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what age should i start putting baby to sleep early evening?

(32 Posts)
Flumpity Thu 28-Jun-07 19:50:45

hi, my baby (first one) is 5 weeks. at the moment she sleeps and feeds pretty erratically, so we tend to keep her downstairs with us till we go to bed 11pm / midnight ish and i feed her then too.

keep reading in books to start a bedtime routine, putting them upstairs in their cot early evening, but what age should we start that? i feel unready to banish her away upstairs and would miss being able to look at her in the evenings if she was away in a different room, but am i just being selfish and not giving her a routine for my own benefit? she just seems so little still...

some nights she sleeps midnight - 4, then 4.45 - 8am, others she just feeds every hour (nightmare)!

thanks. all the books are conflicting so i hope some real mums can help with their experience instead of a book.

new mum to maia x

purpleturtle Thu 28-Jun-07 19:55:23

My 3 all started to be ready to be put down in the evening at about 12 weeks. I think with the first one we might have put her in the carrycot downstairs during the evenings.

You don't have to do anything a book says if it doesn't sit well with you - you do know that, don't you?

cba Thu 28-Jun-07 20:00:13

oh, your first baby just enjoy the cuddles and feeds. Go with the flow and do wahat is best for you

nickytwotimes Thu 28-Jun-07 20:01:41

i've got 1 and had the same experience as purple - about 12 weeks we started putting him up to bed earlier. before that, it was pointless!!

purpleturtle Thu 28-Jun-07 20:02:23

TBH when dd was 5 weeks old I think I was still at the stage of staring at her thinking how wonderful she was.

After a while (like 3 or 4 months) you get so tired, and they get so demanding, that you are glad of the break you get by putting them in another room.

You'll know when you're ready.

Walnutshell Thu 28-Jun-07 20:05:05

I kept ds downstairs for ages until it dawned on me that maybe he 'should' have some sort of bedtime. (There's really no should about it I now realise). Anyway, once he seemed to be sleeping for a few consistent hours from after dinnertime(ish) to 9pm(ish), we started taking him up around 6.30/7pm. Wasn't really worth it in the early days because he was attached to my boob so often

But honestly, I wouldn't worry about it and totally go with your instincts. We probably did everything 'wrong' and have ended up with a perfectly normal sleeping pattern and a 20-month old who goes down well around 7 and wakes up around 6 - or earlier if he's feeling particularly venomous ho ho. Don't do anything you aren't comfortable with.

bizziebee Thu 28-Jun-07 20:06:00

We just tried one night - as the evenings were getting a bit fraught - think she was about eight weeks old. It worked really well - and now at six months she loves her bath and bed routine. Start getting her ready at about six and she is in bed for seven. (She still wakes up for a massive feed at half ten though). Its great as dh and I get to spend some quality time together (or I just go on mumsnet and he reads the paper!)

Walnutshell Thu 28-Jun-07 20:08:17

Oh, and the erratic feed/sleep thing can last a good while. I think ds consistently slept through the night from just before his first birthday... sorry if you didn't want to hear that but actually it wasn't so bad, the night feeds just gradually reduced. There's really no grand pattern unless you try to enforce one and you don't sound like you want to. Me either. Good luck with the hourly feeds, they do ease off xx

Walnutshell Thu 28-Jun-07 20:09:55

Yeah, I'll second bizzie - not a bad idea to get into a bedtime routine earlyish, but it all happens anyway in the end. Quite lucky if you have more than a couple of hours of evening peace though IMO. Nice with the first one though, I don't know whether it will be such ignorant bliss with any more!

alexw Thu 28-Jun-07 20:10:55

We did 7pm bedtime from day 1 but I know not evryone would want this.

purpleturtle Thu 28-Jun-07 20:12:12

With the 2nd and third, the bedtime routine for your household is already established and somehow they just slot in fairly readily - although the evenings can be nice one-to-one time with the new baby for a few weeks.

Flumpity Thu 28-Jun-07 20:20:54

thanks all. think we'll just enjoy the evening cuddles for a while longer then. not a slave to books (!)was just anxious not to create problems for later on but sounds like we'll be fine. she's so gorgeous even when she's a monster sleep-depriving us!

pops79 Thu 28-Jun-07 20:31:35

I also kept my little one downstairs with us at the very beginning and his sleep habits were very irratic. Then my midwife suggested to me that perhaps it was too noisy and too overwhelming downstairs and that I should try putting him upstairs, quietly in his room for some daytime naps and in the evening between feeds. Almost immediately he slept better and seemed happier. I would give it a go slowly and see if it makes a positive impact on your little one. It worked for me.

