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Am I the only person who doesn't have a routine for sleep?

(93 Posts)
TheCatsMeow Tue 19-Jan-16 10:20:11

I see and hear people saying "x time is nap time" or writing out schedules for when their babies nap and I'm floored by it. Starting to doubt myself because I don't do this at all.

DS sleeps when he's tired, I can tell when he's tired and put him down then. He might have one nap he might have three, he might sleep for two hours it might be less than 5 minutes.

We don't have a bed time either, he goes up when he's tired or when I want to watch the TV lol

He sleeps through apart from if he's ill and is fine, but I'm starting to think I'm doing it "wrong" as everyone else seems to have a time table?! I can't imagine doing that because I'm not one for routine but if everyone's doing it maybe it's me?

I'm the same with weaning, sometimes he has 3 meals sometimes he doesn't, it depends

Is there any reason not to do this?!

Baressentials Tue 19-Jan-16 10:27:14

No I am similar to you. I assume my dc are like me, some days they need more sleep than others. My dc do have a bed time, but of their own making which tends to be around the same time each night. My youngest is 18 months - some days he needs a nap other days he doesn't. All dc are good sleepers.

For other people having a routine works better for them and their dc though.

I am a single mum with 4 dc - a strict routine would be a nightmare because every day is different and down to me to run one dc or the other to clubs or parties.

Baressentials Tue 19-Jan-16 10:29:13

Oh and re food - I try to encourage my dc to listen to their bodies. Some days they are hungrier than others. I don't make a big deal of it. As long as over all they are getting enough sleep and eating healthy most of the time then I will continue with my more relaxed way of doing things.

NotCitrus Tue 19-Jan-16 10:31:34

Some babies love routine. Others hate them. Ds would fall asleep when he wanted, so I just carted him around and fed when hungry. Other parents would ask how I knew when he was tired - as if on cue 6mo ds crawled over, pulled blankie off sofa, and collapsed at my feet and slept. "Er, like that?"
They were amazed as their babies never ever slept without crying and being in official nap time.
Around age 2, a bedtime routine became helpful, but before that it was "put sleepy child in grobag in cot. Walk off."
Seems to have worked! Dd, however, has much more of a body clock and wanted regular nap space and meals.

Abbinob Tue 19-Jan-16 10:35:10

If it works for you and he's getting enough sleep then it sounds fine smile

BonesyBones Tue 19-Jan-16 10:36:06

No routine for 18 month old DS here, never had one for him (eldest needs rigid routine so I've done both). It's a lot easier to just leave them to it I think.

Sometimes DS naps, sometimes not, sometimes he just likes to sit in the pram and quietly watch TV in the afternoon.

Same with bedtime. We average 8pm, but he's gone as early as 6:50pm and as late as 10:30pm (last night was first night without a cot so wanted to make sure he was super tired so he didn't get out of bed!)

Same with food, I've found that if he has lunch he won't eat dinner, so we often skip lunch in favour of a yogurt.
He does eat breakfast every day but not at any set time.

You're definitely not doing anything wrong, so long as baby is happy!

TheCatsMeow Tue 19-Jan-16 10:46:15

Thanks! I don't feel so unusual now. Routine doesn't work for DS I did try a sleep routine and he just ignored it, it was difficult and made things harder.

My DS rubs his eyes and cries a bit when tired, so I can easily tell. I don't know how you'd do regimented nap times!

ACatCalledFang Tue 19-Jan-16 11:04:35

We have what I think would be described as a baby-led routine, in that we tend to do naps at roughly similar intervals rather than the same times, if that makes sense?

For example, my baby tends to show signs of being tired between 1.5 and 2 hrs after waking, so he has a nap then. If he looks tired earlier, he has it earlier. If we're going out, he might have it a little later in his pushchair. Length of nap varies - anything from 20 mins to 3 hrs has been known, but I'll resettle if I think something has disturbed him, rather than that he's had enough sleep.

I'd hate to be in a position where we couldn't do groups because, e.g., 0930 was nap time! However, I do try to time outings for when he's tired as it's easier to get him to nap in his pushchair.

TheCatsMeow Tue 19-Jan-16 11:09:31

Cat mine is baby led too but not as predictable as yours, there's literally no pattern to it! I'd hate to be limited by nap times too, each day's different I wouldn't want to not go out because of naps

ACatCalledFang Tue 19-Jan-16 17:26:22

Oh, mine is usually predictable, that's for sure...he'll only usually nap at home through feeding to sleep, though, which is (literally) a whole other thread!

TheCatsMeow Tue 19-Jan-16 17:28:32

Mines pretty chilled and will sleep anywhere. Currently asleep on me actually grin

AlexTaylor17 Wed 20-Jan-16 11:52:11

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

TheCatsMeow Wed 20-Jan-16 11:55:39

Haha Alex! I'm lucky mine does actually sleep but he certainly doesn't do things the way they're "supposed" to!

nephrofox Wed 20-Jan-16 11:56:52

I think when you have a single 6 month old or whatever this all sound grand

When you have 2 or more children who need feeding, taking to school etc you will find your day naturally has more of a pattern / routine

TheCatsMeow Wed 20-Jan-16 12:02:25

I would think with two it would be harder to have a routine because it's so unpredictable!

