Help, we are doing the routine, but its not working!!(15 Posts)
We just cant seem to settle DS, whos just over 3 months. We have been super consistent for 3 weeks with a bed time routine, and sometimes, about one night in three maybe less, it works well and he settles. The rest of the time, he either goes to sleep only to wake again 20 mins later, or cant get to sleep. There has not been ANY noticeable improvement with the routine TBH.
It goes feed, bathtime, rock and cuddle a while, then down into cot, with a dummy if he'll take it. The lights are low, the door is shut, we play a bit wave sounds as white noise. We both do the same thing. If he fusses we put a hand on him, or pat on the back, but if he screams, which is the usual response we pick him up, calm him, put him back down. Then he screams, repeat. Eventually he doesnt scream and takes a dummy and we sit with him till he falls asleep, but the whole process takes 2-3 hours plus, is immensily stressful for all of us, DP and I take turns to try and avoid getting too stressed. We eat/look after our eldest in relays...
Getting him down for naps no particular problem.
Daytime is as follows (roughly)
7am feed then play/get dressed etc
8.30am nap (90mins)
10am feed then play or babygroup
11-1.30pm nap (2-3 hrs)
1.30pm feed then play
3pm nap (1hr)
4.30pm feed then quiet play
5.30pm feed again then bath & bed around 6.15pm
Then wailing/crying!!! For hours
If he's still crying around 9pm i feed him again
If not he wakes around 10pm, 2am and sometimes 4.30am for feeds (and goes back down again without difficulty)
It's pretty young to try a routine. I think babies are either good sleepers or not so good or somewhere in the middle and it's not something you can control that easily. I would just try again at 5-6 months. Yes there are babies that 'sleep through' at 3 months but I think these are just babies that just sleep well anyway. I think where you can start to influence it / improve it is 5-6 months but that is just My experience of a medium good sleeper.
At this age my DS didn't fall asleep for the night till 9pm, so I worked his routine back from that time. Eventually around 6mo he started to go to bed around 7pm. It sounds like it might be easier to go with the flow a bit rather than stick to a rigid early bedtime routine?
I think it's overly optimistic hoping for a set routine with a three month baby. Our evenings were always like this and so were lots of my friends. We tried everything with our first and spent ages messing about. I think actually spending time like this trying to get them to settle is pointless and makes things worse.
With our second we didn't do much to get him to settle. We made sure he'd had plenty of milk and he was comfortable and then put him down.
He just used to go off to sleep, without us noticing. I think it was easier as we'd be seeing to our toddler and we hadn't got the time to mess on with the baby.
Try feeding frequently in the evenings to see if he's hungry. I don't know if you're BF but lots of babies like to feed in the evenings.
Just do what I did, keep going for another three and a half years. Then they might get the hang of it!
I think at this age they either want a routine or not. Dc1 had a routine from 10 days, dc2 took closer to a year. Nothing different just different kds.
Bedtime sounds a bit early for that age. I'm sure mine cat napped in the evening and didn't go properly to bed until a few hours later. Why not try that rather than stressing all of you out with an unrealistic early bedtime
If my lg wails like that at bedtime I've finally worked out it's because she's hungry, maybe just give him another feed to save the upset?
Feed him to sleep. That's what I always did. Then put in the cot. Repeat until they actually stay asleep. Your baby is still very young for such an early bed time though.
Will he feed more if you offer? Mine cluster fed pretty much non stop from 5/6pm until 11pm! I just accepted it was a short phase, hunkered down on the sofa and went upstairs about 9 - did another couple of hours feeding then put her in the Moses basket and pretty much passed out. It was hard work and tiring - but it wasn't stressful or upsetting as i was just adapting to the circumstances.
My DS accepted a routine at 9 months and my DD at 11. I'm pretty easy going in that respect and both were breastfed. They were both very hungry babies and fed very frequently through the night until that point. They also both cluster fed through the evening so it was pointless trying to get them to sleep at 7/9 for example. I'm now sat here knowing they will both sleep through and DD isn't 1 yet. It falls into place don't worry.
That sounds really early for bed. My DS is four months and goes to bed with us at about 10 - 10:30 after a top up feed. We don't bother with a bedtime routine, other than getting dressed for bed/nappy changed. He goes nuts if we try to put him down before he's tired enough.
Why not just have another nap after teatime? That's what we do - he has a bottle then a sleep, then when he wakes up we play for a bit, top him up and put him in the cot. I always try to put him in the cot when he's awake but happy and yawning, with a dummy. I play with him a little bit when he's lying in the cot too so that he's in a good mood. Then I climb into bed next to him and stroke his wee face if he needs it. He doesn't like being in the dark straight away (I think because he can't see us) so I leave the hall light on for a little while and just read for about twenty mins.
He won't sleep unless we're in the room so going to bed together works quite well.
My DD1 would go to sleep at 9pm and DC2 at 11pm. Both cluster fed and were fussy in the evenings until they were 4-5 months old.
Try feeding more, cuddling more and putting to bed later? If you can encourage good natural rhythms then the timings can be tweaked later.
Can you make that 3pm nap a bit later. He's going down for an hour only 90 mins after the long lunch sleep, then he's awake for 3 hours - overtired at that point?
Otherwise daytime looks brilliant and if he's self settling for naps I don't think it will be long before evenings sort themselves out. Evening fussiness is so common at this age
I did the same with my first spent hours in a dark room trying to get her to settle as I thought she should be in bed by 7 (so Gina ford told me). Actually it was a lot less stressful to stay up later and not spend hours in a dark room. sounda like that 20 min cat nap is resetting him then you have to wait 2-3 hours to get through the cycle again
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