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Starting a routine and leaving baby upstairs alone?

(10 Posts)
YouMaySayImADreamer Tue 09-Apr-13 20:42:13

Hi

My DS is 10 weeks old and i am just at a loss how to get him into any kind of a routine. My HV says ti leave it until atleast 12 weeks but i really feel like we'd both benefit from one and that i am just muddling through each day at the moment.

The problem is firstly that he is ebf so i dont know how a routine would work with this because i dont know how his feeds will pan out each day and how thatll fit in with bringing in a set bed time eaxh night. His feeds are every 3-4 hours in the day now and at night anywhere between 2 and 3.5 hours so i cant tell what time they will be day to day.

Also, he will not sleep downstairs in the evening even though he is clearly shattered as there is just too much noise and too much going on so despite our best efforts he just gets more and more worked up. I have therefore put him upstairs for the first time on his own at 8pm tonight but am now sitting here terrified listening to the monitor wondering if he is too young to be on his own?

I have loosley been following the EASY routine (although i have literally only read the first 2 pages of the book due to lack of time!) And its working so well with regard to him taking day time naps etc but i just dont know how timings fit in with regard to bed times etc.

Any experiences please?

Loislane78 Tue 09-Apr-13 21:09:51

We started a bedtime routine at around 8 weeks and that worked well for us - bath, feed, bed/sleep no later than 7pm. I know people worry about being alone for a few hours but what I thought was evening fussiness was over-tiredness. Will be fine with a monitor (IMO).

Re. EASY, we did a lose version of 3 hourly EASY from about 12 weeks. Main benefit has been DD does not feed to sleep and she was good with naps. Things have changed since as she's 8 mo now but worked well for quite a while.

I would say try to feed more regularly in the day if you are up a lot at night. Obviously normal at this age but offer every 2.5 hrs at least and see what happens. Also, now weather has got lighter, lots of daylight/walks in pram and then dark and quiet at night to help set circadian rhythm.

Beatrixpotty Tue 09-Apr-13 21:34:16

Have you got other DCs that mean you have to be up at a certain time?If not could you get up later in the morning and put him down later at night and then sit in the room with him and read/look at computer etc?Realise it's not the most sociable way to spend your evening but means you don't leave the baby alone if you are worried about that.
I've got a 4 week old at the moment who is ebf and feeds totally randomly day & night and am trying to establish early sleep habits so I am bathing him at 8.30,feeding then putting him to sleep in his Moses basket and going to bed early myself so he's not left alone.I'm quite tired from being up at night so that works for us.I 'm pretty sure I did this with my older two but it's funny how you forget.I'll probably carry on doing this and then bring bedtime forward a bit when I'm happy to leave him with a monitor.I think 6 months is recommended.But if what you are doing tonight works best for you I wouldn't worry too much about it.

Droflove Wed 10-Apr-13 09:39:36

I had a meltdown after a horrific few weeks of no sleep with my then 8-9 wk old. I started Gina Ford. I think I only did it to her exact plan for 3 days and it was going so well I then relaxed again and just took the parts that work for us. He has surely improved and the last few nights is even sleeping 6 hr stretches compared to 1-2 previously. I know she is controversial but she really seems to understand the timing of my babies hunger and tiredness. We have a nice, and flexible, little routine now that is based loosely on Gina Ford. So I can recommend her if you are at the end of your tether...it's worth trying for a few days to see if it suits. Oh, and basically bedtime is 7pm to 7am and for example last night my 11wk old was asleep and waking within 10mins of those times (with a dream feed and 1 4am wake for a quick feed).

YBR Wed 10-Apr-13 12:23:45

We found a flexible routine a good approach (see www.amazon.co.uk/Baby-Book-How-Enjoy-Year/dp/0745952135/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1365592777&sr=1-3&keywords=rachel+waddilove ).

As DD grew up it changed, but we had a strong bath/bed routine and if she woke up before a certian time she was put back in her basket after feed/change. It helped show the difference between night and day!
We didn't worry when it got out of sync - just start again tomorrow.

YouMaySayImADreamer Wed 10-Apr-13 16:53:21

Hi everyone, thanks very much for your replies

DS was feeding every 2-2.5 hours up until a few weeks ago during the day. I introduced the EASY principles because as insane as I sound, he wasn't napping during the day and I had stupidly just though that babies would eat and then fall asleep when they were tired, I didn't realise that you had to encourage/help them to sleep! It's taken a couple of weeks but he will now nap in the day if I put him down when I see that he is getting tired and what has coincided with this is that he's gone from going 2-2.5 hours between feeds to 3.5-4 hours during the day. Evening and night time feeds are anywhere between every 2-3.5 hours. I'm pretty happy with this as it allows me a longer break to get things done between feeds during the day and don't mind the frequent night time feeding as I know it's normal and healthy.

