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To worry that I am doing it all wrong?

19 replies

Moulesfrites · 18/04/2011 17:15

My ds is 12 weeks old. He is ebf and is fairly good sleeper, and will go for a 7 hour stretch then another 3/4 hours after a quick feed, settles back down no problems, but I feel I am failing in him not really having a bedtime routine. He has a bath at about 6, because at that point I have kind of run out of ideas when playing etc and he seems a bit fraught, but then the bath seems to calm him down. But then he does not settle until about 8pm after lot of cluster feeding.

This is fine, but we let him fall asleep downstairs with us, as he seems to be comforted by the noise of the tv and us chatting. When we have tried to put him in his cot, he has screamed, although he goes into it fine when he is in a deep sleep.

I mentioned this to a friend and she says we are taking "the easy option" by doing this and I should be teaching him to self settle, but on the nights I have attempted this it has been stressful and traumatic for ds and us!

Is my friend right? Should I persevere with a stricter routine at bedtimes? I tend to recoil from anything too structured and gf-like although I know it works for some people, but I don't feel it is really compatible with bf, and I am not prepared to do cc etc. Am I, to use one of my most hated phrases, making " a rod for my own back?" or should I just stick with what works for now?

OP posts:

sausagesandmarmelade · 18/04/2011 17:22

Your baby is very young and it sounds as if he is enjoying the contact with you both...I don't think there's anything wrong with letting him sleep downstairs with you until you are both ready for bed.

He's sleeping 7 hours (which is brilliant) and is feeding ok.

I really wouldn't worry about what your friend is saying. Each baby is different.


notthewowy · 18/04/2011 17:22

It's not your friends family, it's yours. We started to impose a routine on our first DC early on. with this one I'd much rather savour parenthood and enjoy her. So bugger what everyone else thinks. Do what feels right to you. All things pass, including clingyness and sleep issues.Why would you want extra stress?


doireallywant3 · 18/04/2011 17:23

sounds like what I did with dd1. i bf on demand & co-slept for about 6 weeks then gave it up. i didn't have a bedtime routine until maybe 5 months and i regret it now. (i do;t regret the co-sleeping as if I hadn;t I would have had no sleep and lost my mind) due with dc2 in 4 weeks and will definitely be strict on routine. as much to keep dd1 in her routine (7-7) as to get the new baby established quickly in a routine (and to save my sanity). at some point, i decied to try the baby whisperer book to get her into a routine. this was a bad idea... it made me feel like the worst parent in the world and upset me so much. lng story short... when the time was right, i made the decision to sort her out with a routine and it took a couple of weeks of very hard work and pain but I'm not very glad I did it and persevered. controlled crying is a horrible thing to do but i would do it again if necessary as it really worked.
I woudl suggest to you that you try and impose a routine of bath and winding down from 6pm with bed at 7pm. not sure what you do in the day but naps should be fairly strictly enforced too. If you do look at GF or baby whisperer books don't let them make you feel as much of a failure as I did!
good luck, it is really worth it.


NinkyNonker · 18/04/2011 17:27

Ah he's only little. His sleep pattern will probably change at around 4 mo anyway.

I really wouldn't worry yet. Dd won't put herself to sleep (8 mo) but if she wakes in the evening before we go up (we co.sleep so she sleeps on our bed then.we join her) 75% of the time she will just nod off again. She taught herself this, we are a no crying household where possible!

We've both agreed that at around a yr old we will start being a little tougher.

Do what feels right for your family.


sausagesandmarmelade · 18/04/2011 17:27

Controlled crying sounds absolutely horrendous...especially for a baby of 12 weeks..but then I haven't read the book.

Babies of that age don't cry for the sake of it...and I think it's cruel to leave them to it.

I couldn't do it.


LaWeasel · 18/04/2011 17:27

He is 12 weeks old. She is being daft. You seem to know his rhythms very well, and I can't see what could possibly be wrong with that.

For what it's worth, your DS is a good sleeper, so was my DD, she fed until she went to sleep until she was getting on a year. It was only when we started waking her up to brush her teeth after her last feed that she started going to bed 'sleepy but awake'. The few times I tried to encourage routine with no regard for where she was at it just led to a lot of unecessary screaming.

Unless your child is a really difficult sleeper, you are struggling and desperate for a solution, I just don't see why you would bother with all the heartache of rigid routines. Certainly not much point in a situation like yours where you aren't having any trouble with putting your child to bed or him sleeping well!