Walnutshell Thu 28-Jun-07 21:54:56

Flumpity, do try not to worry about creating problems for later on because it really does all work out. If you are adopting an instinctive, relaxed sort of approach, don't expect "results" within 5 minutes, but you will enjoy (and sometimes get frustrated at!) the gradual development and change within your little one and their changing behaviour.

Sometimes people expect their little ones to fit in with grown up life way too early. Really, do enjoy it. x

purpleturtle Thu 28-Jun-07 22:15:52

Oh yes, Walnutshell, good point.

It may help you to know that we have 3 of the best sleeping babies known to our circle of friends, and this despite our laid back approach to routines! You just reach a point where a routine starts to work for you, but to begin with, as you've found, the idea of a routine seems to work against your instincts.

mamabear2b Thu 28-Jun-07 22:41:43

I had the same worries with my ds and thought I needed to have a routine because of the 'you'll have trouble later' comments but he's my first and I loved my evenings with him so did the same as you.

He's now 14 weeks and and over the past 6 weeks has developed his own bedtime routine with us picking up on the 'getting tired' cues. For the past few weeks he's been going to bed at 9/9.30 and sleeping till about 5 but has now shown signs of being ready at 8 and goes to sleep with no fuss.

Go with what feels right for you (without exhusing yourself!)and I hope you don't think I'm being bossy but the best thing I ever dide was to throw away my baby books when he was 5 weeks old and spent ages trying to read him instead - never looked back!

soapbox Thu 28-Jun-07 22:43:49

With my DCs I think we started putting them to bed in the evening when they were about 5 or 6 months old. HTH

trixymalixy Thu 28-Jun-07 23:02:27

I started putting DS upstairs at about 7.30 when I started feeling exhausted with his constant presence. Up until then he just stayed down in the lounge with us until we went to bed sleeping in his moses basket and it was lovely having him near us, but after a while I really needed more of the evening to myself. I think this was when he was about 8 weeks old and his sleep in the evening definitely improved.

tassis Thu 28-Jun-07 23:05:30

do what works for you

my 2 went to bed at 7pm from pretty much the start (with only a very few exceptions)..they were of course up at least another twice and sometimes 3 times

enjoy these first few precious weeks!

bookthief Thu 28-Jun-07 23:14:05

It depends on you and it depends on your baby. I know that I spent a lot of time that I could have spent relaxing in the early weeks trying to settle ds in a darkened room in the evening. He was having none of it and would only sleep for short periods in the evening - generally on my lap or in his moses basket in the living room if we were there. If I'd just gone along with him then I'd have been much happier! I twigged this about week 8...

I think he started going to bed earlier about 4 months and it's gradually moved back to around 8pm now that he's 7 months. I'm still working on that magic 7pm but he'll get there when he wants to. If I put him to bed when he's not ready he creates merry hell. If I put him to bed when he's sleepy then there's no problem! We have a bedtime routine and I try to make sure that he's ready for bed by 7pm (just in case!).

Having said that, I have a friend who could not have coped with our pattern (and there is a pattern, he seemed to do that naturally). She had her ds in a routine by 12 weeks via controlled crying but that's not for me.

bookthief Thu 28-Jun-07 23:15:18

Oh, and with the obvious exceptions, when he's down for the night that's him so I was happy to get the 1am to 7am from 8 weeks even though the evenings were rather fraught!

plummymummy Thu 28-Jun-07 23:20:44

Sorry don't all jump on me but ime formula fed babies are quicker to get into routines (speak as a mum who breastfed with friends/acquaintances who formula fed).

msappropriate Fri 29-Jun-07 20:22:11

Both my 2 did it themeselves. They both started off feeding and napping till 11ish, then till 9ish then by about 9-12 weeks 7-8ish. We couldn't wake them up at this time except by changing nappies etc. It was nice and relaxing letting them go at their own pace. I met people who spent 7-11 every night trying to get them to sleep.

happyinbluejeans Fri 29-Jun-07 20:25:37

earlier the better worked for me, all three from the day they were born would bath and bed at 7:30, didnt expect much from them but dds slpet thru by 6 weeks and ds from about 10 weeks

tryingtoleave Sun 01-Jul-07 04:40:25

At four months. Until then ds went to bed with us at 10, woke at five for a bf and back to sleep till 9. It was bliss. When that stopped working (overnight - 4 mo change ) we had to establish a new routine with a 7.30 bed time. I think you do what is easiest for you as long as it works.

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