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First time mom - opinions needed please!!!

(16 Posts)
Momo36 Sun 10-Jul-11 09:36:39

My DD is 8 months old. She is a happy baby and in a great day and night routine. She self settles at 7 pm and sleeps till 6.30am. It has not always been easy but I stuck with doing the same thing every day and I'm so happy that she is now so easy at bed time.

I must say that I have been adamant that DD always slept at 7pm in her own bed because I felt it was the right thing for DD. However, my DP mentioned yesterday that he would like her to be one of those babies that were able to sleep just anywhere (in a pram in a restaurant for example) and that I was 'training' my DD to only be able to sleep in her own bed. There have been instances in the past where I refused to go to dinner to friend's houses but rather suggested they came to ours, because I did not want to break DD's sleep. All of our friends have much older kids that do fall asleep on couches etc and so did I when I was a kid. This however came a bit later and my point to DP is that DD is still tiny and that I'm happy to do this at a later stage. I'm happy to use a baby sitter when we are at home but we are due to go away and I know I will be under pressure again from friends and DP to go out and tag along DD with me.

DP is a great dad but he has come under fire from his friends regarding this issue and I feel for him a bit. I'm in my mid thirties, have had my fun and am now quite happy to 'fit in' with DD but am I fair on him since he may see this differently?? I do tell him that he is free to go out if there is no sitter allowing both of us to do so. As a first time mom am I being too rigid in what I'm doing?? Am I creating a habit of only sleeping in her bed that will backfire in the future??

Sorry for the long post, we are going away next week and I'm beginning to question what I'm doing here and don't really have anyone to talk to.

LeoTheLateBloomer Sun 10-Jul-11 09:41:30

Does she ever fall asleep on walks or in the car?

I have to say, it was a great relief to me when DD was a confident enough sleeper because it meant I could rely on her to fall asleep in other peoples' houses in either spare cots or a travel cot. (I wouldn't want her falling asleep on a sofa though hmm)

I also think it's really important that she learns to sleep in other places. You never know when you might really need her to sleep elsewhere and she then doesn't want to. I'd say now is the time to get her used to it.

MovingAndScared Sun 10-Jul-11 09:47:21

Hi - why don't you just try it one time -and see how it goes - my DCs in general were much better if had bed time routine and in their own bed -and we were too - as when we were at home had a break in the evenings
In my experience if you get the child used to staying up then they will do it all the time -which means you don't get those evening and child may not get enough sleep - for
but I feel that the odd time doesn't matter - so maybe talk to your DH and explain the down sides of doing it too often

mollschambers Sun 10-Jul-11 09:54:06

Mine were all good sleepers but on the odd occasion when we were out late with them - get together at a friends, on holiday or whatever - they usually coped. (DD3 slept through an entire wedding reception in her pushchair once - she'd have been about 9 months) If it put them out of routine it would only be for a day or two.

MoonFaceMamaaaaargh Sun 10-Jul-11 11:26:32

We have only ever had loose routines inc bed time. We like to be flexible...for us it's part of kids being part of real life iyswim. It's not like we are out often, but i wouldn't want to not do family friendly stuff we wanted because of ds. He's 17m.

Yesterday for example we went to a local festival for the day. Ds had a great time toddleing around all afternoon. Got tired in the evening, fell asleep thanks to a magic boob despite bands on stage, and slept in his buggy while we enjoyed the evening. He woke up when we got home, but a snack and bf fixed that. Because our routine is loose i'm not worried about today...it'll all be sorted in a day or two max.

The last "late night" (bar travelling to holiday) was a family celebration several months ago. But the next will be next weekend (camping).

I know for some people routine is sanity. But we prefer flexibility and are happy to put up with a degree of unpredictability to that end. It sounds like you and your dh differ on this score. Do you have to be at home for all naps? This sounds very tying in the long run...esp when they become less predictable in the run up to dropping them.

