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bedtime routine for 5 month old

(9 Posts)
aroha77 Thu 13-Nov-14 00:17:23

We've recently spent a month on holiday in NZ (from UK) so only just over jet lag and starting to think about sorting DD's evenings out. After any tips please!!

At the moment she usually feeds then sleeps for an hour around about 8 - in the sitting room while we're watching TV etc. Then she'll wake up and have a really active couple of hours - be smiling, ininteracting, waving limbs wildly. I'll take her up to our bedroom around 10 and lie down with her but she won't uusually feed until about 11. Then usually takes 2 - 3 times of putting her in her crib, waking up and feeding etc before she pproperly falls asleep around midnight.

I'd just like to be able to go to bed a bit earlier if possible.

Where would you start?

TheGirlAtTheRockShow Thu 13-Nov-14 00:28:41

My DD is 4 and half months. For a while now we have done bath at 6 (she loves her baths), feed to sleep then into cot usually by 7. She used to then be asleep till 1ish. However since bonfire night she has woken couple times in the evening. Once bath is done she is kept in the nursery with only nightlight on. Aim is to reinforce as she gets older that bath is end of the day and after that it's sleep time. Consistency is apparently the key.
Decide how you want evenings to go then start putting it into place. We started with bath time later and worked it forward.

aroha77 Fri 14-Nov-14 00:29:19

Thanks! Do you wake her up at the same time each morning?

TheGirlAtTheRockShow Fri 14-Nov-14 16:07:11

I don't make a point of it, she tends to wake around the same time anyway. I'm trying to get her naps into some kind of routine too but it's not going well. Worsened by teething I think. I'll always feed on demand, but it'd be nice to have some kind of routine with sleep...

eepie Sat 15-Nov-14 20:57:08

I would say that sleeping in the room with you guys whilst you're watching TV is probably not very calming or relaxing as a pre-bedtime thing maybe ? The noise of the TV and light emitted from the screen... And you're right for her age she is probably going to bed too late so over tired and lack of a clear bedtime routine makes it hard for her to establish when bedtime is IYSWIM ?
Around 8 weeks for my DD I started to do bedtime routine of around 8pm making the lights in the house dimmer, activity slowing down (maybe being carried around the house calmly whilst I get bed time stuff ready or whatever) then go into bathroom and lie down on changing mat, nappy off time, calm interaction and attention from me or her Dad or both, then Bath (she hated at first but we kept trying even if it was just a quick wash to get warm water on her skin and give her that warm tingly skin feeling you get after you have a bath - relaxing and aids sleep) then wrap in towel, cuddle, nappy on, massage legs & feet, get dressed into fresh pyjamas. Then into her bedroom, lights very dim, put music box on and feed her to sleep then burp and lay her in her cot carefully !!
She started sleeping through the night and we gradually brought bedtime routine back a bit until she was in her cot by 7pm. She usually sleeps 7-7 but waking at 3 or 4ish for a feed. When I feed her in the night I don't turn lights on and don't talk to her or anything.
Now at 4 months old the routine is pretty much the same just she has a slightly longer bath as she likes it more now...So I start the bedtime routine around 6.15pm and after bath I put her into a baby sleeping bag before feeding her. As soon as she goes into the sleeping bag & hears the music box she knows it's bedtime and starts crying as she realises how tired she is ! She then feeds for 20-30 mins, both breasts and falls asleep then I put her in her cot and she doesn't usually wake up again apart from once in the night for a feed.
The routine has been useful for day time naps as well as she never used to nap in her cot, always had to sleep ON me ! But recently I decided to start using a shorter version of her bedtime routine for day time naps and putting her to sleep in her cot in her bedroom, with curtains drawn (rather than moses basket in the living room with me), and she now will go down for daytime naps awake but drowsy and falls asleep on her own sometimes. As soon as I pull the curtains and put the music box on she lays her head on me and knows it's sleep time...only because of having such a strong and predictable night time routine though I think. If we're staying away from home I do the same bedtime routine except sponge bath instead of normal bath and I use a musical teddy instead of music box for sound sleep cue. Works just as well.
Good luck and hope you get your earlier bedtime/get your evenings back ! It's really changed the game for me and my DP to be able to have our evenings back & eat dinner together, and my DD is not overtired and fussy all evening like she used to be before the predictable routine.

bananapickle84 Sat 15-Nov-14 22:28:06

Our DS (9 weeks) goes to sleep every night between 6:30/7. When he was about 2 weeks old we started waking him by 7am and giving him a feed. He could and does nap when he wants in the day but I do have a feeding schedule which is every 4 hours. The only nap I 'control' is the last one so I encourage him to sleep at about 4pm and make sure he's awake by 5pm.
At 6pm we go upstairs and give him a bath and then dry, change and feed him in a dimly lit room. Once he's settled we put him in his cot (most of the time he's still awake) and he drops off within about 15 minutes.
I know these things are very child dependent but it is exactly what we did with our DD and it worked for her too. He is now sleeping from 7pm until 6:30am with a dream feed that he doesn't wake for.
Sometimes it's the little things that make the biggest difference. I always say to my friends that you just have to find a way that works for your family. Some people are happy for their babies to be up late but if you are not, hopefully some of the above can help you move her bedtime earlier.

aroha77 Sun 16-Nov-14 22:24:48

Thanks everyone! We started a bedtime routine yesterday and she did go to sleep much earlier which was great. She still woke lots in the evening/night. We're hoping some of it might have been because she was getting too big for the crib so hoping she might sleep better in her cot tonight - fingers crossed! She sleeps best if in bed with me but I'm not keen on that being my long term solution!

batmanandrobin Mon 17-Nov-14 20:10:16

thegirlattherockshow our evening routine sounds similar.

a bath has always helped dc calm down, and i let them be as long as dc would like. we then play 'hairdressers' and i comb her hair (she's loads of it) with the hair dryer and rub in her eczema cream. then as PP said, it's nursery and night lights. my dc's room is sensory so we have a lovely time relaxing looking at the lights, stars and disco ball. we lie on the floor or in rocking chair together.

last feed is usually around 7pm where 9/10 she'll fall asleep during and so quick burp on my shoulder and then bed.. for the night! she wakes about 7am each day and has 2 naps a day (of about an hour). it's a lovely routine and dc is very content.. now!

as a PP said, i think consistency and routine really help. best wishes xx

qazxc Tue 18-Nov-14 21:40:14

I started with a bedtime routine when DD was 8 weeks old. Here it's bottle/bath/pyjamas/cot/story/kiss/musical toy thingy. but basically whatever you feel works for you. for nap times i do a shortened version of the bedtime routine.
At first it probably won't change things much, but with consistency she will learn what the cues are. DD is now 5 months sleeps from 7.30pm to 6.30 am (give or take half an hour). She rarely wakes during the night and if she does it's just a case of putting her dummy back in.

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