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Building a routine early on VS going with the flow in the early days(31 Posts)
Oh God, go with the flow. It's hard enough adjusting to a new baby without trying to force them into some arbitrary pattern than might well not suit them at all
Go with the flow. With my DD I worried a lot about getting her into a routine, I read the Baby Whisperer and was convinced by it. I spent some time trying to persuade my newborn to do things in an order which clearly wasn't natural to her, and got so stressed about it.
When I finally admitted defeat it was so much easier- and she naturally fell into her own routine after a few weeks anyway.
I tried to build a routine, it was hell for both me and DD as she never wanted to nap, eat or play at the same time on 2 consecutive days. I gave up and thought as time went on she would find a pattern and I would encourage it. Still waiting for that and she is 18 weeks now!
Definitely go with the flow, for at least 3 months.
Keep reminding yourself that a few short weeks ago that lovely baby was still inside you..
Depends on you and the babe. I went with the flow until about 7wks when I wanted some "structure", and luckily DS is very easy going so indulged me . If it hadn't have worked, though, I'd have ditched it. I do like having our routine (DS is 14mo now) as it makes both of us feel secure and life is generally very calm and comforting because of it. We did a very loose Baby Whisperer thing.
Thanks for the replies.
I'm generally going with the flow with my 2m old DD, it's going well i think. she's kind of got herself into a little routine of wake, feed, play, sleep throughout the day. then she'll feed, sleep at about 8pm, wake about 11 for a feed, then go through until about 5;30 most nights.
i'm enjoying every second with her. the first few weeks were tough (with added pressure from x2 mastitis etc) but we're on our way - i think anyways!
just nice to see what other mums think xx
DS1 - routine led, fanatically so while small to the point I would wake him at night for feeds (doh!). Nightmare sleeper, all of us on edge all the time, still rubbish at sleeping
DS2 - went with the flow but with an idea of how we as a family needed the days to be and kept that in mind but NEVER clock watched. Rather we aimed for a rhythm to the day - regular feed, play time, sleep time, roughly fitting around ds1s day. He was and is the easiest baby in the world.
No idea if it was the routine element that was different as they are two totally different children in many ways and we were certainly different more experienced parents
No set routine for us at this age - just feed when hungry, sleep when tired, cuddle lots. As they get older they often set their own loose routine. It's much easier to work with this than to do all the clockwatching stuff.
Togarama, couldn't agree more - we didn't do routines, we just let them lead it. Lots of clusterfeeding in the early days and no life between 4 pm and 9 pm - but that passed after about week 6, and we had a solid bedtime routine by the time they were 4 months, all based on their needs and their cues.
Be prepared for some disapproval though, OP - one of my friends once said 'You're not still demand feeding, are you?' when I fed my 3 month old DD at our baby group afternoon. I said something along the lines of 'no, I just like to get my boobs out now and then' - never heard another word, but then I'm very brazen.
We're still changing thinsg as needed in terms of easing bedtimes back a bit now that they're older - recently introduced 15 minutes reading in bed time before lights out and it's been a good way of getting them calm and ready for sleep.
Go with the flow during the first few months and see what eating/sleeping pattern develops on it's own. Reading their signals and meeting thier needs is very important. I fed on demand but even feeding times got very predicatable after a while. My kids needed routine sleep times as they are so unbearably grumpy if they don't get enough sleep during both day/night. There is a little flexability within our routine but having a routine for me means having chirpy/refreshed/well mannered/non whingy children and a bit of time to myself to relax or do the odd job. Both my boys sleep from 6.45pm to 7.15am - then also have a lunch time sleep of about 1 and a half hours.
I've been relaxed during the day with both of mine,but I find a bedtime routine is essential for my own sanity! Some flexibility is good (eg.if you're out for the day,Xmas etc.) but generally do things in the same order...bath,pj's,story,last feed and bed....at about the same time. Enjoy your baby
I had no routine at all for the first 6 months then started when we started weaning.
First three months they just eat and sleep wherever they are (and cry in the evenings) anyway.
I preferred a routine, but as my husband pointed out, that was for my benefit, my dd1 was happy whatever. I just found the days endless and very difficult, and personally getting in a routine (which was not too rigid) worked very well for me. I then did the same with dd2 (they were on the same routine) and their two hour naps together in the day were what saved me. But as you can see, lots of people prefer a more go with the flow approach and it works for them, so I think it's partly about what the mother can tolerate/needs as well as what the baby needs. I felt that my two's needs were best met in a routine, but then I was crap at reading signals etc.
pointythings , I am so stealing that retort!
Depends on the baby and the parents.
I went with the flow with my twins and it was total utter hell. Soon as we got in a routine we were all much happier.Same with dd 15 months later.
As a family we all like to know where we are and need routine.
definitely have a routine - but don't get obssessed/ stressed about it. And do it from early days. Especially focused on bedtimes, through the night and morning routine. During the day less important but try to think about baby getting less sleep/ more food during the day than the night.
You may get lucky and have a baby that naturally falls into a routine of their own design that fits in with you ideas of how much sleepypu would like - or you may not and like numerous friends end up doing controlled crying at age 3 when you haven't slept for more than 3 hours at once in 36 months.
I'd say go with the flow for the first few months, especially if you are breatstfeeding, and build a routine slowly once you get to know your baby and have found your feet.
I think go with the flow to start with and a routine will naturally develop over the weeks - perhaps not the routine you would wish for, but a routine nevertheless!
Agree with heymango, we went with feed when hungry, put down when tired, and dd eventually settled into her own pattern.
I found my kids were utter hell without a routine too Milamae.
I love a loose, baby based routine, then we both know where we are. DD is 8 weeks and it is all going well.
I encourage her to do the same things at similar times every day and do my damndest to try and ensure she gets a decent amount of nappage in the day. At the same time she has to fit in with our existing family life too.
DD wakes around 8, naps 9.30 ish til about 11, 1ish til 3 and 5 til 6, she goes to sleep between 7.30 and 8.30pm and wakes for a nightfeed between 4 and 5 am.That is on a good day. She struggles to nap
At all other times she usually feeding, hence her good nights!
When DS goes back to school I will probably have to try and have her wake up at 7 am and change her bedtime accordingly but am enjoying the lay ins at the moment!
It's really what suits you and your family. I didn't have a routine with DS until I noticed at about 10 months that he generally napped at the same time every day, still I went with it (but it was useful to know when he was likely to sleep) and then still didn't have a routine until about 14-15 months when everything was a bit mad (I'd just left his Dad) and he needed some kind of stability. It was hard for me because I'm not routine minded, but it really helped him.
But I don't subscribe to this doom and gloom view that if you don't have a routine your baby will still be waking every 3 hours at age 3. Anything you do is going to be affected half by how you do things, and half by their personality.
Routine from as early as possible even if baby isnt following it. I did Gina Ford twice DS1 was great from start, DS2 I started from 6 weeks. Personally, the longer you leave it the harder it is and I read contuinal stories of problems all caused because parents didnt think it was "Kind" and let baby "make their own decisions". Not us!
Baby needs routine and stability. Both my boys are fantastic sleepers and have never really had screaming fits or extreme moods.
With a routine you can good out and feel less nervous about what could happen. Even though I hardly went out at lunch time with DS1 I def think it payed off. Yes, all babies are difference and both DS1 and DS2 are completely different in personalities yet we as parents have always laid down the rules, we are the leaders and they follow.
Far too much PC parenting going on now and see so many parents pulling their hair out - for no reason but their own mistakes.
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