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Ok, honestly: how many of you are able to get your 4mo into a daytime routine of your choosing??

(9 Posts)
BotBotticelli Tue 23-Apr-13 09:20:42

DS1 is 4mo and is a serial catnapper. He usually has about 4 naps per day, each 30-40 mins long each. He refuses to sleep any longer than that.

I have been following his cues from birth and have not been able to persuade him to follow any kind of routine from a book.

So now at 20 weeks old we find ourselves in a rough routine which kinda happens the same every day, but which I would never have chosen! It's bonkers. Basically, he seems happy to go very long stretches between his bottles, but can only go very short stretches between sleeps. Especially in the morning. So sometimes we have 2 naps in between bottles. Forget the EASY routine, we seem to have settled on (from waking in the morning): AEASASAE!!!

Our days tend to run like this:

0630 wakes up
0730 bottle (7oz)
0815 nap
0900 wakes up
plays for an hour and a bit
1015 nap
1100 wakes up
1130 bottle (7oz)
plays for an hour and a bit
1300 nap
1340 wakes up
plays for an hour and a bit
1500 bottle (7oz)
1600 nap
1630 wakes up
plays for an hour and a bit
1800 bath
1830 bottle (8oz)
1845 bed
2200 dreamfeed (8oz)

Because he only has half an hour sleep at a time during the day, he is always knackered after 1.5/2 hours awake, and then needs a sleep. has a screaming fit if he doesn't get it. He sleeps well in his cot, well in the car, less well in his buggy, and nowhere else! Fights it on my lap. So I end up tying myself in knots making sure that he is always going to be either in his cot, in the car, or in the buggy at each of the 4 naptimes. It is making me feel pretty stressed, and means I am always leaving coffee mornings after 45 mins so I can walk him around in the buggy for half an hour so he gets his shuteye, or doing a ludicrous 40 minute drive around our neighbourhood on our way home from a baby group 10 mins away, cos if he only has 10 minutes he will be a mess!

Is living like this within the realms of normal for a mum of a 4mo??! It just feels a bit daft, and I feel like his 'routine' is dictating my whole life at the moment.

Should I just roll with this madness, in the hope that it will change when he starts crawling/goes onto solids in a couple of months time? Or should I try to manipulate it a bit?? And how?? He seems incapable of staying awake longer. And has such large bottles that he doesn't seem to get hungry for 4 or 5 hours.

RandallPinkFloyd Tue 23-Apr-13 09:27:18

Mines 20mo and still in a 'routine' of his own choosing!

At 4 months the only place he would sleep during the day was in my arms. No one else would do, had to be me and had to be preceded by screams of red-faced rage.

At about 6-7 months he would go in his pushchair but only if I put the Hoover on right next to him.

He's now 20mo and has never once napped in his cot during the day. He will sleep in his pushchair, in the car, or on my knee. He does sleep for over 13 hours every night though so it's swings and roundabouts.

Sorry, that was spectacularly unhelpful wasn't it!

BotBotticelli Tue 23-Apr-13 09:34:01

No not unhelpful! Makes me realise that we all have our particular madness to deal with! I am of course v glad that he sleeps so well in his cot, but makes my life quite inflexible :-/

Andcake Tue 23-Apr-13 09:39:54

Go with the flow. At 4 mo my ds only napped on me or in buggy. On me would go for an hour or so. I would just stick on a move, pick up a book and relax. Between 6-8 mo ds dropped to 2 naps and sometimes refuses naps all day. I'm exhausted even if he isn't.
At 8 mo I try a 234 routine it rarely works I am just happy to roughly know what he's going to do each day at 4 mo and plan around him. He is just a little baby after all :-)
You're v lucky if he sleeps that long at night. I dream of that.

adagio Tue 23-Apr-13 09:45:29

Mine is four months, I have started using an app on my iPhone to track feed and naps as in my sleep deprived haze my days were burring…it means I can now confidently spout nonsense such as 'oo its 6pm she is tired'. This is based purely on the app pointing out to me she has been awake for 2 hours and got fed 15 mins ago so the most likely cause for the tears is sleep…!

She runs her own 'routine' but the app means I can sound like it is planned to anyone who asks, and in fairness I can now see a reasonable pattern. Its just unfortunate the pattern is feed every hour or max 1.5 hours in the day, naps of 15/20 minutes with the occasional stint of an hour. She will only fall asleep in a moving pram (awakes when you stop moving) or on me, and can occasionally be transferred to moses/chair etc but tends to wake up as soon as she is put down. Nighttime in fairness she will sleep for up to 4 hours in her moses from midnight, but then wakes every hour for a boob top up…

So short answer to your question…no, but watching with interest!

RandallPinkFloyd Tue 23-Apr-13 09:55:59

In all honesty my parenting style seems to be rather a 'by the seat of your pants' approach.

I've never attempted any kind of routine because I had no idea how to blush

H and I separated when DS was 4mo so I do think that contributed to my laziness. I just went with the flow, still do tbh!

He did have a sort of routine pretty quickly but it was all his own doing and changed every few months. I ended up writing everything down for a couple of weeks and was really surprised how similar each day was.

He now tells me when he wants to get up, tells me when he wants to eat, and tells me when he wants to go to bed. There's a definite routine to but totally set by him. Every day is the same give or take an hour or so at the most. Baffles me but it's true!

I really don't think I should be giving out parenting advice grin

LunaticFringe Tue 23-Apr-13 10:07:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BotBotticelli Tue 23-Apr-13 11:17:23

Thank you for your stories ladies.

DS doesn't feed between 10pm and the morning but he does usually wake up 2-3 times in the night and needs a little tummy rub and his dummy to get back to sleep.

FaceLikeAPickledYonion Tue 23-Apr-13 11:29:58

With ds1 the world revolved around him, his feeds, his play times, his nap times etc. No routine, just went with the flow, somedays he had a couple of short naps, other days longer but less frequent naps.
Ds2 came along 6 years later. Ds2 had to fit in around our family routine. School runs etc. He had to be woken at x a.m to have his feed, change & wash so we could get ds1 to school otherwise he'd of been very hungry if we'd of waited till we got home.
Basically what I'm trying to say is, if you want a routine for your baby, then try and get him into one. First borns don't generally have much of a routine. Second ones have to fit in, so do.
Routines don't matter so much with one child. But yours and their happiness does. Do you need a routine? Would life be easier for you with/without one?
Go for what works best for you.

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