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Bedtime routine for 4 week old

(54 Posts)
Newmum0113 Sun 03-Nov-13 18:47:47

Just looking for advice really.

My DD has a morning routine and seems to be much more settled during the day than at night. DH and I decided that we want to set an evening routine to help get her settled for the night.

Last night we bathed her at 9:30, but she was very hungry and screamed cried the whole way through. After we had cuddles in the towel while DH made her bottle and she fell sleepy. But after her feed she was awake and wouldn't settle when I laid her in her basinet. She did have wind though as she has colic. In the end DH had to take her for a drive to get her off to sleep, and was up with her all night long.

What kind of routine do/did you have at this age? TIA smile

bundaberg Sun 03-Nov-13 18:49:08

didn't have any routine at that age. fed on demand and they eventually fell into their own routine

Sirzy Sun 03-Nov-13 18:49:29

At 4 weeks personally I found DS too little and unpredictable to even consider a routine I think at that age you need to go with them more rather than try to force a routine.

KippyVonKipperson Sun 03-Nov-13 18:56:32

Don't worry about a routine too much, and don't stick to doing things at a certain time for sure, wait until you see she's getting tired etc then take her up to bed. A bedtime routine could be just something simple at this stage, eg having the same blanket, feeding in the same place and in a dimly lit room etc.

C0smos Sun 03-Nov-13 18:57:23

6 week old, we do bath time at around 6 pm (same time as my older son) then breast feed and try and get her in her cot for 7pm for the night. She'll then wake every 3 hours or so for a breast feed and we usually get up for the day after her last feed which is generally around 530 6am ish.. Again this is when my older son gets up so works for us.

pinkbear82 Sun 03-Nov-13 18:59:54

When dd was that age (4 months ago) I kind of went with the flow, but did try little things, like bath, feed, cuddles and quiet time around a time I thought would be good for bedtime.

She's 5 months now and somewhere between 7.30 and 8.30 will settle down, depends on how naps have gone during the day! Some days run smoothly, other days everything seems to go against anything you try and do.

Personally whatever works for you and your family is fine, it's early days, try different things, you'll find something that 'works'. Enjoy the time as much as you can, soon enough they'll be telling us what they want to do!

Newmum0113 Sun 03-Nov-13 19:13:22

Thanks everyone. kippy the problem is that she sleeps find during the day but is awake and grouchy in the night (11pm-3am)

pink I've noticed that just when everything seems settled and working that the following day just goes to pot and nothing goes as planned or expected. On days where I just sit at home with her, getting on with the odd household tasks, that my days seem nice and relaxed, but on days I try to go out or if people visit everything seems rushed and horrible.

DH had such a bad night last night and I just feel really guilty all the time, especially when I get to sleep and he doesn't. sad

stargirl1701 Sun 03-Nov-13 19:15:24

We didn't attempt a routine until 4 months.

TerrorMeSue Sun 03-Nov-13 19:17:49

Sounds completely normal.

Feed when wriggly/awake/eyes open.

Cuddle the rest of the time.

Change nappy when dirty.

They can't tell the difference betweenn day and night and often have it all the wrong way about. They grow out of it. Little babies are for cuddling (day and night), and bedtime is an irrelevant concept for several months.

Newmum0113 Sun 03-Nov-13 19:24:56

DMIL keeps using the phrase 'rod for your own back' if I cuddle her too long in one go. If she's held all day she does seem to have really restless night though.

laughingeyes2013 Sun 03-Nov-13 19:26:16

I can't see why you shouldn't start a routine at any age. Certainly my health visitor suggested by 6 weeks we start a routine to teach baby the difference between night and day.

That said, I'd have thought 9:30pm is too late to actually do the night time settle. At that time of the night I would expect it to be a dimly lit, even maybe complete darkness, sleepy feed (just as you'd do in the middle of the night).

At 4 weeks old a baby will usually tell the place down when having a bath. It seems to be something they become accustomed to, feel safe with gradually, and then become to really enjoy. It will become apparent whether your baby is woken up b a bath or made sleepy, and it could be you've got a waking up baby after a bath! Time will tell.

Our routine has always been upstairs around 6:30-7pm starting with bath, then cuddle and feed in dimly lit room, and sleep in the bedroom cot. All very quiet, calm, soothing grin

You'll figure out what suits you all. But all of these things take time so be patient with yourself!

hettienne Sun 03-Nov-13 19:28:39

Babies are supposed to sleep in the same room as you for the first few months to reduce the risk of cot death, so I would keep her downstairs with you in the evenings until you all go to bed.

You can't cuddle a baby too much. They need to be held and responded to quickly and consistently to build attachments to you - being held and secure as a baby will effect her for the rest of her life.

laughingeyes2013 Sun 03-Nov-13 19:32:31

My prem baby was held in a sling for the first 3 months because he had reflux and needed to be held upright after feeds. So many people said we'd made a rod for our own back! But he settles to sleep beautifully now although he does like a cuddle and when awake prefers to be held, but what baby doesn't?

There is a train of thought that the more you give your baby all the cuddles they need, the more confident and secure they will be to explore the world without you and learn independent. But a baby who is denied cuddles that they need will become clingy and needy. I'm no expert but it does make sense, although only if all the cuddles aren't wearing new mums down!

