thread: Routine, settling

  1. #1

    Dec 2007

    Routine, settling

    I was wondering how many of you have (or don't have) sleep routines, and how well your baby sleeps?

    My 3 1/2 month old daughter is a great sleeper. I co-sleep with her and she sleeps wonderfully, waking 2-3 times a night for a feed (depending on how long we sleep for :P). Occasionally, she'll wake during the night and will cry and i'll have to soothe her back to sleep but that doesn't often happen.

    My mother told me that I must start getting her into a routine (but she doesn't believe in CC any more than I do - she's a naturalistic earth mum too lol), because she never did with me and i've had sleep problems all my life. Well I tried to do this, but sometimes I just don't get a chance. If she's out for the night, I'm certainly not going to wake her for a bath! Though this only happens if she's crying earlyish in the evening. Usually she doesn't, and I bathe her, feed her and that tends to get her to nod off. It's summer here though, so i've started giving her a bath earlier in the day.

    I keep hearing that you shouldn't nurse or rock your baby to sleep, because it causes problems for them when you no longer do it. I keep hearing that you should put bub down before he/she is alseep so they can learn to fall asleep themselves. But I've been doing both these things for my bub since she was born and she's a great sleeper. She's learning how to fall asleep on her own all by herself completely by accident. I'll put her down for a minute to do something and when I come back, she's asleep! She even falls asleep while being held sitting up sometimes. I wonder if babies just tend to do whatever they want no matter what you do! Though I suspect that part of my daughters good spirits and good sleeping is that she feels secure, and I don't pressure her to do anything on a schedule (though once she's down for the night, if she wakes, I try to get her back to sleep).

    Thoughts, anyone?

  2. #2
    Registered User

    Jul 2007

    Hi Baby socks, we have a little bit of a routine but not a strict one. My 6 1/2 month old dd has been sleeping through the night since she was 12weeks old when i started to do the feed, play, sleep thing. Up until 12weeks i would feed her to sleep but she wanted to learn and explore so i decided to change things a bit. Around this time i started putting her down sleepy but awake during the day but at night she would fall asleep on the boob and i put her down and she sleeps through. Some nights she doesn't fall asleep on the boob and i put her down awake and she self settles herself to sleep, other times she doesn't and i rock and sing her to sleep. She is teething and occasionally wakes around 3.30 or 4.00am and sometimes i can rock her back to sleep and sometimes i just put her on the boob and she is asleep within 10mins. I normally bath her at 6pm and feed her & she is generally in bed by 7pm and wakes anywhere from 6am - 7am. She normally has a 2hr sleep in the morning and then an hr or 2 in the early afternoon. If she wakes after an hr i don't bother trying to get her back to sleep i've tried this before and doesn't work for her. If she is hungry sooner then i feed her and if she is tired sooner i put her to bed. Every baby is different so it is impossible for every baby to follow the same routine. Sometimes if she is really upset i put her on the boob to settle her as she wouldn't take a dummy, people have told me things i should and shouldn't be doing but these things work for us so why change!
    Last edited by Jo Jo; December 29th, 2007 at 09:02 AM. : forgot something

  3. #3
    ♥ BellyBelly's Creator ♥
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    Feb 2003
    Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, Australia

    I'd get a copy of the Science of Parenting by Margot Sunderland. Its based on hundreds of studies and gives you great advice and tools with babies development and explains how you parent affects their brain and why. Easy to understand and read, and will give you an answer to all that lecturing you get about babies being in cots and routines... goes up to childhood too so tools from birth to childhood. Very very good, an essential in my books. I have them in stock if you are interested in getting a copy.
    Kelly xx

    Creator of, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children
    Author of Want To Be A Doula? Everything You Need To Know
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  4. #4
    Registered User

    Dec 2005
    In Bankworld with Barbara

    It seems to me that she is doing so well without a *routine* and in fact, if you took the time to write down everything that happens in your day with her, and do this for a week, that you are already in a *routine* with her of sorts - only it is led by her.

    Most importantly though, are you happy with the ways things are? It sounds like you are cruising along really well and are managing being a new mum just great.

    BTW, you should join us in the September baby Buddies thread too

  5. #5
    Registered User

    Jul 2007

    We sort of fell in to a night time routine with our DD (4 months old) and it works really well - I think she really likes knowing what is coming up. We give her "naked time" at about 6:15, she kicks around like a crazy thing, loves it. Then its a bath at 6:30, then her last feed at 6:45 - 7:00, then bed. We always play her some classical music, put her in her cot (with dummy), and she falls asleep within several minutes, if she didn't already fall asleep on the boob. Even when we have been away for a weekend, we do the same thing, even with music on iPod etc. We're not too fussed about the timing - sometimes it's a bit later depending on what time DH gets home from work, but basically we do it like this, then we get to have dinner together while she's sleeping.

