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Thread: Sleep routines

  1. #1

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    Default Sleep routines

    Looking for some info/input/opinions on how you get bubs to sleep.



    What is your bedtime routine?
    What are your sleep triggers?
    What time do you get your DD/DS to sleep?

    At what age did you establish this routine??

    When should I start trying to establish a routine with DD? She's only 5 weeks old... but DH and I are very keen to have a definitive bed time - like 6 or 7pm every day.

    The antithesis of this is my 9 month old niece who goes to sleep any time between about 8 an 11pm...

  2. #2

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    Hi OP
    My DS is 15 months and we have a sleep routine that works for us, but I must say at five weeks we were no where near having a routine.
    Everything is still so new at that age and they are only just learning about the big world around them, I don't really know of anyone who had a routine at that age.
    I understand your reason for wanting one, but I really think it's a little young.
    If you want to give it a go, by all means go ahead, but I just wouldn't be expecting too much at this stage, maybe in a few months!
    I hope I've helped a little.

  3. #3

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    Hi there,

    I found with my DD that she found her own routine in time. She loves being in a routine, I think she likes to know whats coming in her day.

    We also wanted her in bed by 7pm each night and that was something we always did from day one. If she was unsettled and for some reason we had to get her up after bedtime we would keep things dimly lit and quiet. No playing or talking. I also wouldn't get her up before 7am, so if she was awake fine, but she didn't leave her cot until 7am. She would only really be in there playing for 10 minutes or so anyway she's always been a 7am riser.

    At 5 weeks old I would say she would be only be awake for an hour or so before needing another nap. I loosly followed a feed/play/sleep routine, I was feeding DD 2-3 hourly, so after each nap I would feed her, then have a play, then a nap. Before each nap I would have some time in her room where I'd wrap her, read a story or sing, then rock her to sleep (I don't think there's anything wrong with rocking to sleep at her age, or feeding to sleep, whatever works because they really just need to get their rest, and you're not making a rod for your back despite what some people say!). I think her biggest sleep trigger was wrapping her, or you could use a sleeping bag whatever DD is sleeping in.

    In the evenings I use this routine which works brilliantly for us:

    5pm: Dinner (obviously your not up to this yet! But one day.)
    5.30pm: Bath (or some play time if you're bathing every second day.)
    6pm: Walk in the pram
    6.45pm: As soon as we're back from the walk, straight into her room (blinds closed just lamp on), into her sleeping bag, read two books, breastfeed, bed.

    I know it can take ages to breastfeed when they're young so there's nothing wrong with doing this routine in the lounge room with the TV on to watch if you want? I used to, I just couldn't stand staring at the wall for too many feeds! The 11pm and middle of the night feeds were enough in her room. Just keep the lights dim.

    I hope this has helped to answer your question. Don't push yourself or DD, she's only 5 weeks old and you'll be amazed at how things evolve into a routine without you even trying.

    Enjoy your little girl.

  4. #4

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    Thanks ladies, I am absolutely aware that 5wks is too young and we are not trying to implement a routine just yet but I do want to start thinking about it.

    I might start doing the 11pm feed in her room - trying to get her "to bed" after the 8/9pm feed. Could be a good idea...

  5. #5

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    I read a book called The Contented Little Baby written by Gina Ford. It has routines for babies as new as yours. Might be worth checking out. I only recently read it & have been following her routine for about a month now. We are loving it. It caters for all different ages & stages.

  6. #6

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    Hi,
    i also follow the contented baby routines and have found it to work really well. when i first read the book DS was only 4 weeks old and it was all a bit overwhelming, you just have to read it and take from it what you want - like anything. it wasn't until he was 4 months old that i started to follow it closley but by then he was almost in her recommended routine for that age and i only had to change a few things.
    saying that even when he was 5 weeks old i started a bedtime routine, the rest of the day could be all over the place but by 6pm he was in the bath, then abit of a massage, tummy time (like 1min) then into the dimly lit room (he was in our room) breastfeed, then wrapped and a little rocking and he would be fast asleep! even if it was only for a few hours - cos they feed so often at that age - it was enough to have dinner and relax for a little bit. DH never ate dinner separatley and it was good to have a bit of adult time.
    it really helped just to have that little bit of structure to the day. and best of all he loved it, within two weeks as soon as he hit the water he'd just relax like 'ahh bedtime'... and he still does it now.

    all the best! and most of all enjoy, it goes so quickly!
    x
    Last edited by jamakin; March 25th, 2009 at 08:12 PM.

