How can we get into a better bedtime routine?
stollen123 · 19/03/2023 07:44
DS is 11 weeks and I'm starting to wonder how we can start to get a bedtime routine in place... sorry in advance for essay
He's breastfed and a frequent feeder who still cluster feeds in the late afternoon/ evening. He rarely goes longer than a 2.5 hour stretch at night without waking to feed although sometimes he stretches to 3 (twice 4 but those seem to have been flukes!) A few weeks back, we started DP giving him a bottle of two of expressed milk between 8/9pm-12-1am so that I could get a proper stretch of sleep. This has been really helpful for my sanity but starting to wonder how much longer we can keep going for if we want to get DS into a proper routine.
During the time with DP the baby will go to sleep in the living room whilst i sleep in the bedroom, but it's variable when he'll go down - between 9.30 and 11pm. DP will then wake me when he wakes up to feed and I'll take over for the rest of the night. When I take over, DS falls asleep quickly after feeding and is very easy to settle in the snuzpod.
We try to keep the simulation in the living low in the evenings - low lighting, TV on quiet, but obviously it's not the same as a dark, silent bedroom. I'm starting to think we need to change things to encourage him to sleep earlier but it's also scary to think about losing my block of sleep!!
Usually I'm unable to establish much of a bedtime routine in the evening as DS is fussy and feeding so much and DP doesn't get home till 7.15/7.30 and will then make us dinner whilst I'm feeding the baby, then I'll make a break for it after we've eaten.The other night DP was out and my parents were round so we did things a bit differently. We gave DS a bath at 6pm, fresh clothes, then came back out into the living room where I fed him before we had dinner and then DM gave him a bottle whilst I got ready for bed and then I took him to bed with me at 8ish. We sang some lullabies and I fed him and changed him and fed him and then he went down at 9.30pm and lasted till quarter to one which was pretty good! He then woke up a couple of times after that but I got a tolerable amount of sleep.
However if we tried to do this every night, I would have to find a way to do the bathing etc by myself whilst he's being fussy and maybe feed myself too to get in bed early enough so wouldn't really get to see DP at all. We're following the guidance to keep him in the room with us when he sleeps so putting him down and leaving isn't an option, plus I need that sleep! (Feel selfish about prioritising this over getting DS down earlier but I need to be able to function all night and all day with him...)
Does anyone have any advice on how they managed this, with a baby who wakes up regularly throughout the night? How did you get them into a routine, get some sleep and still see your partner / not go insane???
DragonbornMum · 19/03/2023 08:42
In the newborn stage, I would put him "to bed" in the Moses basket initially. Husband and I spent the evening together with baby asleep nearby. He usually woke for milk around the time we went to bed, so I'd feed and settle him in our room after that - or if he didn't wake just moved his basket. Obviously if you need the sleep then this might not work for you right now.
If what you're doing at the moment is working, then keep doing it. In a month baby's needs will evolve and so will your routine. Don't stress about trying to get it right immediately - your child is only 11 weeks old! He has no idea what bedtime is!
For some context, we didn't have a routine until about 7 months. It wasn't until 16 months that he finally self settled (at night). You are still in the very early days
stollen123 · 19/03/2023 10:37
Thanks for the reassuring words @DragonbornMum , I think it's just reading that at 3 months you can start a routine that's been worrying me - not sure how the whole book, bath shebang fits around an evening of cluster feeding although really hoping he will move out of that stage in the coming months... and haven't yet managed to read a story without him crying so figured it's too early for that despite what the Internet says😂
NuffSaidSam · 19/03/2023 16:22
It's not clear from your post what the problem is? It sounds like you've got a great routine!
Why does DS need to go down earlier? Does he have to get up for a paper round in the morning?
stollen123 · 19/03/2023 17:49
Fair point! But just hearing from others who's babies are put to bed at 7pm and felt like maybe we're leaving it too late and overestimating him at night...
pinksheetss · 19/03/2023 17:55
Don't feel pressure to do bedtime a certain way if it's only because of others doing it
My dd is 14 months now but when she was younger and I was on maternity leave we just led by her
If it's working for you and no issues then stay as you are
Dd is now in a better routine (although I still have her cot in our room) and goes to be around 7/7.30 but mainly as she's at nursery three days a week and by this time she's completely ready to sleep
You'll get there and find a rhythm that works best for you as a family
stollen123 · 20/03/2023 10:56
@pinksheetss thank you, yes good reminder that we shouldn't compare ourselves to others... I guess we can stick with it as long as its still working out for us and he might change soon anyway and start wanting to go to sleep earlier...
Seeline · 20/03/2023 11:01
Whilst under 6 months, so not meant to be left to sleep alone, I don't think there is much you can do unless you are willing to go to bed with them at 6.30 - 7pm.
Their routines change so rapidly over the first 6 months with sleep regressions, growth spurts, longer wake windows etc, strict routines don't really work.
BobbleWobble1 · 20/03/2023 12:52
They change so much in the early months that I really wouldn't put pressure on yourself to do things a certain way just because others are doing it. If it works for you, just go with it. We wasted a lot of evenings trying to get DS1 to bed at a certain time because it was what we thought we were supposed to be doing and it was just stressful all round. We were much more laid back with DS2. Although it was still hard work, we didn't fight against it the same way so it was actually easier even though DS2 took a lot longer to settle into an earlier bedtime rhythm.
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