No routine, nightmare :((14 Posts)
My 19 week old ds has no routine.
He refuses to nap in the day, unless in the pram or a car, and every night he cluster feeds till about 11/12pm, then drops off. I'm EBF and utterly exhausted. I have a 4 year old and a 7 year old too, and I am shattered and strung out.
DH supportive but works long hours, 6 days a week.
I go back to work in June and DS needs a routine! I work 13 hour night shifts, so am attempting to introduce bottles too.
Any ideas on forcing a routine? CC?
Are you sending him to nursery? I couldn't get dd into a routine but they had no problem
Way too young for cc, (I'll admit to thinking no age is old enough) but also sounds like a normal baby of that age.
Neither of mine (also ebf) had much of a pattern till they started having regular meals at 7/8 months really.
Youngest has a sort of 2 nap thing going at age 1.
Sorry missed the pram or car bit. DS2 had a lot of naps on a sling at that age, made a big difference getting peace to play with his older brother.
I sympathise, I have a 10 week old plus two older ones (8 and 3) and we are trying to get into a routine - of sorts - nowhere near as structured as I was with DC1 or 2, but am finding this time round the baby really does just have to fit in with everyone else which makes any kind of routine really hard to implement!
Would you consider giving him a bottle of formula in the evenings (given that you are introducing bottles anyway in advance of your return to work) to see if that helps settle him earlier? At least that way you could rest a bit in the evenings, regardless of what happens in the day, and would avoid the relentlessness of the cluster feeding.
My baby doesn't really have a routine as such during the day, we loosely follow the babywhisper's EASY routine - eat, activity, sleep, your time - but whilst this does work in principle DS only really sleeps in 30/40 minute bursts regardless of whether he's sleeping in the cot, carseat, buggy or baby carrier so I find I am feeding a lot and having no real downtime, plus it all has to fit around school and preschool runs, after school clubs and activities etc!
But we have managed a bedtime routine which works well and makes all the difference between coping and not for me. We bath him around 6/6:30 pm and then give him 6oz of formula afterwards and he generally zonks beautifully around 7 and stays down till I dreamfeed him at 11ish. The rest of the time he is EBF. Might that be worth trying as a starting point? At least it might give you the evenings to yourself.
If he's not napping in the day, I'd get that sorted first. The sling suggestion is a good one, my dd would crash out in ours for a while, enough for me to play with DS and get a meal.
Have you read no cry nap solution? Think it might be a good place to start. You might also like the isis website and sound sleep by Sarah Woodhouse.
Has he been checked for tongue tie, that might well explain the nap refusal.
In my tired stressed state yesterday, I forgot to explain a few things. He's 3 weeks on from TT division a d his feeding has come on fabulously. He BFs brilliantly, but still refuses a bottle.
The nap problem I have is this: I have to do 3 school runs per day as DD does 5 mornings 8.30-11.30 and DS is at school full time. It's at the same place, thank god. But I don't drive so baby is in the pram at 8.30, 11.30 and 3. He sleeps on all 3 trips. However it's been this way since DH went back to work when baby was 2 weeks old, so baby has NEVER napped in his cot. At weekends he's a nightmare because he's out of routine. He will sleep in the car if we go out (DH drives) but if we don't its really hard and I have to hold him all weekend!
Last night wasn't too bad, because DH sorted the older two out, but he's going out later. I'd forgotten about that and prob would have waited until tomorrow if I'd realised!
Don't know about no cry sleep solutions so will look now.
Sounds exactly like my dd. she would only sleep in the car or in the pram, but only if we walked to school and back. Little monkey. But she would sleep in a sling or if I fed her in our bed and then left her.
Have you tried letting baby sleep in the pram in the garden or in the house? We noticed that our dd saw putting on her scratch mitts, tucking her in pram etc was a cue for sleep when she nodded off before i had chance to get out the house....!
He should be having three naps a day, one longish one in the middle of the day and two short ones (morning and afternoon).
I see you're considering offering a bottle, OP. I would go for it. Reason being that the cluster feeding is exhausting you, and you need time to recover and unwind in the evening. It will also set up a good structure for your evening instead of tying you to the couch. Consider introducing a bottle at night, at 7pm ish? Should set him up for a longer sleep. Equally, you could pump the milk for the bottle feed first thing in the morning if you wanted to. bottles are quite good ways of getting a big feed in before bed. plus, if you are returning to work or want to go out at night its useful to have a baby that takes a bottle.
Routine might be (loose timing):
7am first feed for baby (always start at 7am, no matter when the last feed was. This sets the clock for both of you, and you will teach him to expect morning things to happen in the morning).
815am first nap (1hour ish)
11.30 am nap (1 hr 45 mins ish)
2 pm feed (soon you'll be introducing solids around this lunchtime slot)
4pm nap (30 mins or 45 mins)
Bath both children together and put pjs on
645 bedtime stories, etc
7pm toddler in bed, give baby bottle then bedtime for him
My tip for enforcing a routine is just do the same thing every single time he goes to bed. If that means staying home so he can nap, so be it. Worth investing a couple of weeks in establishing a good pattern.
You can look up The Baby Whisperer's 'shush pat' method for settling baby, if that helps? Might be worth going to your local library for a copy, so that you avoid all of the anti-routine vitriol on the internet.
Mummy, I missed your second post. My advice at 02:44:17 won't probably work in your case, so ignore!
In your case I would invest in a big pram that has a detachable bed/cocoon that can be detached from the pram and sat inside the cot for the times that he is required to sleep at home. Then after using the pram bed inside the cot for a few weeks, take it away for a few sleeps until removing it altogether.
I would also introduce a blanket that he has EVERY time he goes to sleep (a comfort object), pram or cot. When you want him to sleep in the cot, put his blanky in there with him and say, "here's your sleepy blanket, time for sleep".
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