  7. #7

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    We began establishing a little bit of a bed time routine I suppose from about 6 weeks I think it was. Even though obviously at that age they don't stick to it, it was just more for us and to lay the ground work for later when DS started to understand it a little. Ours was pretty much bath, massage with lavender lotion, milk and bed - we pretty much did this every night from 4.30pm - in bed 6.30-7pm. Then from about week 8 (he started to sleep longer at night here, and started sleeping through the following week), I would wake him for a feed about 9-9.30pm and this was the routine til we dropped feeds (I think it was about 6months). Even now we still have a similar routine, except for dinner which is from 5pm and in bed by 7.30pm.

  8. #8
    paradise lost Guest

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    Urgh...Gina Ford *shudders* no offence to those who like her, i don't know how she still gets published - she advises AGAINST SIDS recommendations!

    I did have a bedtime routine at 5 weeks (that was when we began it, for the reasons you outlined, that we wanted DD t have a bedtime) but you need to bear in mind that putting her to BED at 7pm will not necessarily mean she's ASLEEP then, or anytime near then. That comes later.

    We had a BF at about 5pm, then a bath, then a massage (i did massage every night with her for the first 3-4months) then another long BF (it was 7.30-8pm by then) and then bed. She naturally wanted the 8pm BF, i just picked that one to be the bedtime one because the 5pm one was too early and the 11pm one was too late!

    DD slept in my room in a cot next to my bed or in my bed, so at 8pm she'd go dwn in the cot, and in the night i'd bring her into bed to BF and depending on how i felt i'd either put her back in the cot or not (often not because i'd fall asleep feeding her). As others said, if she was upset after 8pm she stayed in her room with the lights dim. I didn't play with her but i did hold, rock, cuddle, sing to her (i'm a Gentle Parent type so i never left her to cry) and stay with her if she was upset. I wrapped her to sleep which i think helped because if i'd cuddled her until she was calm i could put her down and the shawl she was wrapped in "held" her still and she'd be able to drift off to sleep.

    If you're going to begin a routine this early you need to bear in mind that not only does the baby not understand, it will not have the capacity to understand for several more months. It's cool to do it because YOU want to do it, but it's important to realise that the baby might very well not do what you want/expect simply because that's not how being a baby works - i BFed DD and in my head we fed at 5am, 8am, 11am, 2pm, 5pm, 8pm and 11pm but in reality she would OFTEN feed at different times, add a feed, skip a feed, you name it. For me the 3-hourly routine (with the one 6-hour sleep) was what helped ME to keep track - if she cried and it was midday i'd change her nappy first, since i'd just fed her, if it was 1.35pm when she cried i'd feed her first since it was nearly time anyway.

    I am quite a chaotic person, and DD is too, and for us routines, flexibly designed and very gently and loosely observed at times, really helped us to find our feet together. I would also say that i ended up moving out from XP's flat when DD was 4 months old and the fact that i'd had a bedtime routine with her for 11 weeks already meant i wasn't ableto do what i was tempted to do - keep her on me at all times and not have a routine for bed so i could have company (not proud of it, but it was shatteringly lonely being a single parent, especially in the evenings, until i got used to it) and i feel in retrospect that meant i shouldered the load of being a single mum the way i wanted too, and didn't "lean" on her for company.

    I would say DD was probably 10 or 11 months before SHE cared about the bedtime routine. She would mostly be asleep by 9pm no matter what, and usually she went down without too much fuss at 8pm, but the expectations need to be relaxed until at least that age, when the baby is more able to understand what is going on.

    Bx

  9. #9

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    With Ash we started a bedtime routine at about 6 weeks, rest of the day we just followed her lead but bedtime we wanted her to get an idea it was bedtime. We'd have the lights off, just lamp on, quiet, would give her a massage put her in her sleeping bag, have a cuddle and song (when she got older a story) then breastfeed then I'd put her down with music on in background. Usually in bed by 8pm. Of course at first they're too young to understand but eventually they catch onto the triggers.

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