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when should I be thinking about starting a routine

(13 Posts)
benne81 Sat 15-Oct-11 18:54:26

Hi I would really appreciate some help and advice. I have a 4 week old who is currently on demand breastfeeding, he seems to be doing well, gaining weight and lots of wet nappies etc. I don't have any family who live close by and my mum never breastfed so I sort of feel like I'm finding the way for myself and I just want some reassurance I am doing it right!

He is on demand and there definitly isn't any rountine emerging yet, in the day I'm not really taking notice of when he feeds but I think he does do a bit of snacking, followed by a big feed and a big sleep. On a good night he can sleep for 3 hrs without needing a feed (often followed with a bad night in which he is awake every 1-2 hrs!). I just wanted to check if I should be doing something to install a rountine to try and get him aware of night/day - i.e. daily bath, taking him out for walks in the day etc.

Also previously he would feed and fall asleep striaght away - for the past week or so he has been much more alert and less likely to fall asleep - is this normal?

Thank you in advance

RitaMorgan Sat 15-Oct-11 19:53:17

It's up to you really, but I found it much easier to just feed on demand! I started doing a bedtime routine once I noticed ds was falling asleep at the same time every night, somewhere between 6-8 weeks in his case. He fell asleep for his longest sleep around 10pm, so I started doing bath, feed in the dark bedroom, bed at about 9.30pm. Over time it got earlier.

I found ds found his own routine/pattern in the day at around 4ish months, and then became much more predictable once he was having regular naps at 5 months, and regular meals at 6 months.

I differentiated day and night when he was a newborn by doing all night feeds in the bedroom, in the dark, lying down, and day feeds and naps were all in bright, noisy rooms. I also never let him sleep more than 3 hours in the day without a feed.

Mampig Sat 15-Oct-11 20:14:01

Hello! I've no advice as I was just thinking the same and my dc is 15 weeks!! One day I think we're getting a routine going and next it's all pear shaped!! Partly because he's my fourth and there's so much going on with the others! But even though he's number 4- I can't remember what I did with the others and at what stage smile

harverina Sat 15-Oct-11 22:45:17

Hi Benne81. My advice re: feeding would be to continue to feed on demand. However, this doesnt mean that you can't start other routines - like Rita, we started a bedtime routing with my DD when she was 6-8 weeks old and have stuck to a very similar routine ever since. She is now 18 months old.

From 6-8 weeks our bedtime routine was 5/5.30pm feed, 6pm bath, get ready for bed, 6.30pm feed, 7pm bed. A little later that changed to feed, massage, bath, get ready for bed, story, bed. We have tweaked it a little here and there to meet my DD's changing needs but it is essentially much the same. We chose a daily bath and we still do it now, but some people don't like to bathe their babies as much...its really up to you waht you want your routine to be - and as Rita says, when you want to start one. If your happy the way things are and aren't overly fussed about routines then don't worry.

Like your DS, at 4 weeks there seemed to be no routine to my DD's feeds at all. Some days she fed hourly, other days there were longer gaps. Feeding patterns change all the time - just when you think that you are getting into the sming of things they change again! This stressed me out to start with (was she getting enough? was it normal? etc!) but I soon learned that most patterns are just variations of normal. You will find, though, that your DS will have longer awake/alert periods and won't just sleep in between feeds.

My biggest advice would be, no matter what routine you chose, continue to feed on demand, don't try and space out feeds or time them. You will find that your DS will slip into a feeding routine in time as he gets older. After a few months my DD fed every 2 -2.5 hours and continued to do this until she was well over 6 months and well established on solids. I found that the only way to encourage longer gaps in feeds during the night was to make sure my DD was feeding lots in the daytime.

Hope this helps - like you I didn't really have anyone in RL who had breastfed beyond a couple of weeks, so I undertstand how worrying/unknown it all is!

Sophiesworld Sat 15-Oct-11 22:54:40

I have been wondering the same thing. DD is 7.5 weeks and I've been fairly happy just muddling through - thought this was quite normal! - but today a couple of people have expressed surprise that she's not in a routine yet.

