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Bedtime routine for 4 week old

(54 Posts)
Newmum0113 Sun 03-Nov-13 18:47:47

Just looking for advice really.

My DD has a morning routine and seems to be much more settled during the day than at night. DH and I decided that we want to set an evening routine to help get her settled for the night.

Last night we bathed her at 9:30, but she was very hungry and screamed cried the whole way through. After we had cuddles in the towel while DH made her bottle and she fell sleepy. But after her feed she was awake and wouldn't settle when I laid her in her basinet. She did have wind though as she has colic. In the end DH had to take her for a drive to get her off to sleep, and was up with her all night long.

What kind of routine do/did you have at this age? TIA smile

HeffalumpTheFlump Thu 07-Nov-13 18:05:00

My dd is four weeks too. The only routine we have is that the last bottle of the night before we go to sleep is done in bed. I then put her in her cot and she wakes for a feed every 3-4 hours. I don't feel the need to put any more routine than that in place, we just work everything around her really.

If I'm honest the couple of times we have tried to do anything at a set time it has all gone wrong anyway!

As an aside, I agree with pp that the more you cuddle them at this age the more secure they will feel. On the days where I have had to put dd in her bouncer or swing for longer than usual or even if she has been with dh more than me, I find she is hard to settle at night. She seems much happier to sleep in her cot on days when we have spent most of the day cuddled up!

beccic123 Thu 07-Nov-13 16:01:43

At 4 weeks my LB routine was bath at 8, bottle at half 8 cuddles then bed. Then slept though til 6. X

chocolatesolveseverything Tue 05-Nov-13 14:43:27

At four weeks we introduced a bedtime routine and it worked better than we could've hoped for. Feed at 6:30pm, upstairs in basket an hour later, keep on going up to reassure him when he cried, and by 8pm he'd be asleep. He then slept sooo much better than when we'd been doing everything on demand. I wish being entirely baby-led had worked for us, but it didn't as ds just never wanted to sleep! (He'd even resist sleeping on us or the sling.) As a parent I now realise that you have to find out what works for you and your baby, and go with that. I have pnd and the risks that me being so stressed, anxious, and sleep-deprived brought to ds in my opinion outweighed the very small risk of leaving him alone with a monitor for a couple of hours each evening.

badguider Tue 05-Nov-13 14:27:03

Our 9wk old is still in his daytime pattern of eating and napping in the livingroom until midnight - then he sleeps in our room till 8am with feeds at 3 and 6.

I sleep 9pm-midnight while dh stays up with him. Then I do the 3 and 6 feeds and any other night wakings.

I would like ds to go down around 7/8pm eventually but he's clearly not ready for that. I have noticed that people who have an early bedtime from young also have early waking 5/6am which would give us (dh and I) less sleep overall.

Cherriesarered Tue 05-Nov-13 14:23:46

I've had two very different babies. I think you can introduce a routine and it may work or not work depending on you baby! Their needs are more important than any routine.

laughingeyes2013 Tue 05-Nov-13 14:11:56

I'm glad I'm not alone, Thurlow!

IpsyUpsyDaisyDo Tue 05-Nov-13 13:57:10

Newmum I started DD (PFB, now 16m) on the GF routines from 2 weeks - wasn't a slave to them (you can't be really, babies do things differently day to day) but DH & I both felt a lot happier having a structure to the day to work around. I totally agree with girliefriend about a routine meeting the baby's needs in advance, and I found it educated me about the cues they give you for hunger, fatigue etc.

At 4 weeks, bedtime routine was half a feed at 5pm, bath at 6pm, second half of feed at 6.30pm (in a quiet low-lit room, comfy chair, warmth & cuddles), into her Moses basket by 7pm. Next feed was at 11pm etc. We left the basket in our bedroom upstairs and had a monitor, although I do accept that this goes against current professional advice. These timings gave DH and & a nice evening together, time to cook a proper meal and actually talk to each other.

At 16m DD still goes to bed 7-7.30pm, without fuss, after her bath, bottle and story. I do think babies feel secure when the same thing happens at the same time every day and I personally don't think there's anything wrong with starting it at 4 weeks, but that's a parenting decision that many people would disagree with.

