Confused about routines and bfing...help!(6 Posts)
My DD is now 15 weeks old (10 weeks corrected) and sleeps pretty well through the night, she usually has a last feed between 7.30 and 9pm and then is awake or catnapping till we go to bed at about 9/10pm and then sleeps till somewhere between 3am and 6am. She normally then naps most of the morning and then cat naps in the afternoon off an on. I say normally but some days the picture can be wildly different from this.
I'd like to get her into a more structured routine than this as I think the lack of proper naps in the day is making her grouchy.
My question is, is it ok to 'schedule' feeds now rather than feed on demand? I'm finding it impossible to work out a schedule when sometimes she will usually go 3hrs between feeds but then sometimes only 2 hours and then sometimes 5 (when I let her nap longer if she hasn't napped properly earlier in the day....should I wake her earlier?)? It does mean that some days I don't think I'm fitting in enough feeds and thats when she wakes up earlier at night.
She's ebf apart from a 4oz bottle of ebm my husband feeds her for her last feed of the day.
My next question is what does your babies schedule look like???
I'm feeling like a rubbish mother because everyone else is talking about schedules and putting their bubs down to sleep for the night at like 7.30pm and mine is still up till we go to bed
Sounds like you need to find different friends to talk to, domestic! Your description of your dd's days and nights sounds absolutely fine.
The 'trick' about helping a baby find a routine if you suspect (as you do) that she and you would benefit is to find a way that does not struggle against the baby's own physical and social needs. So trying to make her go three hours between feeds when she may be hungry/thirsty before then, or just fancy a nice close up feedy-cuddle before then, is prob not as helpful as trying to schedule her sleep and napping.
You could decide when to wake her/accept her waking in the morning, and if you decide that's at (say) 6 am, she will probably nap after a feed until about 9 when she may have another feed. You can then gently wake her, and keep her active and awake until she seems to be really sleepy and give her a feed before letting her have a main nap some time in the middle of the day (anything between 11 and 12.30, say). She might then sleep for a couple of hours.
Feed her on waking and when she wants it in the afternoon - she may need another nap late afternoon/early evening, but wake her before too long and have another active time before winding down for bed, with a very predictable and regular bed, sing/story/quiet play then feed at a time you think suits you best. You might want to work towards an actual bedtime of around 8 and you then get a bit of an evening.
All that's just an idea and you may need to work on your version of it - eg bringing the bedtime earlier over a period of a week - and it may not suit you at all. But it's based on scheduling sleeps rather than restricting breastfeeding.
Hi DG, second what Tiktok says about ignoring schedules! My DS started to get himself in to his own little routine from about 12 weeks on, and brought his bed time forward from 11pm down to 7pm over the course of a few weeks. Our day (at the moment) looks roughly like this (my ds is now 6 months and on solids too so slightly different to yours)
5.45am big bf feed then back to sleep
9am bf and get up for solid breakfast
10.30/11 nap for about 45-60mins
12.30 bf and solid lunch
2/2.30 another 45-90min nap
4.53/5 sometimes another nap, normally if the lunch nap was short
5.30/6 bf and solid tea
6.30/7 bath and then bed
All times are "ish" as it will depend on what time ds gets up in the morning (im really enjoying the lying in he's doing at the moment) but what is consistent is that he needs to nap every 1.5-2hrs(ish!) so we work around that. An extra bf may take place mid morning but it depends on DS's mood and requirements that day! Although you may not have a schedule, if you were to write down what happens every day you'll find that you are already in some kind of routine.
I agree with the TikTok and petty. Both my DDs got themselves into a fairly predictable rhythm at around 3 months. Don't feel like a bad mum, babies do not need a strict routine- they can't tell the time! Rituals and rhythms can be helpful, like doing bedtime things in the same order, but don't let it stress you out. Sometimes babies need extra food or extra sleep if they are having a growth spurt or coming down with an illness.
I didn't really schedule feeds, but I never let ds sleep more than 3 hours between feeds in the day - that was only really in the first 2-3 months when he would sleep for hours at a time, he soon started only napping for 45 minutes tops!
I think once my ds was predictably falling asleep at the same time in the evening (about 9-10pm as well iirc) we started doing the bath-milk-and-bed routine about then and putting him to bed in his cot. Then we could bring it forward bit by bit.
Rather than scheduling feeds as in spacing them out or making ds wait, he generally wanted a feed every 2.5 hours so I would offer a feed then if he hadn't already asked (and he always took it!). If he was hungry sooner than that I would feed him though. I'd always start the day with a feed at 7, and then he would quite predictably feed at 9.30, 12, 2.30, 4-5ish and bedtime - and then twice in the night. I think it was nearer to 4 months we arrived at that kind of pattern though.
My ds is 19 weeks and is not really in a schedule. Day goes like this:
wake up: usually about 8am but anytime 7.30-9.30am
big feed on waking
morning nap of about an hour - either before or after another feed
afternoon - fed on demand about 6 times, still cluster feeds a bit in the late afternoon/evening
Usually about 2 naps in afternoon of about 20mins plus naps if we go in pram or car during the day
8.30 starts bath/bedtime routine
Feed before bed
From 9 weeks to 16 weeks he slept through the night. Then 16 weeks he started waking a few times, then a week of waking once, now back to sleeping through (fingers crossed).
We don't follow a schedule - I just see a general pattern - he sets his own routine and always has done! I am amazed all the time at how babies grow and develop and change. I think actually the human body is very clever - babies follow their own routine based on what they need - eg more food when they are having a growth spurt. It is much less stressful to follow what baby wants rather than trying to enforce a schedule.
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