Thurlow Wed 20-Jan-16 12:10:00

It's entirely personality. Gina Ford would have had DD as the baby on the front of her book, she adored routine so very much. From 3 weeks old she ate and napped to a perfect schedule, and self-settled at night.

When she was little I used to think that I'd somehow done this. Now I can see that's bullshit grin Sure, I spent a bit of time juggling her routine so it suited ours (8am-8pm, for example) but the simple fact that she liked routine was entirely down to her. Possibly because she never seemed to learn to understand when she was tired or hungry, and liked being told what she needed to do next.

Having a routine made our lives much easier and calmer. But if following your baby's lead, and him being happy to/capable of showing you what he wants, why change it?

As long as everyone's happy, don't break it!

Pyjamaramadrama Wed 20-Jan-16 12:18:37

Well if you and the baby are happy then you can't be doing anything wrong can you?

Life generally revolves around routine though and I hate to say it, but it might be different when you have two.

For example my 7 year old has to get up for school, he has to have breakfast, he has to be picked up from school, do homework and reading, have an evening meal at a reasonable time, get taken to swimming lessons and other evening clubs. He has to have a bedtime for school. My 7 month old baby needs to fit in around all of this. There's no point him falling asleep at 3pm just as we need to leave for school. There's no point in me trying to feed the baby his meal when my older one has to go to bed.

In contrast to my older one, the baby won't just sleep anywhere either, so I have to be ahead of the game and not let him get overtired.

A routine works for us. It's not a case of putting the baby to bed when he's not tired or not feeding him because the clock says it's not time.

It's all led around the whole families needs.

Pyjamaramadrama Wed 20-Jan-16 12:23:21

You can't not have a routine with an older child. It's not unpredictable they have to go to school/nursery and be picked up at a certain time. They have scheduled activities after school such as swimming lessons, football, dancing or whatever. They have to have a proper bedtime or they'd be tired for school.

If you go back to work you'll have a bit of routine.

AlexTaylor17 Wed 20-Jan-16 12:24:19

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Pyjamaramadrama Wed 20-Jan-16 12:26:56

Oh and just to add there's a middle ground. Routines aren't all Gina Ford who tells you what time to eat.

Things vary but I couldn't have the baby up at 10pm he'd be really overtired and upset.

Diddlydokey Wed 20-Jan-16 12:32:15

You just do whatever your baby lets you get away with doing really. My DS was very sneaky and by the time he would seem tired, he would be overtired and a nightmare to get to sleep. He then wouldn't stay asleep, wake up grumpy but refuse to go back to sleep. He would then sleep badly at nighttime because of all the overtiredness. I ended up watching the clock like a hawk and having a routine, albeit an EASY routine despite not reading any books like that in pregnancy as I was going to be a laid back and baby led.

I believe that you probably have quite an 'easy' baby and you are very laid back - both of which help each other nicely. Enjoy!

In my book - sttn = working

TheCatsMeow Wed 20-Jan-16 12:36:36

Pyjama see I don't think I'll be any good at that, as I can't see me enforcing a bed time or anything. I know what you mean about more routine with school though.

Mine was up till 1am the other day and in bed by 6 the next. I don't see how else o could do it but I do doubt myself as everyone seems to do it differently. I think like someone else said it might depend on the personality

Thurlow Wed 20-Jan-16 12:38:18

Good point, Pyjama. I do think most people, when they hear the word "routine", imagine a very strict and inflexible to-the-minute procedure. Whereas I suspect for most people it is a lot rougher than that, but it is still in essence a routine.

So if the baby goes to bed about 8, they might feed in the early hours and then wake up properly around 7-8ish. Then they might like to feed and sleep roughly every 3 hours. It's not entirely rigid, and it's not clock watching.

But if your baby doesn't like routine, it doesn't matter whether you're rigid or not, they're still not going to go with it grin

Personally (and I'll admit I only have 1 so my personal experience is ridiculously limited) I'm always slightly surprised when other people are surprised a baby likes routine, or imagines that a routine is unachievable. Because most children and adults prefer a routine, even if they don't think of it as a routine. Most children and adults prefer the same amount of sleep at night, to eat at similar intervals, to have a sit down and a cuppa after a certain period of time. How is it too surprising that some babies also get hungry and tired after reliable intervals?

OP, I would say though that with weaning it is possibly the time to start introducing the idea of a routine for meals, especially once they get the hang of food and eating.

TheCatsMeow Wed 20-Jan-16 12:38:43

I believe that you probably have quite an 'easy' baby and you are very laid back

I do have an easy baby. Never went less than 3 hours between feeds, always happy, amuses himself sometimes so I can get on with stuff, he's a great little baby!

Thurlow Wed 20-Jan-16 12:39:29

I can't see me enforcing a bed time or anything.

That's an interesting sentence. Do you not think you'll enforce bedtime, even to a degree, once your DS is older and starts nursery and school?

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