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Are you planning on doing a routine with your baby?

(30 Posts)
Saffra Wed 06-Jul-11 12:46:35

Originally, I was planning to be quite 'baby led' (esp when baby was very little) but after dipping into a couple of books - Baby Secrets and Baby Whisperer - I am now thinking that trying a routine would be beneficial, but I'm not sure really as don't want to make life unneccessarily stressful!

I am planning to breast-feed but will also be returning to PT work very soon - albeit working from home. DH will have 3 weeks pat leave. Can't really take lots of time off (as run my own business). So, because of my work circumstances, I'm thinking some kind of structure to my day will be essential.

So.... are you planning on a routine of any kind? If so, which particular one???

babyonbord Wed 06-Jul-11 12:52:40

I didn't bother with a routine with my first as babies sleep and eat at their own times, a lot of other mums i know threw the gina ford books out of the window after about 2 weeks of running around after a newborn. I was lucky with my first in that he slept from ten at night until half 6/7 in the morning from about 8 weeks, before that he only woke to be fed and then went straight back to sleep but i know other parents who had to deal with nightmare children who wouldn't sleep at all and were unable to create a routine. I think the best thing to do is see how you go once the baby is here, you may well end up in a routine anyway.

Eachpeach80 Wed 06-Jul-11 15:13:38

Hi saffra,
I didn't do a routine with ds until he was about 10 months and his sleeping had become AWFUL. I'm not planning on a routine with this one either though I think I will start a proper bedtime at about 8 weeks and encourage naps at specific times from the off.
Feeding routines can be quite harmful to the bf relationship in the early days so I would repost in the bf section to ask for advice because iswym about when you return to work. I'm sure you will get lots of good advice there.

Saffra Wed 06-Jul-11 16:04:53

I've heard negative comments about Gina Ford too - both from friends and from reading stuff online. So, definitely would be giving her strict routines a wide berth. I think the Baby Whisperer one seems more relaxed though?

Unfortunately, I don't feel that I have the luxury of time to go at 'any' pace...which is why the routines sound appealing. But, obviously I don't believe you can control a newborn. Still, I'm hoping there's methods that I can try to encourage the baby to sleep and feed well!

Nicplus1and1baking Wed 06-Jul-11 19:33:21

Baby plus routine - somewhere on a different planet grin

You may well just set yourself up ( for what you feel is ) a failure babies are so unpredictable its hard to plan a routine, you may well be lucky enough to be blessed with a baby that naturally falls into one, although i do think that later on they do this anyway.

threefeethighandrising Wed 06-Jul-11 19:35:51

I found doing any freelance with a baby impossible.

This thread on the early days might be worth a look.

(Not trying to scare you honest!)

allthefires Wed 06-Jul-11 19:40:05

Dc2- will have to have some kind of routine in order to get ds to pre school, tea, bed etc

Would say just be very easy on yourself- found around 6 wks best time to start instilling a routine

mumblebum Wed 06-Jul-11 19:42:18

IME routine is all but impossible with a newborn, especially when you're BF, and all you will do by trying to impose it is cause yourself grief <bitter voice of experience>. That said both of mine settled into a routine of sorts quite naturally by about 10-12 weeks. One was BF and one FF but it worked pretty much the same with both. Once I noticed a pattern with their feeds I started to pre-empt it so that I was in control, instead of waiting for them to demand, and then tweaked a little here and there to suit. That way I was never imposing on them and leaving them crying for feeds. It worked well and they both slept well at night too (which may or may not have been related to routine in the day).

mistressploppy Wed 06-Jul-11 19:48:12

I thought I'd be 'go with the flow' but routine kept me sane with DS (now 20mo). We adopted a rhythm rather than a routine for the early days, and it evolved into a routine.

It was based on the baby whisperer so roughly 1. Eat 2. Play 3. Sleep. We ignored the timings as DS would only nap for 45mins but it was GREAT for helping him to sleep well - he's always self-settled and has always been a brilliant sleeper.

I know others find routines and breastfeeding don't mix, but it worked for us.

I was quite strict with the sleep times after about 3mo. I figured out how much easier life was if DS got the proper kip. Avoiding overtiredness was key.

Allthefires is right though - don't bother with ANYTHING in the very first few weeks. And do be prepared to ditch it if it doesn't work.

lolajane2009 Wed 06-Jul-11 19:48:28

i'm definately baby led tbh. I won't be working and if he follows routine he follows atm in the womb (30 weeks) looks like he might want to be up late at night.

Adair Wed 06-Jul-11 19:48:39

It is possible but it depends on the nature of your work. I did some marking when ds was tiny (he is only 5mths now so gives you some idea) - was solely online work and could be completed any time (with some deadlines).

I did the vast majority of the work while baby was asleep on me/fed back to sleep or standing up rocking him in the sling!!. I would say that this gives you more work-time than a routine as you are not spending all your time trying to get them to do what you want... By 3 mths he had a pattern to his day so a bit more predictable but still never put down to sleep blush yet i am starting a business!

