bedtime routines(16 Posts)
ds is now 6 weeks old and i'm starting to think about how better to settle him down for sleep (it's the only time i struggle to calm him). until a few days ago we kept him downstairs with us 'til we wanted to go to bed, but by the time he was asleep we'd usually be exhausted! so have started taking him up earlier, but often still spend the next 30 mins - 2 hrs getting him off to sleep.
have read about bath-feed-bed routine and tried it on saturday. the whole vest off, drying, vest on, sleepsuit on thing meant he wasn't very calm though! should i just persevere in the hope that he will find comfort in the routine at some point...?
Yes - just keep trying - I htink ds was about 8 or 9 weeks old before we did the routine EVERY night. But we still had to spend a long time getting him settled down to sleep. But he got it soon enough.
I think its better to get into some sort of routine earlier rather than later, for you as well as the baby. I could spend hours in the bedroom settling our baby, but the time taken gets less and less and eventually you can have your evenings back. My DD gets stressed out being dressed so I dress her then give her a breastfeed then a bottle top up and she is then nearly half a sleep.
I usually start the bedtime routine at 5.00 with a half feed or one breast. Then take my DS clothes off and let him kick around in the nude for 20 mins. (they absolutely love this but make sure its on something wipey clean!) then a bath and then the remainder feed or other breast. Usually tiring by the time the bath is over and he's getting dressed but the bottle settles him. I've been doing this for about 17 weeks out of the 18 of my DS's life so far and he settles really easily at 7.00. (within 10 mins)they like the routine cause there's no surprises.
6 weeks is still so young and when left to their own devices they usually sort out their own routines around 12 weeks, I think at this stage as long as they are aware of the time of day then that is a good thing. So like you said changing them into night wear and and also giving them their last feed upstairs in a dark room with curtains drawn, ( i would have the light and play her lullaby projector which projected a soft light) or even reading a book all the time talking with a soft, relaing voice and lots of kisses. After the feed, placing them in the cot, few loving touches, kiss and leave. I also let my dd fall asleep to music and find now at 2 years it quickly settles her. She listens to her lullaby projector, jazz or classic fm.
i did a routine from day 1 i find it much easier to settle them and my dd and ds slept through by 8 weeks i also used baby massage this really relaxes them and makes them tired.
I swear by a bedtime routine. My dd is now 16 weeks and I have been doing the exact same routine every night without fail since about 6 weeks. Before then I was battling to get her to settle.
BEDTIME ROUTINE: Go through for bath at between 5:45 and 6:15. Nice quite bath. Sing some little songs (Barry Manilow's Copacabana is the current favourite - don't ask me why!) DD beams when I start on that one! Sometimes she moans a bit when getting dressed as I think she hates having her arms pulled about when she is tired. I then go through to her bedroom, turn the light really low. I don't look at her or talk to her while she is having her bottle. When she is finished, I burp her and just walk about with her for literally a minute, give her a kiss, say night, night and put her down. I don't leave any light on - she seems to associate the dark with her sleep time now. Fingers crossed she has been going down without a murmur since about 8 weeks.
Give it a go. Good luck
I started on bedtime routine with ds at about 8 wks and now have no problems with him going to bed and havent done i dont think [or ifthere was it mus have only been short period] After bath i used to do a baby massage for about 10mins in hir room with lights dim etc so maybe try that.
although what i would say is expect occasions where routine doesnt work i have just remembered a couple of times using pick up put down.
Have followed "Easy" routine since day one, but have had a bed time routine since 4 weeks.
And it hasn't actually changed during that 5pm to 7pm time since (ds is now 7.5 mth!)
5pm - walk in pram (after food about 4.30)
6pm - bath
6.15 - nappy free time with massage, talcing etc
6.30 - sleepsuit on, bottle
7pm - story then bed
even when ds was a couple of weeks old i would sit in nursery and read to him, anything will do. I think I remember reading New Scientist at one point!
big tip - introduce a nursery rhyme/ song and sing the same one EVERY time you do massage/ cuddles at bed time. Even now ds smiles and stops crying when i start singing "tommy thumb", at any time of the day
thanks for all your tips. the one thing i don't get is: how do you make sure the routine happens at the same time every day? or does it not matter too much what time it happens, as long as the pattern - i.e. the routine itself - doesn't change? i have no idea from one day to the next what time ds's last feed of the day (before he goes down) will be due. e.g. last night it was 6:30, but other nights it has been 6:00 or 7:30. or should i 'force' a feed at the same time every night, even if he's not due one?
How long is she going between feeds on average? I presume you are breastfeeding?
he feeds more or less every 3 hours - usually get one longer stretch (maybe 4 hours) at night
Helps to get going at the same time each day. Even if not all feeds and naps are at the same time each day, I tried to stretch dd out a bit if she wasn't screaming for food, to bring her feed to more or less the same time. Taking her for a short walk seemed to keep her quiet for a little bit. Try and do your bath, bedtime feed at the same time each day. I would wake her up if she is sleeping past say 5:30. If your start time and bedtime are more or less the same each day, what happens inbetween might start falling into place. I'm a routine type of girl, you may find this is not for you.
jambot i am going to try that. what are your times? start at 7 finish at 7?
Yes, pretty much. I start bathtime just after 6. By the time she goes down it's about 6:45.
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