TerrorMeSue Tue 05-Nov-13 12:05:46

fully referenced summary of the research and recommendations relating to SIDS from May 2013

From memory, by far the biggest risk factors are smoking during pregnancy, then baby living with a smoker (even if they don't some near baby), then sleeping baby on it's front. Take out cases involving one or more of these factors and the risk reduces an awful lot.

Thurlow Tue 05-Nov-13 10:11:03

laughing - On the one hand we're told not to leave a sleeping baby, which ignore the need for simple human functions such as taking a shower! Or on the other hand we're told that routines are helpful and involve a quiet environment in the same temperature/environment as they will be expected to sleep in all night.

I agree very much. I often wonder, though this is completely anecdotal and I'm in no way a professional or even very experienced, if some of these recommendations - which are of course meant for the baby's health and safety - affect some women's PND. If it does, that's a very difficult problem.

If you are a single parent, or have a partner who works in the evenings etc., then it's a very fine here between having your baby around all the time as per the recommendation, and having even just an hour or so a day to yourself. Particularly if you have a baby who won't sleep happily in a moses basket or pram in the corner of a room.

I am mostly speaking from my own experience, but if I hadn't put my baby into the bedroom on their own at night and for odd naps, I genuinely think I would have gone loopy. I struggled enough when I had long days and all evening alone even putting the baby to bed at 8. If I had felt I had to go to bed at the same time as my baby without a chance to have dinner, or sit in a dark living room watching TV with just the subtitles on, for 6 months, I think I would have cracked.

There is so much advice out there, all given for the very best and often very throughly-researched, expert medical advice, but quite often it conflicts so much.

laughingeyes2013 Tue 05-Nov-13 08:39:46

Whereas this article says that even though cot deaths are 83% likely to happen at night, supervision should be day AND night.

I notice other factors were considered too though, such as daytime carers facing baby on the front rather than back to back etc.

laughingeyes2013 Tue 05-Nov-13 08:35:20

This article suggested the worst time of day is between 10pm and 10am, but one in five can also happen in day care.

laughingeyes2013 Tue 05-Nov-13 08:28:46

Newmum - the HV bit cropped up because of a comment I made about advice from MY own HV to do the nighttime routine at 6 weeks, which involved feeding in a dim, quiet, room and then straight to bed after.

That's why I suggested you discuss it with YOUR own HV because some people aren't comfortable with leaving a baby sleeping alone upstairs for two hours of an evening, due to SIDS.

That advice has always baffled me to be honest. On the one hand we're told not to leave a sleeping baby, which ignore the need for simple human functions such as taking a shower! Or on the other hand we're told that routines are helpful and involve a quiet environment in the same temperature/environment as they will be expected to sleep in all night.

Someone once questioned in a thread - a bit like this one - whether SIDS risk is 24/7 or just at night. I don't know the answer to that as I can't find any specific research online.

So from your thread about night routines I had mentioned the one that worked for us, but with a disclaimer that you would be well advised to talk it over with your HV who may be privy to more in depth information than us lot here, and someone had said my HV shouldn't had told me that, hence the comments about HV's and leaving babies to sleep alone in the evening (but not ALL night) wink

Newmum0113 Mon 04-Nov-13 21:23:11

It's just something I feel like I need to do, for me and for DD. My mum didn't really do this with me and my brother, she wasn't really a clean person, but was obsessed with having a clean and tidy house. Strange really. My brother and I had to learn to bathe ourselves regularly, or it didn't happen at all.

Random divulge of information over blush

Well, FYI this evenings bath time went smoothly. She is still asleep in her crib and I'm about to wake her up for her next feed. She'll usually be quite awake for this, and then after the next feed she won't settle at all. Hopefully it won't be too bad tonight! Pass, I've got all my fingers crossed for me too! smile

Passmethecrisps Mon 04-Nov-13 19:49:27

Fingers crossed for you.

If it works then ace! If not then tomorrow is another day.

Speaking as the type A control freak, my advice is to try to relax about it.

Good luck

Newmum0113 Mon 04-Nov-13 17:19:03

Can I just clarify that I don't leave my baby unattended in a room, nor did my HV advise me to do so. Don't know where that bit cropped up from.

Was just curious as to routines and what others do, as I feel I need to have a routine with her.