He is dc3 though. Not sure if I could have done it with dc1... which seems odd...

Tbh I think that routines are about YOU and what makes you happy - they make me way more stressed than just going with the flow grin. And def not appropriate for a newborn but lots of people do them with older babies and it works for them.

nannyl Wed 06-Jul-11 20:21:27

Yes I am planning a routine when baby comes in 9 or so weeks.

Having nannies for babies / young children for 10 years, and having had them all in a routine i really hope to do the same for my children.

Im planning the 1st 2 weeks - month ish to be much more babyled than GF suggests, but after a week or so i will be aiming to encourage my baby to feed 3 hourly ISH from 6am - 12pm and see how long baby goes at night.

Im planning to breast feed so it might not fall into place quite so easily as the babies i have looked after who have been mainly formular fed.

I will see what happens though and if baby leads me ofr 3 months+ than so be it!

KaraJS Wed 06-Jul-11 20:34:56

The only thing I've tried to do is put him down to fall asleep on his own, luckily he's not a cryer( if he was I'd pick him back up) this has worked well, he's 16 weeks now and quite happy to lay in his cot when he's tired, listen to music and fall asleep on his own, I was told this helps them sleep better at night as if they wake up they are able to go back to sleep without being picked up, rocked etc, he does sleep better than my other children did at his age

kri5ty Thu 07-Jul-11 07:23:39

i am planning to follow the "sensational baby sleep", i cant remember who writes it, but i know 3 mums that have used it, and with all 3 babies they have slept through the night since 8 weeks!!

It is a flexible plan, and not too structured like some of the others, and works brill if you are out and about too

I honestly believe that babies need to "learn" to sleep through the night etc as they sleep most of the day in the womb etc... and if there is a routine, babies know what to expect and it is more of a comfort for them, plus if they are crying you can near enough work out what is wrong

And if it doesnt work, then i can just stop!

KatyN Thu 07-Jul-11 08:35:48

My obstetrician recommended I try to establish a routine so I am going to try it. not really strict but having read the first few chapters of Gina Ford I quite liked the concepts (not letting him get so hungry or tired he freaked out, which means sometimes having to wake him up for a feed).
HOWEVER be warned I got a LOT of backlast when I mentioned this on mum's net and even the lady behind me in the shop when I bought the book commented that it was an evil method to follow!

Adair Thu 07-Jul-11 09:29:28

it's not so much evil as trying to complicate things... of course, reading the textbook -it makes sense to 'put them down awake at a certain time so they learn to go to sleep by themselves'. And some babies do. But as babies are used to 9 mths being part of you , most cry because they feel wrong when not connected to you. And your boobs leak, when they cry, because you are biologically programmed to want to pick them up and soothe (ie put them to your breast, for milk or reassurance).

So in essence, the books can make you feel like you are doing something wrong when actually it's totally natural and instinctive.

lots33 Thu 07-Jul-11 09:35:55

I thought I would follow a routine prior to DS's birth and in the early days recorded nap and feed times and tried to follow baby whisperer.....needless to say I just found it stressful and DS and I were much happier going with the flow! And it is so much easier to be flexible. However it is horses for courses.....however, please take the BF stuff in GF and BW with a pinch of salt.....I really thought my baby should go 3 hours between feeds and worried when he wanted to feed one-two hourly which is completely normal. The books also do not allow for evening cluster feeding, again, totally normal.

Good luck

KaraJS Thu 07-Jul-11 09:53:07

Weve always fed on demand, we also found that he cluster fed at night for a few weeks which I'd never had with my other children. He's been in a cot for the last week, before that he was in a Moses basket and I've found that at night when he gets fussy it's because he wants to go to bed! Once he's layed in his cot he's happy again and will go to sleep on his own, this could be that he was prem and spent 4 days in neonatal then a week on a heat mat so wasn't picked up as much as he might have been if born on time, he tends to sleep between 4 and 7 hours at night, has a bottle then goes back to sleep, he does like to be in bed early tho, 6 o'clock last night

Saffra Thu 07-Jul-11 18:15:22

threefeethighandrising - thanks for the link. Makes for quite uncomfortable reading! I have done a lot of reading on Mumsnet and have read LOTS of nightmare stories. Perhaps too many! Believe me, I have been steeling myself throughout the TTC and pregnancy stages, to try and prepare both myself and DH.

Nicplus1and1baking - I def don't want to set myself up for failure! I guess much of it depends on how naturally my baby will fall into a routine anyway.... Fingers crossed that I'm one of the lucky ones!
mistressploppy - In my mind, this is what I was thinking of doing - like a gentle version of the Baby Whisperer, and by and large, ignorning the timings.

Adair - What are you starting a business in???? Fortunately, my work won't have very urgent deadlines, and can be done in very small chunks, if necessary. So, I don't think it's going to be unrealistic to carry on with working in some way - particularly as most of it will be email and done on the PC. Oh, I've also bought a sling too, so hopefully my little girl will like being snuggled up in it!

lots33 - How long did you follow the Baby Whisperer for? Was it stressful because of the extra work or because the baby didn't 'conform'??

threefeethighandrising Thu 07-Jul-11 19:02:11

I really didn't mean to scare you!

