Clueless about routine, please help!(8 Posts)
Hello all I am the proud parent of a 4 week old baby and am wondering if we should be trying to establish any kind of routine as yet. I'm not talking rigidly structured days or anything, but I've noticed other parents of young babies talking about putting their LOs down for a nap at particular times or feeding at particular times, and several random people have asked me things like "when is his next feed?"
DS is breastfed on demand, so I never know when his next feed is going to be. He is also crap at being put down for naps during the day - he'll sleep quite happily on me or in a sling, but put him down on a baby rocker or in his basket and he'll be awake within minutes, never to be soothed back to sleep. I'm not really sure why this is, as when we put him down in the basket for the night he will go off to sleep for a few hours at least. Nights are generally ok, with him waking every 2 hours or so for feeds.
We are trying to introduce a bit of stability to his life, e.g. warm bath before bed each night, but so far it hasn't happened at a set time. What, if anything, should we be doing? I have absolutely no clue about establishing a routine or even if it's appropriate just now, so please advise me before I cock things up good and proper
I wouldn't worry about routines for a while yet, especially if you're breastfeeding on demand. You'll probably notice him starting to get into a routine of his own from about 8 weeks or so. With DS1 and 2 I started a bedtime routine at about 8 weeks and once the nights were established at set times,the daytime naps began to follow. Don't worry, you certainly won't be getting him into any bad habits that can't be broken! Good luck!
I wouldn't worry as yet. Meet his needs, like it sounds like you're doing so well already, and soon you'll find that he naturally slots in to his own routine. We found it helpful to gradually introduce the bedtime cues, like you are doing, of bath, change, singing etc. Over time this will start to be at roughly the same time etc. And don't stress about him not sleeping away from you during the day - if you're happy with him being on you then go with that. The best moment for me in the early days was when I realised DS was the way he was with daytime naps, that was just him, and instead of fighting him I went with it and we were all happier. Sounds like you're doing really well, so keep it up!
IME he'll get into routines of his own a bit later on, and then as soon as you've worked them out he'll change them! It sounds like you're doing the right things. When they're a bit older (6/7 months?) you can start tryign to manipulate them to fit into your life a bit more.
Have you tried swaddling him for naps? Worked wih DD.
A lot of people thingk babies should have a feeding schedule - esp those using formula. If you're not one of them, don't worry. Neither am I!
There's no right answer, people have different views on routine versus no routine. IME a flexible routine does help. With DS I had no routine and bf him to sleep, and he kept waking every two hours at night for 8 months until I did something about it! With DD I tried to introduce a gentle routine, following the ideas in the Baby Whisperer books (by Tracey Hogg, look up the website www.babywhisperer.com). She suggests getting your baby into the habit of feeding, then being awake for a while, then sleeping, every three hours or so. So that means three or four naps a day for a newborn.
But you do have time. I remember the HV saying a good window of opportunity for getting into good sleep habits is between 3 and 6 months.
However, if you want your baby to learn to sleep THE MOST IMPORTANT thing is to have him fall asleep down in his cot, not fall asleep on you and then be put down. You can be there to help him go to sleep (e.g. by 'shushing' and patting/stroking), but if he can fall asleep in his cot, then he will fall back to sleep at night when he stirs.
One thing to look out for is a mistake I made with DS: sometimes I thought he was hungry because he wanted to suck, but actually he was tired and wanted to suck to get to sleep because he didn't know any other way.
But please don't worry too much just yet, it's such early days.
thanks all, that's very reassuring
flimflammum you're right about him needing to learn to sleep in his bed - think this is something i will work on now.
hana i agree about the bath thing, we probably wouldn't bother doing it every night if he wasn't keen but he seems to love it. truly the child of his parents
i say read the new contented little baby book. its based on breastfeeding mothers and its brilliant. i gave up BF due to the constant demand and exaustion even tho i loved it - if i had sound this book b4 i would still be BF now. u may not have to be as structured but it certainly explains things like your milk isnt as good at night and tey need more feeds in te day to get them tru the night for longer stints. defo worth a read!
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