Advice on 'relaxed' routine for 3 week old(24 Posts)
My little girl is 3 weeks old and seems to think 9pm-2am is daytime (I know this is normal). My question is about starting a relaxed routine.
At nighttime she stays down with us until we go to bed at around 10.30-11 which is when she is wide awake and stays that way (eyes wide open!) until almost bang on 2am when she conks out. I think we disturb her downstairs. We've tried turning the lights off and having the TV on very quiet but in all honesty it's not ideal!
I was thinking of putting her in her pram in the darker quieter part of the room and closing the shade to see if this helps.
She also LOVES a bath and so far has then 3 times a week, she is always relaxed after the bath. I've been told it's too early to bath her every night at 3 weeks, would all of you agree?! I don't want to dry out her skin or anything.
Anyway any other tips on the above would be great thank you!
Do you have a monitor? I like mine to be in whatever room I am until about 6 months but that didn't work with dc2. Once we'd sorted his reflux & colic
well not sorted but improved & he still didn't settle well in the lounge with us we started putting him upstairs. He slept much better, obviously we got him if he cried etc.
I don't think you can expect even a relaxed routine until 12 weeks, your baby is a total newborn. Just opening curtains to display morning and night with darkness and little amounts of talking at night.
It's just hard at the beginning I am afraid! You will just end up wasting time otherwise...
We started bathing DS everyday st that age. No dry skin at all. It works well for us, he associates the bath with bedtime, even if he's overtired it settles him.
We used to give dd a nightly bath even at 3 weeks sometimes she would fall asleep as we bathed her<aww such lovely memory>
Then feed and in crib next to our bed upstairs with monitor and checking on her until we went to bed.
And absolutely no worries with a little bath it became part of dd little routine and has been ever since.
You are probably going to end up stressed and worked up trying to create any kind of routine yet. I wouldn't use the pram at night because if it becomes a habit then eventually she might get used to it and only want/be able to sleep there. Just have cuddles and lay down in the crib.
Trying to force sleep at that age just doesn't work.
It's hard and you just have to ride it out with a newborn.
Just go with the flow, enjoy her being a newborn because it's gone within weeks.
I don't believe baths cause skin problems, perhaps those with babies who already have sensitive skin and eczema should be more cautious but generally a bath in plain warm water won't cause dry skin.
Oh I'm not stressed about the sleep thing I know it's all part of it! I have just been told to 'help her determine night from day' so was looking for tips on that. But more than happy to just wait until she finds her rhythm naturally.
Congratulations on the birth of your dd.
Don't worry too much about the 2am thing suspect that will be a short-lived phase. It's all about phases with babies, rule number 1!
If you think you are disturbing her in the evening though I think I would try and pop her somewhere nearby but darker.
Mine went in his carry cot in the dining room when we were in the lounge.
And I checked on him often!
Such early days (and congrats!)
Are you breastfeeding? I found my 2 both stayed awake those hours purely to cluster feed, and then would conk out for the rest of the night. It might be like that for another few weeks, but try go with the flow as best you can.
As they get older, you'll probably find her 'bedtime' will get gradually earlier and earlier, until it will settle around 7pm ish .. just keep the lights dim and the noise levels low, but don't assume there is something wrong with her schedule now, sounds perfectly normal.
I have just been told to 'help her determine night from day' so was looking for tips on that.
I am not sure what you are expecting? There need be no notable difference, in terms of baby's routine, between day and night in this newborn stage.
Baby may start "waking up" from about 6-12 weeks, but at this early stage baby is likely to basically sleep all the time, waking only for a feed and quick cuddle then back to sleep.
So over 24 hours a day it might literally just be a case of:
Lie on floor, nappy check and little 10 minute kick in play
Grumble to into swaddle, cuddle/feed
Wake up and repeat, repeat, repeat. So that basically all awake time is taken nostly with feeding. Maybe 20-30 minutes awake, 24 hours a day.
The only notable difference between night and day in that cycle of routine is that the kicking play doesn't happen at wake ups in the night. But that's only 10 mins or so difference in awake time.
In terms of "bedtime routine" (as in what happens before bedtime), if it makes you feel better then it's fine to start fitting that in how. Justpuck any awake time around 7-8pm and do your bath, massage, into bedclothes (or whatever). Then bring baby back downstairs and continue the same wake-feed-cuddle-sleep cycles that have been happening all day.
