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How should I get my baby to sleep? What do you include in a bedtime routine?

(10 Posts)
Splandy Sun 31-Jan-16 10:52:44

My baby slept beautifully in his own cot until he was around 6 weeks old. He is now 3 months old and doesn't nap unless he is attached to me. I have been feeling quite stressed by this, as I stupidly decided to continue doing a college course whilst breastfeeding him and looking after my older child. I sometimes put him in the sling so that at least I can get some things done with him strapped to me, but really need to be able to put him down! I'm going to have to prioritise getting him to sleep in his cot.

I've tried putting him down in his cot at varying stages of sleep but it always results in him waking up. Even when he's in a very deep sleep, being put down doesn't immediately wake him, but it seems that the lack of security bothers him so he becomes more and more unsettled. With every thrash of the arms or loss of the dummy, he wakes more until he's fully awake again. Is he too old for swaddling now? He's quite a big baby. I did look at the sleepyhead pod thing, so he would still feel 'held', but the smaller sized one seems as though it would be outgrown almost immediately. And the bigger is incredibly expensive!

The health visitor told me not to worry about starting a bedtime routine until he's 6 months, but that seems too late to me. I'd like to do it now. He has been falling asleep on me or my husband and being transferred up to the bed when he goes up, which he often manages to stay asleep for. A few nights ago, I managed to feed him to sleep without him asking for it, and he stayed asleep. Thought I'd cracked it (I know feeding to sleep is frowned upon but I need to do something!) but the past two nights it just hasn't worked. Tried for two hours the first night before handing him to my husband to fall asleep on, and three hours last night. I fed him back to sleep twice and he was feeding for about an hour and a half in total, but still woke up within fifteen minutes of being put down.

Where should I start in trying to remedy this?

BathshebaDarkstone Sun 31-Jan-16 10:55:15

Bath, clean nappy, vest and sleepsuit, bf while singing, cot.

TheCatsMeow Sun 31-Jan-16 10:57:46

I don't really have one. Nappy change, clothes change and a bottle in a dark room. That's it.

When my DS was refusing to be put down it was reflux. Worth considering. I've tilted his cot, he has omeprazole and a thickener and he's fine now

TheCatsMeow Sun 31-Jan-16 10:58:47

I still swaddle my nearly 6 month old but when he's in a deep sleep I leave one arm free

Splandy Sun 31-Jan-16 11:15:19

And does your baby just go to sleep once you've put them down? Did they always do this or sort of have to learn to do it? He did have reflux but it has greatly improved and he's no more sick than other babies now.

TheCatsMeow Sun 31-Jan-16 11:19:13

Splandy if he's tired he'll sometimes just sleep, otherwise I rock him to sleep. He's always been quite good but he's got better

It could still be silent reflux! The moaning when put down is a huge indicator. DS screamed for 3 weeks when lying down and I couldn't figure it out, turned out his cot wasn't tilted enough (I'd just moved him out the baby crib that was tilted) and he sleeps again now

Splandy Sun 31-Jan-16 11:55:56

I'm not convinced it's silent reflux, he is perfectly fine during the night, for example. He feeds to sleep and goes straight back to bed with no problems. It just seems to be daytime naps and getting him into bed to begin with that is the issue, and I'm not sure why he's ok with it during the night, but not the day. I read something about your milk having hormones at night which encourage sleep, so thought that could play a part in why he's happy to go back in at night.

FATEdestiny Sun 31-Jan-16 13:01:00

* Is he too old for swaddling now?*

Did you swaddle when he was younger? Current SIDS guidelines suggest that while there is no upper limit as to when you should stop swaddling, that you should start swaddling before 3 months. Apparently research shows an increase risk of SIDS is a baby 3 months or older who isn't used to being swaddled, starts to be swaddled.

That said, we all manage SIDS risks in our own personal way and it doesn't necessarily always mean removing all risks.

I would try a bouncy chair for daytime naps - this allows for hands-free foot bouncing to sleep. I would then continue the daytime naps right through until late evening when you go to bed. Not all babies are ready to start a long sleep early evening when young, they just have another nap as they do in the day.

Is baby getting enough daytime sleep? A baby who is overtired is a nightmare to get to sleep compared to a just-tired baby. Try to limit awake time between naps to around about an hour at this age - say 50-70 minutes.

Splandy Sun 31-Jan-16 14:10:14

Thanks for that, I thought I'd read something about sids and swaddling. I didn't swaddle when he was a baby so don't want to increase risk of sids by doing it now. I've tried the bouncy chair and we get exactly the same reaction. Fine for five minutes, then wakes up. I know he's definitely still tired because I eventually give in and hold him again and he sleeps for hours. He seems to get a lot of sleep during the day. Until I try to put him down. On days where I don't attempt it and keep him in his sling, it's hours and hours! He's already over 14lb so the sling isn't exactly a long term solution. I have so much work to catch up on along with doing all the current stuff and the house is a tip. There just aren't enough hours in the day because I am stuck holding him all the time. I'm not a first time mom but have no idea of how I dealt with sleep and naps with my first. I don't think he was quite so unhappy to be put down, though. I've been trying to put him down some time after 9, not that early. It's the thing of wanting to be held again though.

TheCatsMeow Sun 31-Jan-16 14:12:55

Splandy I didn't swaddle as a baby either. I still have a similar problem that he will only sleep on me or pushchair in the day but st night it's fine. Put him to bed earlier so you get an evening?

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