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Getting a baby into a bedtime routine - how did you do it?

(10 Posts)
Jellybabie3 Fri 09-Feb-18 18:57:08

Just curious at this stage as DS is all over the place at 4mo but i am conscious that we should really get him into a bedtime/nap time routine some day.

Atm he comes up to bed somewhere between 6.30-8.30pm depending on his naps thats day. He is bathed, massaged and fed to sleep (yup different issue). Sleeps on me in bed while I watch Tv (yup even at 6.30 hmm) then when he wakes later hes changed, fed and put into side cot. I get this is probably not great but its SIDS safe and he wont sleep downstairs in anything.

So what do you do in the eve? I may be being dim but DS doesnt wake at the same time every day but I am good at getting him go nap every 2 hours ish. So do you wake your baby in the morning to set the scene of the day? Surely bed time is flexible with not knowing how long your LO will nap for through the day? I'm always amazed when people say they get baby to bed at 7pm or whatever as there are 1000 variables in my house anyway

Any pointers from experienced Mummys welcome smile

Dragongirl10 Fri 09-Feb-18 18:58:50

Hi op,

l found the Gina Ford Contented baby book routines fab, my premie DD was sleeping from 7.30pm till 5.30 from 4 and a half months old.

Jellybabie3 Fri 09-Feb-18 19:04:16

Ah ok thanks. I dont expect DS to sleep through that would be the day i was curious how people set the day to build up to a bedtime. I will have a Google of that book. Thanks.

Countingsheeeep Fri 09-Feb-18 19:10:23

I actually think your routine doesn't seem to bad right now. I would go to bed with DD at 4 months as she wouldn't settle downstairs (I had to watch TV on my iPhone as even that was too disturbing for her).

Bedtime for us was always based on last nap and awake time, and would fall between 6 and 7...sometimes later sometimes earlier if it was a really bad nap day.

We let her wake when she was ready.

Now DD is 1 things are a little different, I wake her at the same time everyday, but this is because if I don't wake her at 630 then I can't fit in 2 naps that are 1 hour long and have her in bed at a reasonable time. I won't be doing this for much longer as I think she is ready to drop to 1 nap.

Now that she has 2 very scheduled and predictable naps, bedtime is the same time everyday.

You sound like you are doing great to me. I guess the only thing I would be working on is getting him in the side cot from when he first goes up, and then u less there is a poo I wouldn't be changing the nappy.

Predictable bedtimes will fall into place naturally as will scheduled nap times, you don't need to do anything to encourage it, baby will do it on their own.

AuntTrotwood Fri 09-Feb-18 19:14:52

My 7mo has gradually set his own routine. At 4mo he was waking around 9am and napping every 2-3 hours. We'd always bath sometime between 6-7 and get him into PJs and sleeping bag. Then downstairs with us for a bottle and in his rocking chair while we watched TV. He'd sleep on and off. Then we'd give another bottle when we went to bed around 11. He'd then sleep for roughly 3 hour chunks waking for feeds.

Around 5.5- 6mo it became clear that he was struggling to sleep and getting irritated by being downstairs with us. So we tried giving him the bottle in his room and putting him straight to bed. He sleeps far better like this. Around 50% of nights he sleeps 7-7. Sometimes he'll wake for a feed between 1-5am. Naps are shorter but he still has one in the morning and one in the afternoon.

I'd say go with what works for now but look for signs that his sleeping is getting more mature. In terms of routine, i think all you can do is differentiate between night and day and try to help his circadian rhythm develop.

chequeplease Fri 09-Feb-18 19:15:18

It just naturally happened, as it will do for you. I can't remember when we started with a standard bedtime but I'd say 4 mo is still very young.
I enjoyed reading The Gentle Sleep book. It's very insightful & really helps with understanding normal sleep development (very different to the Gina Ford book previously mentioned- but each to their own)

Madbee Fri 09-Feb-18 19:27:41

I am by no means experienced, but DD is the same age and has been happily going to bed for about a month now - it just sort of happened. I do tend to wake her around 6:30 as I need her to then nap about 8:30 while I see to the horse, which she generally does. She has about an hour/90 mins then. Lunchtime nap is hit and miss, generally she'll go about 12ish for half an hour, then she reliably has a longer nap about 3pm, anything from 1-2 hours. If she's not awake by 5 I wake her up, and she goes to bed between 7 and half past, depending when she woke up from her afternoon nap.

Bath every other day, change into sleepsuit, story or song, feed and put her down in the cot with a dummy and usually lie there next to her until she's asleep or nearly asleep, though I often can actually leave her and she'll go to sleep herself. We also have Ewan going throughout the feed and quiet time. I know you're not meant to leave them in a different room at this point but we do, with a video monitor. She then sleeps about 3 hours while we have dinner and some adult time, then she wakes for a feed when we go to bed around 10. After that all hell breaks loose and she's up every 2 hours to feed and takes flipping ages to settle again each time, so stop paying attention to what we do at this point grin It baffles me that she self-settles so well at bedtime but apparently cannot do it during the night confused

Jellybabie3 Fri 09-Feb-18 21:27:26

Thats great thanks! I will let DS decide then. He currently wakes every hour so I am indecisive whether or not to move to his own room at 6 months. It would be good to not go to bed so early!!

Lelly0503 Fri 09-Feb-18 22:23:59

I was the same as you, except we had ds downstairs with us napping until we went to bed. I noticed that he started to fall asleep at round 8pm so I decided to make that his bedtime. It varies tho depending on when he naps in the day as they aren’t so structured yet. So what I do is in the evening when he starts showing signs of tiredness I start the routine. So the time can vary sometimes he’s ready at half six sometimes it’s nearer to 8. I don’t always incorporate a bottle either it depends when he’s had one. I just keep the actual bedtime routine the same so after bath straight upstairs for pajamas massage, into sleeping bag, quick cuddle then I lay him down awake and shush/white noise until he drops off. I hide down the side of the crib so he doesn’t see me I am
Just there for comfort if his dummy falls out.

tomhazard Fri 09-Feb-18 22:29:19

By about 3 months DD was getting sleepy at the same time- around 6pm - Each evening. Once I noticed this I would pop her in the bath at 5.30, give her a feed after and then she was ready for sleep at 6ish. I'd put her in the cot and have the monitor on. She then started sleeping through not long after this.

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