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Advice please from anyone who was LATE starting routines with baby

(9 Posts)
Salme101 Mon 19-Jan-09 12:23:39

I write in a near-lunchtime haze, having been too shattered to get out of bed all morning and ignored the postman's rather aggressive banging on the door (yeah, I know I'm really lucky to have the luxury of recovery time!) DS is 7 months old tomorrow, and I've been enjoying my maternity leave with him so much that I fear I've been too laid-back about getting him into routines. He's still sleeping in a cot in our room, and has just been going to bed and getting up with me, with a couple of night feeds thrown in. He is thriving, but I am conscious that I am going back to work in 6 weeks(!) and my own sleep pattern is ruined (DS normally asleep by 1, but I've been awake until 4 most nights for the last couple of weeks).

DH will be taking over from me as a SAHD when I go back to work, so realistically a lot of the routine-forming will be done by him now, but I want to help by getting a bit more structure in place for things like a separate bedtime, mealtimes etc.

Now, I know what some of you will be thinking: This is ridiculous, this woman is a Big Baby (cf Michael Bywater), she's made A Rod For Her Own Back, and a lot of this is common sense and Just Doing It. Sorry, but I know this, just as I know that my friend's DD was sleeping through the night in her own room at 12 weeks (apparently) and all that, so I don't need to hear it. Just wondered if anyone had gone through a similar disorganised phase and could give me some practical tips about what they did. Many thanks.

leoleosuperstar Mon 19-Jan-09 12:28:59

Hi, think about what sort of routine you want to adopt - probably want to discuss this with dh as he will be following this routine.
I would work on one area - which from your post sounds like it's the sleeping situation?
Is your dc's mealtimes in a routine? If not this is where to start, say breakfast at 8, luch 11.45 and dinner 4.30? Obviously everything else will fit in around this as you will need to wake dc ready for breakfast which will make them him ready to nap earlier and to go to bed earlier.
To bring bedtime earlier you may need to bring it forward in stages seperated by a few days inbetween changes|?
Try babywhisperer for ideas.
Good luck.

ShannaraTiger Mon 19-Jan-09 12:31:35

Don't be so hard on yourself.
If DH will be taking over I'd sit down and discuss how he wants the routines done. Maybe you need to work on getting your body clock back into work routine.
You'll get loads of tips, just do what works for the 3 of you.

cmotdibbler Mon 19-Jan-09 12:37:27

When I was on maternity leave we def had no structure at all. DS slept in with us until he was 10 months old, and had night feeds until 18 months. He didn't have a definate bedtime till 1 when he stopped cluster feeding and feeding to sleep. I went back to work ft at 4.5 months.

If I were you, then perhaps the only things I'd concentrate on would be getting yourself to bed at a reasonable time, and getting up in the morning when you will need to for work.

I'd fit DS's meals into when you DH wants to eat, and if you stick to those (roughly) then everything else tends to fit round.

I'm not a routine person if you couldn't guess !

sarah293 Mon 19-Jan-09 12:40:04

Message withdrawn

HSMM Mon 19-Jan-09 12:44:17

My DD is 9. Am I supposed to be starting a routine? School imposed a routine of sorts on us, but apart from that ..... wink

purpleduck Mon 19-Jan-09 12:46:08

Salme - it sounds lovely!
Yes, you probably do have to add a bit of structure to the mix- but I think it sounds heavenly, and how wonderful that you have enjoyed this time.

I have never been huge on routine - just loose ones. IE, at 7 months, my dcs were doing the bath, book, bed thing, but no strict timeframe.

DownyEmerald Mon 19-Jan-09 13:10:13

it sounds fab - not a huge routine for newborns fan - I found it quite difficult as been working full-time for a very long time, had no idea of my own routine for the brief pre-baby maternity leave thing and then didn't do anything really till about 5 months when I decided the postman (about 10.30 am-ish) had seen enough of my dressing gown!

I would also think about what will be routine when go back to work and work towards that.

I also found introducing solids kind of intro'd its own routine. I did lunch at 12 which seemed ridiculously early but worked for us (and still works), because she had a nap in morning (which I clung to for a bit long really) and then one after lunch. Fitting in the third one was always a bit of a 'mare, and very glad when we stopped that one!

I do think though that we kind of accidentally got 9pm as a routine for dd's bedtime - because that was the earliest I wanted to go to bed (still feeding to sleep co-sleeper), and at 2.10 that is still her bedtime, and I wish it was earlier (and so does she, last couple of months really looking tired from 7ish) and I'd gone through a bit of not hassle before she was one to move it earlier. Just about to start the hassle now!

Also from my experience toddlers routine does seem to be v. important but every baby is different.

luvaduck Mon 19-Jan-09 14:30:56

Hi - we were VERY similar to you at 4/5 months and we both loved it. I'm sure it has made ds more sociable as we had lovely fun family times togather in the evenings. I was also TERRIBLE at going to bed, and am a nightowl - and I was often up till 3. However, it became difficult meeting up with friends who wanted to do mornings, or going out for dinner etc so we gradually moved it forward. Also I felt really guilty over how late ds was going to bed, even though he was getting the same amount of sleep as other babies, if not more, but was just on a different timescale. I think early birds can be a bit smug and owls always feel guilty and lazy even though you get the same amount done! One particularly self-righteous friend said to me "ooo he's going tohave problems when he's older...". Actually I felt the oppostote as he saw more of a normal family life and interaction rather than being shut away at 7 to be not seen or heard. i'm happy to say that he is delightful and thriving and has fitted into a routine really well.

the key is gradual - maybe just move the bedtime forward by 15 mins a day, and the wake up time the same. if it doesn't work you may need to move wake up time for ward by 15 mins for 3 consecutive days, so hes slightly sleep deprived, and then move bedtime forward. (this is advice by richard ferber - not a huge fan of his controlled crying methods but he does have a good section on late bedtimes or late sleep phase problems as he call it)

you might need to do the same with yourself so you are tired earlier in the day

ds is now going to bed at about 830/9 and getting up at 830/9am with a couple of night breast feeds - hes 16 months

we have a vague routine which basically consists of 3 meals and a long after lunch nap - but he is very flexible so we can move the whole routine forward or back if we are doing something different, or he might have 2 shorter naps in the car if we are going out for the day. it works well for us (apart from the night feeds but thats another story)

what does your ds do in the day at the mo in terms of naps and mealtimes? will try and dig out what my ds was doing then if that would help, have it written down somewhere (pfb!)

cmotdibbler - HOW did you might wean?? need some tips..

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