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Complete idiot here.. First time mum to be..

(18 Posts)
Hobby2014 Wed 26-Mar-14 15:17:28

I have absolutely no idea about routines for baby sleeping/napping/feeding. Do you just feed baby when they're hungry and let them sleep when they are tired end of? Do you get your baby into a routine from the start? Can you even get your baby into a routine? Do you need to?
I thought you just fed baby when it was hungry and when it wanted to sleep, it sleeps. But does that mean that it will never have a proper bed time or bed time routine? When will it know to stop waking up at night because its night time and that's when you sleep (obviously I know babies will wake up, but in talking further down the road). Will it all just fall into place and babys feeds will get less because baby doesn't want them and therefore baby will sleep longer through night? I'm so confused. I don't want to seriously fuck up future routines if I'm meant to start them early on. But also don't want to be forcing a routine on a baby if you don't do that and it falls into place.

Hobby2014 Wed 26-Mar-14 15:17:44

Ps don't even know where I should be posting this!

TravellingToad Wed 26-Mar-14 15:20:26

Yes, eat when they want and sleep when they want until about 12 weeks. then you can try and gently guide them to a routine. I have a 20m old in a strict routine who thrives on it and sleeps like a dream. and a 9 week old who does his own thing smile

tabulahrasa Wed 26-Mar-14 15:24:22

You feed them when they're hungry (most of the time) and let them sleep when they're tired (most of the rest of the time).

They work out when night time is because you're half asleep and then trying to go back to sleep after they've fed rather than chatty and active like you are through the day. How long that takes just depends on your baby.

They gradually set their own wee routine up and you tweak it if it's not working for you.

starfishmummy Wed 26-Mar-14 15:25:41

I agree. They will eat and sleep when they want and to start with it will be you fitting your routine around baby.
There is no one sized fits all routine either. Its just what is right for your family

AMumInScotland Wed 26-Mar-14 15:34:12

You will probably start to get some kind of 'bedtime' routine after a while - some people give their baby a bath in the evening, then a feed and settle them into sleep, and generally keep the light and noise levels down compared with daytime. Babies can work out that this means 'nobody is going to wave things in front of my face to entertain me or bounce me around', and gradually start to sleep for longer periods at night.

But its best if it develops organically from what their basic nature/needs are telling them, so you might find yours wants to do things differently. Then you try to adapt from there.

Most people agree you are fighting a losing battle by trying to impose a routine from outside when they are tiny. As time goes on, you can develop one, but you're better off following your baby's cues to start with.

Remember, baby humans are born very early for their development - the first three months or so they ought to still be 'inside', they just have big heads for our upright-walking pelvises so we have to squeeze them out at 9 months. Inside you, he/she would not have to worry about asking for food or being allowed to sleep or be active, it would just happen. Work with it, don't fight it.

NickyEds Wed 26-Mar-14 15:34:15

You're right-babies will eat when they want and sleep when they want! I gently tried to work a little routine around feeds from around 8 weeks and we've kept bedtime more or less the same since then, DS is now 13 weeks. One thing I WISH I'd known before DS was born was that it is very common for new babies to cry whenever they're put down. I remember knowing that babies woke up but didn't realise that some would only sleep ON you at first!!-It took about 10 days to get DS to sleep in his moses basket at all.

MillionPramMiles Wed 26-Mar-14 15:56:46

MOST babies eat when they�re hungry and sleep when they�re tired. Most. However mine didn�t. From 3 weeks old she regularly stayed awake for 12 hour stretches during the day, bar the odd 5 min catnap. The rest of the time she was either bf or crying with tiredness. She wanted to comfort feed all the time (then threw up). I tried everything, nothing was medically wrong with her, she just struggled to sleep and comfort feeding was her way of coping.

Around 6 mths I weaned her and got her into a routine. She was so much happier (and so was I). Now, as a toddler, she still needs a routine and won�t simply nap anywhere if she�s tired or eat if she�s hungry (she doesn�t comfort eat if she�s tired now, it�s the reverse).

So I wish I�d at least tried to get her into a routine from day 1 and potentially saved us both 6 months of hell. BUT noone else I know had the experience I did so I�m sure you�ll have a much more normal baby and will be able to go with the flow.

JeanSeberg Wed 26-Mar-14 15:59:34

Congratulations on expecting your first baby! What an exciting (and confusing!) for you.

There are some good pregancy books around and nearer the time, you could join some support groups to meet other new mums.

When is your baby due?

Hobby2014 Wed 26-Mar-14 20:18:12

Thanks all. I think I'm going to just let it happen and see how it goes. Baby not due til end of July.
I like the idea of the darken room at night and no fussing / talking etc.
What will be will be. Thanks again. smile

lollipoppi Wed 26-Mar-14 20:29:40


Seriously, don't even stress yourself out with it, whatever routine you will have planned, baby will have other ideas smile
Just go with the flow for the first 12 weeks, and enjoy the cuddles

SimLondon Wed 26-Mar-14 23:01:37

Lol at the go with the flow - at one point we were so tired that we couldn't remember if baby had actually fed or not and resorted to post-it notes, i know of other mummies who have apps on their phone :-)

So, anyway - for us in the first few weeks we wanted to keep baby with us and do everything on demand, then we carried on doing everything on demand but baby in bed in a darkened room around 7 (so still feeding/burping on demand but not being distracted with the lights and noise of being downstairs)

I did find Gina Ford's contented baby routine a really good useful read - but baby kinda put herself into her own routine and we went along - she was 7-7 at 5.5 months and 7-7 with a dream-feed at 10.30 at 4.5 months.

Madratlady Wed 26-Mar-14 23:18:03

Sounds like you have the right idea, fed when hungry, sleep when tired and and at some point it'll all fall into place and you'll develop your own routine. 3 month old ds doesn't have any set times for feeds really but naps at roughly the same time each morning and has an afternoon nap but no set time. We do try and settle him around 7, in the same room as us then carry him up to his cot when we go to bed, and he often sleeps from around 7 or 8 through till morning.

xpatmama Wed 26-Mar-14 23:42:16

Have a look at the baby whisperer which provides ideas on a good rhythm to try and promote!

riskit4abiskit Thu 27-Mar-14 09:02:43

I was totally worried about stuff like this but it all just happened honestly! What made me feel better was having the book 'what to expect in the first year.' Real life doesn't echo any book but I liked referring to it anyway.

ImASecretTwigletNibbler Thu 27-Mar-14 09:09:37

They gradually set their own wee routine up

Oh, I wouldn't bother abuot potty-training just yet... smile

ImASecretTwigletNibbler Thu 27-Mar-14 09:09:50

<spoils joke with typo>

NickyEds Thu 27-Mar-14 11:41:21

Ha!! SimLondon-we did the post it thing too-" 3.45am-Had paracetamol","4.20am baby did yellow poo-medium sized", "5.30am-baby has hiccups". Fair enough for drug times but in the end it really did get that silly!!

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