Tell me about your bedtime routine for a 4 month old(23 Posts)
I'm struggling with getting a bedtime routine established for my 4 month old dd. Come and tell me what works for you. I'm especially interested in routines that don't include a bath every night.
We do bath (sorry!) at 6.15-6.30pm, then bottle in bed with me singing a song. After the feed I put her down awake, give her a muslin which she likes to chew, put on her white noise sheep and say "time to sleep".
Depending on how tired she is, she falls asleep immediately, chomps on her muslin for a bit before dropping off, or sometimes I have to go back in and pick her up once or twice to calm her if she's crying. Never takes longer than half an hour though until she's asleep. We've done this since she was about 12 weeks.
zip into sleeping bag, dummy in, into bedside crib (in a Sleepyhead), muslin to fiddle with lights out (7ish). Usually asleep within minutes.
DS had this routine from about 4 weeks. But he was just a baby that did not/ could not sleep in the living room with us and wanted to be properly in bed and in peace and quiet.
There are plenty on here who advocate a bedtime routine at 4 months old is pointless because baby will still be cluster feeding/ light sleeping/ napping until around the time you go to bed.
We bath every other day and top & tail between.
Bed with his snuggle, dummy and some music.
Clean up the house
We've done this from about 3 months.
Brush teeth and bath with big brothers around 6.30pm.
Into PJs and sleeping bag.
Breastfed to sleep.
Tucked up into cot.
Had this routine since the first few weeks and he's one on Friday so it's worked brilliantly for us. But we have to have a routine as we've got two older ones and getting them all ready for bed is a mission!
I know you might not want to do a bath each night but I find it really helps signal that it's bedtime soon - and they love it!
Sorry we bath too.
6pm upstairs baby massage and nursery rhyme with actions (usually wheels in the bus) bath, dried dressed and sleeping bag on, fed (breast or expressed bottle with me or DH) and story then cuddle to sleep or if calm put down tired with dummy in dark room.
Usually self settle in less than 10 mins and he is 4 months this week.
Thanks all. I know bath time is a useful signal, but dd isn't a fan. She cries a lot, particularly when getting dried and dressed after so it doesn't feel very helpful or calm start to bedtime.
I'm v jealous of all these self settlers. We're nowhere near that with dd. She is either feeding, crying (proper crying, not just a moany sleepy cry) or asleep (on boob or in arms) , with no drowsy/ calm awake time in between. So I can't even attempt to put her down to settle herself.
I'm also a bit curious about those managing a massage or book. Dd is always just crying so I don't feel like I can do either of these, even though I'd like to.
I think our problem is that she is overtired at bedtime ( usually around 6) because she's hopeless at napping in the day, so any bedtime routine is a miserable battle.
You're not alone graysor. My DS2 doesn't self settle either. I just feed him to sleep. We don't have a bath of an evening either but for the opposite reason to you. DS2 just gets so excited by it, splashing and kicking that he's wide awake by the end.
Our routine is upstairs at 7pm, nappy change, pj's on, lie next to him and sing to him while bf. He fights it some nights but generally goes off quite quick.
DS2 was not a content baby either, he was either crying or feeding but he has got a lot more cheerful as he's got older. He's 7 months now and he is a lot happier than at 4 months.
We don't bath 4 month old DS on a night.
At about 8.30pm we top and tail him and put his cream on (dry skin baby), change into sleep suit then baby and me go to bed (co sleeping) and I breastfeed him to sleep.
He sleeps well and wakes up 1-3 times during the night to feed and then goes straight back to sleep (so do I if I'm lucky!) and we usually wake up 8am/9am.
I know going to bed at 9pm with the baby wouldn't work for everyone but it does for us. DH and I have always favoured an early bedtime!
Ds is 13 weeks and we've fallen into the following routine:
Bath 7:30 if bath night, otherwise upstairs at 8pm or earlier if grumpy.
Slumber buddy on with light show and heartbeat noise asap after getting in room.
Change nappy and into nightclothes, no conversation with him when doing this.
Breastfeed - sometimes falls asleep then.
If not then a few rounds of twinkle twinkle little star with dummy in and rocking in my arms. Usually drowsy now.
Into crib and hold his hand or put hand on tummy while he falls asleep.
At 4 months dd was still bfing all evening till she conked out about 9-10pm then we put her down asleep. We didn't start having an actual bedtime until past 6 months.
DS is five months and our routine is:
1830 (ish) - clothes off and a kick on his changing table whilst bath running
1840 - bath
1850 - pyjamas on
1855 - DH gives him a bottle of expressed milk
1900 - story (same book every night, which he gets ridiculously excited about)
1910 - sing Twinkle Twinkle all together, then white noise on, dummy in and I rock him to sleep (he is sadly not a self-settler in any way)
However, this only started at about three and a half months. Before that DS tended to be crying on and off and unsettled, despite our best efforts regarding a routine. I really worried at it at the time but he just started to settle more as he got older and we were then gradually able to have more structure to bedtime, which then evolved into our routine.
DS is 15 weeks.
