Hello wise parents
I am a blessed FTM with a 12 week old baby and I have to say the whole routine thing is really daunting and I am becoming a bit frazzled by it! I try to follow the eat-play-sleep order of things, but how do you cope with a daytime catnapper who hasn't read the rules?? e.g. Lucy is EBF every 3 hours approx, and can only manage a wake time of about an hour, so say if I feed at 7am, then play, then put her down at 8am she will often wake at 8:45. Sometimes I can resettle her, if I can't (most times!) I get her up and then might put her down again in 30 mins... so my eat-play-sleep will sometimes end up eat-play-sleep-play-sleep-eat.... and then if the timing goes really out of whack, she can be super sleepy when she's due for her next feed! So then it turns into eat-play-sleep-play-eat-sleep.
We have a bedtime routine of bath-lullaby-feed-sleep and she is pretty good overnight, going down at 7ish and then only waking once or twice a night for a feed so I feel like that is going ok, it's just daytimes that frazzle me!
Some of the books and websites make me feel like I am damaging my child by not doing things in a consistent order!! (do babies really thrive on knowing what is going to happen next?? Can they even cognitively understand that at 12 weeks?!). Would really value hearing your experiences/advice and when my cherub might start becoming a bit more scheduled - or is that just a pipe dream that works in theory but not in practice??
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31-10-2015 12:25 #1
Routines and catnappers! How do you make it work?
31-10-2015 12:44 #2
I think at 12 weeks it's a bit of a pipe dream and it adds stress to something you have little to no control over so early. What you're doing sounds great and just keep flexibility at the front of your mind. I did my head on with DS and now my DD is 16 weeks and we have no routine except following her lead. I think around 6 months I'll try for a gentle schedule. Sounds like you're doing an awesome job!
31-10-2015 12:47 #3
Also you are not damaging your child by not doing things in a certain order. Follow your instincts, children are individuals. My DH told me with DS - he's a person not a robot. The books always made me feel like crap, like I "should" be doing things a certain way.
31-10-2015 14:10 #4Senior Member
- Join Date
- Jun 2014
With dd1 and dd2 there was no routine during day re sleeping. Both slept and sleep in babycarrier during day while bf themselves to sleep . At night we have a good routine amd good sleep. With older ds I needed them to be more flexible and in turn they are much more relaxed and adaptable compared to ds with whom I always followed some routine - missed out on having more fun with him when he was a bub. My advice would be to relax ditch the books amd enjoy being out and about with baby. Bub can sleep in stroller or car or babycarrier
31-10-2015 15:25 #5
Thanks ladies, it's funny isn't it - you'd think with all this info on the web etc we'd feel better, not worse! But you're right, I think all it results in is me feeling inadequate. I think also it's harder having a personality that loves being organized - time to ditch that and go with the flow (gulp!!). I bought the SOS book but it made me feel sick just reading it, thinking OMG i will flunk this for sure!!! Needless to say I have now listed that book on eBay, don't need that kind of pressure! Thanks again xx
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31-10-2015 15:58 #6
Another mum here that eat-play-eat-sleep. I'm glad you ditched that book!
Enjoy your baby. Go to try movies (mums&bub), have long lunches out, let her sleep on you.
You will never get this time again. I've got 3 and my newborn is 3 wks old. Its so different as I never get to laze with her.
31-10-2015 16:38 #7
I think consistency is more important than an actual hour by hour schedule (like bath, bottle / boob, bed). If you bub has to sleep, she's gotta sleep. If she wants to be awake, there sure as heck isn't much you can do about that either!
DS2 was a catnapper. We just waited it out. He's still a sporadic day sleeper but he has gotten a little bit better. He's a dream at night though, even if he does think the day starts at 4am.
I think you kind of learn to be a bit more flexible as you go along. Going with the flow gets a lot easier once you start. It's hard to just let things happen because everyone's telling you to do different things, but the thing is that your baby is unique. What works for one family may not work for you.
Babies do their own thing and they definitely haven't read the baby books! There's no point in stressing yourself out over schedules and 'doing it right'. As long as you bub is happy and you're happy, you're doing it right
Last edited by snowqu33n; 31-10-2015 at 17:10.
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31-10-2015 21:09 #8Senior Member
- Join Date
- Jul 2012
I did eat-play-sleep with my first (and am doing it now with my 5 week old). My first was a catnapper and I think my newborn is headed that way too. For me, it just means that I often feed every 1.5-2hrs instead of 3-4 hourly
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31-10-2015 23:52 #9
Hi OP. Sounds like you are doing an awesome job! The first 6-12 weeks are so intense so big congratulations to you for surviving them!
I can't tell you what is best for your bub. You know her better then anyone else so what I say is just sharing experiences and you can do with it what you like.
With my first bub when I first implemented eat play sleep, he would often ask for a feed before going to sleep. Even tho I was trying to follow a routine I would always offer a BF outside of the routine if I thought he was really asking for milk. So yes, it was definitely eat play eat sleep a lot of the time. I just absolutely always offered a feed on waking and over time he got better at feeding and filling his tummy so he just naturally started not demanding that extra feed before sleep. At around 4-6 months many babies start getting REALLY easily distracted when they feed. It's just because they are developing and becoming more aware of the world around them. It's at around this age that I could really see the benefits of eat play sleep because my kids where so used to feeding immediately on waking that they continued to feed well even through this distractible stage.
As for a routine.... For my children it has been incredibly beneficial. Yes even at a very young age my babies are my happier with a lot of structure and predictability. I feel like I am able to meet their needs before they ever get cranky in asking for things so they very rarely cry. My daughter in particular who I started on a routine at 8 weeks is the absolute definition of contentment.
In regards to SOS. I have seen it be very helpful to many mums but it obviously is not for everyone. Those who have had lots of success with it seem to me to have joined the SOS forum. I didn't, but I do have 3 very good friends who use sos that were so supportive and helped me interpret the book and trouble shoot any issues I was having.
If you were my friend and you were trying to discourage the catnapping I would tell you that 1 hour is not enough awake time for a 12 week old. Bub is getting sleepy enough to nap but not really tired enough to get past her first sleep cycle. This isn't necessarily a problem tho.... Catnapping is pretty common and not everyone looks at it as something to be fixed.
Good luck with working out whats best for you and your bub. It all gets easier, I promise. Xxx
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01-11-2015 09:18 #10
I will def try to play with her awake times - I find her first sleep of the day she always has a 45 min catnap (then sometimes will have a longer sleep over lunch time) so I might try to keep her up slightly longer that first awake period and see what happens. I tend to jump at her first tired sign and scoot her off to bed (again, trying to do what I've been told!!) so I'll try to leave it a bit, but get in before the cranky stage .
Thanks again for sharing your perspective RCS, I'm very grateful, you girls rock!
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