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3 month old bedtime routine. How and what time?
28

DisneyGirl2387 · 02/02/2021 20:54

I'm a first time Mum with a 3 month old DS. I have an amazing husband but we are both totally clueless on how to look after our little one. We are trying our best but are iterally winging it! I came home from hospital on the day the 2nd national lockdown was announced so we are pretty much on our own. We have no other Mummy and Daddy friends.

So my DS is bottle fed (long story). I feed him 6oz. This is normally every 3 to 4 hours. Sometimes 5 hours if he is asleep and sometimes 2 and a half hours if he is crying and I've ran through the usual list. Sometimes he sleeps for long stretches at night and other times he wakes frequently. There is no pattern!

Because of this it is very hard to judge when his last bottle of the day will be and when to 'put him to bed'. When it is his last bottle of the night we all to to bed together. We feed him with the lights dimmed, take him up to our room for stories, put him in his sleeping swaddle(we put our pjs on too) and then rock him to sleep in his next to me crib. We then go to bed. Sometimes this is at 8pm at night other times 11pm and anywhere in-between.When he wakes up after a nap in the early evening me and my DH always have the conversation about is this his bedtime bottle or do we stay up until his next feed and then put him to bed. When he is downstairs with us he sleeps in his moses basket.

Anyway the only other Mum I know of a 3 month old is the lovely lady in the bed opposite me who was induced at the same time. We have kept in touch. She said her DS feeds every 4 hours. Has a bath, last bottle and is in bed at 7.30pm.

So now I'm worried that we should be having more of a 'set bedtime. But how do I do this when his feeds are not the same everyday? I would love to start say a set routine at 7pm but he could have just had a bottle or be due one in 2 ish hours etc.

Will he find his own routine? Do I need to try and force one? I'm not so much bothered about the time me and DH go to bed it is more I want DS to be having a good night sleep rather than going to bed at different times each night. Am I worrying for nothing?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated x

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peapotter · 02/02/2021 20:56

Too young imo. None of mine had routines at that age. And when they did they went to bed later anyway, more continental style. There’s no right or wrong. You’re doing great.

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Ostryga · 02/02/2021 21:00

Honestly? Ignore routines for a good while yet. I just had Dd with me downstairs until I wanted to go to bed, and then would feed/change nappy/put in swaddle etc then.

Babies this little can fit around you! I know it doesn’t seem like it. But even if you spent every evening doing the same thing it probably wouldn't work.

He’s due a 4 month sleep regression. Do read up on it, because I wish so much someone had warned me! So it’s honestly pointless getting a routine sorted now because in all likelihood it’ll go to pot in a few weeks. It doesn’t last forever though, which is the main thing to remember!

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Sls668 · 02/02/2021 21:11

My baby is also 3 months and our only routine is bath at 6ish and pjs on! Generally then she’ll sleep at 7.30-8ish on one of us and I just feed when she wakes up (she’s breastfed), it’s usually about 9.30-10 then I go upto bed with her. Sometimes she wakes up and decides to have a random party or late night for no reason. Sounds very similar to yours, we just go with it, she’s always changing so I don’t worry too much. The only time I tried for a few days to start a ‘proper routine’ we just all ended up stressed so we gave up and are much happier

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Vicky1989x · 02/02/2021 22:10

At 3 months I started introducing a bedtime routine of bath, bottle, bed but not at a set time - like yours her feeds weren’t the same time everyday so I’d just start bath time routine about 45 minutes before her bottle was due (sometimes would be 6pm, sometimes 8pm) just to get her used to knowing when it was ‘bedtime’. As she got older and more predictable I started doing it at a set time everyday so she’s 9 months now and I start bath time at 6:15pm then in bed for 7pm.

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Gerdticker · 02/02/2021 22:14

Hiya! My DD2 is 12.5 weeks, and we’re at a similar stage. Second time round, I’m more chill then with DD1!

It’s definitely too early to get strict about routines - id say, aim for a pattern if you can, but go with flow for a good while yet - so don’t stress. Happy mum,happy baby

7.30 is a really early bedtime at this stage - my DS isn’t properly asleep until 10pm at the earliest still. Sometimes it’s not until mid night.

I’m starting to make her ‘wake up’ time 8am every day. This creates a good solid foundation for our future routine, and is easy to control - I just wake her up, feed and change her, then let her nap again whenever she’s ready.

