View Full Version : What's a routine anyway?
This may seem like I'm asking the bleeding obvious, but I'm wondering what exactly people class as a "routine" and how on earth to get one (unless I already have one by accident). I'm tryng to improve my daughter's sleeping, and everything I read seems to say that it really helps to have them in a routine, but nothing elaborates further than this. I'm definately of the more flexible mindset, but I would appreciate any tips in this area, especially regarding sleeping (BTW I'm a complete wuss regarding letting Jo cry, so that's not really an option ... yet :( ) My baby is 7 1/2 months if that helps.
Ds was only napping until 6 months, and I had a friend come and stay with us who's daughter was having 2 x 2 hour sleeps during the day.
I thought it wouldn't be possible, but I made a strict routine and 'hey presto' it worked! Having said that, I'm now really flexible with times, but ds happily has his 2 hour sleeps during the day. It's so much better.
7.30am wake & milk
10am milk & sleep - 12.00
2pm milk & sleep - 4pm
7.30 milk & sleep
(we try not to feed at night, but I will if necessary)
It took him about a week to get the hang of it, and he loves it.
Thanks for the reply. When you say that you made a strict routine, how did you actually do that? What if he didn't want to sleep at those times? Did you do something to make him stay asleep for longer? Sorry to be picky, but I'm trying to get as many details about how to make changes as possible.
I think there are 2 sorts of routines to consider. The first is the sort of daily schedule like Wattle uses. The routine helps bub anticipate what is coming next and sets a rhythym to the day, if that makes sense.
The 2nd type of routine is the little tasks and repeated activities that can be used to signal that it's bedtime or naptime. This could be having a bath, putting pyjamas on, finding a favorite toy, kisses and cuddles, etc. The only general rule is to keep it fairly simple so that it can be done anywhere and by anyone. Our nap/bedtime routine is a bottle, then to tuck her in with her bear, dummy and washcloth (comfort item) and shut the door on the way out. When she was younger she got patting in bed.
Hi LuWa. My routine is a lot like Wattle's. Spencer and I have arrived at a particular daily rhythm through trial and error. I think the routine is more about understanding this rhythm than sticking to set times. Try to go with the flow and stick to a sleep-eat-play (or is it sleep-play-eat??) routine, and eventually you'll find that your baby will eat, sleep and play at fairly regular times during the day. Knowing the tired signs of your baby is always a help - I know that Spencer will generally start getting tired an hour and a half after getting up. And MarthaM's right with the second routine. This is really helpful when putting them down to sleep, especially at night. I do the dinner - bath - breastfeed - bed routine and Spencer generally goes to sleep without a fuss.
Oops, I sound like an old matron with my 'strict routine'.
I just did feeds and sleeps at the same time every day. His sleep routine has always been nappy change, wrap, milk, burp, bed (same at night and during day) so he knows what to expect. (I don't wrap him at night, but he seems to need it during the day). I also play the same cd of soft music and make the room dark.
The first few days he cried, but I did CC and it worked ok. I only ever left him a few minutes to cry, but didn't pick him up to comfort him - just stroked his forehead and said 'shhhh' softly.
There are times when it hasn't worked, and then I just went with the flow. If he's tired before bed time I'll put him down too. It's just a bit of trial and error. Every baby is different, so what works for some may not work for others, but if you have a plan stick to it so bub can grow to know what is going on. I have found that perseverence has paid off.
Please ask if you have more questions - more than happy to help. It can be so tiring trying different things.
I've got a routine!
I went to a day hospital at Strathpine this week to help me get Laura to sleep in her cot. The nurse there was lovely and she gave me and the other Mum there that day our own individualised routine based on our baby's age and our household's needs.
Since doing the controlled crying and doing less breast feeds, bub is now sleeping better and eating more solids (touch wood).
CC isn't for everyone, but Laura's cottoned on to it pretty quick, so much better than carrying her for hours on end only to get a 30 min nap out of her, or wake the instant I put her down. She's now doing a couple of 2 hour sleeps a day - unheard of!! And I'm still getting all the smiles and giggles I got before (phew).
Part of the putting her to sleep in the cot, involves telling her what's happening, so it's not a big surprise to her, and I give her a kiss and a quick cuddle- I don't know when they start understanding these things, but it can't hurt.
Anyhoo, here's our routine.
Breakfast - rice cereal (about an hour after BF)
9am Sleep (1-2 hours)
12 MD lunch - pureed fruit
12.30-1pm Sleep (1-2 hours)
4pm 30 min nap - need to wake her so she'll go to sleep at reasonable hour later.
wakeful/ unsettled period
6pm Dinner - pureed veg
8pm Bed (so far it's been closer to 10pm, but that's better than 11pm which was becoming the norm - I'm hoping we'll be able to inch it back towards 8pm in the next week)
With my daughter she naturaly fell into a set routine but my son was a lot different. Instead of a routine based around the time it was more like the 2nd type MarthaM was talking about. He would get up, have a bottle, sit in his rocker, play on the floor, cuddles with mum, back to bed. The times he would spend doing each of these things would depend on how he felt that day.
Just relised I have given an example of a much younger baby so for an older one it might include going outside and solid food etc.
Thats what we do so I hope it helps.
Thanks so much everyone. There have been some good suggestions that I'd like to try. Turns out I do have about as much of a routine as I guess you could expect at this age - I just started to wonder if I'd missed something, or if I was doing something "wrong". I think I'm struggling with the fact that I feel like I need to start being the "boss" instead of being completely at her beck and call all day. I hope that doesn't sound too mean (maybe it's the teacher in me resurfacing - d'oh!) but I've felt a change in her ability to understand what's going on in the last few weeks (or is that wishful thinking?) and I think she could cope with being directed a bit more.
Anyway, I really appreciate all your comments - thanks.
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