What's for lunch today? Take inspiration from Mumsnetters' tried-and-tested recipes in our Top Bananas! cookbook - now under £10Find out more
Read a book about routines - now worried(35 Posts)
So I thought I would try to get my 7 week old into a bit of a routine, mainly wanted to get him to sleep a bit better of an evening. He already sleeps fairly well at night, waking once or twice to feed then straight to sleep. He is exclusively breast fed.
Read the Contented Little Baby book which says that I should never let my baby fall asleep whilst feeding or I am giving him all the wrong sleep associations and he will never fall asleep on his own. Whilst I was reading this last night he was asleep across my lap having fed to sleep. I feel like I have done everything this book says not to do and am now a bit worried I have got him into bad habits.
I just wanted peoples experiences of getting babies into routines. Do the majority of people follow a strict routine or is it better to just go with the flow for a bit. This book basically mapped out every 15 minutes of my day and even told me when I should have a glass of water for gods sake!
Also, if you have to be out of the house at these set nap times, eg for baby clinic, would this mess the rest of the day up if you are trying to follow a routine? Not sure how anyone would manage to leave the house following something like this?
Gina Ford? I don't think she actually likes babies! 7 weeks is tiny, just go with the flow. If you want a book I'd recommend reading different ones & taking the bits you want from each. The baby whisperer is kinder or I've just read night night sleep tight but my DD is older (7months) but it does have some chapters on newborns.
Trust your instincts, not a book. You're the only one that's an expert on your baby. If having a ridiculously strict routine (down to the glass of water!) makes you & your baby happy go with it, if it doesn't don't. I have 2 friends who are massive Gina Ford fans, it's worked for them & their style but it's not 'the law' & it's not for everyone. I'm sure you're doing a great job & I know I'd rather enjoy the newborn sleepy cuddles then spend the day following someone else's formula.
Firstly step away from the book.
7 weeks is far too early to even think about routines like that. Honestly you will just stress yourself out terribly.
Go with the flow and you will see the bsby will fall into their own routine then you can tweak to suit.
I went with the flow until baby fell into own.pattern and worked for us, with a lot less anxiety than some people trying to force routines. Enjoy your baby! I always let mine fall asleep on breast there's something in feeding that creates sleepy feeling so completely natural!
It's scary when you first have a baby and look at the books but honestly anyone can write a book, it doesn't mean they're right... and they genuinely do all differ (I don't think I appreciated that early on - I wanted to do it right so wanted the right information....!)
Sounds like you're doing great already! Only waking twice in the night is fab. I prefer to go with the flow, as you say sometimes you need to be somewhere at a certain time etc, so I plan for a morning and afternoon nap, and just see what we are doing on that day to determine whether he might sleep in the pram/car or at home.
Don't feel bad!
I used the Gina Ford books as a guide, I think things like how many hours the baby should be awake during the day to ensure they are tired at night works well as they get older but read it then inject a large amount of instinct and common sense and it can be a help.
Gina worked for my dc 2&3 (dc1 was a law unto herself & we were young and inexperienced so never tried a routine), I suspect there are parent & baby combos her style suits, and others will find other ways.
The key is to take everything she says with a large pinch of salt. (especially the bits about expressing at 6:45am -sod that) Dc3 fed to sleep loads, though I did try to rouse him a little as he was going into his cot (big kiss night night). At nearly 1 he has gone into his cot awake @ 9:15 this morning and was asleep (after singing, playing and banging the end of the cot) @ 9:21. (he probably needs to drop this nap but I'm building myself up to it, it's nice to have a few minutes to clear up the breakfast mess!)
With the nap /daytime routines, I found them a helpful guide but don't stress If a day doesn't go to plan, especially when they're tiny. You'll gradually find (if you stick with it) that your dc will eventually fall into the routine, I suspect most babies eventually find their own routine anyway, but Gina's book helped me understand how often baby needed to sleep and structured it for me.
There will be days when it all goes out the window, growth spurts, weddings, illness, but having the routine in the background helps get things back on track again after.
My lovely baby is 23 weeks, and he's set the pace of our routines. He clusterfed for ages, so we rolled with it. Now he goes to sleep about eight, which suits us fine.
The only 'routines' we have are, starting bedtime wind down about an hour before the time he falls asleep, and trying to persuade him to nap every 1.5-2 hours.
Having a small baby can be tough enough, so have fun with your baby - go out, see friends, don't fret about 'bad habits' and punch anyone who even says 'rod for your own back'! You are doing great!
There have bee problems relating to discussion of that book in the past which led to legal action. Be careful peeps.
But yes throw that book away follow your baby and over time gently mould him around to extend sleep, and helping them to settle.
Step Away from the book.
Honestly, it totally did my head in. Monotony is the perfect recipe for undermining confidence & promoting depression, imho!!
I suggest write down what kind of schedule (I won't call it a "routine"!) would suit you & see if you can nudge your baby towards it, considering what kind of pattern they follow now, and knowing that things will change.
I never had a routine; I had a rhythm of how things tended to happen, which was fine for me.
Bin it. Feed the baby. Love the baby. Keep the baby clean and safe.
