I am just wondering if I could pick your brains for advice on setting a routine for my 5.5 month old son. A bit of background - he was a fantastic sleeper, doing 10 hours overnight from 10 weeks, until we hit just over 4 months. The last 6 weeks have been a blur of stumbling through a sleep regression and just when we wet settling from that and getting 11 uninterrupted hours out of him, he started rolling over in the cot. He is just starting to get the hang of sleeping long stretches again (up to 7-8 hours), but his waking time is erratic to say the least. He may/may not wake through the night, and even if I offer a feed, he doesn't always take much. I should also add that after some training, he settles himself well in the cotton naps and night sleeps.
I have to go back to work in a couple of months and am wondering whether it is worthwhile to start putting a bit of structure into our day, with a consistent sleep/wake time each day. Every time I think he is setting such a thing for himself, he throws a curve ball at me. For the most part, once he is awake, we follow loosely feed, play, sleep (and play if he wakes early) every 3-3.5 hours (depending on if he has had solids).
Other information that might be relevant - he feeds (breast fed) 5 times a day, 3 of those feeds are followed by solids. In a couple of weeks, once he reaches 6 months, I will be weaning the middle 2-3 feeds to formula over the course of a few weeks.
I would love and appreciate your feedback - what worked for you, what didn't? Is it even a good idea to try a routine?
Thanks so much!
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19-02-2013 10:18 #1
Routines for 5-6 month olds?
19-02-2013 11:29 #2
From what you've described, your DS already has somewhat of a routine- especially during the day.
I think trying to force a consistent wake up time is pretty much impossible (or we'd all be forcing 10am wake ups ) but if anyone can correct me on that, I'd love to hear it for my own kids!
My almost 6 month old has a routine of sorts, but it's flexible. For example today she's been getting tired earlier than normal so she's already down for her second nap, when usually it wouldn't be until 12 or 12:30. I think trying to keep her up to her normal time would have been asking for trouble, though.
I found that once they go down to 1 or 2 naps, it's a bit easier to do a routine by time. At this age, I think their tired cues are still the best way to go, although by the sound of it your DS is already in a loose routine he's set for himself.
Last edited by gizmo; 19-02-2013 at 11:33.
19-02-2013 11:33 #3
I would go for a routine but loosely because it depends on baby's wake and nap times.
My bub is 18 weeks. He wakes anytime between 630 to 730am (he actually wants to wake at 5am but we take him to our bed to make him continue sleeping).
From there I would give him a feed depending on the last time he fed in the night.
Then about 1-1.5 hours he would want to nap (this would happen in DS1's school in a pram/car cos I send DS1 to school).
After the first nap, we do play (feed if needed) then about 2 hours later, I would put him down for the next nap.
His second nap is usually the longest, 1.5 hours. But every day can change. Yesterday he had 3x1.5 h naps. But in all he takes about 4 hours of nap daily.
After almost 2 hours of wake time I again put him down for the last nap. Every often, I also watch out for his signs. FOr my bub, if he goes cranky while playing or sitting in the swing/bouncer, I know he is tired (or hungry). I dont wait for him to get overtired cos it is harder to fall asleep and involve more crying. If he's ready for sleeps, it takes 1-5mins to fall asleep.
In the evening I make him go to bed between 730-830pm. It all depends on when he wakes for his last nap. If he wakes at 530 or 6pm, then I would bathe him at 700pm, then give a feed (or top up feed), play a bit, story, cuddle and then cot.
I would say having a routine works for my baby. It makes planning a trip out easier for our family too. It also gives my baby and myself predictability. I actually record down every nap time, feed time and settling details down every single day so I can study and improve etc. I then total his sleep hours and feed volume every day. I find that helps me a lot. There is actually a pattern every day.
20-02-2013 13:09 #4
Routines for 5-6 month olds?
At that age dd1 was catnapping all day with 12hrs overnight. I started solids at 6mths.
Dd2 had 3 sleeps per day with 11-12hrs overnight 1-3 feeds. No solids either till 6mths
Avg day dd2 after starting solids 6-7mths
Wake 5.30-6am then bf
Breakfast 7am ish
Bf then nap 8-9.30 - awake latest by 9.30am
Morning tea 9.30-10am
Bf 10.30-11 ish
Lunch 11.30 ish
Bf then nap 12-2.30 ish
Afternoon tea 3pm
Bf 4pm +/- 30min nap if needed.
Bf bed 6.30pm
1-3 overnight feeds.
This routine suits our family as I like both my girls to sleep together 12-2. Even now at 30mths and 8mths they both sleep 12.30-2 for toddler and 12.30-2.30 for baby. I wake them up by 6am latest tho in summer we have 5.30am starts.
20-02-2013 13:40 #5Senior Member
- Join Date
- Oct 2012
for us dd made it impossible to even attempt any routine before she was 6mths. evertthing was totally random, hit and miss with her.
but she did start sleeping 10pm-8am from 12 weeks naturally. so we started with a night routine at about 6mths and slowly brought it forward untill the night routine began at 6pm and she was settled and asleep for the night by 7pm. however, she continued to sleep 10pm-8am for ages even tho we'd put her down for the night at 7. we just persisted, stuck to our guns and she got there.
we went with the flow during the day as she was so good at night, but i remember she was having 3 x 1-2hr day naps from about 7mths and 9mths she was having 2x 2hr naps morning and arvo, by 17mths she moved to one x 3hr nap after lunch and is still having this nap at 2yrs old.
i dont remember how we got into routine in the day, i think we just started doing the same things everyday cos it was easier for me to have some system for myself. i also recognised when she was tired/hugry more clear by 6mths.
We stayed home alot also when she was little which might have helped. our outings were pram walks in the morning and arvo. fresh air always made her have a sleep.
25-02-2013 10:24 #6
Routines for 5-6 month olds?
Thanks for the feedback! I really appreciate it
Since I posted that, we've had a bit of an up/down week - amongst other things, bubba cut a tooth without me even realising.
But we are starting to fall into a bit of a pattern of waking between 6:30-7am, and having a longish nap after that. I think I will work on consolidating that first, and see how the rest of the day falls into place!
07-03-2013 08:25 #7
Thanks so much for your replies - I replied to say thanks a while ago but it didn't seem to go through! All of your responses have been much appreciated.
Up until the last few days, bub seems to have sorted himself into a pattern of having a solid 1.5 hour nap in the morning, then having 45 min ones throughout the day. Then something is going on this week, as he is turning into a kicking and screaming mess when he goes down for naps and sometimes only sleeping for 20 minutes...but that's another post in itself
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