Creating a bedtime for my 6mo(19 Posts)
Hi, I'm looking for some advice please. We have been pretty relaxed when it comes to bed time and we feed or rock to sleep, anytime from half 7-half 9 usually. The thing is I'm starting to think we could do with a set bedtime ie 7 o'clock comes, he goes in his cot and goes to sleep. I just can't get my head around how to do this! Any tips? Thanks!
Hi. DD is 6 months. We start at 6.30pm.
Bottle of formula
Massage with eczema creams.
Into sleeping bag
Rocking in nursing chair
As soon as eyes droop - into the cot!
If DD didn't have reflux, I would start with a bath every evening.
6.30pm bath and pyjamas, and then a little quiet play (start the book at bedtime habit soon) then feed and bed. If he wakes settle him in his room, and don't bring him down stairs again once he's gone to bed.
It won't be easy, and you'll be up and down stairs a fair bit each night at first, but stick with it - it's worth it.
We followed the same routine wherever we were, even if we put DDs to bed in someone else's house and drove them home later. We've never really had a bed time problem with either of them.
Just do bath, story, feed at 6.30pm aiming for 7pm.
I wouldn't worry about "putting in cot and going to sleep" just yet - first step is getting the timing sorted first.
With my dd it sort of started at 5ish with tea and then up for a bath at 6 ish, lovely little kick about in the water, would do a little bit of baby massage when she got out then into p.js, milk, into baby sleeping bag, soothing music on and lights off by 7pm
I did a little bit of cc in that would allow time for dd to settle herself and just pop in if she became distressed which wasn't often tbh.
I would def by 6mo want an evening back to myself!! Plus found dd got massively overtired if went to bed too much later than 7pm.
Thanks for the replies, I have a couple of questions. We will start with a bath, but then I'm not sure which way round to do feed and story. If we feed first he may fall asleep on the boob so not getting story, but if we feed last he may fall asleep on the boob and then not learn to self settle? Also, if he wakes after going to sleep do I just settle him how we normally do - feeding/rocking? Sorry if I sound naive!
We kind of just gradually jigged things around but kept the fundamentals the same. So from when he was tiny he always had bath, feed, bed. We bf so he used to feed to sleep. Then we introduced formula in a cup downstairs whilst having a story/watching ceebeebies with the idea of eventually stopping the last feed at bedtime as I wanted to stop bf.
DS is now 11mo and his routine goes like this:
5.45pm - yoghurt/porridge for supper, small cup of formula
6pm - upstairs for play with daddy, quick bath and brush teeth
6.10pm - get into pajamas, story on mummy and daddy's bed
6.15pm - into bed, lights out.
I am strict about timings etc, his routine is quite set in stone, which works for us, but wouldn't work for everyone. He sucks his thumb, so settles himself, and has done since about 5 months I think? If he's still awake after 15 minutes and/or crying, I go and give him a cuddle and check he is ok and just leave him until he goes to sleep. He is night weaned, so if he wakes in the night I offer water and a cuddle and/or calpol if its teething.
Feed him last. There's a reason why it works. What I do is feed last but DD's routine is earlier enough that she doesn't fall asleep on the boob. When teaching her to self settle, I'd cuddle then put in cot on her tummy and stroke her back and work backwards. Some days she'd want a bit more cuddles and rocking and some days less. Otherwise you just stress yourself out when they don't settle quickly (she's 16 months). I did the same for ds (he's 3.6). On days if I felt that they would settle, I'd leave the room after saying goodnight and they would. If not I cuddle/rock.
Imagine if someone took your pillow away and expected you to sleep? It would take some adjustment. Same for babies - so change little at a time (ferber who is credited with cc said that)
At this age I was doing feed first then waking up for story - to make sure they go into cot awake thereby helping them learn to self settle.
Oh and night wakings, I fed them if they asked for it or rocked which ever really.
My DS is a really good sleeper and he's had more or less the same routine since he was 4 months old (he's 2.5 now) and it's always dinner, a bit of bedtime hour on cbeebies, then a bath, pyjamas, story, milk, tucked in with lights off. It's a bit more flexible now that he's older - whereas before he was definitely tucked in by 7pm now it can be a bit more flexible up til about 8pm if we're out visiting or something like that. Simple routines usually the best ones and when you find the formula that works you can be getting great mileage out of it 2 years down the road!
Thank you, we started tonight - quiet bath, then into PJs and fed in quiet room. He went to sleep while feeding, so transferred to cot. He woke up after half an hour but then fed to sleep again. I think we are going to concentrate on getting the routine established first, then move on to self settling?
Have you let him self settle during the day at all, when he's going down for a nap or out in the buggy / pram? I started doing this with DS when he was about 8 weeks old, not letting him roar the place dow but learning to differentiate between a cry that meant he was tired and about to go over to sleep and one that meant he was still hungry or wet or had wind and needed to be lifted.
I'm sure you probably have been doing this, even unconsciously, but your DS will self settle at bedtime much easier if he's gotten used to doing it during the day already and if he hasn't, it might be a good idea to start letting him do it now. Glad your first routine night went well!
<looks ashamed> no he doesn't self settle for naps either he either naps on the boob or on me. I don't know where to start to change this
Don't get overwhelmed. Little steps at a time! Some babies self settle easier than others.
Self settling takes time. We didn't crack it until he had a really solid bedtime routine and he knew exactly what was coming next! We found naps harder to sort out as we were always at home for bedtime, whereas naps were/are taken whilst we're out and about.
It's not too late to teach him to do it! I was finishing my dissertation when DS was a baby so it suited me for him to take his naps home so I could get a bit of work done when he was asleep (and take a shower! lol) So he got used to self settling in his cot then. Your DS hasn't had a lot of practice at it, but if you start doing it during the day then you will probably find that he gets the idea at night easier. Good luck with it all, I'm sure he'll pick it all up really soon for you
Thank you for the encouragement, still going well with the bedtime routine so fingers crossed we will eventually get where we want to be!
My dd is 6 months.
5pm - tea
5-630 - quiet play/ music on reading etc
630 bath with either me or her dad
700 - into jamas and feed usually to sleep.
720 - into cot.
Sometimes If she is particularly tired she will fall asleep almost immediately after her bath. In these days I can pretty much set my click she will wake a hour later for another feed.
She can settle from sleepy to asleep if I sing or leave lullaby on rubbing her tummy but more often than not I feed to sleep
Try get him used to self settling if you can but bit at a time
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