feeding thing I just gradually made him wait a bit longer each time and found that he would then take more. It might also be time to move up a teat size as well to give a faster flow, depends on the type of bottle you are using.

I put mine to sleep in a seperate room so if people are here I still try to stick with the plan, when were out I just let him sleep when he wants to but I'm lucky in some ways as he dosen't always sleep in the pram or car. I do wake him a couple of hours before I want him to go to bed though. That might have been a bit more like 1.5 hrs at 3 months.

Depending on what time you're putting her down to bed and getting up in the morning I'd expect 4 or 5 naps of 30-60min, using a roughly 3 hr schedule.

sprite25 Sun 23-Feb-14 10:57:15

Ok thanks for the reply gonna sit down with DH later and try to work out and write down a rough plan to try and see how we get on

sprite25 Sun 23-Feb-14 11:09:35

Also didn't think about the teats and just realized she's still on newborn and 1 month treats! Probably why she gets frustrated and doesn't finish a feed oops! Bad Mum

extracrunchy Sun 23-Feb-14 11:13:20

There's an iPhone app called Baby Connect that we found really useful in this situation - you record nap and feed times (and quantities eaten if you want to) and it does a little spreadsheet for you so you can see patterns.

extracrunchy Sun 23-Feb-14 11:19:24

Also did EASY - eat, activity, sleep, you time (YEAH RIGHT WITH A TODDLER AS WELL!!) - led by her but working on the assumption they can usually only stay happily awake at under 3 months for up to about 2/2.5 hours (some less - mine's 9 weeks and falls asleep at 1hr18mins like clockwork!!). So would watch closely for any yawns and settle her for nap straight away. If they're awake too long they're much harder to settle as overtired and they don't stay down for as long.

TheWiseOldElf Sun 23-Feb-14 11:32:16

I also did the EASY routine (baby whisperer) which I introduced at approx 8 weeks with dd1. It was great as it added some predictability without clock watching rigidity. I'm planning to do the same with dd2 (currently 4 weeks) soonish.

sprite25 Sun 23-Feb-14 19:55:45

I looked up the EASY routine and it sounds great! But still don't get how you can do their routine if your out and about etc?

TheWiseOldElf Sun 23-Feb-14 21:11:30

I find that they sleep more when out and about but I would just keep an eye out for somewhere to feed DD, watch for when she woke up and then try to feed soonish afterwards. Nappy change after feed and then back to whatever we were doing which would hopefully keep her entertained until she next fell asleep.

Reading it back, that definitely makes it sound too easy!!

teacher123 Sun 23-Feb-14 21:23:29

DS was the same-I managed to get an evening routine settled far quicker than a daytime one. Eventually I got the timings from Gina ford and then forced him to sleep at those times by taking him out in the car/in the pushchair. Eventually I managed to transfer these to the cot, but not till he was about 5mo... I still roughly time outings around nap time and he's nearly 2!

Germanwife Mon 24-Feb-14 10:36:44

I'm watching this thread with interest as I'd like to know too!

sprite25 Mon 24-Feb-14 19:38:19

Ok started off watching DD own routine, writing down when she got up had a feed etc. Took her for Doctors appointment (just a check up for a cold) and happened to mention she doesn't finish a feed anymore (plus other belly problems she's had) and long story short she might be lactose intolerant. I don't know if this is why she can't settle in the day but I've gotta wait for a week to see if the prescription she's been given helps. I don't know if there's any point in keeping an eye on her routine while trying to sort this out as it might all mess up how she would normally be.

Bulldozers Mon 24-Feb-14 19:58:44

At that age my dd needed a nap around 90 minutes after waking.

extracrunchy Mon 24-Feb-14 20:33:05

OP if she is lactose intolerant she's probably really uncomfortable a lot of the time, so yes I would wait to see if anything changes before you start trying to push a routine!

Anyway FYI ours looks a bit like this, working with EASY pattern and aiming not to keep her up for more than 1.5 hours at this stage (she's 9 weeks and gets very cranky if up for longer but this obviously varies with different babies). If she wakes earlier or later we just shift the pattern back or forward a bit. She seems happier going for longer than 3 hours between feeds and is gaining weight ok, but again that's just her!

7.30ish wake up and feed
8.30 down for nap
11.15 wake up/feed
12.30ish nap
3ish up/feed
4/4.30 nap (in carrier so I can pick DS up from nursery and give him dinner)
5.30 up/feed
Bath when done feeding
6.30ish cuddles/top up feed
7ish (in theory - usually by 7.30) asleep (or hours of screaming just cos!)

Sometimes I switch the short nap to lunch time instead of last one, depending on what we're doing. And she usually feeds twice during the night, though we have occasional funny business with growth spurts etc.
HTH!

extracrunchy Mon 24-Feb-14 20:34:12

We started with bath/bedtime and kind of worked backwards watching her signals. She always wants a longer nap in the morning, which I think is common, and the other two are more flexible (sometimes three if she's unsettled and does short ones).

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