Fwiw i don't believe children need routine. They just need to have their needs met (or perhaps anticipated). For some this is like clockwork but others are more erratic. The former put themself (and us!) in to routines...the latter resist at all costs!

I sometimes think the desire not to form "bad habits" re sleep becomes a habit in itself! As a pp says, why not give it a go? If it's hell let dh deal with her and know it will never come up again! If it works you have another string to your bow. smile

marthamay Sun 10-Jul-11 12:33:06

We started of life with DS wanting him to be flexible and took a relaxed approach to napping/sleeping etc. We travelled quite a bit and I BF on demand. At about 8 months I was beside myself with sleep deprivation (no more than two hours at a stretch) and dreaded the nights. at about 9 months I started implementing a super strict routine. Sure, it meant we couldn't go out for nap time and in the evening but the improvement in the last few months had been dramatic and now I get about 5-6 hours each night which makes me feel like a new woman. I don't care what my friends say, at least at the moment I am starting to feel sane and a little bit healthier. I really regret that we did not do this earlier with DS.

FWIW, I think it sounds like you have done a fantastic job with your DD and she is obviously a very good sleeper. Tell your partner he is a very, very lucky man to have a good sleeper (he is obviously not aware of what a 'bad sleeper' can do to your social life...believe me!) and that it could be testament to your persistence on good routine. It is such a short time to curtail your social life and surely your friends can be a bit understanding about having a small baby. I think in the coming years your daughter will be fine about sleeping elsewhere if you get her used to it.

libertychick Sun 10-Jul-11 13:21:18

My DD had a similar routine to yours and then we spent most of June on hols visiting family and friends and having some fun before I went back to work - she is 6 months. She slept fairly well at night everywhere but did start waking earlier. I have spent the last week getting her back into routine and she's almost there.

We brought her bedding everywhere so things smell and feel the same and stuck to the same bedtime apart from 2 occasions. I did get some stick from family and friends as I wouldn't go out for meals at night but I am with you in thinking I've had my fun and this is a really short stage in her life and I can live with missing the occasional meal or night out. Give it a go and see what happens - one or two nights will not undo all your good work. I also agree with the pp who said get your DH to deal with any problems that come up afterwards especially early rising!

DeWe Sun 10-Jul-11 16:13:09

Dd1 slept better in the buggy than in her cot during the day at that age. She was a very good night sleeper (in cot). Dd2 slept ok anywhere during the day and was not good at night. Ds would only sleep well in his cot night or day and was fine at night as long as he wasn't on antibiotics or having an ear infection, which was about 1 day out of every 10.
I founf the only sleeping in the cot for ds a real bind, it mean that if I wanted him to be well rested then I had to plan the days carefully.

Rubyabcd Sun 10-Jul-11 18:49:11

My dd is 13m and has always gone to bed at seven in her cot and sleeps really well till approx 7am. She has her main nap about 2 1/2 hours in her cot also from about 1030 - 1300. She will sometimes cat nap in her pram or the car late afternoon.

I have found this restricting but I like her at her optimum for the rest of the day and this way she is. With sleeping late morning I do get to go out all afternoon with no worries.

She regularly stays at grandma's, where she sleeps in a travel cot no problem, always goes with her own grow bag.

We went on holiday recently abroad and it was difficult as she is not particularly adaptable and would eventually (after a lot of walking round) sleep in her buggy. A few nights I gave in and was happy to stay on balcony knowing she was safe and asleep in her cot.

She can cope with a few hours after bed time on odd occasion which I don't mind doing but prefer not to do. If dh and I are off out (occasionally) she stays at Grandma's and sleeps through.

Plus sides she'll go to sleep anywhere in a travel cot at usual bed times. We also have been camping and she slept just as well in a travel cot in the tent at usual time while we sat out etc..

