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How to establish baby's bedtime?

(12 Posts)
Pagetta Wed 20-Jul-16 18:08:54

How do you start to establish 'bedtime' when feeding on demand and it's still really varied?! At the minute we just have baby downstairs with us, move him up when we go to bed and feed as he demands it. But as a result after 4 weeks he's not even beginning to separate day and night so we often get a wide awake baby after a feed in middle of night for 2 hours! He's 4 weeks so i know too early for much 'routine' but establishing some sort of bedtime might help! (He's 4 weeks)

I thought that I could try implementing that the first feed after 7 signals bedtime so take him upstairs and feed in bedroom in dark / put pajamas on and put him.down upstairs.
But 7-8pm is 3 yr olds bedtime routine (bath story bed) then I have dinner so I'm not sure how to work that logistically!

Or do I wake baby do bath feed bed at 6ish?

I'm not after strict routine yet just some recognition of day/night lol. If sleepy he goes down SO well after a feed at night but if he wakes up its 2 hrs of watching him gurn and gurgle - I've tried leaving him in crib but he gets bored/lonely and cries.

Where to start?!

GeoffreysGoat Wed 20-Jul-16 19:07:56

Here it was more like 4-5 months than 4 weeks!

I started by dunking the baby at the same time as my 3yo. Baby in a bath seat support thing, teach toddler to pour water with a toy teapot on the baby's legs and tummy. Then story in bed for Big and back downstairs for Small who now feeds and watches ITNG then goes up to his own cot.

They're 3.8 and 10m now. It does get easier x

DowntonDiva Wed 20-Jul-16 19:19:36

At 6 weeks we started a bedtime routine mainly because I was feeling a bit at a loss in the evenings.

6pm feed
6.30pm bath, moisturiser, pyjamas
Taken into bedroom top up feed

Put into bed swaddled with Ewan the Sheep and lavender room spray. Read story, say goodnight, lights off, leave the room monitor on.

Pick up put down until baby settles to sleep. Sometimes this took till 9pm, others 7pm. If baby wakes to feed, feed in dark, swaddle back in bed. Don't talk just long shush.

I felt like a proper plum reading to a 6 week old baby but stuck with it. Now 16 weeks after bath DD will cry if not put in bed right away. When we travel Ewan the sheep and lavender spray comes with us and we believe she recognised the sleep queues. Who knows, but having a routine was mentally good for me.

Maybebabybee Wed 20-Jul-16 19:27:08

No chance at 4 weeks IMO. No harm in having a little bedtime routine but don't be put out if it doesn't yield results yet.

The trick to establishing difference between day and night is to make daytime naps v different to night sleep - so noise, light etc, whereas quiet and dark for night sleep. Also night feeds v quiet, no talking, playing or eye contact, and only change nappy if baby has done a poo or is uncomfortable. This worked well for my DS.

IME they sort of find their own bedtime - DS decided at about 11 weeks his was 6pm. Before that it was as and when!

GeoffreysGoat Wed 20-Jul-16 19:35:08

Downton please be aware that there is a massive growth spurt at 4 months and mist babies sleep goes to absolute shit. It's nothing you'll have done, and it will settle later x

DowntonDiva Wed 20-Jul-16 19:47:34

Thanks Geoffreys.... I nervously await it!! confused
Right when I'm heading back to work!!

DP and I are pep talking ourselves in advance for the return to pick up put down salsa and trying to maintain our sense of humour through it .

Pagetta Wed 20-Jul-16 20:13:02

Good tip keeping night feeds quiet - seems obvious now you say it but didn't occur to me doh! My DH has been away last 2 weeks so been putting TV on during night feeds - that's def a starting point in getting awake time in the day.

Will hold off on bedtime routine for a few weeks then but just want to start introducing a few 'sleep cues'!

3 yo is great sleeper now but can't remember when we started all his routines for the life of me!

Nottalotta Wed 20-Jul-16 21:21:27

Ds started a bedtime routine at about 5 months. He was downstairs with us until then, and I spent the first few weeks of his bedtime, staying upstairs with him. I'm sure SIDS guidelines are to keep them in the same room until 6 months.

He's never been the best sleeper but bedtime quickly became very reliable. Going to pot slightly now though at 1, with feeding to sleep no longer doing the trick.

GiraffesAndButterflies Wed 20-Jul-16 21:41:58

Oh boy is this not what you want to hear, but at 5 months we are only just getting in to a good ish routine. Bath & bed for the 3yo at 7ish, then usually a bit more play for DS with me watching like a hawk for his sleepy cues. Then I take him up to bed and every feed from then on is in near-darkness and quiet. The first settle he often needs a bit of rocking and is a bit teary, any wakings after that though I aim to just feed and he falls asleep feeding. DH cooks tea while I'm doing the first settle.

Obviously all this is hard to maintain when he's teething or a noise wakes him or something else happens, but it's achievable most days.

GiraffesAndButterflies Wed 20-Jul-16 21:43:39

I haven't found my memories of the first time to be that helpful, it's totally different doing it all with my 3yp DD in tow! grin

Coconut0il Wed 20-Jul-16 22:36:25

DS2 naturally moved his bedtime earlier without any input from us. He just stopped settling downstairs from about 3 months. Before this we just followed his lead and let him sleep whenever and wherever he wanted .

GeoffreysGoat Thu 21-Jul-16 08:10:36

Yeah, my 3yo is a totally different person to my 10mo, comparing them just makes me frustrated

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