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I have routined myself into a corner ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHh

(26 Posts)
Peckarolloveragain Sun 27-Jul-08 10:44:14

My darling girl is now nearly 7 months. Baby number 3 (of a childminder and doula no less) and she KNOCKED ME FOR SIX. Had bad colic which I hadnt experienced before, prone to getting very overtired, feeding difficulties etc Spent most of first 4 months crying (both of us LOL)

Anyway, after trying lots of things I tried a routine with her and seriously, it was like turning a light switch.

She started taking lovely long naps and completely changed.


this has meant that most days i stay in as she wont nap out and about and if she doesnt nap she is awful. If we stay in, she is a delight and sleeps for about 3 hours in the afternoon and sleeps all night.


Last night for first time in 7 months someone else put her to bed, my sister who she sees most days and has done since she was born.

When I put her to bed it takes less than 5 minutes. I bath her, go in her room, put her music on, give her last bottle feed and into cot NO PROBLEM

She screamed blue murder last night and eventually conked out due to sheer exhaustion at about 10pm. She is never ever awake past 7pm normally.

My poor sis was absolutely exhausted and full of nerves poor thing.

Im thinking something has to give.

Can anyone advise me how to make her maybe a bit more flexible!!?

nannynick Sun 27-Jul-08 11:16:47

As a childminder you know that children behave differently for a carer, than they do for their parents. I nanny for a child of similar age, who sleeps to a routine for his parents, but not for me.

Routines need to be revised from time to time. The routine needs to fit you and your DD. If it restricts you from going out, then the routine isn't good for you.
First change I would make is to have morning's out and about. Then afternoon nap can still take place at home.

angel1976 Sun 27-Jul-08 14:10:58

Hi Peckarolloveragaib,

You sound like you have a very similar situation to me. My Ds cried for the first 3 months and I got him into a routine and he was much better for it. But we then went long haul to Singapore to visit my parents and it all went out of the window (I kinda expected it but didn't expect it to be THAT bad). No one there really has a routine for their babies and suddenly I saw how inflexible DS was (had to sleep in a bed in a darkened room) and how all my days revolved around his naps. In the end, he was almost 'forced' to be more flexible as I didn't fly 12.5 hours to see my family only to be cooped up all day at home! So I took him out and about - some days, he had his naps, some days, we had to go out and about and he didn't sleep. We borrowed a pram and for the first two weeks, there was no way he was going to sleep in it but by the third week, out of sheer exhaustion, he would sleep in it! Of course, there were hard days but he became more flexible as a result.

When we came back, I tried to get him into a more 'flexible' routine. As long as he has one LONG sleep (usually morning or lunch), I would cart him everywhere else. I went to mummy/toddlers group (sometimes he would sleep in my arms amidst all the children screaming, which he had never done before!). Some days we go shopping. He also started sleeping in his pram, in my arms and even when it was noisy. I felt my sanity coming back. I'm not saying it's going to be easy but it really isn't any good if your daughter is in a routine and you don't have a life. For me, something had to give and as long as your LO has enough sleep in total during the day, she should be fine. I feel so much happier as a mummy now as well that I can actually go out and not be limited to a 'one/two hour window'. GL!


Caz10 Sun 27-Jul-08 14:23:19

hi pecka!!

i think we are headed in the same direction tbh...i have been so worried about getting dd into a routine before return to work that things are now quite inflexible (if we want a "good" day and reasonable night).

i am exhausted and really trying to encourage her to sleep through, and i thought better naps would help, but now find that we are def "limited to a 'one/two hour window'" as angel says

i have read that a lot of babies can be chronically overtired, and the idea is to focus on naps/routine etc for a while and then once they're caught up and ready for it you can start to be a bit more flexible with them?

barnsleybelle Sun 27-Jul-08 14:42:11

Hi there,

I'm one of those routine obsessed mums!! My 11 month old has been in one since about 8 weeks old. I do find it restricting at times but usually find it much too stressful to cope when she's veers off it too much.

She too sleeps well at night and has 2-3 hours in her cot in the day. (it's bliss). However, now it's the school hols i'm sure my 6 year old won't want to be house bound for 3 hours every day!! Am still working on it, as he only broke up on Fri.

