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no schedule, no training

(26 Posts)
BBLucy1891 Wed 09-Mar-16 10:35:04

My 2 month old daughter is breastfed on demand and cosleeps with me. Shes a happy, thriving baby, very alert, and has gained more than the requisite amount of weight.

When we got home after a week in hospital following a difficult birth, I realised that I wanted a good nights sleep too much to battle with her about sleeping in her cosleeper crib. She preferred to be cuddled up close to me in the bed, so I let it happen. I've tried all the tips on making the crib more cosy but none of it works, she might go into it for a nap during the day, or even for an few hours at night, but overall she needs to be close to me (and the boob!) to sleep properly.

So for 8 weeks she's most slept with me in the bed (following safety advice of course), as happy as a clam and taking feeds when she needs them. We both get 8 hours sleep, albeit broken by the occasional nappy change or wind but only for a few minutes. In the morning I wake up and eat breakfast in bed or listen to the radio while she sleeps in (she likes a lie-in!!).

We both go to bed at about 9, because I'm usually tired by then anyway.

Daddy, meanwhile, is in the guest room. There isn't enough room for 3 of us in the bed and also hes a light sleeper so every noise she makes wakes him (even with earplugs) and he has a long day at work so needs to be alert. We have some (ok, fairly rushed) "romantic time", just not in our bed!

During the day baby and I just hang out, go for walks, take baths, watch movies or I might carry her in a sling while I do housework. If she wants a feed, she has one, if she wants a nap, she takes one. Sometimes she sleeps most of the day, other times she doesn't sleep at all.

The issue is, all my friends have schedules for their babies. They feed them at allocated times and not in-between (even the breastfed ones), they put them to sleep in their cribs at allocated times. They have evenings baby-free to spend time with their husbands or partners (our baby just kind of hangs out with us). Their babies take naps at certain times and the mums ensure adherence to these routines. They all say they don't want to teach "bad habits".

So Am I doing everything wrong? I feel like it works great for me now but what about down the line, especially when I go back to work ( I can work mostly from home but need some quiet time!). Should I just go with the flow or try to "train" my baby?

Dixie2016 Wed 09-Mar-16 10:41:03

This is exactly how I am with my baby, and it was the same with my last baby. I can't be bothered with strict schedules and being tied to the house at certain times. Both of mine are thriving and happy.

I've not noticed any ill effects on my older child. He sleeps through the night in his own bed etc.

My 4 month old is sleeping in her bouncy chair now. She hangs out with me all day and evening and will nap in her chair as and when she likes. If I tried putting her in her cot for naps she would cry and get upset so I don't bother.

SerenityReynolds Wed 09-Mar-16 10:43:06

Are you happy with how things are?
Is your baby happy and healthy?

If the answer to both of those questions is yes, you are nailing it! grin It's all very well having these routines, but children change as they get older and new routines get formed all the time. Ignore what everyone else is doing - just keep doing what works for you both. You'll probably notice you both fall into a natural semi-routine over time anyway. Go with your gut. Only you know what works best for the two of you.

AnnaMarlowe Wed 09-Mar-16 10:47:01

Follow your own path with your baby, do what works for you.

However I would caution against assuming that the fact your baby sleeps well etc is solely down to your parenting choices.

Mostly it's down to the child's personality, if you have another child you may find things go differently.

So ignore your friends if you feel they are judging you but don't judge them in return.

Most people are just trying to get through.

rainbowontheway Wed 09-Mar-16 10:48:16

You're doing nothing wrong! Young babies don't need schedules and training. Be led by your baby and you won't go far wrong. And, as you say, you'll get more sleep that way. It seems that probably unknowingly you are taking a natural / attachment / gentle approach to parenting and that's great. There are a few resources I'd recommend if you want to find out more: The Dr Sears Baby Book, The No Cry Sleep Solution book by Elizabeth Pantley, The Gentle Sleep and Gentle Parenting books by Sarah Ockwell-Smith (who has a good website too), and a few writers and their websites: Aha Parenting, Janet Lansbury, L R Knost and Hand In Hand Parenting. Good luck!