I didn't want to get across the idea that it's a nightmare (it doesn't need to be at all). But I am trying to get across the idea that it's all-consuming, in a way which is hard to appreciate before you're there.

WRT routine or baby-led, I think it depends on what you are like, and - importantly - what your baby's like. For me, baby-led was the only way.

I really didn't find the first few weeks hard, in the way that my antenatal friends all did, and I'm convinced I know why. My partner is self-employed, and we chose to be skint and have him home, and it made all the difference.

We went completely with the flow. If DS wanted to feed for hours, I let him. He slept when he wanted to and woke and fed when he wanted to.

Instead of imposing a routine, we introduced the idea of night and day to DS like this - in the daytime if he slept we put him down in a sort of carryable moses basket (it came with our pram) and let life carry on around him - we didn't lower voices or turn the TV or music down if they were on. If we were out we would stay out with him happily sleeping. After 7, if he fell asleep we put him down in his cot in our bedroom, but let him get up again when he wanted to. After a while (I forget how long) he developed his own routine and slept at night.

What made this relatively stress free was having DP at home. That's not to say it wasn't exhausting or all-consuming, because it was. A baby needs you constantly, especially at first. If you are on your own, suddenly even the simplest things like going to the toilet or having a shower become a matter of logistics (what do you do with the baby?) let alone more ambitious things like cooking dinner. (Reading a paper? Forget it!) It was such a luxury having DP at home, as I know it isn't the norm, but I really feel it should be. Our culture doesn't allow for this. Paternity leave should be much longer, not for the dads necessarily, but mainly for the mums!

Plenty of DPs go back to work after the standard 2 weeks, and people do manage of course.

For me, trying to impose a routine on top of being on call for DS 24 hours would have been incredibly stressful. Going with the flow gave me a chance to enjoy being a new mum.

threefeethighandrising Thu 07-Jul-11 19:15:48

WRT working from home, I tried to do some freelance when DS was about 5 months. I tried for 2 weeks, every day to find the time to do it. I got very stressed out trying to do it, I felt like a great failure until I gave in and said balls to it, I really just can't do this now! Luckily we weren't depending on the cash. I now realise that if I'm going to do any work, I need childcare, simple.

Having said that I do know someone who managed to carry on running her own business, but I've no idea how she managed it. I do know that one of the things she sacrificed was meeting any new mums or going out at all when her baby was young.

I think you need to look realistically at what's possible and make back-up plans. Please, please don't plan any work in the first few weeks, if at all possible, it's an added stress you could do without.

Then as to the question of whether you can actually work with your child there, when you're more sleep deprived than you can possibly imagine? You say it's just a few emails, but I couldn't do even a few emails with a baby to look after! But you're not me, and you'll only know once you try! You might find a way to make it work for you. However, I think in your shoes I'd need a back-up plan. What if you really can't do it? What's the contingency plan (cancel the work? get someone else to do the work? get someone else to do the bare minimum?).

Actually in your shoes if I really had to do it, I'd organise childcare. Can your mum or a friend or a nanny come to mind your baby in your house while you work?

You need a backup plan, because if your baby has colic for example you're screwed! (Constant screaming, not a great work environment).

I'm saying all this not to put you off, but to try to help you be prepared, to help you have the best possible chance of making it work IFSWIM.

HTH smile

threefeethighandrising Thu 07-Jul-11 19:20:44

and the best possible chance of enjoying being a mum too of course smile

Adair Thu 07-Jul-11 19:50:19

I agree with absolutely everything that threefeethigh has said. The first few weeks are about getting to know your baby... if you can mentally take 3 months off I think it would be ideal - then you can ease yourself into how best to work around your baby (as I said, i am on the computer now as baby is asleep in my arms!!). i agree that some form of childcare will most likely be necessary or at least as back-up (my mum does odd days etc and will be taking kids for a day a week from sept).

You may find you just want to SLEEP! This is my third so well used to no sleep ;) I found the first few weeks quite nice too, but def went with the flow... liked the lack of decision-making. Baby squawks=stick 'em on boob. grin

Good luck - being a mum is fab!

(am trying to set up a youth theatre. So excited about it!)

cowboylover Thu 07-Jul-11 20:18:40

I am not a routine person and didn't plan on having one with my DD and had a very go with the flow plan.

DD will be 6 weeks on Saturday and she has started her own plan, she is EBF and I try to make sure she knows the difference between night and day one quiet and just quietly do what we need to do but daytime is bright loud and fun.

We get up at 8 and she usually chooses to feed every 2 hours until 2 when she will usually sleep til 4 and bedtime is 10 when she will feed at 4 and then when we are up at 8.

Good luck, I am loving my experience grin

GruffaloMama Thu 07-Jul-11 20:46:05

Just a wee note about the Baby whisperer - although I like that she treats babies like little people, her info on bf-ing is a bit suspect... You'd probably find that you'll get better support and info from MN or a local BFing support group.

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