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Baby led routine(7 Posts)
My DS is 4 months old and we have ended up on a very baby led routine. It wasn't really intentional, his big sister thrived on routine. But when I tried to put him in any kind of routine we all just ended up miserable. His food/sleep needs seem hugely variable so it seems easier to go with the flow and do my best to follow his cues as to when he's hungry/tired. His bedtime can be anywhere from 7pm - 9.30pm depending on what time his last nap is. Some days he has lots of little cat naps, other days he has less longer naps. The only predictable thing is he always tends to wake around 6.45am as that's when my older DD comes into our room and she's not always the quietest!! I know this variability is probably against all the guidance about "good sleep" but to me feels better than lots of crying trying to get into a routine he clearly doesn't want. At the moment his night sleep is OK, but I realise that could change and if it does I might have to rethink my approach.
My question is for other people that had a very baby led approach, when did they settle into their own pattern and become a bit more predictable? I don't mind for now, but at some point I'd like to have more of an idea of when he's likely to sleep, how long for and when he'll be ready for bed. Even just vaguely would be nice!
Also, any tips on handling the clock change in a couple of weeks? I feel like I have no ability to manipulate his sleep, so we are going to be on 5.45 wake ups for the foreseeable future as that's when he is used to waking up. But I think if I try and keep him up later to then push wake ups later he will end up miserable or just conk out earlier anyway.
I can't help having a vague feeling I'm doing this wrong, although we all seem happy enough at the minute.
Dd1 was like this. She settled down by 6 months as we offered solid meals at family meal times which I guess forced her into a bit more predictability. At 4ish months I did put a limit on nap time though - I wouldn't let her nap past 3:30 as I really need a little downtime in the evenings to stay sane.
Around 6 months also I found I had more 'control'
I am still very very very much baby led though, even with a 2 year old
I found that weaning forced me into more of a routine than otherwise and the days had more of a rhythm to them. We're still pretty flexible at 14 months although he copes fine with routine at nursery.
Thanks everyone. So @Findahouse21 would you just wake her up at 3.30 regardless and then she'd settle for bed at a earlier and more predictable time? Maybe that's what I need to do - I feel like it would be nice just to have a vaguely routine bedtime, otherwise I can cope with more chaotic nap times for now! What would you do though if she woke (for example) for a nap at 2.30? Because then I would worry he would end up being ready for bed at 5.30/6pm which would be far too early! At the moment if he wakes around that time then he normally has another late nap around 5/5.30 and then has a really late bedtime and I'm struggling to work my way out of that without planned nap times, which I have given up on!
A baby of 4 months shouldn't be affected by the clock change, especially if there isn't a particularly established routine as long as your older dd doesn't come in at that time!
In regards to naps, I really had to work to get dd to sleep, so I just didn't put her down for sleep until bedtime. She's never been a baby who fell asleep on the playmate for instance. I would move bedtime by 30 minutes if I felt that she was particularly sleepy
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