Thurlow Wed 09-Mar-16 10:54:49

Nothing wrong with what you are doing at all. If you are happy and your baby is happy, don't change a thing.

People with schedules generally have them because either they or their baby prefer them. Some babies genuinely do prefer to be offered food and naps at regular intervals. A lot don't, though, and are happy to just go with the flow.

If you're happy, then everything is absolutely fine.

Though - Young babies don't need schedules and training. Be led by your baby and you won't go far wrong. And, as you say, you'll get more sleep that way. It seems that probably unknowingly you are taking a natural / attachment / gentle approach to parenting and that's great. Just to be a teeny bit pedantic, this sort of statement gets my goat a little. Some babies really do like routines, and so by introducing an element of routine, you are being led by your baby, and you are not being some sort of anti-attachment/gentle parent.

GreenTomatoJam Wed 09-Mar-16 10:56:07

I've done that with both mine - and each of them has gradually picked a rough routine of their own (which will change just as you get used to it)

I don't think they have any bad habits - DS1 took a while to go to bed easily, but now he just rolls over after his story and goes to sleep. DS2 went in with DS1 when he was about 1, and has just followed DS1's lead (except for those evenings where he just doesn't sleep - but those don't happen often)

This rod for your own back thing doesn't apply to babies. I think it applies more to stupidity like getting desperate and offering a kinder egg for a wee on the potty once they're old enough to haggle.

BathshebaDarkstone Wed 09-Mar-16 10:59:17

That sounds very instinctive snd natural, and just like me. You're doing a great job. flowers

Helenluvsrob Wed 09-Mar-16 11:03:36

You are meeting your babies needs. Carry on doing it! Stop worrying about the future. I'm sure that 8 week olds are goldfish as regards learning /routine. They have no concept of time, day/night etc. They just are needing something right now because they need it, not because they are manipulating you.

Keep up the good work.

NickyEds Wed 09-Mar-16 12:30:46

What you're doing sounds completely normal and fine. I'm genuinely surprised at your friends though, no one I know had a proper routine in the early months.

SmallBee Wed 09-Mar-16 12:38:10

You sound really happy with your set up at the moment, following all the safety stuff for Co sleeping and generally enjoying your baby.
If you're both happy and healthy turn you're doing it right.
My DD was miserable until she had a routine and then she thrived but all babies are different and nothing works for everyone.

ODog Wed 09-Mar-16 12:50:38

Your set up sounds lovely smile. She will probably start to fall into her own routine in a couple of months and you will gradually get your evenings back. My DS had no routine whatsoever really until 3/4 months when he naturally fell into a rhythm. He sleeps most nights all night in his own bed and has a good nap in the middle of the day now (21mo) just like all the 'routine' babies. The difference is neither of us stressed about times and when we needed to be home when he was a baby and now he is very flexible with when and where he eats/sleeps etc unlike some routine babies. Go with your instincts.

YalexaGolds Wed 09-Mar-16 21:10:21

These thoughts popped in to my head a while ago too. My little girl is 5 months next week, just like you I co sleep and breastfeed on demand and put her to down for naps when she feels like it. I've never tried to create a strict routine and I just thought I was being a lazy/clueless new mum smile i like my sleep, a lot! What we do is just follow instincts. From around 3 months she dropped in to her own routine, with a little bed time routine to relax her in the evening. She's always slept well through the night bar feedings now she's tucked up for 7 most nights, so don't doubt in any way that how you do things isn't right! You know what's right for your little one Xxx

BBLucy1891 Thu 10-Mar-16 11:18:10

Thanks for the replies, I suppose my concern is not so much now, because it works ok, but down the line. I also have some practical questions - any mums out there who have been down this road I'd really appreciate some tips!!