I have five children. I never did any "training" and we managed fine. Those books are a bit like "you must cleanse to and moisturise" type beauty regimes. Most people stick there head under the water when they're in the shower
Your baby will find it's own routine, just may take a little time. Following plans in books is stressful! Waking twice in the night is AMAZING! Enjoy that in case it changes. Sounds like you're doing brilliantly. My son has a lovely routine now that he set himself
Agree with zzzzz and several others - Throw the book away.
If you are a person / family who are rigid in your schedule / routine it might be for you. If you are the type of person who goes with the flow, it probably isn't.
Books have their place, just need to remember you may have read the book but your baby hasn't..............
Go out in the sunshine (well it's sunny here) and enjoy you baby
all book are only an opinion of what the user thinks - it doesnt mean you should live by their every word. if soething works for you go with it.
Thanks for all the replies. I did think it was a bit ott, especially where it says if baby falls asleep at the breast in the night then wake him up and do an hour on the play mat -no way am i getting the play mat out at midnight if he wants to sleep!
I don't think it helps when people ask things like when is he due a feed? I have no idea as he feeds whenever he wants it. I was just thinking maybe i should have a bit more structure to the day but think i will just go with the flow for a bit longer.
Put the book down and step away. Go with the flow.
DD used to fall asleep on the boob all the time and is, and always has been a brilliant sleeper. She was also fed on demand.
Sod routines at 7 weeks.
Structure will happen... things will suddently be more manageable...
As an example I still bf to sleep (at 2yo) but she sleeps through the night and can nap at the nursery without me and my boob and also sleep for daddy without my boob... but mummy is comfort boobie... simple...
i also never planned naps. if i was out, i was out... she can sleep on the pram and now even on the hiking backpack... no need to be stuck in to have naps in the dark indoors...
Good luck and enjoy your baby... 7w is teeny...
Well, I loved this book, it worked wonders for us all.
But 7 weeks is very young and I would go with his own rhythm for several weeks more.
We settled in GF's routine around 12 weeks, and my kids did all the naps either in the pushchair or at home (although I endeavoured to be at home for the long lunch timne nap, so that I could have a rest too during that time).
We definitely had time in the mornings and afternoons to meet friends, go to playgroups etc. But we live in a relatively small town, and I drive, and I was not terribly ambitious about being out and about severaal times a day.
The best thing I learnt from that book was good blackout curtains - our kids' room was pitch black even in the middle of a summer's day, and I believe that definitely helps them to sleep, stay sleeping if wake / roll over.
Having said all that, a friend had their first babies within weeks of ours, and by 9 months old, she was "doing" the same routine as I was, despite never having picked up a copy of "little contented baby". I think we all want a bit of guidance and support during these early weeks and months, sometimes we're lucky enough to be able to figure it ourselves or have friends / family around to help. Other times a book is the handiest and best thing that we've got. You'll find your own way, just use all these books / forums / friends / family as guides, not rules to follow. Take care and good luck.
Both mine fed to sleep for ages. I think Ds was 1 before he went into his cot awake. And when he did he self settled almost immediately. Dd also decided she'd do it herself but earlier.
Individual dc have individual routines (or not) and I never saw the point of fighting their instincts. They and we made it through with our sanity intact.
Try Jo frosts book much more 'realistic!'
As a first time mum who had no idea what to do with a baby I clung onto the routine approach first the baby whisperer then gina ford. I had friends who it worked for and felt that the general principle made sense.
However my baby had other ideas and it made sod all difference to sleep at night (perhaps with the exception of evening bath and wind down). I started at 8 weeks and gave up at 4 months. My now 5 month old is so much happier that she is not being forced down to sleep when she isn't tired or kept awake when she is. I now feel foolish and guilty for persevering with it and making her miserable for so long, when I'm sure those around me (including my daughter) thought I was utterly bonkers. I am also so much more relaxed and take the view that if we are out in the car or buggy and she sleeps that's fine and if she doesn't that's also fine - she is either tired enough or not tired! Much better than watching the clock and getting stressed that you can't go out at certain times of the day.
I don't, however, feed to sleep and she has her last bottle downstairs then goes up to her room for relaxed play then bath and bed with sparkly lights and music to create a nice environment. I watch out for her tired signs so bedtime is variable but when she is ready for it so a lot less stressful. She still cries when she goes to sleep but I think that is just in her nature.
I don't hate GF and the like as some people do but I just don't think they work for all babies.
Good luck and enjoy your baby!
Chuck the book, go with the flow . If that feels right for you which it sounds like it does.
People ask when are they due feeds etc because in the not too distant future babies used to be fed according to schedule so it's seeped into our collective consciousness as something to ask . Like if they're 'sleeping through', it's not natural baby behaviour to do so when they're tiny but it's one of those things people just ask.
I fed my son to sleep till he started to not sleep after a feed. So now he goes in his cot to sleep as he's ready to.
There is nothing wrong with feeding to sleep, of course they will be able to fall asleep on their own later, my 5yo has no problems at all
I agree about going with the flow. Around 4 months ish you will probably realise you have a rough routine anyway, without much effort.
Once baby is a bit older I think it helps to have bedtime fixed. Then wakeup time and naps tend to stay around the same time and you can plan your days with a little bit more certainty!
My rules are to never wake a sleeping baby and to do whatever it takes for DD to get enough sleep. A well rested baby is much more fun to be around!
Join the discussion
Please login first.