She’s breastfed so is roughly every 3 hours. In the evenings (after 6/7pm) I feed her as often as she wants, to fill her up before her biggest sleep! I try not to let her nap in the 2 hours before bedtime (doesn’t always work.. as I say.. don’t stress :)

Hope that’s a bit helpful. It’s great to talk to friends and share ideas, but honestly all babies are different x

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converseandjeans · 02/02/2021 22:29

We did routine from day one and both slept through from 6 weeks with dream feed at 10pm.

Lots of people will tell you it's too early & not to worry about a routine. However it definitely works & neither of mine cried at bedtime. They just knew it was bedtime & because everything was in a routine they had right amount of food/sleep during the day.

Up to you - but if you want to have a good nights sleep then I would highly recommend it!

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Starsandsparkle01 · 02/02/2021 22:30

At 3 months, I had a routine of bath, milk and bed to get her used to the idea but it wasnt ever at a set time, depended on how her naps had been and feeds etc but tbh she sort of found her own way and slept from about 8 till 7 the next day. Shes now 5 months and still has the same loose pattern...the bedtime routine tends to start anywhere from 6pm to 7pm and takes about 45 mins to an hour. My little one was also formula fed, and dropped her 10pm around that age but would wake for her night feed about 3 am to be up at 7 the next day for her next feed. I used to worry she would be hungry and did fret about it, tried dream feeding with little success as it made her sicky. But all babies are different, we just followed what she seemed to need. Ftm here too and I'd just say follow your instinct, they all have their own wants and needs and what works for someone might not for you. Hope that's been a bit useful x

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converseandjeans · 02/02/2021 22:31

It's popular on MN to 'go with the flow' and co sleep, spend all day on sofa BF baby. Then when they're almost three and not sleeping still people wonder why 🤷🏻‍♀️

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mynameiscalypso · 02/02/2021 22:44

The best piece of advice anyone gave me was if it's working for you, don't change it for the sake of changing it. We didn't get a bedtime routine until 6 months not least because before then we kept DS with us as per the safe sleeping guidelines. Presumably a bedtime routine that starts at 7 (or whatever) means you put them down and then leave them alone?

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Strawberries4days · 02/02/2021 22:54

My DD is 15 weeks old and we got some sort of routine that's worked a bit. She gets a bath at either 7 or 8 (we had to do it at 6 tonight because someone had a blow out🙈), swaddled up at 8.30/9pm, white noise on, we got a red lamp to make the room dark and then she gets a bottle (FF). Most of the time she's asleep or drowsy enough to put to bed and she's settled. She wakes up between 3.30-4.30 for a bottle and she's down again. So she's in bed for 9pm/9.30pm to 7am/8am for now.

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Fatas · 02/02/2021 22:57

I read this and thought it seems to be working for you- I agree with poster above- why change it. I wouldn’t start thinking about a routine until after 6 months and even then it depends on the baby.

We let our baby lead us, and it’s worked just fine. He sleeps through now 12 hours and has done for several months. We were the same with my toddler too.

The lady you speak of may have a baby that’s adapted well to the routine she has set and that is okay too and it works for her. Neither of mine would have gone for that by 3 months though and some will be down to personality

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minniemango · 02/02/2021 22:57

I definitely agree with doing whatever works for you!
If you're happy with your current routine/non-routine - don't change it.

I'm quite a routine-y mum (I have 4 so maybe have to be for sanity's sake!) though not to Gina Ford levels and 3 months is quite young.

By 4-6 months though I tended to feed every 3 hours in the day on a cycle of wake-feed-play-nap.
I'd wake them from their last nap by 4ish and feed, so that they'd be ready for bed around 7/7.30pm.

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Fatas · 02/02/2021 23:02

@converseandjeans maybe... but there is a happy medium you know.

I co slept for the first three months and b fed and then baby went in cot from then on. Up multiple times in the night and we settled into a routine slowly and together. From 9 months he was sleeping through 12 hours, same with my toddler.

It doesn’t have to be a choice between rigid routine or co sleep for five years 🙄.

And anyhow some people do have babies that are sleepers/not sleepers by disposition

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Fatas · 02/02/2021 23:05

@converseandjeans and yes it worked for you, you were lucky. I should have known from your post that you’ve never struggled with baby and sleep. It was likely not what you did, but you just got lucky!!

