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What's your bedtime routine for 8/9 month old?

(6 Posts)
Ineedcake Fri 15-Jul-11 19:56:52

My DS is 8.5 months old and I've always fed him to sleep (I know, rod for my own back and all that!), however recently he's often having a feed and not going off to sleep, or dozing off but waking up almost straight away. My DH and I then need to walk/sing him to sleep which can take 20 min - sometimes we can then put him down just as he's going off to sleep so that he settles himself for the final bit, but other times he needs to be completely out for the count!

Should prob mention that before his final feed his routine is dinner at 5ish (have just moved this earlier as thought an earlier dinner might mean he's not so full), quiet play for a while, bath at 6.45ish and then feed at 7pm.

Anyway, sorry for the rambling! I just wanted to get some ideas from other people on their routines, and if anyone has gone from having a 'feed to sleeper' to a nice calm relaxing routine that lets them drift off on their own?

Should we just persevere with trying to put him down when he's just gone off to sleep, and gradually try and put him down more and more awake? Has anyone had success with this? I'm worried we're getting into a whole new habit of having to walk him to sleep!

Have read No Cry Sleep Solution a while ago and think I remember something similar in there (generally sleep deprived so memory's not great!). Don't want to leave him to cry at all.

Thanks in advance!!

LaGuerta Fri 15-Jul-11 20:07:54

Hi, I have DS1 who is 3 and DS2 who is 8 mo like your DS. DS1 was very much like your DS. I tried no cry sleep solution for at least a month to no avail. What got him self settling was controlled crying and it worked incredibly quickly - 10 mins on the first night. I was advised by my health visitor to give him his final feed downstairs before bathtime. This breaks the suck to sleep association. Lots of people will tell you not to do controlled crying and I had tried to avoid it for months. I was staggered by how quickly cc worked and by and large DS1 has been a brilliant settler ever since. I felt like a fool for not having done it sooner.

The routine with DS2 now is a bit hit and miss because I am bathing and putting both of them to bed on my own. However what I have learned is to try and put DS2 down not completely asleep. He is a v different personality to DS1 and sleep has always come much more readily to him.

Hope that helps. It's tough with the first DC1 knowing what to do for the best.

Ineedcake Sat 16-Jul-11 10:19:30

Thanks LaGuerta, must admit we're reluctant to try cc at the moment as you were, but think it may come to that eventually! Did you just start putting him down after his bath and then keep checking on him every so often?

DS can self settle sometimes e.g. at 4am when he's awake and I've checked he's not hungry, is dry, comfortable etc I've just left him and he has surprised me and gone back to sleep, so I know he can do it, but I think that's because he's already in the frame of mind that it's sleep time if you see what I mean. I think going from completely awake to asleep at the moment is something he just doesn't get.

LaGuerta Sat 16-Jul-11 13:06:05

We did bath, dressed, book, cot, maybe sing one song and then say firmly " night night it's time to go to sleep". Walk out and shut the door. Then set the timer on the phone for 5 mins, go back when the buzzer goes. Don't pick him up just repeat "mummy's here, but it's bedtime" or some such. Then increase the time interval by 2 mins or whatever you feel comfortable with. I've found with DS2 that once he is sung our particular song he knows that it's time for sleeping, so he has a new sleep association which works for naps too (mostly wink). If your DS can self settle at 5am then you are halfway there.

Bellbell Sat 16-Jul-11 21:21:41

Hiya - we've got the same issue with our 8 month old twins - used to put them to sleep on the bottle but now doesn't work anymore and are rocking them to sleep. We also have to go through this at least twice during the night as well. I wanted to avoid controlled crying as can't bear the thought of it, but I'm leaning to it if it works quickly (i.e. 3 or 4 nights max). I'm going back to work soon so need to do something. I've posted about this on the multiples forum too.... any advice appreciated! Ineedcake - let me know how it goes!!

Ineedcake Mon 18-Jul-11 08:50:05

LaGuerta you make it sound easy! smile Thanks for the advice - I think we're going to wait a few weeks and see how we go with putting him down more and more awake, but it's good to have something up our sleeves if it comes to that.

Bellbell - twins! I can't imagine having to do the whole routine with two! I'll try and report back if we see any improvements or give cc a go, let me know how you get on too/if you find anything that helps as well. Luckily at the moment DS does still feed to sleep (normally) when he wakes in the night, or as I mentioned has started to self settle when I've left him to it for a bit.

Although we've never left him to cry, in the night I have left him sometimes when he's just doing tired sort of moaning and I think that's helped him and me to learn that he can do it on his own. (Sometimes in my sleep deprived state I have actually fallen back to sleep thinking 'I'll go to him in a minute' when he's woken up too - and then realised it's a few hours later and he's gone back to sleep on his own!)

I think there's another growth spurt around 9 months so I'm expecting it all to get even more tough again very soon so just going to try and go with the flow for a bit and see where we are in a month!

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