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What time do you put a newborn to bed? Very confused/frazzled new mum here!

(21 Posts)
singingpinkmonkey Mon 30-Jan-17 11:26:12


Just wanted to canvass the opinion of fellow MN members.
I'm very confused as have read a lot of books/forums/internet articles about newborn sleep but everything seems to contradict each other.
I have a beautiful almost 3 week old son and I'm trying to find the best way of getting a sleep routine in place or trying to figure out if a routine at this age is pointless and unreasonable.
Some articles I have read suggest a loose routine can be started now with bath, feed, cuddle and put in crib but if this is what you do then what time in the evening is best??

Or if you don't believe in routines for newborn then what age is the best time to try and set a routine? I'm so confused!

Would love to hear what other mums think. Apologies if this has been done to death but I just wanted to ask!


Sandsnake Mon 30-Jan-17 11:34:22

Newborn bedtimes are set by the baby. Some will naturally settle at 7 but for most it's much later. DS went to sleep usually around midnight as a newborn, gradually getting earlier until we hit about 1930 at around four months. A routine around the time they naturally go to sleep is good though, although probably unnecessary st that age. Basically - go with the flow (and congrats on the baby!flowers)

trebleclef101 Mon 30-Jan-17 11:37:28

Firstly congratulations flowers

I spent weeks stressing that my DD didn't have a bedtime routine and didn't go to sleep when she was 'supposed' to. A routine and regular bed time for us just sort of naturally emerged when I went back to work at 8 months.

I now wish I'd spent less time worrying about what I / she was meant to do and just gone with the flow!

We are very anti - sleep training though which might not suit everyone.

Personally I think that whether or not you set a routine / sleep train etc babies will still just sleep whenever the hell they want! Especially at 3 weeks !

If you want to a routine I say go for it, but your DS might not pay any attention to it grin

Sagggyoldclothcatpuss Mon 30-Jan-17 11:49:20

Don't worry about it. At three weeks there's no need for a routine. Your baby just needs to sleep when he wants and spend his days near you. He's going to have days when he cluster feeds and days when he sleeps for hours.
Just enjoy him, be close to him and go with what he wants to do. Eventually as you bond and get in tune with his habits, you'll get an idea of how to proceed. But honestly, at three weeks, you're just going to stress yourself and him out by trying to make him do anything. Relaxing and going with the flow will make you both happier. smile

Cottagecosy Mon 30-Jan-17 12:16:26

Similar position here OP- we have an almost 4 wk old dd. She sleeps/ eats downstairs until we go to bed and then I do a final change and feed in bed with low lights before attempting to settle her in her crib. I figured the low lights/ bedroom/ low voices will become sleep cues we can use down the line but for now she just goes upstairs when we do and sleeps when she wants!

lisaneedsarest Mon 30-Jan-17 12:20:02

I started implementing a bedtime routine at about 12 weeks - as that felt right for us. It involved Bath, feed, story & sleep. Usually between 7-8. At 3 weeks I was feeding on demand and all 3 of mine cluster fed from about 7-11 in the evening so they sat with me on the sofa until I went to bed!
Don't stress, do what feels right for you.

fruityb Mon 30-Jan-17 12:31:20

Started a routine at four months here. We had always changed him into pyjamas (or a new sleep suit at that age) and lowered lights at night time to help him get used to day and night but until he went in his own room he would sleep downstairs and come to bed with us. When we got him a grobag we would put that on about an hour after his last feed so around eight ish and he'd nod off on his own. We just took him up to bed with us when he was in our room. Now he's in his own room we follow the same but put him to bed at about half eight now. He hasn't had a late night feed since he was about eight weeks old. Our routine is still pretty loose and I'm not a big fan of them anyway as i believe you need to allow for any changes - we go for tea with family quite a lot so are out later in which case the pyjamas and grobag come with us.

At three weeks just snuggle and go with it. We usually have DS on one of our knees in the evening and he falls asleep with his dummy and his comforter. We don't rock him or anything he just nods off. We're happy with that at the mo as it gives OH time with him at night. When I'm back at work we'll look to be more structured but I really wouldn't worry at three weeks. And as for reading stuff I'd say stop- I couldn't work out my arse from my elbow when looking at all that!

Batteriesallgone Mon 30-Jan-17 12:35:16

I don't believe in newborn routines.

I think you can start thinking about a rough routine around 1 year and try and have it sorted by 2 year.

The infant sleep information source is a good website. Summarises the sleep studies. Basically says that trying to impose routines prior to 2 years is a bit pointless (but obviously following your baby and doing a routine if they want to is a good thing).

Mol1628 Mon 30-Jan-17 12:37:59

I don't believe in newborn routines either. And they don't really have a bed time, they just feed and sleep continuously.

singingpinkmonkey Mon 30-Jan-17 12:44:44

Thank you everyone. I have been stressing myself and probably my poor little baby too thinking that I haven't got anything in place with him. I definitely have a tendency to over research things so no wonder I'm confused. I definitely don't want to let this time pass me because I'm so stressed about what my baby does in comparison to others.

I feel a little better now knowing that not everyone has a routine for their baby this early and that it's ok to have the baby downstairs with them until we go to bed. I was worried that I was doing everything wrong!

MuMuMuuuum Mon 30-Jan-17 12:46:53

Congratulations flowers

If baby is happy then enjoy the cuddles and random snoozy patterns.

I started a "routine" at 6 weeks. Mainly for my own sanity but DD was an extremely overstimulated baby and screamed and screamed all day and night if we kept her in the living room with us. We visited a sleep consultant and used her "routines".