She seems to just feed/suckle constantly and so far I've only managed to get her to fall asleep on the boob so I can't imagine how I would get her into a routine of sleeping at certain times. The longest she'll go without suckling when she's awake is about 30 mins and that's if i distract her.

Sorry I don't have any advice but I'm hoping others might... smile

Sophiesworld Sat 15-Oct-11 22:58:27

Have just seen your post harverina. Thanks for the advice. Dd does seem to regularly drop off around 9pm so might try to start a bedtime routine that leads up to that and go from there...

1catherine1 Sat 15-Oct-11 23:07:57

I think I posted this exact thread about 5 months ago grin

I chose not to implement a routine at all until my DD developed on of her own. She fell into a 9:30 bedtime routine at about 7 weeks till about 18 weeks. We avoided bath before bed as she never liked it although it turns out that was not because she disliked water but because she disliked the baby bath. So our bedtime routine was just clean sleepsuit, cuddles and booby. Then I put her to bed once she had fallen asleep.

Now at 6 mo her bedtime has come forward to 7:30pm (also her who fell into this) and we now have a proper routine. Although she still falls asleep on me.

harverina Sat 15-Oct-11 23:12:43

Sophiesworld, I wouldnt worry about feeding to sleep. My DD still does this now - she can sleep without me, but if I am around she likes to feed to sleep and she is 18 months old! Try not to worry about ehat other people say in RL, I wish I hadn't smile

Sophiesworld Sun 16-Oct-11 21:03:43

Thanks for the reassurance harverina - we'll keep going as we are! smile

LaCiccolina Mon 17-Oct-11 17:42:44

My advice is feed on demand but start eyeing the clock as u do, u will begin to notice a pattern develop and soon u will possibly be able to guess the time by a demand. As for routine, let ur demand feeding, naps and activities set it. Go for walks, join a baby group or two and this will naturally set a pattern for you. Don't worry about bath, bed routine as u may find if colic develops he's up most of the evening. We slept dd in a car seat in the lounge as she refused to b anywhere else for what felt an age but in reality was 6wks due to colic. I found a bath/bed routine didn't work til dd could sit up in the bath at 6mths. Before that trial and error!

AppleyEverAfter Mon 17-Oct-11 18:13:04

Hi OP, my DD is 4 weeks old too. She is starting to fall into her own routine now (yay!) which is basically a change and feed every four hours or so. But this is with added feeding frenzies mid-morning and in the evenings. I'm hoping these will settle down soon, for the sake of my sanity and my poor nipples! We go out for walks in the afternoons which usually end in her falling asleep, and our bedtime routine is basically to stay up as late as possible, as she likes to fill up before she eventually drops off around midnight. Most of the time she will go straight back to sleep after her 4am feed but during the day she is harder to settle and we end up snuggling for a long time before she drops off.

stopgap Mon 17-Oct-11 22:50:19

My DS is eight weeks today, and we do on-demand feeding, but I try and maintain a vague routine for everything else. Roughly speaking, he sleeps from 11pm-5.30am, feeds, then sleeps for another hour, sometimes two. He'll feed three or four times before 10pm, then I rock him to sleep/put him in the Mamaroo. Sometimes he naps for ten minutes, other times two hours, so I just work around him.

Afternoons we walk in the park. If he's fussy, I'll stick him in the Ergo carrier; if more settled, he's in the pram. He's an energetic little man, legs going all the time, and lots of babbling, so I put him on his activity mat for half an hour at some point in the afternoon, which he LOVES. He usually naps after this, too.

He's a big cluster feeder in the evenings--perhaps four times in three hours--and we try and slot a bath in there, and I tell him stories or sing (the poor devil :D). He can get very fussy in the evenings, so there' s usually more Ergo-wearing or bouncing on my exercise ball, but he reliably nods off at 11pm.

flipandfill Tue 18-Oct-11 13:48:55

We fell into a routine-
at the start she cluster fed all evening - feeding for hours on end- so she stayed down with us until she finally stopped feeding- then put in bed around 9pm

After cluster feeding finished (around 5 1/2 months) we started bedtime routine- bath, play, bed-

Don't worry too much if you aren't i a routine yet- growth spurts, and other bits get in the way- you will probably find a routine emerge naturally

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