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Establishing a baby routine

(4 Posts)
Confused10439 Wed 02-Nov-16 13:31:15

When did everyone start establishing a solid baby routine? Immediately or after a month or two? Any tips on establishing a good solid routine with the baby and having a toddler around but husband at work most of the time?

StrawberryQuik Wed 02-Nov-16 15:12:01

I really like the idea of the fourth trimester, so basically for the first three months I tried to do everything as led by baby - if he wanted to nap on me he napped on me etc. Always kept him in the sameness room as me/other adult to sleep/nap etc. I fed on demand as well (baring the first three weeks where I was told to wake feed every 2 hours to flush out jaundice)

He's almost 7 months and his routine is very loose, I offer him milk (breastfed so easier) whenever he fusses and food whenever I'm having a meal unless he's having a nap. His naps are different every day. He either falls asleep in the pushchair or I pop him on my boob when he starts rubbing his eyes. The only bit I keep the same is dinner (7pm with us) then wash/bathe and bedtime at 8-8.15ish.

I think actually if you have a toddler it might be easier for you to be loose routinewise e.g. Naps in pushchair on the way to baby groups or popped in a soft sling while you chase toddler about.

Re: bedtime I don't know how old/sensible your toddler is but my DF worked abroad a lot so what my DM did with me and my DBro was settle baby DBro to sleep first while she left me in the living room with a warm milky drink and a child friendly documentary - no CBeebies back in the day! Then when DBro was asleep she'd do bedtime with me. However I was a sensible 3 and we lived in a flat!

(Sorry that was a bit of an essay)

Leicfox1 Thu 03-Nov-16 07:31:30

No experience of more than one child, but have read others say that second lo tends to fit around first one's routine.

It's unfashionable on mumsnet but we started a routine early mainly due to circumstances, with bedtime and milk established by 6 weeks and nap times by 8 weeks. Daily baths began from 2 weeks at 9.30pm because it was the only thing other than breastfeeding that stopped him from crying (seriously, that 5 minutes of silence while he was in the water was bliss, he cried immediately before and after you put him in). This came to signal bedtime and was brought forward over several weeks/months to 7pm. He's now 7 months and the bath seems to be the highlight of the day.

Feeding routine was established after I stopped bf at 4 weeks. LO had a missed tongue tie and lazy latch, I was at the end of my tether and he was constantly hungry and tired (wouldn't sleep because he was always hungry). When finally diagnosed at a bf clinic, we decided to move to formula. The trouble was that he no longer gave any feeding cues, he goes from 0 to screaming the house down in 0.1 seconds. I think he felt that his cues were being ignored because he was always hungry, despite bring attached to my boob for most of the day and night. So we saw how far he could last between bottles a couple of times and then based the routine on that (3-4 hours). The only time he screams for milk is early morning, and I would rather feed him before he gets that screaming point during the day.

Finally, he's a sleep fighter and would be chronicly overtired in those early weeks. A family outreach worker told me to look out for cues so I spent a week or so with him at home and watched him like a hawk. He would sometimes yawn after 1.5 hours of awake time on the dot, so I started to rock him to sleep 1.5h after his last nap, even if he wasn't around 4 months it stretched to 2 hours, and even now it's 2-3 hours depending on the time of day and what we're doing. He doesnt often sleep in the car or pushchair so this awake time limit dictates how long we spend out of the house.

That was long. My overall point is that sometimes babies benefit from routine early on, especially if it's not always obvious how/when to feed on demand or if they don't fall asleep easily and stay awake for hours if you don't encourage sleep (and then scream at you for hours more due to overtiredness. ..)

ODog Thu 03-Nov-16 14:33:21

I have a 5.5mo and a 2.5yo and a husband who is often not home for bedtime. In the early days we all got in our bed together, read a story and then I laid on my side a bf DD while cuddling DS with my spare arm while he fell asleep. Now DD likes to be asleep by 6.30-7pm so I put CBeebies on for DS after his bath and give him some milk while I Bf DD to sleep in the lounge (she doesn't need dark and quiet to go to sleep luckily). I then take DD up to her cot and get DS into bed. I didn't plan any of this though. I just did what worked at the time and it has evolved as DS/DD's needs have changed which seems to be about every 5 minutes .

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