My dd too will not settle for anyone else at night either. I have NO help with her and my husband works away for 8-10 weeks at a time. When he was last home he tried to put her to bed and she WAS NOT happy! I know we should have stuck at it, but just seemed easier for me to do it.

All in all i prefer the routine and so what if it ties you somewhat, it's not forever.

Elephantjuice Sun 27-Jul-08 14:46:25

Presumably if you have 2 other dc you can't revolve everything around your dd? Sorry if I've misunderstood. My dd3 was always being whisked here and there to fit in with the others. She also had colic and never fed well - we ended up giving her a dummy to at least keep her quiet until I could stop somewhere and feed her/pick her up.

We do have a rough routine - I like routines as they make me feel a bit in control. But I would really try to get her used to at least some flexibility, like having someone else put her to bed sometimes. My sister-in-law has just been to visit with her 13 month old who has such a strict routine we couldn't really do anything. She wanted to go into town but because her daughter was tired she cried the whole time but wouldn't sleep in the buggy. In the end my SIL said we had to abort the trip so her dd could sleep. It's very annoying to be with them to be honest - all my rountine had to go out the window and everything had to revolve around her lo!

Peckarolloveragain Sun 27-Jul-08 17:00:48


Really interesting food for thought here!

Elephantjuice, yes I do have 2 other children and YES unfortunately at the moment life revolves around her routine.

I think because it was so SO hard when she was little and we "fixed" it Im still reeling from that and scared to mess it up.

What I REALLY want to avoid is a situation where she is getting older and more and more inflexible!

It struck a chord what you said angel where being out of the routine made you realise how restricted you were - that is what the school holidays has done to me - last week I declined an invitation to the beach, to a magic show and to a picnic in a park - my other kids would have loved to go! shocking really!

I have decided that it must stop being so regimented and Caz10 thats interesting what you say, she certainly was very chronically overtired, i wonder if now she is caught up we will get away with some flexibility without messing things up.

The things is 2-3 hour naps and 13 hour nights ARE great and I'd hate to lsoe them altogether!

Caz10 Sun 27-Jul-08 17:14:07

pecka the person who posted re the overtiredness etc had been using this book, they highly recommended it!

HonoriaGlossop Sun 27-Jul-08 18:10:23

Is it that she sleeps one long nap in the afternoon? Because if so I really don't think it's THAT bad and restrictive; yes you have had to say no to some things for the other kids but if you can be out and about all morning, then I would think it's fair enough to fit what fun you can in to the morning, and have a 'homey' afternoon - do you have a garden for kids to spend time in? Or are they old enough to play out and amuse themselves a bit?

I do not set myself up as an expert here btw as only have one grin However my ds absolutely thrived on routine and naps in cot etc; he was SO prone to overtiredness that I honestly wouldn't have felt I was giving him the best chance of developing to his full potential if I'd let him not have his nap; he was simply tortured without it and it was horrible to see his little body wracked with distress that I KNEW I could prevent! So I know how important routines can be.

Also I wouldn't worry about it getting more restrictive as she gets older. It's unlikely IMO and anyway, with kids, we can only deal with what is presenting to us at the time and let the future take care of itself a bit! My ds also kicked up a big fuss at being put to bed by anyone but me, for ages. it's a tie, but it's not forever as I'm sure you know.

barnsleybelle Sun 27-Jul-08 18:38:32

I know if i give ds the choice, he would rather us fit our day around dd's afternoon sleep than have her whinging cos she's so overtired. I honestly think that some babies just need more sleep to be content. Mine too sleeps 13 hours + at night with a 2-3 hour nap in the day.

We can't have it all ways. I skip my routine the odd day but not often.

I think we live in a society that makes kids think they should be out and about all the time.
I agree with the person who posted re home play. We spend all morning out and about and often have lunch in the park etc. Then when dd sleeps it's home/garden play. he doesn't even need to be quiet cos she'd sleep through an air raid.
I can't remember the last time she actually cried...honest, and i think that's because she never gets OT, and feels secure in whats coming next.
Sorry if i sound sad, but it works for me!

