please help me help DD find her own routine(6 Posts)
DD is 15wks, DS is 2.5. With DS i obsessed over every feed and nap, what time, how long etc. and then worried if he didn't do either on time. So with DD I've not kept time of any feeds or naps - I don't have the time even if I wanted to, and I do prefer it this way as I don't worry about her nap or feed times when going out, just get on with it and fit them in with whatever we're doing. However, I still really have no idea when she's next going to feed or nap and feel like it's all a bit of a mess now. I still feel like I'm stuck on the sofa half the day and that DS isn't getting a look in, or is being shushed to try and let DD sleep.
When she has the peace and quiet to do it, she will have a really good nap, up to 2 hours sometimes, but this doesn't often happen as DS usually makes a noise which wakes her - I can't always get her up to her cot to nap, as she will sometimes need resettling a few times, and taking DS up would just wake her more, and I couldn't leave him downstairs. So more often that not, she cat naps, having a snooze whilst she feeds, or getting grouchy after a while of playing and then feeding to help herself get to sleep. I never have the time to watch her that carefully to catch the sleepy signs, but try and put her in her chair in a quiet place or down in the basket, when I think she's been awake a while.
I'm not a strict routine person, so don't want to be ruled by the clock, but hoped some kind of pattern might have emerged by now - if it has I've missed it!!! which would help me know when to get her up to her cot so she gets the peace and quiet to settle herself, and DS gets to run riot have some time with mummy- DS goes to nursery one day a week and I can't even see a pattern on those days. Any suggestions? TIA.
15 weeks is still quite little for much of a routein I think. Why can't you leave DS downstairs while you take DD up to settle for naps?
If I was you I would put DD on a structure (rather than a rigid routine) and then let it "unravel" naturally until you find her pace.
Personally, I have only got set feedtimes and let the rest happen in between (had moved onto FF by 15 weeks though).
eg I feed every 4 hours. In between that I know that DS will want/need a play, and a nap.
If he doesn't seem sleepy then that's fine - he'll likely have a nap in the next "segment" ie after the next feedtime. I don't think "got to squeeze in a nap before the next feed".
I don't look at the clock as such - unless to think "it's around 3 or 4 hours since last feed" (but am not ruled by the time per se). I try to keep to 4 hour gaps however given other things going on, I might need to feed DS as 3.5 or 4.5 hour interval. If he's napping I won't wake him - will just feed him when he wakes up, even if it's 5 hours since last feed.
DS2 is a similar age (13 weeks) and I have a 2.5yo DS1. I'm not one for strict routines either but i do follow a vague pattern for DS2's day, basically following two rules:
1. He is ready for a nap about 1.5 hours after being awake;
2. He is ready for a feed (BF) after every sleep.
This seems to work for us -- if we're out and about I just put him in the buggy to nap, if we're home he goes in his crib (as he sleeps better there without DS1 shouting "Wake up, DS2!" in his face and clattering cars all around him).
Re: settling him upstairs, I do sometimes leave DS1 downstairs while settling DS2 -- the living room (which is stairgated) is reasonably toddlerproof and I'm back down in less than a minute usually. My other tactic is to take them both upstairs and leave DS1 playing in his bedroom for a few minutes while I sort out DS2.
how long roughly is your dd going between feeds? ie; 2 hours/ 2.5/3?
if you could even get a rough idea of that then you will soon start to be aware of when she'll be due to feed and can start to plan for what you are going to do in between feeds. and dont stress about it, she's still very young and will settle into a routine when she's ready.
thanks for the replies:
I will try your suggestions and see if that helps, thanks, I like the idea of BF on waking, as i'll at least know where I am with that one. For example today (I've tried to make a note to see if there's any pattern) she's had BF 6am, 8am, 10am, 11.30am, 1.45pm. - but saying that I'm pretty sure she's on a growth spurt at the moment, so can't really take anything from that. Plus she was a big baby at birth (9lb 9oz) and has stayed up on 91st centile, so she seems to feed a lot in the day - which I don't mind at all as she only wakes for one feed at night. But, have only just managed to settle her now for a proper nap in her cot, she's just been cat napping as she feeds.
Will see if I can work on a rough pattern of sleep, feed, play and see how that suits her - I'm not bothered with the regularity of it, but i keep feeling I'm missing all her cues and feeling worse and worse about myself. Not ot hijack my own thread, but had just started ADs when got pg with DD, so stopped them and am worried I'm heading back that way, - but I only really get upset when DD is crying because I've missed her signs of either hunger or sleep and she's on melt down, so I'm just trying to sort out a little pattern for us all to see if that helps the way i feel before heading back to the GP.
Thing is she sleeps really well at night, she'll settle herself fine in her cot at bedtime and only wakes once anytime between 2-4am, but she's just not so great at settling to nap in the day. I think I might try her in her 0.5 gro-bag maybe for naps, that might help her settle, I wonder.
anyway, thanks again for taking the time to reply.
and hello meg, I remember you from SIFTW - I used to lurk and occasionally post (have name changed since) think our DSs' birthdays are day apart or something - sorry I sound like a MN stalker!
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