NinkyNonker · 18/04/2011 17:28

Haha, two diametrically opposite suggestions there! Grin


jeckadeck · 18/04/2011 17:29

You're entering a whole world of politics here: I don't think there are necessarily wrong and right answers to this question, its trial and error. I'm having roughly the same dilemma about when to move my 10 week old DD from my bed into her own cot. There are people who will tell you you have to do everything by the book (routine/self settling etc) or you'll be a slave to your kids' whims for the rest of your life and others who say this is unnecessarily strict and you should be guided by your children's cues. Personally I'm somewhere in the middle: I found having a degree of routine has really helped DD with sleep (at 10 weeks she now sleeps pretty consistently from 7 until 7 with three feeds which I'm told is pretty good and this coincided with doing the Baby Whisperer routines) so it worked for me, but I also think one can overdo it. Could you maybe try a half way house approach -- bring the cot (or a moses basket) into the living room and try to settle him in there for a few nights first? I think introducing things slowly and with stealth is a good way to approach these changes rather than a huge shock to the system which will inevitably prompt rebellion.


LaWeasel · 18/04/2011 17:30

but doireally - the DS does have a routine, it's just quite relaxed and he goes to bed at 8 instead of 7. What's the problem with that?


ForeverNamechanging · 18/04/2011 17:31

I did this with my now 6 month old and he is fine he love skin yo skin contact while dozing off. At around 5 months he settled into his own routine of 8.30pm till 6 am

I have 4 other children and have used different techniques on each depending on the baby. I really do believe that along as your happy then go for it.Smile


ForeverNamechanging · 18/04/2011 17:31

Please ignore all above typos . I'm trying to feed said baby while typingGrin


grovel · 18/04/2011 17:32

You are successfully BFing.
Your DS sleeps for 7 hour stretches.
If he was also self-settling at 12 weeks I might have had to flame you for not having started on phonics.
Sounds like you're doing just fine to me.


TobyLerone · 18/04/2011 17:33

If you aren't worrying that you're doing it all wrong, you're probably doing it all wrong Wink


nulliusxinxverbax · 18/04/2011 17:36

What?? Is she serious?
Your child is 12 weeks old and she reckons he should be "teaching himself to settle"
Really, 12 wk old children cant learn anything like this. People should remember that babies have no vocabulary and therefore cannot connect and remember things the way we can, the only things they know are emotions like cold, hot, hungry, alone, they are feelings not really thoughts.

Doing controlled crying would be absolutly detrimental to a baby of this age. Do not do it. All your baby will know is distress, and bieng left that way. Not "self settling". Tell your friend to go buy some child psychology books.


NinkyNonker · 18/04/2011 17:38

Yep, the guilt joys of motherhood!


sausagesandmarmelade · 18/04/2011 17:45

If it ain't broke,don't fix it!


lenak · 18/04/2011 18:00

Do what works best for you.

DD was ff and was an absolute nightmare in the evenings and was waking 3 or 4 times during the night.

At five weeks we couldn't cope anymore and decided we needed to reclaim our evenings, so we started doing bath, bottle bed, with her going into her crib at about 8pm.

From the first night she slept through 8pm - 3am and this gradually got later and later until she was going 8-7 at 12 weeks waking for 30 minutes for a bottle and nappy change then sleeping until around 10am.

We were lucky that she was a good sleeper - putting her down in the evenings wasn't just a case of letting her self-settle though. We would often have to lie on the bed, stroking her face until she dozed off or doing the same with her in her crib, singing and patting her until she fell asleep - on a good night this took about 10-15 minutes, on a bad night it could take up to an hour. The only rule was all settling had to be done upstairs - we'd rarely bring her down because if we did she usually had a terrible night.

She certainly didn't self-settle - at least on the initial put-down until about 12 weeks - so a good few weeks after the routine had started. We were also not massively strict about the times of the routine - the importance was the order in which things are done, not that it is done at exactly the same time each night.

I guess what I am trying to say is there is a difference between self-settling and routine - the one will usually follow after you have been doing a routine for a while. It sounds like you already have a routine - the only benefit to putting him upstairs would be to give you and your DH some adult, non-baby time and possibly encouraging you son to sleep without background noise.

However, at the end of the day, do what you are happy with and tell your friend to butt out.


kirrinIsland · 18/04/2011 18:07

Your evenings sound exactly like mine. DD falls asleep on me about half 8, I put her in her cot about 10 (when I go to bed) and she sleeps through 'til about 4, and then til about 6. I know what she's going to do and when she's going to do it so as far as I'm concerned that is a routine :) Day times, on the other hand.........


spiderlight · 18/04/2011 18:14

It sounds to me like you have a dream baby and a routine that works for you all. The evening cluster feeding is exactly what mine did, and at twelve weeks he needs the comfort of a bit of background noise - they're still tiny bundles of survival instincts at that age and he'll feel safer if he knows he's not been abandoned to be eaten by wolves! The best advice I was given was 'do what works!' - if this works, don't mess with it!

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