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Thinking baby bedtime routines are b*llocks?

(123 Posts)
redbird79 Fri 16-Sep-11 21:59:08

We have just started trying to be a bit more consistent in our 10mo's bedtime routine. Only problem is that now it takes over my entire evening- bath, supper,story, song/nurse to sleep. I now have less free time than I did before and DS still goes to sleep at roughly the same time- only with more whinging. Sorry, just needed to rant.

MissVerinder Fri 16-Sep-11 22:00:37


RitaMorgan Fri 16-Sep-11 22:02:24

Surely you'd be eating dinner anyway?

Bath - 10 minutes, milk - 10 minutes, story - 10 minutes. It's not that time consuming!

Sirzy Fri 16-Sep-11 22:05:02


I have avoided getting into a strict routine with DS as life doesn't always provide the time to do a bath or whatever just before bed and I don't want to find myself in a situation where he doesn't sleep because things aren't right!!

NeedaCostume Fri 16-Sep-11 22:06:53

YABU. Bedtime routines are necessary and make life easier for everyone. I have three kids to put to bed - aged 6, 3 and 14 mths, and believe me, I run the show like clockwork. It takes 70 minutes when I'm on my own, including baths, stories and milk for everyone. One 10 month old should be easy - half an hour tops - and then you'll be downstairs with wine in hand.

acatcalledfelix Fri 16-Sep-11 22:06:57

Ah but it pays off eventually, trust me. Each bit gets shorter over time, it just takes them a while to understand how the routine goes. We didn't have one with DS for a long time, but once we started we've stuck to it pretty rigidly, wherever we are, and I'm convinced it helps him settle even it we are in a strange place.

redbird79 Fri 16-Sep-11 22:11:50

God I hope it gets better, thanks for the support. I do enjoy being a mummy but there are times I just need a break! Am sat on my bed with a beer, having sent DH out to the pub with a flea in his ear. Sorry, didn't mean for that to rhyme!

Midori1999 Fri 16-Sep-11 22:13:06


I haven't ever had bedtime routines with any of my DC and they have all been good sleepers and gone to bed easily, wherever we are. It seems especially pointless with a bay to me, as they sleep when they are tired and sleep through when they are ready.

Tigresswoods Fri 16-Sep-11 22:15:01

Well said needacostume no need to over complicate things. grin

AgentZigzag Fri 16-Sep-11 22:15:15

Without getting too deep on a Friday, I reckon you need to do the same things most nights with a baby because you're trying to communicate with them that it's the time they usually sleep.

And as you can't talk to them, giving them cues of what's coming next because it's what you do every night, is important.

I don't think it matters what those cues are, whatever is normal in your own routine.

The things you've changed to start that routine will become the norm and you won't notice it in the end.

Were you having problems getting him to sleep and that's why you've made the changes? Or have you done it because you think that's what you should be doing?

HairyGrotter Fri 16-Sep-11 22:17:25

I liked mine and DD's bedtime routine. Being an LP, I'm quite precious about my time by myself, so I implemented a routine, didn't work for months, but eventually paid off.

3 years on, couldn't be without it. Come 7pm, I'm freeeeeee grin well, within reason obviously.

NeedaCostume Fri 16-Sep-11 22:23:40

ok, well you're not downstairs with wine in hand but in your bedroom with a beer.

You know, I think all the 'soft' messages we are given about routines by health professionals and especially the media, all add pressure on parents. E.g. suggestions about massaging babies with lavender scented oil etc etc. It over complicates things. Clean them, cuddle them, turn out the light.

wine Slurp.

karlmarxthespot Fri 16-Sep-11 22:28:49

YABU. We started a routine last week (along with stopping feeding to sleep). Best. Thing. Ever. It has cut the length of bedtime in half.

redbird79 Fri 16-Sep-11 22:29:14

Hi zigzag, if I'm honest I started doing this because everyone I spoke to seemed horrified that DS doesn't get to sleep until 9.30-10pm. To explain, I BF and co-sleep so it made sense for him to slot into my 'routine' of watching a bit of telly and dozing then going upstairs for last feed and then sleep in our bed. He does still wake once or twice in the night so i would often give us a lie-in to make up for it. I am also a bit worried that it might impact on him once he starts nursery and we all have to get up a bit earlier. I think maybe I've reached a point where sleeping and feeding are a bit crap and I felt a bit of structure might help. Tonight though the whole process started at 7pm and he didn't go off until 9.30 anyway....

dearprudence Fri 16-Sep-11 22:30:08

YANBU. You can think it's bollocks if you like.

