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How do I 'put DD to bed' before six months?

(28 Posts)
FoxtrotSkarloey Mon 02-Nov-20 10:47:46

After a nightmare first year with DC1 which ended up with co-sleeping, I'm trying to start better habits with DC2 who is two months.

I've read it's key to start a good bedtime routine of bath, upstairs into the bedroom and lights dimmed, even if they're awake and will of course feed again.

Can I leave her up there (with a monitor?).

With DC1, I guess there was no clear separation from day to night. He was in his Moses basket and we just took it wherever we were in the house, including a dark corner of the lounge if we we're still up or having dinner.

I can't remember what we did once he outgrew the basket and moved into a crib, but I think that was the start of the bad period and one of us always had to lie on the bed next to him.

OP’s posts: |
Ohalrightthen Mon 02-Nov-20 11:59:43

The NHS guidelines say no, they need to be with you when asleep til 6m, but practically that might not work for you, and it's really not helpful in terms of building good sleep habits, unless you sit quietly in the room with them from bedtime!

SnuggyBuggy Mon 02-Nov-20 12:03:37

I'll never forget that webpage which managed to both state they need to be with you until 6 months and that they need a bedtime routine in their own dark room grin.

I don't think you can get them into habits when they are young. Some are just better sleepers and better at settling than others.

Letsallscreamatthesistene Mon 02-Nov-20 12:03:52

Its totally up to you. Its a personal choice. I didnt follow the lullaby trust guidelines and did a proper 'bed time' from 2 months, and used a moniter. DS is 7 months now and we still do the same routine, it seems to work well.

Abouttimemum Mon 02-Nov-20 14:30:46

We started once out of the fourth trimester when DS could actually be put down for sleep, so at about 3.5/4 months.
Just did our routine and put him to bed upstairs in our room with a monitor. It was nonsense to start with but he quickly got used to it and after a week or so of pick up put down he reliably was down to one feed and by 5 months slept through. He’s 18 months and we still do the same now.

He was a baby that could never be put down and had to be held constantly with awful silent reflux, and he went from that to sleeping really well on his own in quite a short space of time so I do think a bit of gentle help early on before they get sleep crutches make a big difference. They’re all different of course!

I just never wanted him in my bed so getting his sleep in a routine was at the top of my list ha.

BabyLlamaZen Mon 02-Nov-20 14:35:01

I wish it was that simple op😅 there's a reason why there are so many sleep threads. Think of how well adults sleep! We're all very different.

Was cosleeping really so bad? It sounds like it worked at the time.

I found our sleep got bad at around 6 months when they are allowed their own room 🤷‍♀️

Enjoy your little one. Your routine sounds fine but you'll need to be up there with them or have them on your asleep whilst you watch a movie or put them in their moses basket. Start worrying about it again when they turn 6 months and start the routine stuff then if you must.

Mybobowler Mon 02-Nov-20 14:43:15

A lot of people would disagree with me for this, but we started a bedtime routine when our DD was 6/8 weeks old. She started being increasingly upset and fussy in the evenings and I felt sure it was because she was over-stimulated. I wasn't prepared to sit in the dark from 7pm onwards, so we started putting her to bed upstairs (bath, massage, feed, sleep in her crib with the monitor). It stopped the evening fussiness, but she didn't sleep thought the night until she was over a year old so it made no difference to her overall sleep!