For example, at the moment it suits me to go to bed at 8 or 9pm because by that stage I'm utterly exhausted. However I guess some time in the future I might go out, or want to stay up later. She won't go to bed without me, so I'm sort of caught. Even if she falls asleep, and even if I'm able to creep away (which is rare), I can't leave the room because its unsafe for her to be left in the bed. If I try to move her into her side-car crib she will invariably wake up, even when I try a dummy. White noise helps, but by this stage (even if all I want to do is get up and have a shower) I'm sort of back to square one like other parents battling to get their babies to sleep in cribs. Meanwhile, even though I love snuggling up to her, I'm sort of on her schedule sleep-wise, and I can envisage that being problematic in the future. The bed is great, but I have to be in it!

Then also, she doesn't have independent movement right now, but soon will. What do I do when she can crawl out of the bed?

Dad is fine with being in the spare room for now, but with him leaving for work before I get up and back only an hour before my (new) early bedtime, we never get to see him. Its got to the stage where she cries if he hold her, because she sleeps with me and spends all day with me. By the time he has her in the evenings she's grumpy and tired. I'd like to move Dad back to our room at some point, but when? He's disturbed by her noise and grunting and while he is supportive of cosleeping her doesn't feel safe in bed with a baby. I've tried having her only on one side, away from him, but then one boob gets too full and I also start going mad not being able to turn around.

I feel like I'm having to choose between my daughter and my partner in the bed when honestly all I want is a good nights sleep and I'd sleep with the devil himself to get it!!

Advice appreciated, because it seems like the only advice I get anywhere involves me leaving to her to cry in her crib. I would do this, for a few minutes maybe, but she doesn't stop crying, she just gets increasingly upset, even if I stay beside her, so I don't feel I can do that.

Thanks so much. I must check out that Dr Sears book too

rainbowontheway Thu 10-Mar-16 11:36:14

Two months is still very young. Have you read up on the so-called 'fourth trimester'? It will get better. I remember feeling like you. DS used to cluster feed from 6/7pm until 11pm every night and I felt I never left the sofa and couldn't get an early night either (I couldn't feed him lying down unfortunately). Each stage is different. Do what you all need to right now to get sleep and know that things will change in the future, you'll see your partner more in the evenings etc.

ODog Thu 10-Mar-16 12:52:27

It's such early days. Everything will change and change again. I totally understand that it feels like this will be the case forever at the moment but eventually baby will go to bed earlier giving you and your DH an evening and then she will gradually start sleeping longer in her own bed away from you. Obviously there are ways of making this happen more quickly but she is so tiny I would just go with it for now. My DS is 21mo and went from being a super Velcro baby who would only sleep when attached to me to sleeping in his own bed all night long (most of the time) from 7.30pm-5.30/6am. He also pushed me out the door and said no mum-mum when I tried to give him a kiss goodnight last night. Just wanted daddy to put him to bed after months as a baby of only wanting me. We did nothing to encourage this, he just got there in his own time and is super confident.

NickyEds Thu 10-Mar-16 13:30:05

At 2 months my dd was nowhere near ready for a proper bedtime, she would cluster feed and then settle to sleep on me from when we put ds to bed at 7.30 until we all went to bed at 10-10.30. I stayed downstairs though, so I'd be on the sofa and dp would cook tea and we'd have it together in the living room He did occasionally have to feed me but it was far better than being upstairs on my own.

We've always (well until 4 days ago) started the evening with dd in her moses, then crib, then cot, and at some point in the night she's come in with us. I've always wondered how you'd manage leaving a mobile baby alone in your bed, I presume you move your bed into a corner and add a bed guard on the open side?

I think your partner not wanting to be in bed with the baby is a much more difficult problem. You might find that as your baby gets bigger he becomes more confident sleeping with her but if he doesn't and you want to Co sleep long term I'mnot sure how you can fix that one.