HonoriaGlossop Sun 27-Jul-08 18:49:19

just wanted to add on the issue of it affecting the other kids; a magic show, picnic in the park, and visit to a beach would be a HUGE amount of treats in one week. When I think back to when I was a kid in the summer holidays, we had probably two or three days out during the entire holiday; we DID go to the beach alot, but only because we lived by the sea! But again, that was an outing each morning, and then we played at home/out. And we had a fab time.

So I agree with barnsley that society can put a pressure on us to entertain the kids all the time with various outings etc but it's not a necessity - they will have a good holiday IMO even if a bit tied to the house of an afternoon smile

barnsleybelle Sun 27-Jul-08 19:20:24

your right honoria. I remember hardly going ANYWHERE in the school hols other than the local park and the garden!! I also remember it being blooody fantastic.

Plus, i honestly think it does them good to get bored every now and again. Gets the imagination going!

Just remembered... i played 2 ball against the side of the house for HOURS!

Peckarolloveragain Sun 27-Jul-08 19:26:57

Oh, thanks for that - its encouraging to hear people who are also bound by the afternoon nap!

Today I took a deep breath and skipped the nap and took all of them to my Mums, she lives on a farm and we had a picnic and the big kids had lots of fun. Little one enjoyed it too, was a bit whingey and managed 20 minutes in the buggy - then another little sleep this afternoon and has gone down as usual at bedtime.

At the moment we stay in for a morning and afternoon nap but thinking about it there is no reason why she cant be out and about in the mornign and then catching up when she has her long afternoon sleep.

I think reassured after todays events I will roll with it a little bit more and if we have something to do then do it and just have a quiet day the next day.

The putting to bed thing, her bedtime routine is so precise and always done by me I think slowly but surely Ill start relaxing it a bit so a change isnt quite so traumatic for her!!!

barnsleybelle Sun 27-Jul-08 19:32:40

I think that's the answer. Skip the long sleep for the odd day and they easy catch up. 2 days in a row and you may be in trouble lady!!!!!!

Ps can i visit your's sounds ace!

barnsleybelle Sun 27-Jul-08 19:35:06

PS. also you will find it easier too when she drops the morning nap. My dd dropped it around the 9-10 month mark (although i know some take longer). Once she dropped this the mornings were much easier as we can now fit quite a lot in..

Elephantjuice Sun 27-Jul-08 20:28:58

I agree it gets easier once they are a year old as they move to only one nap which means you can be out all morning then look forward to guaranteed peace for a couple of hours (or demands from the others!).

Don't know of this helps but when mine were babies we sometimes stayed at home in the morning and let them have a long nap (not sure why they want to sleep 2 hours after getting up but all mine did!) then go out just after lunch and let them have a little nap in the buggy/car later on just to get them through to bed time.

Caz10 Sun 27-Jul-08 21:44:50

That is the routine we are in now elephantjuice, dd 7mths can't seem to stay awake any longer than 2hrs after she first gets up! Looking forward to when she drops that.

Pecka, just out of interest what is your routine atm?

Peckarolloveragain Sun 27-Jul-08 22:51:19

At the moment....

She wakes up about 7.30/8 has a feed
8/8.30 breakfast
9/9.30 is always ready by now for first sleep
10/10.30 awake
11 small milk feed
11.30/12 lunch
12/12.30 sleep
2.30/3 awake
3ish milk feed
sometimes a short nap at 4/4.30
5pm tea
6pm bath

if she has had cat nap at 4ish bedtime is 7/7.15

if no cat nap bedtime is 6.30/6.45

then she sleeeeeeeeeeeeeeps for like 12-13 hours and it all starts again!

at bedtime the routine is ridiculously precise - think i got a bit neurotic after the colic!!

she goes up for bath at 6pm, comes downstairs to get ready and has first part of her feed then upstairs. we go into her room i lie her under her mobile and turn the night light on she lies there a couple of minutes while i potter. i put the ipod on in her room which has her bedtime lullaby playlist on. it starts at somewhere over the rainbow every night, she lies on the bed for the first song. at the start of baba black sheep i pick her up and give her her bottle, dream a little dream i stand up and wind her/sway her a bit, silent night comes on light goes off, kiss, night night and into the cot, i leave room. silent night and twinkle twinkle play and then a recording of white noise comes on after it.