I found the structure really helped and she quickly learned the pattern and cues for night time. She's almost two and the routine is virtually the same (swapped the massage for a story), she loves it!

mindutopia Mon 02-Nov-20 14:49:31

I think what you did with your first dc sounds more typical of what most people do (and what's recommended). To be completely honest, in most cases, it's not about creating 'good habits'. Babies tend to sleep better near you, especially in the first 3-4 months. It's a bit of luck how easy it is to transition to something else after that time and probably doesn't have a whole lot to do with habits. I fed to sleep, bedshared, didn't really start a routine with my first until 4 months. She was a bit of a difficult sleeper. Did exactly the same with my 2nd (except he was also ebf, first was ff) and he slept brilliantly. It was absolutely nothing I did really. Just some babies sleep more happily away from you than others. If what you're doing now is working, I'd keep at it until it stops working.

user1493413286 Mon 02-Nov-20 18:30:05

It wasn’t what the advice said but I put both my DD and DS in their cots in their room from 4 months; I was so sleep deprived I was often in bed an hour after them anyway and would be checking on them constantly.
I would agree though that some babies are just better at sleeping than others; my first was fairly good and I did the exact same with my second and he does not sleep well

SuperbGorgonzola Mon 02-Nov-20 18:38:38

I was on my own while DH worked with my 3yo and baby. It started to happen that i would feed her in her room while DS was in the bath (both doors open, directly opposite) then put her down in the cot while I got him into his pyjamas, story and bed.

After the 15 minutes it would take to do that my daughter would often have fallen asleep (and I did a victory waltz down the stairs). I treated it like a nap at first and brought her downstairs when she woke but this started to unsettle her so after that I just resettled her in a night time way.

She mostly sleeps through now. She's been a lot easier to put to bed on the whole than DS was.

PersicariaBistortaSuperba Mon 02-Nov-20 18:55:17

Good to see everyone's experiences of bedtime, glad I'm not the only one who uses a monitor with a baby younger than 6 months. A bit different to the thread you started @OhToBeaSeahorse !

Ragwort Mon 02-Nov-20 19:03:54

I followed GF (despised on Mumsnet) & DS had a proper 'bed time' of 7pm ... from day one. It worked for us, I think we were just very lucky but he slept from 7pm -7am with one very quick night feed & went straight back to sleep, I honestly never had a disturbed night blush.

Davespecifico Mon 02-Nov-20 19:09:48

I began putting dad in her own room very early. I can’t remember exactly but definitely while she still fitted in her Moses basket.
She’d fall asleep in her basket in the evening. I’d carry her up in her basket and out the basket in the cot. Once she was too big for the basket, I’d feed her in the dim light in her bedroom and once she was sleepy, put her in the cot.so she had a bedtime of 7ish right from being tiny.
She never needed to co-sleep or have me with her to get off to sleep. That said, if she had needed me I would have had her in with me for as long as she wanted.
What was wonderful about the bedtime, was the freedom to eat my dinner and have a rest and a bit of tv after a long day.

Davespecifico Mon 02-Nov-20 19:10:18

DD not dad

burritofan Mon 02-Nov-20 19:15:05

I just went to bed at 7 ish for months because DD was a dreadful sleeper, no chance of napping in the day, and I was in pure survival mode. She definitely settled better with the dark, quiet room (absolutely no chance she’d sleep in a Moses basket in the sitting room with the TV on low, even now she sleeps best alone in pitch dark with no sound) but woke all night. The time flew tbh. I sort of miss going to bed with her (and not having to do any washing up or evening chores, “sorry, I’d love to put the bins out but I’ve got to go to bed with DD”. Mind you I love an early bedtime).

CodyBurns Mon 02-Nov-20 19:19:42

I used to do a bath, pyjamas, cuddle and feed then into bed and led down next to DS so he could see me. Then once he was asleep I sort of hung around by the baby monitor until it was time to go bed (or he woke up whichever came first). I used a cosleeper bed until he was about a year old then transitioned to a cot. The routine helped and eventually he knew what to expect after bath, cuddle, feed.

Davespecifico Mon 02-Nov-20 19:28:09

The only disadvantage of DD’s 7 pm bedtime (in pitch black room) was that if we were on holiday, she wouldn’t have been that good at sleeping in her buggy in the evenings. So we wouldn’t eat out at night until she was much older.