Thurlow Sun 03-Nov-13 19:34:06

I've always struggled to understand how many families manage that IRL, hettienne, though I understand where the advice comes from. From about 3w DD started not to settle well in the living room even with dim lights and a quiet TV. I wonder where the dividing line is between the advice and how a baby actually wants to sleep. Not a criticism of anyone, just wondering.

OP, you can start a routine whenever you want, though your baby will only get with the routine if and when they want to. We had a bedtime routine at that age, just a bath at roughly the same time, some quiet cuddles in the living room, them a feed before putting to bed. It was probably more for us than it was for her, and she certainly wouldn't settle the same every night, but it certainly seemed a nice thing to do. We'd do this and aim for bed about 8, but again you do need to be led by what your baby seems to want, and for our baby 8 was the time that even at a few weeks old she started to want dark, quiet and to start more solid night time sleep.

lifesobeautiful Sun 03-Nov-13 19:38:12

I had a routine of bath, feed, bed with both my babies from around four weeks. So usually 6pm bath, 6.30 feed, 7pm sleep. You could do a split feed if she's too hungry to enjoy her bath. So feed her a bit before bath, then the rest afterwards. And it's more the sequence of events I think than the actual timings. So doesn't have to be the exact same times every night. Good luck! Both my babies have been wonderful sleepers, and I'm sure it was because they recognised the cues of bath and feed followed by bed. They loved it!

witchremix Sun 03-Nov-13 19:38:29

I think it would be really hard to try to get a 4 week old baby into a routine. They cluster feed at that age and just want you so they feel secure. I think at that age you just need to nurse them on demmand. Routine will come later ( about 4-6 months ime)! X

laughingeyes2013 Sun 03-Nov-13 19:38:54

I'd talk that one through with your health visitor. I can see why people often say keep the baby downstairs with you because of SIDS, but my HV told me to pop him in bed in the same too he will use for the night.

Of course I wouldn't want to be reasonable for anything happening to your baby so that's why I say to discuss it with your HV in real life. It seems a shame to miss out on that part if its ok for a few hours before you go to bed yourself, but only if its ok.

laughingeyes2013 Sun 03-Nov-13 19:41:02

Cluster feeds always happened between 3-7pm with us, so that made the routine work like a dream from 6 weeks. Guess all babies are different and you won't know til you try.

ihearsounds Sun 03-Nov-13 19:49:20

Colic I found was always worse at night, and tbh, after having trapped wind myself I don't blame them for screaming the place down, it's horrible.
Growth spurt kicked in around 4 weeks, which meant a lot more feeds.
Baths usually went better with one of us in as well. Not all baths happened at night.
Routine came naturally once cluster feeds from growth spurt stopped.

Thurlow Sun 03-Nov-13 20:29:25

At this age, I think the routine is more for the parents and more to get things going so that when the baby is old enough to start to want a routine, it's already sort of there. And that's a perfectly valid reason to try it.

I think if you're not happy about the way something is going on a day-to-day basis with your baby, then there's every reason to try something different. So if you are feeling a bit overwhelmed by a wing-it approach, try something different. Similarly, if you're perfectly happy with a wing-it approach, there's no reason to try a routine just because other people are.

Passmethecrisps Sun 03-Nov-13 20:35:53

When my dd was this age I started logging her naps and feeds to see if she had any patterns. After a few weeks of logging I was able to see some kind of pattern in her day and used that to prepare myself. From 4 weeks old though we did half bottle before bath, bath, rest of bottle then bed at 7pm

She slept in the Moses basket on the sitting room floor until she had a bottle and medicine at 11pm the we would all go upstairs.

Follow a routine if you feel better doing it. I liked our bedtime routine as I think it helped develop good habits

girliefriend Sun 03-Nov-13 20:42:45

I think 9.30 is a bit late to be bathing her tbh, I would do that about 6pm, get into p.js, milk and cuddles and either sit quietly downstairs or put in moses basket and potter about around her.

Does she sleep a lot during the day?

I was adviced to try and keep my dd awake from 5pm so she would be tired by 7-8pm and that worked quite well. Also making sure she didn't sleep longer than 3 hour stretch in the day, after 3 hours wake and feed.

If you want to introduce a routine there is nothing wrong with that imo but be prepared for the fact that babies change very quickly and some days will be better than others!!

workingtitle Sun 03-Nov-13 20:46:42

This thread has been reassuring - I've been trying to work out how the hell we try to instigate a routine with 5wo DS who is a night owl and fed on demand. We can do the bath cuddles feed but the sleep part doesn't work. He still feeds every hour or two and is often awake 2 - 4 or 5am.

Newmum, to cope for now DH and I are each having a two hour sleep before midnight, him 8-10 and me 10-12. Not ideal but it helps get us through the night.

Thurlow Sun 03-Nov-13 21:01:41

I also did the log which really helped me to see what DD was naturally wanting and that lead to a routine of sorts for us. Ironically it was the EASY routine all by itself.

Babies are obviously going to be hungry when they are hungry whether it is 2pm or 2am, but I do think that introducing the idea of winding down for the day with a bedtime routine, and night feeds in the dark and quiet, gradually help babies to understand the concept of day and night.

Passmethecrisps Sun 03-Nov-13 21:07:10

That is exactly what happened with us thurlow. I felt it just helped knowing very loosely what was likely to be happening.

I also found it really helpful for taking the guesswork out of what might be wrong with her. It sounds daft now but sometimes I had to take a wee look at my app and then I would realise that she was probably hungry, tired etc. somedays I was a bit foggy obviously!

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