So bath, creams and massage, fresh sleepsuit, milk, story (yes reading to a 6 week old hmm) and then bed by 7pm. During the day stuck to 3 hour EASY routine.

She's now 10 months and we still have the same bed time routine.

Honestly it was a bit of a nonsense in the beginning and was more for the benefit of myself and DH having a structured evening. But each night she settled quicker and then slept through at 10 weeks then consistently from about 14 weeks. Sleep regressions we're a shock to the system but each time we go back to this.

Each baby is different but DD benefited from a quiet, dark environment and structure. I have friends who's babies are far more flexible and relax in a busier environment. Any routines you read or are advised you can use as a guide then tailor to your baby and family.

Enjoy and don't worry.

MuMuMuuuum Mon 30-Jan-17 12:48:07

Cross post!

Your not doing anything wrong OP. Enjoy these lovely moments smile

NextInLine Mon 30-Jan-17 12:52:02

I started a bed time routine from about 2 weeks, and it would be the same every night, bath, massage, feed, bed.
I aimed for 7pm, but it could swing half an hour either way depending on when the baby was tired and due a feed.

There's no right answer as to when to start or routine, or even if to start one at all. I was lucky my kids all settled pretty well into a routine. Do what suits you and your baby best.

thenewaveragebear1983 Mon 30-Jan-17 12:56:00

Not so much 'bedtime' but 7.00 is 'night time' in our house. After 7pm, it's night feeds, only essential nappy changes, no sing songs or tickles etc. It doesn't always work, but it teaches them the difference between night and day and gradually they will go to bed for longer at night than in the day. Apparently!

My ds age 4 still goes to bed, without fuss at 7pm and although he wasn't a great sleeper, that bit seems to have stuck. It also seems to work with baby ds (16 months ).

KenDoddsDadsDog Mon 30-Jan-17 12:57:51

I did feed , bath , bed every night but it wasn't at the same time for about 6 weeks .

cathf Tue 31-Jan-17 13:32:17

I had a routine for all three of mine from the day they came home from hospital. DS1 was three days old, DD1 was about 12 hours old and DS2 was about a day old.
My absolute priority was getting a sleep routine in place and getting the babies to sleep though as early as I could.
I don't believe in baby-led routine, as I think, as the adult, it's up to you to take the lead and get things into the shape YOU want them to be in, not your baby.
I don't know if it's my imagination, but sleep for babies and children seems to have gone completely to pot over the last few years, and it seems to be frowned upon to try and get your baby to sleep through as early as possible.
I am always reading about toddlers and sometimes older children who can't or won't sleep, and I am sure it because of the wishy-washy attitude towards getting them into a routine in the early days.
It now seems to be considered 'normal' for a six-month old to be waking for a feed up to three times a night, and to me that seems ridiculous. Only a few years ago, three months was the age babies were considered to be able to go through the night without feeds.
A lot of the problems I read about on here are caused by baby-led bad habits and a lack of willingness to grasp the mettle and show baby who's boss.
That's my opinion - I await the thunderclaps now.

Afreshstartplease Tue 31-Jan-17 13:36:32

DC4 (15 wks) goes to bed around 830 and has been doing so for about 4 weeks now. At 3 weeks he was going to bed when I did, around 1030

Afreshstartplease Tue 31-Jan-17 13:38:24

Fwiw I think baby will sleep through when they want to!
I have four DC and treated them all the same. DC 1 2 + 4 slept through by 10 weeks
DC3 didn't stop waking in the night til she was over three years old

TeethDrama Tue 31-Jan-17 13:45:50

3 dcs here. We put the babies to bed at around 7 at this age. By that, I mean bath at 6.30pn, feed and cuddles in dimly lit bedroom (ours) then laid to sleep in the Moses basket/bassinet (by my side of the bed). Then we would come up to bed ourselves around 10.30, get ready for bed (dim light) and pick baby up for feed at 11pm then back to Moses/bassinet. Baby would usually wake up at 4 so would feed then, and again at 7am when we and they would wake up to start the day. It worked very well for us. With my first baby, o didn't have a clue what to do with regards to bedtime so we would try & get him to sleep in Moses basket in the lounge(!) and put him to bed when we went to bed, but this did not work well. He was tired - he wanted a quiet, darkened (but not pitch-black) bedroom to sleep in - just like we all do! If he baby didn't settle at 7pmthen I would sit on our bed cuddling & singing quietly. Sometime they just want to be near you, other times they really do want to sleep and will do so far better in a bedroom away from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the house. Can I also recommend a second Moses basket downstairs in the lounge for a safe place to put the baby when you're down there in the day. Congratulations on your baby!

TeethDrama Tue 31-Jan-17 13:50:42

Cathf I agree with you. We did baby-led for our first and he was tired and grumpy, how could he go to sleep in the lounge with all the noise and lights? You have to give baby a chance to go to sleep in a proper bedroom that's quiet and peaceful. If of course you put them to bed at 7 and they are wide awake then by all means get them up and sit & cuddle because they are not ready for sleep. But as the parent, you can help shape their sleep for their own benefit - my 3rd baby was so happy when they were awake because of being properly rested.

AyeAmarok Tue 31-Jan-17 14:00:06

Our routine here is bath, (long) breastfeed, bed.

We start at about 9 or 10 with the bath, and he then goes to bed at between 10pm and 12, depending on how long he feeds or faffs about for.

He sleeps for about 5 hours then (now 9 weeks old).

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