Starting a routine(17 Posts)
Another question for you all if you don't mind !
I want to put my ds into the GF routine/or a laxer version of it and am looking for some tips on how to start. He's 10wks today (oh how quickly childbirth is disappearing ) and on about 6 feeds a day, sleeps from around 9pm to 5.30am but will not settle back again ! How do i go about starting him off ???? Do i just give him the top-up feed and try to get him to settle for the morning nap or should i try to get the 7pm sleep sorted and go from there ? He seems to get tired in the early evening but will only settle in his bouncy chair and not in his cot !
I would start by trying to get him to feed at the times suggested in the books, as I've found (did it with ds2 and dd) that the sleep times usually follow on from that. Is he being breastfed or bottlefed?
Definitely stick to the feed times, but don't get into too much of a panic about daytime naps - they're a little harder to click into place. Sounds like your ds could start sleeping through pretty soon, maybe within a week?
Although I would def get the book if I were you, the basic principles are
- get baby up at 7am no matter what (kind of resets body clock)
- put baby back to bed 2 hours from when he woke up
- lunchtime nap of about 2 hours (not always though!!)
- late afternoon shorter nap (about 4pm ish, but not after 5pm)
- bed at 7pm
- wake up sprog at 10pm for last feed of the day (a bottle feed is fastest, cos they're so sleepy at this time - I expressed at 9pm)
- get loads of unbroken sleep - hurrah!
My huge b/f greedy 99th centile ds slept through at 10 weeks so if he can there's hope for most!
I'm a GF agnostic (don't love her, don't hate her). If you do want to get into her routine, then as the others say, start by gradually moving your existing feed times to her suggested ones and take it from there. I had a very lax GF routine going at this age which ran from 9am to 9pm, so you don't necessarily need to change his sleep time.
However you probably don't need GF since he's already almost sleeping through. Why don't you try the things she suggests for early wakers generally - no eye contact, low lights etc.; gradually cutting down on the amount of milk offered; black out curtains and perhaps making his last feed before bed later (depending on what time you give it to him now.)
it is interesting that you all say start with the feed times. My ds would not go to sleep during the day, and so I used GF to work out when he should be sleeping and followed on from there. He never, ever fitted her feeding schedule. he didn't go onto a 3 hour feed until 12 weeks, and then it had to be every 3 hours, not, as in the gf book, sometime 4 hours (she goes 10-2 and then 2-6) I found it very helpful to keep approximately to the nap times, and the feeds then found a rhythm, but it wasn't gf's! Just to add my ds slept very well through the night very early, which could be why he wanted lots of feeds during the day. He also never ever slept for 2 hours midday, the best he does is 1 hour. Personally I think the best things from GF are how to establish night and day, and then her evening ideas, no sleep after 5pm etc, wake up at 7 and feed straight away, so you always start the day at the same time, awake and full. If you want to get him to sleep longer in the morning, try giving him a top up feed when you go to bed at say 10;30pm? Also, try her dark curtains trick, it helps a lot. I also found that if I took ds into bed after an early morning feed he would go back to sleep until 7 (probably not gf, but it worked )
Like most here so far I would say start with the feeding times if you can ... although I know it can be quite difficult if you have a hungrier baby. I don't think there is much wrong with fitting in the odd top up ... for example my DS (who started gf at 9 weeks) could not go from 2 until 6 ... if he did bathtime was hell. So I used to give him a little extra feed at 5ish just to keep him going ...
My DS was bottle fed by the time I introduced GF ... don't know how he would have got on with it if he was still being b/f.
By the way ... not to put a dampner on it ...but I have NEVER EVER been able to get DS to sleep until 7 am in the morning ... he has always been an early waker GF or not!!! He is 3.5 now BTW!
I had a GF consultation with ds2 and she actually recommended that we take him into bed with us if he woke around 6am in the morning to make sure he slept till 7am rather than try and settle him in his cot. Nearly died of shock! She also suggested top-ups before naps when he was going through a bit of a growth spurt just before he was old enough to start on solids. There are quite a few things she will suggest in consultations that aren't mentioned in the books! As I mentioned in another thread we're having problems with early evenings - I'd do a consultation but they're not cheap!
Thanks for all your suggestions. He is bottlefed and weighs 14lb 3oz and is a very hungry baby. I'm not sure if he will make the 3/4 hours as we have had trouble with hunger screaming before. I am finding that if he doesn't nap he can't really make it more that 2 hours, if he naps he can do 4 hrs before he wakes ! I will give the routines ago and see how we get on. Luckily my dh does the early shift, but it would be nice to have a lie in on the weekends
Hi Yoda, sounds like you're doing really well. My ds sounds pretty similar to yours and exactly the same age....born 11.4.03 My ds also in GF routines. I have tried experimenting and tweaking the routines but, like you, I found that if ds woke at 5.30 am he would not settle back and was ready to start the day, although mummy was definitely not I have found with ds that waking him for the 10/10.30 pm feed definitely pushes him through to 7 am and for the past week I have had to wake him at 7.15 (don't tell Gina!). I wouldn't worry if he doesn't stick rigidly to the nap times GF suggests, the only thing IMO don't like him sleep after 5 pm and then he should settle nicely at 7 pm. Also, try to keep him awake for about 8 hours or thereabouts between 7 am - 7 pm and this should ensure he goes through the night from the late feed.