AtomicSquash Mon 02-Nov-20 20:12:52

We started bedtime routine at 8 weeks with our DS. Bath, story, feed, then bedtime in his moses basket in our room in the dark with white noise. Once he was asleep we would sneak out and leave him to it until we went to bed. We used to rock his basket and use a dummy to get him to sleep, we also used a swaddle too. But we dropped the rocking, dummy and swaddle at around 4 months. Around this time we left him to fall asleep on his own as well.

I know all babies are different but honestly with him it was like night and day. He was terrible without a routine, but once we put one in place within a week he was only waking for one feed and we haven't really had a bad night since. He is 7 months now.

Sipperskipper Mon 02-Nov-20 21:11:08

DD1 was downstairs with us etc until about 5 months I think, but never settled well and slept better when we started 'putting her to bed.'

With DD2 (now 11 weeks) it just worked out better to put her upstairs in our room in the dark (with monitor) after they had their bath. She seems sleepy at that time and didn't seem to settle well with noise from the TV etc. She sleeps from about 8pm-2am, then wakes for a feed, and again around 5am. Is usually a bit unsettled from 3/4am ush. At this age DD1 was feeding at 10pm when we all went up, and going through until 7am! I know which I prefer grin

No advice really but have come to realise babies are all very different, things that 'worked for DD1 have no effect on DD2!

OhToBeASeahorse Tue 03-Nov-20 03:52:02

@PersicariaBistortaSuperba MN is a fickle mistress!

byvirtue Tue 03-Nov-20 06:32:20

I started it at 6/8 weeks. Left her in our bedroom with the monitor. I personally feel it really helped us get into a day/night routine. She started sleeping longer stretches at night without feeding (breast fed) and she turned into a great sleeper. By the time she went to her own room at 6 months I only needed to do one feed at 4am which was fine.

Seemingly not the mn approach but I personally believe good sleep is the greatest gift to mother and child. When I sleep well I parent better, my child benefits and life is so much happier.

Pipandmum Tue 03-Nov-20 06:55:10

There wasnt a recommendation to have your baby in your room for six months when my kids were born. They've always slept in their own rooms. But surely even with the current guidelines people are not expected to sit in the dark for hours every night in the room with the baby until they go to sleep themselves!? Baby monitor should do.
I started our routine from day one. Bath, story (made up when tiny) last feed then down when drowsy but awake. Lights out and go. Sure it takes a few weeks to sink in but perseverance is key. If baby fusses, go back in DO NOT TURN ON LIGHT OR PICK UP, sooth til calmer, wait a few minutes then go. Repeat (I never let them cry for more than a minute or two) Then I'd go in just before I went to bed for a sleepy feed. After a few weeks my son was easy to put down, my daughter took longer, but was reliable after three months.
Routine and perseverance on your part will make for a child free evening with your partner.

Twizbe Tue 03-Nov-20 06:55:56

This is what I did with both mine.

They had horrible witching hours from birth to around 4 months so no bed time routine then. They just cried like crazy things from 7-9pm.

When they grew out of that we started doing 1 nap a day in their cot in their room with the monitor on.

Then we did bath, story, feed and to bed in their cot in their room. Lights out, monitor on.

At 10pm when we went to bed they were brought into our room, I fed and put to bed for the night in the next to me.

Did this until 6 months (eldest) 5 months (youngest) when they went into their room all night.

At 9 months I swapped the order to bath, feed, story.

They were breastfed.

SuperbGorgonzola Tue 03-Nov-20 13:04:21

@Pipandmum I have seen it said on here that you should never ever leave a sleeping baby alone before six months, even for naps. So yes, some people apparently do just sit and watch their baby sleep every single day for six months, and if the baby needs dark and quiet to sleep, then you sit in the dark silence while they do it!

OhToBeASeahorse Tue 03-Nov-20 13:08:59

That isnt an MN 'rule' - it's what you are supposed to do . Ridiculing people for it isnt particularly kind.

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