this is repeated in same sequence for every nap and bedtime (shorter version at nap, we start straight at silent night lol) every single day

it just worked so well so quickly back in the dark days and now, im seeing its just a bit stupid!!

angel1976 Sun 27-Jul-08 23:08:48

Hi Pecka,

I think you have made a good start bringing them to your mum's! Can you try and vary her routine a bit and see how she takes it? Like you said, the routine was a godsend in the dark days but now you obviously want a balance between keeping her happy and you being able to go out, then you will have to TRY and make her more flexible?

A routine was important to me in the beginning for the same reasons as you but I was getting so depressed being at home pretty much all day! At the moment, if DS has a good sleep in the morning, I know I can go out and about most of the day and he will be okay as long as he has a short nap here and there. We found out the hard way yesterday and today though that if he doesn't have another nap by 5pm, we are done for. He went into complete meltdown so while we are a lot more flexible now, I am going to ensure he has a nap at around 4pm, otherwise we all suffer! If I am at home, then he can have a short nap in the morning and a longish one at lunch. I know people say they should have their long nap at lunch but it really screws up the whole day!

I also have a lullaby CD for DS and usually he is asleep by the last song but you know what? I have forgotten to put it on before and he sleeps anyway so you never know...


Ellibop Tue 29-Jul-08 20:28:13

Can I just ask you angel, how do you 'ensure he has a nap at around 4pm'??! My 4 month old naps without any sort of rhyme or reason during the day and I'm genuinely interested to know how to make him nap at certain times as at the moment if he isn't in the mood he'll just cry and refuse to nap, then at other times he drifts off without any fuss.

Caz10 Tue 29-Jul-08 21:04:48

pecka i think i must have a touch of your baby OCD as that routine made me think - oh I'd LOVE that!! grin

Next question then - how long are your naps? I'm guessing from your routine - 1hr in the morning, 2hrs afternoon, 30mins late afternoon? That is what we do (on a good day) but we are no closer to sleeping through the night sadly.

angel1976 Tue 29-Jul-08 22:50:07

Hi Ellibop, I will literally lie down with DS on our bed, stick the pacifier in and pet him till he sleeps (sometimes I find that gently stroking his eyelids close help!) and then sneak away! Most days, he will drift off (even if it's a power nap of 20 minutes, I guarantee you he will wake up feeling better. Most days, DS will do at least 40 minutes). But if he is over-tired (like today, when we didn't get home from a physio appointment till almost quarter to 5 and he screamed the whole car journey home!), he just wouldn't sleep and I would have a hellish last 2 hours of the day... GL!

angel1976 Tue 29-Jul-08 22:57:26

Cuddling him really close sometimes help. Sometimes I won't need to do much and he would drift off... But if he fights, then I employ all tactics to get him to sleep! LOL!

fledtoscotland Tue 29-Jul-08 23:24:11

pecka - your routine sounds similar to ours but recently (DS is 10months old) the afternoon nap has become more flexible. he will doze in the pram or the car but its more a doze than a sleep. his morning nap has increased to about 90mins and i just curl up on the bed with him to catch up on sleep. DS has never been a fantastic sleeper and still wakes at 11pm and 5am although he does get 11-12hrs at night in total between 7pm and 7am.

interestingly he also prefers me to put him to bed but i think that is because i am just "bed, sleep" whereas DH is "cuddles, chat, play, bed, oh you arent asleep, cuddles, play etc etc". DS knows where he is with me!

maybe you DD could learn to catnap when you are out and about so at least you are only tied to the house in the mornings?

Ellibop Wed 30-Jul-08 11:27:53

Thanks Angel, my DS is currently on the bed next to me clearly in need of a nap but resisting! He often sleeps next to me on the bed in the day as he usually refuses point blank to go in his basket...will keep stroking his head and hope for the best!!

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