I like my baby's routine, this way I have a happy well rested baby, dh and I have evenings to our self and she is safe and secure in bed!! I am lucky thought to have two willing grand parents who can pretty much have her sleep over at short notice any time which she loves if we are going out.

skybluepearl Sun 10-Jul-11 22:01:52

mine slept 7 til 7 too. they could sleep in a travel cot anywhere though - as long as the room was dark enough. sometimes I'd use a sheet to make the room darker. they woul sleep in a buggy as a tiny baby bit not as a big baby.

skybluepearl Sun 10-Jul-11 22:04:53

the great thing about having a child who goes to bed at a reasonable time is that the child will be refreshed and in good spirits when awake. thats the way i like it and my life is nicer for it. odd late nights for my kids go hand in hand with kids being whingy.

Momo36 Mon 11-Jul-11 08:44:12

Thank you all for your replies. DD has always been a light sleeper and I worry she will not sleep well on the go. Having said that, I will make the effort to try it once or twice and see how it goes. If it doesn't work DP can handle it! smile

marvellousmouse Mon 11-Jul-11 09:51:22

Hi Momo,

I, too, have an 8 month old DS and he's been in a routine since about 4 months. Before then he was a nightmare during the evening and we thought we were going to lose our minds. The routine gave us some time back and encouraged him to sleep well - which he does. He's a really happy, chilled baby. Yes, I have to often be at home for naps, but as a writer, it's a blessing! It means I can write, he can sleep, and we've both had a good day...

That said, I do take him out of his routine sometimes - we go out to friends in the evening and we've been to restaurants. Not often, but enough. Tomorrow, I'm on a bus, train and tube ALL DAY and no doubt his sleep will be patchy. But I agree with the other poster who says that even if you take a baby out of his routine, it's not difficult to get them back in - especially if it's a day or two.

So, in short, I get completely where you're coming from, but trust me, if you take your daughter out of her routine every now and again, there will be no ill effects.

winniethepug Tue 12-Jul-11 02:53:19

Sounds to me like you've done a great job! I did something similar and it wasn't until DS was 6 months old that my husband and I ventured across the road to the pub for a drink and dinner! I had to turn down lots of night invites from friends and family and like you, had to explain to DH that I felt it wasn't fair on DS to be dragged around and expected to sleep in the pram, on someone elses spare bed, in the travel cot etc etc
Even now, DS is 12 months old and he's never slept anywhere else other than our bed (we co-sleep) after 7pm. I'm not sure how this has affected him as he's still hit & miss with his sleeping but I felt it was the right thing to do and my husband was very understanding (and sometimes quite pleased!) to head out alone to the pub.
Do what you think is right for you & your family - not sure this helps in any way but you're not alone in this approach!

SheCutOffTheirTails Tue 12-Jul-11 03:23:28

My DDs are both good sleepers. DD1 would never sleep in her pram unless it was moving (well from around 8 weeks onward). She was a bloody nightmare if she didn't get her usual rests.

DD2 would sleep in the pram in restaurants etc. and is also fine if she misses the odd nap.

In general, OP, I'm with you - when my children are small my life is based around what suits them, not about getting them to fit in with what I want to do. I'd prefer to have well-rested children than stay out late socialising with them in tow.

But at least part if that is that I love that evenings are adult time grin They're not allowed to come out! grin

Your friends are being really shit about this btw.

SheCutOffTheirTails Tue 12-Jul-11 03:31:26

My DDs are both good sleepers. DD1 would never sleep in her pram unless it was moving (well from around 8 weeks onward). She was a bloody nightmare if she didn't get her usual rests.

DD2 would sleep in the pram in restaurants etc. and is also fine if she misses the odd nap.

In general, OP, I'm with you - when my children are small my life is based around what suits them, not about getting them to fit in with what I want to do. I'd prefer to have well-rested children than stay out late socialising with them in tow.

But at least part if that is that I love that evenings are adult time grin They're not allowed to come out! grin

Your friends are being really shit about this btw.

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