Best of luck. Keep posting, very interested to hear how other GF babies are getting on
My ds is only nearly 6weeks old, and I'm not following the GF routine, but, just wondered whether anyone else finds that waking them at 10.30 doesn't affect what time they wake for a feed in the night. He has naturally settled into a pattern not dissimilar to GF though. Ds settles at 7ish and wakes at either 2 or 3 for a feed. I have tried waking him at 10.30 and even though he will drink almost a full 6oz, he will still wake at 2 or 3 and then again at 5/6am. How important do you think waking them at 10/10.30 is?
Percy, my ds was like this at around 6 weeks and I got confused and frustrated with it. I just couldn't understand how I could not wake him for 10.30 pm feed and he would sleep till nearer 3 am but if I did feed him he would still wake at around 3/4 am. However, suddenly at around 8.5 weeks he started to sleep through from the late feed until 7 am I would say that at 6 weeks, just go with the flow, if you don't fancy staying up then get yourself an early night and feed him when he wakes, or feed him at 10.30 and see if he gradually starts to go a wee bit longer each night.
I have followed GF routines with both dd and ds but firmly believe (from experience with my 2) that the routines can be adapted a fair bit. My SIL's dd slept through the night....& I mean right through 7 - 7 from 6 weeks!! She followed GF but her dd just wouldn't wake up properly at 10.30 pm so SIL dropped the feed to see what she would do....hey presto has kipped 12 hours per night ever since, not only that but she still has late afternoon nap even now at 14 months.
Yoda, I don't have time to read all the posts on this thread so apologies if I am just repeat others' advice. I read GF when my ds was about 5 weeks old and started implementing some of the advice, namely making sure he went no longer then 4 hours between daytime feeds and instituting a bedtime routine. I couldn't make the feed and nap times work at that stage because he just wouldn't go long enough between daytime feeds (at the time was having 6 bottles a day). So, I gave him a bath at the same time each day, gave him a bottle afterwards (irrespective of when he'd last had a bottle) and put him to bed. We then woke him around 10.30 - 11 pm for a feed, changed him and put him down again. Soon after this, he started going from that 11 pm feed till 6 or 7 am. It could have been coincidence of course, and it may not work for you but that's just my experience. Some time after that (really when he started on solids) his daytime feeds and naps just fell into the GF routine naturally.
Ds is still not quite reading the same sleep chapters as mummy & daddy , as even waking him at 11pm still resulted in a 4am wake-up call ! Gave up last night and put him to bed at 8.30ish and let him sleep through till 5.15am - but will try the evening wake-up tonight. I have to have a night off in between How do you manage to wake him sufficiently so that he is really awake ?
Melly - snap ! ds was also born on 11/04/03 @23.10
Yoda, I just thought I'd mention that the 11pm wakeup never worked with my ds at all. He just added 11pm to his repertoire of habitual wakings .... aargh! I think 8.30 to 5.15 isn't that bad at that age. I would have been thrilled to bits!! At that age, my ds was waking two to three hourly all night (yes, it was a nightmare). I think you're doing really well.
The late night waking didn't work very well for my ds either. Without it he'd go 7.30 - 1/2am ish then 4-5ish, with it he might get to 3 and then perhaps 6, but often still 2 night wakings. I started trying the 11pm waking around 12 weeks I think, and persevered for several weeks until his wakings started becoming even more frequent and I decided it was time for food...
Just another word about the 10.30pm feed...a friend of mine has had terrible trouble dropping it and her baby is now 8 months!
Those first few months of a 10.30pm feed seem to have got him into such a routine that he can't be persuaded to drop it. So every night at 10.30-11pm (like clockwork) she has to listen to him howling for 30 mins .
Maybe if your baby doesn't want to feed at 10.30pm it's worth leaving it rather than forcing them into a habit you want them to drop eventually anyway.
P.s. am so glad to read that you all tweaked and personalized GF's routines. With DD1 I could never make them work properly till she was about 4/5 months and I always thought I was so useless and that everyone else followed them to the letter! Gives me much more confidence to dust off my copy and try to put dd2 (12wks) into some sort of routine, although this time round it'll have to fit round the nursery run so can't have lunchtime nap in darkness in the bedroom...don't quite know how I'll work round dd1's routine.
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