ODog Thu 10-Mar-16 13:34:11

Also re: mobile babies. We got a bed guard and frankly I always knew he was awake before he crawled off the edge or anything. We also taught him quite early on that he needed to get off the bed feet first. He was fine as we're all the other cosleeping babies who were still co-sleeping up to a mobile age.

vichill Thu 10-Mar-16 13:40:54

This brought back lots of happy memories and I can't recommend this style of parenting enough. My daughter is 2.5 now and started to show signs of independence from me at around 2. She sleeps in her own bed for 12 hours, is far from clingy, empathetic, fairly obedient and a bright.
Charging about, frantically checking the time and a manic desire for "mummy time" would stress me out.

Scattymum101 Thu 10-Mar-16 16:47:42

The first 2-3 months are just a blur tbh. You sound like you're doing amazingly and have a great system but yes the things you describe that are bothering you are also valid.

My two never got into a routine until about 4-5 months and they really did it themselves. Being baby led is easier and anything that you're struggling with you can tweak. My dd2 was much easier to put down to sleep than dd1 even though I did everything the same with both. Dd2 also started needing to go to bed at an earlier time around 3/4 months whereas dd1 would be happy to bounce about til midnight even now at 3.5 lol.
By the time my two were 4/5 months we had our evenings back.

Jw35 Thu 10-Mar-16 18:39:03

I don't believe in 'bad habits' especially at that age! My dd was fed on demand and slept whenever too. Often carried her around in a sling and she was never left to cry. By 3 months old she was sleeping through 6pm-5.30am and a very content happy baby. She's now 14 months and a dream! Chuck out the rule book and follow your instincts I say. The first 3 months all that matters is bonding and building trust in the baby IMO

Jw35 Thu 10-Mar-16 18:43:38

Oh sorry, didn't read full thread! Stop worrying, forget white noise and dummies (if not already using). If I were you I'd pop baby in a Moses basket or crib when they're in a deep sleep especially in the daytime. That way they wake up there and get used to it. But for now just do what works. The only thing I'd advise is using baby equipment such as bouncy chairs, cots and buggies etc now and then so your baby doesn't panic when they need to be there but otherwise do what you like!

Jw35 Thu 10-Mar-16 18:43:42

Oh sorry, didn't read full thread! Stop worrying, forget white noise and dummies (if not already using). If I were you I'd pop baby in a Moses basket or crib when they're in a deep sleep especially in the daytime. That way they wake up there and get used to it. But for now just do what works. The only thing I'd advise is using baby equipment such as bouncy chairs, cots and buggies etc now and then so your baby doesn't panic when they need to be there but otherwise do what you like!

jamtartandcustard Fri 11-Mar-16 12:56:28

Bad habits really depends on the child. I did pretty much what you are doing with dc1 and yes, I did regret it later on I'm afraid. She wouldn't go to bed until I went to bed (even if that was midnight. she'd wait up!), insist on sleeping in my bed. Getting her to sleep in her own bed in her own room ment 6 months of me sleeping on a mattress on her bedroom floor! After that I would have to sit in her room till she fell asleep which would take an about an hour as she would keep checking I was still there.... Yeah cute at 3 months, not so much at 3 years! But she is 12 now and I still find her sleeping in her brothers room sometimes. She just doesn't like being alone.
After that I was super strict with dc2, then a bit more relaxed with dc3&4 as by that point they just have to fit in with the family routine already in place. Dc4 is 10 weeks old and has got himself into his own routine anyway. Feeds at 7am,10am,1pm,4pm and 7pm, the cuddles up to me and falls asleep about 8.30-9pm, I put him in his Moses basket and he sleeps till 6.30-7am. During the day he sleeps where he wants, when he wants (though usually on me or in the pram on the school run)

kiki22 Fri 11-Mar-16 19:44:52

I think the idea of 'bad' habits is variable depending on what each person feels is important to them, you are teaching her habits whether they are bad or not depends on you and how you feel about it.

For me ds needs to go to bed at 7 by that time I'm ready for some space and peace I'm happy to get up early for that space, however my best friends daughter stays up until 9/10 because my friend likes a long lie to her that's important. Look at how you see things going long term and slowly work toward those goals. You may find your baby changes as she gets older and starts needing scheduled naps or to eat at certains times

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