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Any experiences establishing a bedtime routine when co-sleeping with a breastfed baby?

(6 Posts)
Nickname1980 Thu 20-Mar-14 02:52:59

My baby is 5 weeks old and, next week, I am considering starting to establish a bedtime routine, so he knows to go for longer stretches of sleep at night.

But we co-sleep and I am breastfeeding (except for one bottle top up at around 10pm).

The pattern we have fallen into is that he cluster feeds on and off from about 5pm until 9:30pm. Then falls asleep for an hour. Then gets a bottle, which he falls asleep drinking, then we both go to bed. He sleeps in his bednest until around 2am when he wakes for a feed, then he comes into bed with me. (I am very careful about co-sleeping with him). He then wakes again for a feed at 5am again.

Anyone had any experiences with cosleeping and breastfeeding but establishing a routine? And when is best to start?

fertilizemyeggsbenedict Thu 20-Mar-14 11:08:38

I'd say that's your routine right there - sounds completely normal and lovely! I wouldn't worry about anything yet except feeding and sleeping. You can't technically start sleep training til 6 months - if that's what you mean? There a sooooo many things ahead that will mess with any kind of sleep pattern/routine that he develops. Don't worry about it. I wondered the same thing early on, but started to realise, when they're that young, anything goes really.

PamsDaughter Thu 20-Mar-14 18:59:24

My DS is 11 weeks and I had the same question a few weeks ago. I asked a friend and she said the same thing as Fertilize. I thought I should be putting the LO to bed early and coming back downstairs. Instead what we do is go up at 9pm and have a bath and baby massage (just started doing this at night instead of bathing in the morning and it's working really well) then I get ready for bed and we feed and both go off to sleep about 10.30. DS will stay asleep until 2 or 3 and I'll feed then and a few more times before morning. I find I'm getting enough sleep and am ready to go up myself at 9. The DH is not objecting - sometimes he just has an early night himself and he chats/reads while I'm feeding.

Nickname1980 Fri 21-Mar-14 07:13:16

Thanks both! It is actually reassuring to know I don't have to set a formal routine at 6 weeks.

Pamsdaughter, did you start bathing at night at 11 weeks? I bath him in the morning now as he isn't in a good enough mood at night. But would like that to be part of the relaxing evening wind down eventually!

PamsDaughter Fri 21-Mar-14 10:55:35

I just started night bathing in the last few days. I was doing mornings because it seemed more natural (I shower in the mornings) and by night time I was too tired to mess about what with fussy evenings and cluster feeding. I couldn't really think about routines until a few weeks ago - people say it gets easier at 6 weeks, it does, but for me that change came at 7/8 weeks.

He's less fussy in the evenings now - though still seems to have a melt-down at 8.30 each night. You could set your watch by him. Probably means I should move bedtime to 8.30 but I've been resisting moving my bedtime any earlier smile

Night bathing is working well - we have an old house and the temp of the rooms is better at night so I don't have to mess about with mobile heaters. Also it's a great time to do massage which I was struggling to do before. And all that makes him hungry and tired which is great for nursing him down to sleep.

It's working for us right now but I'm told that things change at about 4 months and another few times before they are 1 so the routine may change again. I definitely think 5/6 weeks is too early to start worrying about routines no matter what the books say.

luckiestgirlintheworld Fri 21-Mar-14 15:35:24

Im keeping watch of this because that sounds pretty much identical to my 5 week old, OP (minus the bottle). I was wondering if I should start considering his sleeping habits soon, but maybe its still too early...?

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