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Thread: How early to introduce a routine?

  1. #1

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    Question How early to introduce a routine?

    I was just wondering how early did / do you think you should introduce a routine. My DS is almost 6 weeks old and so far we don't really follow any routine - I just follow his wants and needs. When should I start trying to introduce a routine?


  2. #2

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    I think you'll find you naturally fall into your own routine by following your baby's cues. There's probably no need to introduce a 'routine' as such. Take note of when you're doing certain things and you'll probably find you're doing them in the same kind of timeframe/order every day.

    I'm not a believer in needing a routine for a baby, but you will naturally find a rhythm that suits you and your baby.

  3. #3

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    I found with DD1 that for the first 6 weeks she was just getting adjusted to being out in the world and after that I was able to identify cues from her as to what she wanted to do. By 8-12 weeks she had started to get into a bit of a rhythm around her day and how she slept at night.

    I am doing the same this time although I have already started to do a bit of a 'sleepytime' routine with DD2 where she has naked time, a massage and a bath before her bedtime feed around 6-7pm. I have found that it relaxes her and helps her sleep better at night.

  4. #4

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    i read that they dont associate sleep signals/routines etc until they are 12weeks, so, till then, i would just do whatever works.

  5. #5

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    This early time is really a time to get to know your bub. Don't worry about routines yet as they can give you a false sense of what 'should' or 'shouldn't' be happening. You are likely to have some natural routine in your household anyway and they will start to learn those. Their internal routine (eg. when they are hungry or want to sleep) changes a lot between now and 12 months so you will just be constantly revising. Keep a mental note of what bub seems to want to do as it will help you figure out when she is upset whether it is fatigue/hunger etc. They seem to 'level up' where all of a sudden they will drop feeds or be awake for longer and strict routines will just make you fight those naturally occurring things. You can introduce some gentle routines like bath, book, pjs and bed at the end of the day but a few months on. But if you can fit it around their natural incinations you will have better success and a lot more enjoyment out of your day then a prescribed routine.
    HTH.

  6. #6
    paradise lost Guest

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    I had a bedtime routine FOR ME from when DD was 5 weeks. At 7.00pm i gave her a bath, then a massage, then a lo-o-o-o-ng BF (that was when she liked a longish feed anyway) and put her down in her cot (which was next to my bed) at 8pm for "night time". After that i didn't get her up again. If she cried i would go and stroke/cuddle/sing to her and at about 11pm i'd feed her again then go to bed myself, i'd then feed again usually at about 3am (let her wake me for that one though) and we co-slept either from the 11pm or 3am feed, depending on how tired i was at 11pm (i.e. could i be bothered sitting up to put her back in the cot?).

    DD has had the same bedtime routine since then (though from about 6 months she started to get a story too) and for me it has been worthwhile. When we stayed at other peoples houses, and especially when XP and i split up and i had to move out with her, the routine provided a very handy marker of "normal" for us both to hold onto to, kwim?

    I know lots of people with very rythmned children who never had a routine but the bubs just fell into one, and people who like me have a very chaotic kind of child that really benefits from external routine.

    I think the most important thing to remember is that the routine is the external framework, not the internal structure. Often when i put DD to bed at 8 she slept. Sometimes she didn't at all. Sometimes she fell asleep in 10 minutes, sometimes it took 2 hours. To me a routine is only worthwhile if it brings comfort to at least some part of the equation (you or bubs or hoepfully both) and doesn't cause ANYONE distress. So if you know you'll feel anxious if bubs sleeps from 8pm for 3 weeks then suddenly won't for a month then it's probably not worth doing. I am able to seperate what i WANT to happen from what DD wants to happen. I see my role as one of enabling her to do wht i want - i can't (and would want to) force her. I think of it as digging a ditch where i want the water (DD) to go - mainly i can direct her ok but sometimes she bursts her banks!

    Bx

  7. #7

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    The first 6 wks for me i let baby lead.....after that time i try and introduce a routine...but ive heard the same....trying to introduce a routine before 8-12 weeks is pointless...

    Good luck....i know i always felt more relaxed when we both knew what was happening next LOL....

  8. #8

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    Like others have said, a bedtime routine is a good way to start.

    We started ours around 6 weeks old and he got into it fairly quickly and it really helped his night-time sleep. For us, it was bath, PJs, bottle, bed.

    We did the sleep-eat-play routine during the daytime as early as we could, and we have kept that up even to this day, and we kind of let him day-time routine evolve around that framework.

  9. #9

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    dont worry about routine at this age. Mia put herself in one, about 4 months. If you try one now, he will just change it on u next week. Just enjoy him, and go with his cues.

  10. #10

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    I am reading a book called baby bliss by Jo Ryan and it said that a routine can sort of be developed at around 12-16weeks, but simply by working out what yout baby does in a day and keping a log to look for patterns. As Holly said it is like they will develop it for you.

  11. #11

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    Take the lead from your baby. I don't think you need to "introduce" a routine, rather you watch your baby and see how they react to different things and if they seem to be doing things at a regular time, and work with that. At around 2 months old we noticed that DS seemed to fall asleep around 8pm (when it got dark) regardless of what time we had started putting him to sleep. So then we created a bed time routine around that- bath, cuddle and feed starting at 6:30pm. He still does that every day but it has moved a bit earlier, as we noticed he was falling asleep earlier.

    I thought I should maybe introduce a bedtime routine earlier, as lots of my friends talked about giving baby a bath before "bedtime", but before 2 months he didn't really have a "bedtime", it was more like 3-4 hour cycles around the clock.

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