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Evening routine - what are we doing wrong?

(12 Posts)

For the last few weeks we've tried to follow a routine with DS (now 10 weeks old, probably started at around 5 weeks old) It goes something like this:

1 - feed downstairs with me
2 - upstairs for a bath, massage and into a clean sleepsuit with dad
3 - into the bedroom with either/both of us for quiet cuddles (and usually another feed as I still can't quite get out of the habit of feeding him to sleep)

Sounds lovely huh? You'd think he'd enjoy it and calm down for bed? Well, he does. He loves it... until the exact moment when his dad lifts him up and starts to take him out of the bathroom, then all hell breaks loose! It's almost instant. He's calm for his feed, loves the bath, is happy and smiling for the massage, clean nappy & sleepsuit then screams and fusses for ages before finally settling to sleep.

What are we doing wrong?

snowchick1977 Fri 21-Oct-11 20:47:55

We do bath, bottle, bed in that order with dd, as she is wide awake after bath and we dont rock/cuddle her to sleep

Mimmee Fri 21-Oct-11 21:38:34

Maybe just feed after the bath. Or when DD was that little I would sometimes feed from one side before the bath if she needed it and the other side after.

One thing it took me a while to realise is that when they are that little they can get overstimulated very easily and not stay awake very long - is it possible that bedtime routine is too long for him? You could try skipping the bath for one night and just top and tail and change and see if it's any better?

TBH I don't think you need to worry too much about routine at this stage, that will come with time.

billgrangersrisotto Fri 21-Oct-11 21:41:00

Is the massage a bit much for your DC by the evening time maybe? Overstimulating?

Catspersonalbanker Sat 22-Oct-11 19:20:24

I was told by my HV that when they start to fall asleep downstairs on you that will be the time that they naturally want to fall asleep and this will get earlier. I'd agree the feed just before bed as I've read somewhere its best not to have a bath or masssage on a full tummy.

Might also be that he loves having a bath. My DD hates coming out of the bath despite warm towel, warm room etc. smile

My DD is 8 months old and only has a bath every other night

NickNacks Sat 22-Oct-11 19:25:48

I was also told not to bath on a full tummy as its makes them uncomfortable.

benandhollyandgaston Sat 22-Oct-11 19:28:05

I've never bathed mine just before bed, I don't find it relaxes them. I also, personally, despise the rigmarole of bathtime just before bed and prefer to get it out of the way earlier.

Can you bath him at 5ish or so instead and bring him downstairs to chill him out before he goes up? I used to find that took up some of the witching hour too.

Thank you. We tried the bath earlier tonight & hadn't fed him first. He still cried for a long time afterwards confused He does have a cold though, so he's been doing a lot of crying today!

Maybe you're right and he just loves the bath so much that he doesn't like it ending. I'll suggest to DP that he does the bath at lunchtimes in future (he works from home so can often join us for lunch) so that he still gets to do the fun bit but it doesn't overstimulate LO before bed.

Mimmee Sat 22-Oct-11 20:17:49

Oh yes, fortgot to mention DD AlWAYS cried after she got out of the bath - we would lift her out and say 3..2..1 and off she went!

She stopped doing it at about 3 months IIRC.

It's not when he gets out of the bath though (he used to cry immediately, but now seems to 'know' that the towel and warm sleepsuit are waiting for him so stays calm); it's about five mins later - after being dried and dressed. It's really confusing me (does he know we're going to leave him to sleep alone? is he scared? does he have water in his ears? is he cold?)

It's just one of those things isn't it? I need to just get used to it until he's older don't I?

Mimmee Sat 22-Oct-11 21:06:02

Evenings are difficult when they are that little because they are tired and can so easily become overstimulated. It may be that bath etc are a distraction for him and that's why he's not crying IYSWIM?

But yes he will certainly grow out of it. I remember DD being very unsettled and cranky between 6-8pm until she was about 3 1/2 months.

We didn't get into a proper "routine" as such till about 5 mo when bedtime started to get a but more predictable and earlier.

minibmw2010 Sat 22-Oct-11 21:21:21

I started DS (22 weeks) on a routine of bath, feed, bed when he was 5 weeks. Some nights it went well smile, some nights not so well sad. It depended on so much, how tired he was, etc. Now he gets do excited, he clearly knows what is coming and is asleep within minutes of a feed after his bath. I think what it depends on us not starting the process too early (not sleepy enough) or too late (far too tired). Good luck.

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