I'm about to feed her now as she is due, and starting to stir. I will bath her after and then when (if) she falls asleep she will go in her crib in the lounge with us, until she wakes for her 9oclock feed.

Hope this works ok... hmm

FunInTheSunD Sun 03-Nov-13 22:39:45

My babies are 15 and 17 now and my routine with them started at a few weeks old.
I would wake them up at about 10pm and give them a bath (at first they would scream but after a few weeks they loved it)
Next came cuddles and a nice massage
Then a feed in a dark room with mo talking and put
into a moses basket next to my bed.
Sleep at around 11pm.
The next feed was due at 3am
After a few weeks the 3am feed got later and later till at 6 weeks they went from 11pm through to 7pm
Then I moved bathtime forward half hour a week till they were soon going 7pm to 7am

I thought it was fluke but did the same with my son and it worked for him too...

I also used to do that stroking down the nose trick that always sent them to sleep too.

laughingeyes2013 Sun 03-Nov-13 22:28:17

For those who asked, "Baby feeding log" is an app by Aron Beaver and can be found under "Health and Fitness". it would suit the needs to those listed by various posts here as it logs feeds, which side you use for breastfeeding or how much volume by bottle, nappy contents and sleep too if you wish. There is also an alarm id you beed waking for it in the early days. Oddly enough I needed the alarm as my prem baby had to be woken for every single feed.

I used it when I was in hospital (for what seemed like forever) with my baby and it was all such a blur I couldn't remember when I fed last (had to be 3 hourly max) and didn't want to mess about with trying to find pen and paper in the dark in the middle of a ward!

Oh and it's a free app so if you dot like it you haven't lost anything.

girliefriend Sun 03-Nov-13 22:12:34

Thanks Thurlow smile

<head swells>

Thurlow Sun 03-Nov-13 21:52:39

Girlie, that is probably the best description of a routine I've read. You could sell that! A good routine is just one that anticipates a baby's needs and hopefully avoids any meltdowns.

girliefriend Sun 03-Nov-13 21:43:42

I think the idea of a good routine is that you meet your babies needs almost before the baby realises what they need iyswim!

So they never get to the over tired screaming phase or have to 'demand' to be fed as you anticipate those needs for them.

The problems arise when this becomes so rigid that instincts and impulsiveness get over ridden.

Thurlow Sun 03-Nov-13 21:32:41

Yes, GF would have just adored us. DD would probably have adored her too! It's been interesting watching her lose a lot of her routine as she's got older, rather than the other way around.

I bought all the BLW books and only had a spoon for yoghurt. DD took one look at the spoon and went "yep, you're feeding me, why on earth should I do anything myself?" and wouldn't touch finger food for months hmm

Passmethecrisps Sun 03-Nov-13 21:30:15

Haha! I was just thinking the same thing thurlow!

I remember looking at my app and thinking "my god! GF would be vair proud!" But that was all her. I just got dragged along behind!

Thurlow Sun 03-Nov-13 21:27:40

Passme, are you me? I thought I was the only person with 1970s baby grin No being worn, no co-sleeping, no baby-led weaning, she wasn't having a bit of most of the current theories and suggestions...

Thurlow Sun 03-Nov-13 21:25:54

Because some babies aren't very big on cues, Terror. DD was awful for them. She would go from perfectly fine to screaming nightmare in seconds when she realised she was hungry or tired, no yawning, no 'o' mouth, we watched like hawks but she just didn't do them. We rapidly worked out that everyone was happier when she was offered food or sleep just before she reached meltdown.

It's hard to imagine a baby that's much different from the baby/ies you've had, but just as some babies like to be carried around, some prefer to sleep next to or on you, some babies also like a bit of routine. When, as clueless and stressed first time parents, we starting logging what was happening throughout the day there was a really obvious natural pattern to her feeds and sleep.

All you can do is try and and work out what your particular baby wants and what makes them happy.

Passmethecrisps Sun 03-Nov-13 21:23:25

It's just another thing which can help terror. I agree that it is unhelpful to rely on it at the expense of watching and enjoying your baby. However, as you will know all babies are different and my baby never gave tired cues or hungry cues but went straight to real upset. The app helped me work out what was likely to be happening. I suppose it worked well for us as my baby happened to be pretty routine.

And I use Babylog working

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