Wakes from nap at 3ish & cluster feeds til we have dinner at which point he goes in his boumcer chair for 20 minutes or so
Stripped down to nappy upstairs after dinner, we sing & play until bath at 6.30. DH goes in the bath with him which really settled DS & we limit the time he's in to 15 minutes as if he gets too tired he screams the place down getting dried & dressed.
Into woombie and into our bed for story & last BF then transferred to cot once sleeping. Usually by 8.
Feed him a bottle in the living room around 7pm or depending on when he is sleepy. Carry him to cot and put in sleepyhead usually with a dummy.
Have you thought about trying to get her into a routine for day naps? I've used gina ford and it's working brilliantly.
Sorry but ours is a bath too! Approx 8:30 pm. Then if she's knackered it's a quick moisturise and in sleep suit, if shes napped well and not that sleepy then I take a bit longer, a bit of a massage with the moisturise, airing with nappy off, etc). Then I bfeed to sleep (can take over an hour as if she's sleepy I rub her head etc to try to keep her feeding and if she falls asleep on one side I give her 10 mins then pop her in her sleeping bag which normally wakes her up and then I feed her to sleep on the other side). She normally then sleeps from about 10pm to 6:30 am on her own in a cot.
I'd agree that your DD sounds overtired, I won't for a second pretend I know how to fix that as I really struggled to get DD1 to nap until about 11 months. DD2 was brilliant but hit 4 months and is now refusing to nap anywhere but on a high speed walk in her pram (4.5 months now). I really can't do that much with a toddler in tow! Ive found the really loud crying you mention is often overtired.
My 4.5 month old sounds like yours - post bath when we are dressing her she screams the house down. This happens at whatever time the bath is, we've tried earlier to avoid her being over tired and it's the same result.
Honestly I think establishing a routine means she's knows we're about to put her in bed and she hates sleeping simple as. She's also started refusing day time naps but I get around this using boob/sling/pram. I almost always have to feed her to sleep. There's no singing or massage or cuddling after a bath she's too busy crying!
Sometimes we'll settle her in our arms to the point of drowsiness or sleep and put her in the cot. She immediately wakes and cries, but if we leave the room she's asleep in under 2 minutes. I still feel horrible about it though.
Every evening is stressful. I dread 5-8pm honestly.
What time is her last nap? DS is 4.5 months and has his last nap at about 4.30/5pm, waking about 5.30pm then we start bedtime with his big brother about 6.30. He's usually in bed asleep by 7 (I only bath a couple of times a week) so don't be afraid of the late nap - in my experience it just makes bedtime a more pleasant event all round!
Thanks everyone. It seems the majority do have a bath as a key part of bedtime. Maybe the key for us is to improve daytime naps, so she is less overtired, so we can then actually have a routine. No idea how to improve naps though.
Dachshund- what you describe is exactly my experience. My dd will fall asleep in my arms or on the boob, but she wakes up howling on being put in her crib. I've never left her though, so no idea if she would settle after a few mins on her own, like you describe. Maybe worth finding out I suppose!
Call me - I do try and squeeze in a late nap so she's not overtired at bedtime. She only sleeps for half an hour so it's her 4th nap of the day. Usually we go for a pram walk sometime around 4.30 / 5 .
I discovered it when I went to the loo quickly after shushing and patting and soothing - all whilst she cried her heart out. When I came back, she was out for the count.
She cries pretty much before she goes to sleep at any time, so naps too. I think she just hates sleeping!
Also pretty sure it's currently being exacerbated by 4 month sleep regression as the daytime naps have all but disappeared so she's exhausted poor love
At 4m we went up for a bath at 7pm then I would feed DD2 to sleep on our bed and stay up there with her, probably lying down with her so she stayed asleep.
When DD1 was 4m she would scream for hours and we would end up going for a drive at midnight
Not sure either of those will make it into a baby book!
Our DD is 16 weeks and our routine is smaller feed at 3pm ish and then ensure she wakes from her last nap if day by 5pm.
Upstairs at about 6.15 for a bath, she kicks about without a nappy whilst bath running , then into bath mwhich she absolutely adores, but she screams the place down the minute you get her out - you'd think we were trying to chop her leg off!
In to pjs, then zip into sleeping bag and feed. After feeding cuddle to sleep with a dummy and then pop down in cot.
She usually falls asleep fairly quickly and then we dream feed about 10.30pm
we dont bath every night and she has been in same routine since 3/4 months (now 8 months)
>before 6pm I would change her into pyjamas and get her in her sleep bag.
>6pm milk feed in bedroom with low light setting.
>read a book - usually touchy feely as at 4 months she started to grab and feel it. >cuddle her and start singing a song, halfway through the song placed her in her mosis/cot.
>finished the song, kissed her goodnight and left
>(after 6 months she would have her comforter toy with her too)
She would instant sleep and not a peep. As she got older sometimes she gives a little cry but stops as soon as i left the room. We don't use dummys for bedtime.
other factors that probably help with such an easy bedtime is probably that she has all her daytime naps without any fuss and gets enough sleep during the day so she isn't overtired - at 4 months she was on 4 naps lasting between 40mins-2hours
Hope this helps, took me a while to get a solid routine that worked for us!
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