I liked having a sort of routine, although it wasn't super-strict. It made me feel all calm and organised. It was as much for me as DS.

Tigresswoods Fri 16-Sep-11 22:31:41

Amen needsacostume. Baby in bath, baby out of bath. Dress baby, feed baby. Put baby in bed, turn out light. Baby sleeps. You have peaceful evening.

Simples. grin

ExpensivePants Fri 16-Sep-11 22:34:31

No one told DD that then. She mustn't have read the rulebook.

niccibabe Fri 16-Sep-11 22:36:09

Are you doing too much? Bath every night isn't strictly necessary, and can dry the skin.

We start with dinner, then wash, nappy & pyjamas, BF, clean teeth during story, goodnight & tuck in.

We're all having dinner anyway, and DC needs to wash the food off, so that doubles up as a clean-up before bed.

Took a few days to settle immediately when we stopped nursing to sleep - we did this to incorporate teeth-cleaning last thing at night when we saw that teeth were coming through,

We're not big on having everything at the same time, but have the same routine before bed, so even if we've taken DC out for meal at night / on holiday, etc. all the signals are there, and bedtime can be managed by someone who is not me (obviously with milk in a beaker, not BF)

We had managed for a while to have a nap routine, but for some reason (I must have been temporarily insane!) we re-started nursing to sleep in the afternoon, and have ended up stuck with it - if you can get a non-nursing to sleep nap going, never, ever abandon it.

NeedaCostume Fri 16-Sep-11 22:36:42

Ah, Tigress, we clearly share the same view on this. But I am mentioning wine far too often. I must go and find the drunk thread. It is Friday after all...

Dialsmavis Fri 16-Sep-11 22:37:21

I loves it I do. Does your baby self settle? That is the much boringly repeated key to it all.

ChippingIn Fri 16-Sep-11 22:40:48

It will pay off - but it will take a little while for him to adjust to an earlier bedtime. At 10 months it might seem easier to keep him up, at 18 months it will be less so grin I'd start the routine at 6.15 ish, have the lights out by 7. Plenty of time for wine for you and sleep for him! Stick with it, it's worth it.

redbird79 Fri 16-Sep-11 22:41:52

Oh how I wish he did self-settle! He will fall (and stay) asleep for daytime naps in his pram and will sleep for short spurts in his cot but only 40 mins or so before he wakes up crying. Maybe I'm a soft touch, maybe I'll just do anything for an easy life, but despite apparently being a bit, ahem, fierce, in adult/work life I am rubbish at being firm with my baby!

bonkers20 Fri 16-Sep-11 22:42:04

I used the nurse to sleep time to read or play with the DS (Nintendo, not the child!). That WAS my down time.

It does get shorter and as they get older, you can do other things while they're in the bath (like pluck chin hairs, or bleach the loo brush) and story time is lovely snuggly time.

Also, they don't need a bath every night.

Perhaps if you're trying to shift bedtime earlier then you could do it in smaller increments. So, if DS is used to being asleep at 9.30pm then start at 8.45pm, then 8.30pm etc.

bonkers20 Fri 16-Sep-11 22:44:23

As for self settling. I think it depends on the child. I was shocked when I found I was able to pop my DS2 into his cot having popped himself off the breast and he just went off to sleep. My DS1 nursed to sleep until he was much older. Who knows.

Dialsmavis Fri 16-Sep-11 22:47:43

They are so strange in their little ways aren't they? DD for months would self settle happily in the night and at bedtime but in the day would totally refuse. I just couldn't understand why she was happy to for half of each 24 hour period but would act like I was sticking pins in her eyes if I even started to think about trying her in her cot for a nap.

If you want to get him to do it at night I am sure you can without doing CC or anything as he can do it. But if it seems like too much upheaval and you are happy as things are maybe it will be hard to see it through.

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