In actual fact it will make no significant difference to established bedtime if you do this now, in 6 months time or in 9 months. So unless you feel some benefit in doing this, don't worry about it. It'll make no difference either way to your 3 week old.
FATEdestiny, I didn't say I was expecting anything?
This is my first child so I am learning as I go on. Please don't assume I am saying she is a nuisance I haven't said or insinuated that at any point. As I said midwife and HV said I should encourage her to determine night from day, I was trying to work out how to do that.
Sarah Ockwell-Smith's sleep book has a bit on night and day and circadian rhythms.
I've said this on all your other threads but you really are overthinking everything. She's 3 weeks old: feed, change, feed, feed, cuddle, repeat.
I wasn't suggesting that at all hollymonster. I just wasn't sure what you were striving for? what it was you wanted as an outcome?
I didn't know if you meant a routine through the daytime? Or a series of things you do in the evenings before the "bedtime" which will develop when baby is older.
I wasn't being flippant or assuming anything. I dont think you or your post a nusence.
I answered to try to help and used guesswork to try to 'cover all bases' in what you might be asking. That's all I meant by saying I didn't know what you were expecting.
She's 3 weeks old: feed, change, feed, feed, cuddle, repeat.
The day/night thing gets there without any effort on your part. Just roll with it if you can and don't fret about routines at all - they will naturally start to fall into place as your baby gets bigger.
Holly, it's tough as a first time parent to know what to do. I know exactly how you feel! And also you're afraid of getting her into a 'bad' routine, at least that used to worry me a lot in those early days. I settled into it a bit more on my second baby but I was googling frantically with my daughter wondering if I was doing it 'right'.
Re. the day/night thing - I read that it is important to take them out in daytime for a walk to expose her to daylight, and then at night time, keep the lights dim and noises lower. I'm not sure there is more to it than that.
Best of luck, in 3 months time (possibly 3 weeks!), her routine is going to be so completely different so try not to worry too much.
Hey OP, I get what you are asking re the night/day thing. I started each day at 7 with my DS. Whatever had happened before that we always got up, went and opened all the curtains and I put on some music. So that's an idea you could try? At night I just didn't turn the lights up and was very soothing in a quiet kind of way.
Hey OP, just thought I'd say am in the same boat with dd2 5 weeks old, she's starting to settle a bit earlier but still seems wide awake feeding and being fussy between 8/9 and 12/1am.
We just try to keep daytime bright and not minimise noise and nighttime dim and quiet. It was the advice we had when dd1 was newborn from hv & everyone else! I don't think we had much routine with dd1 until she was 12 weeks ish.
Just fresh nappy, onsies and settling into dimly lit room for hours of feeding and cuddles with mummy!
I second the sarah ockwell book tho, was handy insight when dd1 was small & have passed it to both my sisters and they've found it helpful too.
Congrats on your little one!
I introduced routine at 6 weeks for my DS he's now 10 months old. The first 6 weeks he woke every 2-3 hours for a breastfeed when he started feeding less around 5-6 weeks I decided to start a bedtime routine and I'm v glad I did.
So daytime I would always get out at least once even if just for a walk around my block. I'd have all the blinds open etc so he understood when it was daytime. When he woke in the night I limited talking to him and just cuddled and rocked on the rocking chair with him or put some baby Mozart on and just stroked his face etc. Or gave a baby massage.,, all relaxing acitivitirs rather than playing etc.
Our routine was and is: bath, baby massage and nursery rhyme singing, pjs and sleeping bag, a few books, milk feed and then bedtime. It's been the same ever since and only with expected exceptions (teething/illness) he sleeps very well
Good luck and enjoy your time it's the best thing in the world and goes so quickly x x
P.s unless DD has dry skin daily baths should be fine. Keep an eye on her skin and use only products for babies in the bath etc. I couldn't reccommend 'child farm' products enough DS had dry skin but that it cleared up very quickly.
Actually there are things you can do to help them distinguish night from day, even at that age. As a general rule I always made sure that daytimes were bright, noisy, busy with daytime feeds in a bright room. Nights were quiet, dark, hushed voices etc. That's about all there is to it!
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