How to get baby into bedtime routine(21 Posts)
Simply that... Baby is one month old and we're still trying to work out a bed time routine. Just wondering what everyone's experiences are and what their routine is?
Choose whatever bedtime you think might get you the most nighttime sleep ( at one month old, this is not 7pm, as they only sleep a short "night" and will be quite restless/wakeful from 3am - better to have a bedtime of more like 10pm)
Do the same thing before bed each day eg bath or flannel wash, change babygro, maybe sing a little song, feed to sleep then bed.
Er that's it. Gradually you could start trying to put them down a little more awake rather than fully conked out but IME that's better done at the first morning nap rather than bedtime.
A month old?! Forget about it for another six months or so. Til then, keep the baby with you, let them nap when they like, feed on demand, lots of cuddles. They're still so tiny.
With DC1, I tried to have a routine and made life much more difficult for ourselves. It also did bugger all for his sleep, which was dire.
Now I'm on DC2 , routines are out if the window and we go with the flow. She snoozes on me in an evening and goes to bed when I do. Everyone is happy and she's a far better sleeper than her brother ever was.
From about 2/3 months DS noticeably was sleeping his longest block in the evening. We didn't do much of a bedtime routine though. Food, clean clothes, into bed was about it.
We started a bedtime routine at about 8 weeks old - until then our little one wasn't sleeping for long enough, or with any regularity to make it possible - and I wasn't ready to leave her on her own upstairs until then.
We started off by doing bathtime, then a bottle and bed (in our room to start with) - monitor on and came downstairs to have time to ourselves for however long she slept for.
We moved her into the nursery at 10 weeks and it was the best thing we could have done. She slept much better, and for longer, from the very first night. We think she liked the extra room in her cot as she sleeps with her arms outstretched and was always banging off the sides of the crib.
We have stuck to the same routine - and 6 months in we still do. She is an early to bed, early to rise kinda girl and I go with the flow on that. Bath is at 5:30, bottle is at 5:50'ish - couple of gentle songs and play Ewan the Sheep and she is asleep by 6:15 (usually!). It does mean a wake up call at 5am - but that's fine with me .
Hope this helps - and good luck. I think 4 weeks is a bit early as others have said - but I am VERY glad we started ours at a couple of months - it worked wonders to have an evening back.
Your bedtime routine will change significantly over the coming 11 months.
At 1 month old our routine would simply involve changing baby into a sleepwear at any awake time that falls between 7pm and 9pm. If baby seemed like it would be tolerated (or wasn't too tired/hungry) then I'd bathe baby at this time too.
That would be it. At 1 month old late evening sleeps are downstairs with me until I go to bed. According to SIDS guidelines, babies under 6 months should be in the same room as parents at all times. This includes evenings.
No reason not to start now if you want to. I agree with PP about 10pm. This makes it easy as you can have a family one - white noise, low lights, reading, massage, fresh change of clothes, hushed voices etc.
Started some form of routine at 3/4months when sleeping longer in the night and less night feeds
I started a routine at 6 weeks - for my own sanity. Bottle, bath, cream, pyjamas, story bed. (Reading a story to a tiny baby was amusing )
Odd occasion DD would drop off right away, others she would take 2 hours to settle. But by 10 weeks she was in this routine and would settle within 20 minutes pretty regularly. She's now 17 weeks and it's her nightly routine she settles every night.
Every baby is different but for me the uncertainty of the evening in front of me gave me anxiety so having a routine made me more confident and in time baby settled into it.
Some tiny babies do like routine in the evening. I have 4 DC so have had a little bit of practice with evening routine. I found all of mine preferred a 7pm wind down, bath or top/tail type wipe down, into fresh clothes, sleeping bag or blanket, nice feed, put down very drowsy but slightly awake if possible (if they zonk out as tiny babies from their feed it doesn't matter. In a few weeks' time it will be different again). They were very tired by 6 or 7pm and really got cranky. They never slept well on me or DH, it was just a power nap and awake again even into the late evening. Yes it can mean they wake earlier in the night but it does mean they're used to the earlier bedtime and you don't have to get back to it 15mins at a time.
That's just my personal observations OP, all babies are very different.
Definitely very early for a set routine! Around 3 months I noticed DD was getting sleepy around 8pm so I began taking her upstairs before then to change her. Fed her and then into crib with the monitor. Now at 6mo we have ditched the 10-11pm feed - DD has dinner at 5.30, bath at 6, dressed for bed, "story", feed and bed.
A couple of my friends with babies have got into routines so I think I'm comparing myself against them I haven't succeeded with any routine so far so maybe your right with being too early for this!!
From some responses I think I may be expecting a lot from myself too early maybe
Yes don't worry. I found that both of mine started settling in the evening about 8/9 pm at a few weeks old (in the carry cot in the lounge) this gradually became earlier. I think i started doing a proper routine at about 4 months, at which point they'd go in a cot in their room.
There's a difference between a bedtime routine - which is maybe a wash, change of babygro and feed - and a daily routine where you try to have set nap times andfeed times. 1 month is too young for the latter but not for the former if you want to.
A bedtime routine can be helpful in teaching a baby night from day and encouraging them to have their longest block of sleep (as in maybe 3 or even 3.5 hours if you are lucky) at nighttime rather than in the day. So OP if your baby seems to have this cracked already then no need for the bedtime routine.
Don't for a second think that your friends have their babies in a routine. It's crap. The above poster is spot on.
Maybe they feel it's a routine buts its there routine not the baby's?
There's also a difference between having a routine and having a predictable structure to your day.
The former, with an expectation that baby will sleep from xx o'clock until xx o'clock and will feed at exactly xx o'clock, if unreasonable at 1 month old. But having a predictable, repeating structure to your day is perfectly doable at this age.
A variation on EASY (Eat, Awake, Sleep, You time) for the newborn weeks might look like this:
Nappy check / cuddle
Feed again (top-up BF or finish off bottle)
Wind / cuddle baby on your shoulder
Wake up.... and repeat the whole process again. Repeat, repeat, repeat
Follow this for a few weeks and it's not unusual that you'll start noticing regular timings and patterns to your babies day.
At one month old I used to just keep DS downstairs with me until we were ready to go to bed ourselves. I'd feed him however much he wanted. Then feed him to sleep when we went to bed. It was all very responsive at that point. I didn't want to be away from him even just in another room
Have a read about the "fourth trimester" if you want.
Oh YY to the points about a "bedtime routine" really being more of a ritual or a series of cues that helps the baby understand "When this happens it's sleep time".
Still too early (for me). But it does work for a lot of people and many like the ritual of it.
He is just a few weeks old. We keep our babies in the same room as us constantly for 6 months so no bedtime routine.
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