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Ostryga · 02/02/2021 23:20

@converseandjeans

It's popular on MN to 'go with the flow' and co sleep, spend all day on sofa BF baby. Then when they're almost three and not sleeping still people wonder why 🤷🏻‍♀️

Oh give over. I co-slept till dd was 3, bf till she was 3.5, only had a routine when we needed one (I had to go back to work!)

Dd slept through from around 8 months. And at 4 doesn’t wake up unless she’s unwell. I just liked listening to my kid and tending to her needs as and when. I never wanted to have a baby and then force them to only need something when I wanted them to Smile
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converseandjeans · 02/02/2021 23:28

fatas I don’t think it’s luck. It’s just that it was important to me to sleep.

ostryga then maybe you were lucky you didn’t have to worry. Unfortunately I was back teaching when DD was 4.5 months & DS was 6 months. 18 months between them in age. So yes it was necessary to get them sleeping.

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minniemango · 02/02/2021 23:32

It’s part luck (some babies are genuinely born more easy going/sleepier than others) and part giving yourself the best chance of good sleep!

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Fatas · 02/02/2021 23:35

@converseandjeans I’m going to request what @ostryga said- oh give over! 🤣

Of course it’s luck and disposition of the baby. I too find it important to sleep but most people will tell you that it is impossible with a 6 week old who often needs feeding after 4 hours (if you’re lucky) and most wont settle straight away after a feed. Not to mention the constant shitting and nappy changing if you b feed.

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Fatas · 02/02/2021 23:35

Repeat, not request

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converseandjeans · 02/02/2021 23:58

fatas we'll have to agree to disagree. I just don't think it's helpful when someone asks if a routine will work/help and everyone on here claims it's impossible/pointless/cruel etc. It can work if you try - however of course some babies can't do this. But at least try it for a couple of weeks before claiming it's impossible?

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Fatas · 03/02/2021 00:12

@converseandjeans- then you haven’t read my post... I said that routines at that age may work for some, but not others and it’s all dependent on the baby.

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Poppet12345 · 03/02/2021 00:56

@converseandjeans

fatas we'll have to agree to disagree. I just don't think it's helpful when someone asks if a routine will work/help and everyone on here claims it's impossible/pointless/cruel etc. It can work if you try - however of course some babies can't do this. But at least try it for a couple of weeks before claiming it's impossible?

Have to agree with you converse, mumsnet promotes co sleeping until a stupid age and allowing a child to sleep on you all day.

OP in my opinion a child needs routine and your right to crave one yourself.
I started a routine from 8 weeks and haven't done a night feed since. My child sleeps from 7:30 until 8:30am at 4 months.
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mynameiscalypso · 03/02/2021 07:10

This strange obsession with sleeping through is dangerous - newborn babies (certainly up to 5/6 months) are supposed to wake up frequently. It's what protects them against SIDS.

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Starsandsparkle01 · 03/02/2021 07:34

@mynameiscalypso agree if it works for you then definitely don't change it. Our baby is always asleep when we put her down, shes never just put in her crib and left to it. Similar to sleeping through we have never ignored her and left her to settle she just naturally sleeps through, she may occasionally stir and I'll get up but shes still asleep just moving around. I also think it depends what you think a routine is, for us its just that she is upstairs from that time so she knew its sleep time I.e. we stay upstairs and not in the living room or spaces she had been in the day. I agree with @Fatas that the options arent to co sleep or be rigid. In our case our baby was one that didnt wake up lots and lots and we weren't obsessed with her sleeping through but had a 'routine' in place so she knew day sleep and night sleep were two different things. I think people get really hung up on the terminology and what I'd class as a routine others might not.

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Ticklemynickel · 03/02/2021 07:53

I don't have any sort of routine for DD2 and she's slept through since 7 weeks. It's just luck, not my parenting ability. I also know it's likely to go tits up at any stage and no amount of bath, stories and set bed time will prevent that.

I do like a routine but look to what both my DDs want to see how we can put that in place - baby has started going to sleep at roughly the same time every night (9.30-10pm) but doesn't have a bath or nap schedule yet, probably because I'm trying to juggle two competing demands all day. I will say once you get a bedtime routine in place, that evening becomes precious and it's so frustrating when they don't go to bed at the right time!

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