I wanted more of a bedtime routine because he won't settle in the evening downstairs and becomes really fussy and I think it's because he's over tired. I was originally going up to bed with him at 10-10.30pm, feeding him, and he'd go down after this feed and only wake up for feeds after this. But we would like more of our evenings back to be honest and since he seems to want to sleep before this as well it seems to make sense for him to go up before me to bed.

The confusion I'm having is, say I decide to pick a bed time of e.g.8 at which time I change, put him in his pjs, feed him and put him down (I bath him in the morning because he becomes too over stimulated and fussy when I do it at night). But what if he has fed at say 6 or 7 and is not looking for a feed at this time? Do I just skip the feed bit or do I give him a top up? Also, when I say I am following EASY, I haven't applied a time scale to it because he's feeding on demand, but what if it comes to 8pm and he is on say the "Activity" bit - at what point in the day does EASY end? As obviously I don't do the activity bit during the night. Sorry for all the questions, just a bit confused!

P.s. Droflove, that routine sounds pretty amazing and would love to have a go - I have had a quick read of Gina Ford (got a few different books out from the library) but I am out and about quite a lot with DS so wasn't sure from what I read how flexible it'd be? As I say though I haven't had a chance to read anything in detail but am willing to give anything a go!

Droflove Wed 10-Apr-13 23:21:04

gF isn't flexible but you can be! I'd say the main principles to keep to are 7-7 night/day time, all calories taken during the day and the dream feed and no more than 3hrs 15 sleep during the day. I break the last one a lot to be fair and it still seems to balance out ok.

gloucestergirl Fri 12-Apr-13 23:13:40

I think that you need a fairly loose routine at that age. If you have a baby that needs help going to sleep then I wouldn't focus on sleep, but maybe feeding as the cornerstones of your routine. Naps will fall into place between. And sorting out feeding is, in my limited experience, easier than sorting out sleep.

DD wanted to feed on demand and that meant bf for a few minutes every hour, if she got her way. Just not practical, so I fed her every 2-2.5 hours stretching to 3-4 hours as she got towards 1 (and switched to the bottle) - she sometimes needed a top up. BUT the first and second feed of the day HAD to be timed to set her on the routine. She would get upset and I needed to distract her as much as possible to get over the first 2 hour break in feeding, but when it worked it meant the day was so much better.

I also tried as many different techniques to get her to sleep as possible. She wasn't able to fall asleep naturally by herself at first. I walked around the house in with DD in the carrier, did a complicated knee bounce while back-tapping and shhhing (bugger to master but worked a treat), and swaddling. If only I had known about the first sleep after about 1 and half after waking - so important as it sets up the naps for the day, which sets up sleep for the night. Sleep begets sleep.

You are talking about a bed-time routine, but I'm sorry to say that for myself and my friends a bed-time routine took months to come about. I tried to enforce it (thanks to the Baby Whispher) and got weeks of screams. I wouldn't try and enforce it. Watch telly together instead and just accept that the evenings won't be your own for a few months.

It is hard work - but in a year's time you'll be like me and getting sentimental about those days with a new born.

Beatrixpotty Sat 13-Apr-13 10:26:29

In answer to your question about picking a bedtime,I start about 3/4 of an hour before my baby is actually in the cot.I do start with a bath though,a very quick one,literally just a few minutes lying in warm water,no chatting or splashing,then out and into pjs.I find that even if he has fed 30 mins before he will always feed after the bath(maybe gets
A bit cold greeting changed etc).Could you try doing your bath at night but making it a quiet low key one to trigger off winding down for bed?

noblegiraffe Sat 13-Apr-13 10:37:05

Just a reminder that SIDS advice is that babies should not be left alone to sleep until six months, when the risk of cot death decreases.

Fussy evenings are very common in small babies, some advice here:
kellymom.com/parenting/parenting-faq/fussybaby/

It's possible that you will set up your routine and baby will go to sleep for the night at 8pm, but it's also possible that baby's natural bedtime is 10:30pm and you just end up going up and down the stairs all evening. My DS started pulling his own bedtime earlier himself and wasn't going to sleep for the night at 7/8 till about 24 weeks.

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