    She will wake for a feed at 2 or 3am, and goes straight back to sleep in her cot til 5, at which time we usually co-sleep for the last few hours. If I feel she hasn't had a good feed at 7pm, sometimes I give her a dreamfeed at 10 or whenever I go to bed.

    During the day we don't have any routine per se, but I try to do "feed / play / sleep" - she doesn't ever rely on the bbs to get to sleep. I have read loads of books about routines, and think its just impossible to try to enforce. I want to be able to have a life, go out, go to Mothers group etc, and not be too worried as to whether 10am is strictly "nap time". My DD is able to sleep in the pram, car, pouch etc, so she sleeps when she is tired, and we're all happy. I am good at picking up her tired signs, so at home I pop her in her cot, put on her music, and give her her dummy, and she goes to sleep herself. I only give her the dummy for sleeping, cause she loves to suck...! It took us a while to get to this stage - I remember for the first two months or so I would be in with her rocking, patting, singing.... But I did always try to get her to fall asleep in her own bed (absolutely no CC)

    Sorry for such a long reply!

  6. #6
    Registered User
    Add fionas on Facebook

    Apr 2007
    Recently treechanged to Woodend, VIC

    I've never really tried to get my baby into a routine that's set by the clock mainly because I myself hate routine and one of the joys of being on maternity leave is that I don't have to go to bed at the same time every day in order to go to work at the same time every day.

    So I've got to say that the first few weeks were easy peasy because she would go to sleep straight after a feed and I really didn't do anything. After those first few weeks, she would stay awake after a feed and have a long play and I really had to put in the hard yards in terms of studying her like a hawk and getting to know her sleepy signs. Once I got to know those, I was pretty hard-core about never rocking her to sleep - only to a point where she was relaxed or in a light sleep. I do believe that if you always rock them to sleep, they won't be able to do so without - great if you're always prepared to do that, but I knew I wouldn't be. I also use a lot of verbal cues - "shhhh ... sleepy time" over and over again. I had a few days where it was really quite tough because she would often not want to go to sleep straight away (even though I could see she was tired) so I would re-do the rocking to a light sleep three or four times. If, however, she looked wide awake, I would get her up as I'd obviously misread her signs.

    Now she will go to sleep on her own - once I see that she is getting tired, I can put her down awake and I only rock her occasionally or give her a long, long cuddle with more comforting words.

    So we don't do the bath time before bed at all (I have a dodgy pelvis which means I can't bath her so she has a shower with dad which could be at any time of the day because he's a shift worker).

    I just follow her lead so she tends to wake up any time between 6am-8.30am (depending on what time she went to bed the night before), stays up for a couple of hours, has a morning nap for a couple of hours and another long nap in the afternoon, then goes to bed anytime between 7pm - 8.30pm.

    So basically I let her show me when she's tired and don't worry too much about what time she does things.

  7. #7
    Registered User

    May 2007
    Warrnambool Vic

    It is really confusing, isn't it? I think your mother is mistaking her responding to your needs and you being a bad sleeper for cause and effect. Not necessarily so! Maybe you were never in a routine because you were born a not very good sleeper! My mother imposed a strict routine on me, but I'm a dreadful sleeper pretty much anyway. Do what you feel works. Your daughter sounds delightful, and you sound like a great, switched on mother (as does your mother before you!)

  8. #8

    Dec 2007

    I <3 you barb, you're so helpful My bubs crying has gotten a million times worse since i posted this! But her sleeping is still going well, even though its sometimes quite difficult to settle her. I was thinking of reading her a story before giving her a bath and her last feed of the evening

  9. #9
    Registered User

    Oct 2006

    We always have story time before bed. Natalie enjoys the quiet and often gives me a signal that she's ready to go down by rubbing her eyes or pressing her face against the book. It works for us.
    Personally, I think many sleep issues are related to how the child *is*, as opposed to what we do with them, KWIM? And, I think they change far too often for us to be concerned with whether what we do to help them get to sleep is going to create problems down the track (like the old, 'don't rock/pat/feed your baby to sleep' mentality).

  10. #10

    Dec 2007

    Oh wow, i rock out SO much. I started responding to her signals for everything ASAP instead of waiting for her to cry, and that helped SO much with everything. I also started doing a sleep routine (bath, massage, feed, wrap). That was all going quite well except she wouldn't go down for her final sleep until very late, so today I got her out of bed during her first waking at 8:30pm (we usually go back to sleep without getting up at this point), and keeping her awake through her early evening nap. I started her sleep routine at 9pm and she was asleep by 9:40! oh we are so awesome

  11. #11
    Registered User
    Add fionas on Facebook

    Apr 2007
    Recently treechanged to Woodend, VIC

    Way to go BabySocks! Reading a baby's signals is my mantra, not the clock, because the time they do things changes a lot so we just have to stay focused on when they're showing us that they're hungry, sleepy etc.

    Top job!

  12. #12
    Life Subscriber

    Jul 2006

    WTG Baby Socks. That is awesome news. Well done and keep up the great work.

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