To routine or not - 6 wk old baby(13 Posts)
Dd is a 6 wk old bundle of joy and dh and I have been talking about setting up a routine of sorts for sleeping and feeding (we're not big on strict structure/routine so it will be flexible). But after googling the subject I am overwhelmed. Would love to hear other peoples views and experiences, successes and failures! Easyway sounds good but any other suggestions welcome.
I think working towards a loose routine eg feed roughly every 3 hours, is worthwhile. anything more regimented isn't worth the stress (and probably won't work anyway). a loose feeding and sleeping routine is helpful as it gives you a better idea whether and when they might be hungry or tired. also you can plan a bit eg I need to be near a sofa at 3 because his feed is then.
But, and I can't stress this enough, don't become a slave to it. for example if your baby seems hungry before her routine feed time, try a bit of distraction but if she still seems hungry then feed her - she may be having a growth spurt and need more feeds than she did last week. babies change all the times. And make sure the routine is one that fits your baby - eg if your baby won't nap more than 40 mins at a time (this is v common) there is no point trying to force them into a routine that relies on 1.5 hour naps.
one thing I certainly wouldn't do at this age is try for a 7pm bedtime. we did and I regret it - it meant that when dd started doing a longer stretch of sleep (5-6 hours), she did it from 7-12 and was then pretty unsettled the rest of the night, especially from 3am onwards, when I wanted to sleep! so I'd have a later bedtime (ie your bedtime) for now.
however a bedtime routine is worth starting so that she starts to make the association with night time. you can then bring the bedtime routine earlier as she gets older.
bit garbled but hope that all makes sense!
Thanks minipie. Makes a lot of sense re later bedtime for when she starts having longer sleeps which she sometimes is. At the moment I give her a feed about 9/10ish and then I go to bed. Dh brings her up when he comes to bed and she has been going until 3 am ish which is ok for me after 5 hrs sleep. But ur right about why I want to "routine" her, definately to help us figure out whether it is hunger/ tiredness etc. I don't want to revert to breast everytime she is upset just because I've misunderstood a cry!
Just to add, last week dd was feeding every 3 hrs and sleeping in between although awake periods were getting longer. Then she has been having a whole day where she has massive sleeps all day. This past week however, she has been feeding every 2 hrs and sleep has been all over the shop. Yet in the last 2 days she has settled down again. Last night she had 2 long sleeps and currently has been asleep for 3hrs and was technically due a feed 1 1/2 hrs ago!! They certainly keep u guessing, which is why I thought a routine mighy help. Maybe its me, the anxious new mum who needs one more than her!
I think routine worked well for me because I want to have a rest too during the baby's nap time, and I want to have ME time in the evening after 7:00pm. My first baby was very energetic, that when she started to walk (and run) I was exhausted all the time so i needed her to sleep well knowing i will have time to recover and refresh. With the second baby I needed some form of routine so i can plan my day and spend quality time with the first, do my domestic chores and still have time to cook some decent meals, and have life. My first is 3 now and still sleeps well in the night so I can confidently go out in the evening with dh knowing that she does not need any settling. I don't know what people do if they don't have a routine?
Gina Ford's contented little baby routine is very structured, works for some, does not work for others. Worked very well for my first, but i was a slave to a routine, but I would not regret it because I found a very concise solution to every problem, from feeding, sleeping to toilet training. Being a first time mum with zero baby experience, it helped me a lot. If you need a manual for a baby, this was it.
EASY routine (see EASY forum online for advice) is more baby lead. It is also good, and it helps you to understand your baby's routine need, but there is a lot that I had to figure out by myself when things goes wrong.
Whatever routine you follow, you still have to follow it as much as you can, at least most of the week. I found keeping the nap time, and waking up time, bed time around the same time is quite crucial.
Give it a try. You have nothing to lose.
I have 2 DD's.
With my first I read lots of books and listened to what babies were supposed to be doing when. She had really awful reflux and was very unsettled a lot of the time. I tried all sorts of routine and frankly mine of it worked. I strongly believe it was because she wasn't the routine type. The only thing that sort of worked was she was put into her cot at 7pm every night after bath and feed. However like someone else said that just resulted in me being up feeding loads between 2-6am.
DD2 is 11 weeks. I've completely relaxed and gone with the flow. She feeds when she's hungry, is put down to nap after about 45 minutes of being up, sometimes she sleeps for 45 minutes, sometimes for 4 hours! We fit in school runs and a bath and bed routine late evening.
If routine works for you and your baby that's great. But don't get stressed out about it not working. Your baby may not have read the same books as you!
The best bit of advice I had was to start a bed time routine early - around 6 weeks. This was to have a bath and change into pjs at a similar time each night, and then to put DD into a quieter room, so that she started to associate night time with quiet time. Of course, she would wake up for feeds etc before our bed time, but we tried to keep these as quiet as possible, and not, for example, feed her in the same room as the TV.
The best advice I got was to watch for when they become naturally sleepy & to create a structure for naps. They best way to do that is to spend a couple of days at home.
With feeding I was ff & just fed on demand, which ended up being 4 hourly feeding.
We followed a bedtime routine from 7 weeks, basically cos everyone else did & we thought thy must have known something! It worked well.
DD was in a routine from when she came home - bath bottle swaddled.into her basket in the living room.for seven pm. I offered her nilk every three hours in the day - and would lift her and offer milk.even if she was asleep. She could manage four hours at night, so 11pm, 3am and then back to 7am feeds.
By six weeks, I would swaddle her and put her down for a sleep after 30/45 mins awake time. Always in the lounge with the tv/lights on in the day,.and kept after bath time darker and quieter.
She took to a routine, and I cpuldnt and wouldnt have battled with her if she was against it.
I'm no expert - first time mum to 4 month old, but from day one, I just went with the flow of what my baby wanted - feed anytime, sleep anytime. Maybe I was lucky, but she seemed to know night from day within her first 2 weeks and would generally go to sleep by 11pm and (except for waking for a few feeds through the night), wouldn't wake 'for real' until 9am ish. Over time, she naturally fell into a routine - my routine I guess and is now fairly well established in that but with a good deal of flex when needed. Good luck!!
Like mamam76 we really needed routines to help our family function well. Baby Whisperers EASY routine was great for us and more flexible than Gina Ford.
I have seen absolutely dreadful advice on the internet -at both ends of the spectrum- so my advice is to buy the book and completely avoid the www for advice. You'll just end up confused and guilty otherwise!
I found EASY good too & it helped as a first time mum to predict was he needed next.
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