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When did you start a solid bedtime routine?

(8 Posts)
SheWillBeLoved Mon 12-Oct-09 21:11:37

DD is 11 weeks on Wednesday. She pretty much sleeps when she wants, no real routine at all. She will usually have her 'last' feed of the day anywhere from 8-10pm, I'll turn the tv off and dim the room, and she will then sleep in her crib downstairs until I take her up to bed and put her into her cot.

I want to start gently brining in some sort of routine. I know they aren't necessary, I know that she is still only very little - but I'm alone with her after splitting with her dad when she was 2 weeks, and I really need to start having some time off in the evening before I crack up blush

How and when did everyone start a bedtime routine? And how did you stick to it? The times which she feeds change daily, making it hard to do bath, feed, cuddle, bed at a certain time each night. I see people say "At 7 we do blah blah blah then bed", and I'm baffled as to how they do it at that time each night without waking the baby up!

For example, she is asleep now and has been since just after 4pm today. So having a routine which gets her off to bed for 7pm would fail on a day like today.

Do I just go with it for now? I don't really mind doing that as I know she's still so young, but I would prefer to have some sort of predictability in the evening.

BigusBumus Mon 12-Oct-09 21:25:58

I started both of mone at 5 or 6 weeks.

The way you manage to get a baby into a routine is by starting in the morning at the same time each day. So waking the baby at 7am or 8 or whatever. That way everything quickly falls into place at about the same time each day and so finishing with bath at 6 and bed at 7ish.

Borrow or buy a copy of The Contented Little Baby Book. Have a read, just to get the idea of how a routine should look, roughly. You don't have to do it to the letter, adjust to see what would fit in with your life the best. But its a good starting point to get a few ideas.

Good luck! Every mother needs some "me time" in the evenings, some time to be able to say "ahhhh, peace at last".

SheWillBeLoved Mon 12-Oct-09 21:56:54

How do I do that though, when no night is ever the same blush As she has slept so long tonight, she will probably feed at around 11ish (guessing at when she will wake), we'll go to bed, she will most likely sleep until 4-5am, we'll go back to bed... so do I then wake her at 7-8am even if she isn't ready to wake up just to get the routine ball rolling?

What if like today, she decides to completely skip a feed and sleep through her would be bed time? Do I wake her?

How do I handle being out past say 6pm with her, when she is supposed to be having her bath etc at that time? Argh blush never thought it'd be so confusing grin

yousaidit Mon 12-Oct-09 22:01:50

got both dcs in a bedtime at 2 weeks blush

dh at work through bedtime so i needed to know while he was on pat. leave that i could cope with dcs. upstairs at half six, just oplaying, teeth brushing, running roulnd with no clothes (not me, tyhe dcs!) then bath, jim jams, milk in their bedrooms then bed, lights are dimmed for when they are out of bath, and if the wake for feeds in nighht they are fed in their room with v dimmed nightlights and no talking, just milk, burp, back in cot. and i always woke tyhem to get this routine in place so they get used to it.

what are you thinking you will be up to past her bedtime?

nowwearefour Mon 12-Oct-09 22:05:39

6 weeks with both of mine. and started to try to get asleep alone during the day at athat time to ease the evening transition

RachieW Mon 12-Oct-09 22:09:30

We didn't start a proper bedtime routine until ds was about 6 months which consists of bath, milk, bed. I think from about 4-5months ish we'd try to put him upstairs in bed by 8pm but he would still be waking for feeds in the night.

Personally I found the idea of getting a routine sorted any earlier too stressful and would just let him sleep when he wanted. I also wanted to have the freedom to be out past 6pm and not be rushing back for bedtime. If you find the routine thing too much but want some well deserved free time is it possible to put your dd in the bedroom while she sleeps in the evening with a monitor then at least you feel like you have a break. Also if you can take advantage of going back to bed in the morning. When my ds was that young we'd have been up feeding in the night but then both sleep in until about 10am. There is nothing wrong with that and once it goes you really miss it.

It sounds like you are doing a great job in difficult circumstances. Don't feel any pressure to get a routine together, for me it just kind of happened later on. I know by week 11 I was feeling very in need of me time too Do you have family and friends that can help you by giving you a break in the evenings?

olivo Tue 13-Oct-09 09:09:58

I know how you feel SHewillbeloved! my dd is nearly 8wks and i am wanting to sort a but of a routine as i currenty get no time out. I am going to have to sort it round my 3yos bedtime routine but currently just let DD2 sleep, feed etc when she wants.

when i am feeling a bit less tired, i am going to try a bedtime routine and then see what happens duiring the day - my plani isto get dd1 to bed at 7.15ish, then bath, feed, cuddle and put down Dd2,but i know it wont go according to plan!

good luck, and i hope you get a little bit of down time.

abra1d Tue 13-Oct-09 09:11:24

I think it's good to start at about this age. It may take weeks before you really feel that you're getting anywhere but it does really help them sleep. If they sleep the whole family feels better.

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