Not sure how this blog will go down with everyone, but I’m going to give it a go. Sorry if you don’t agree to it. I’m hoping it will help those parents out who want to put a routine in place for their little ones.
When I found out I was pregnant I always said how I was going to set out a routine from birth. I remember going to my antenatal classes and health visitors saying how babies won’t be in any routine till gone a year. This I thought was utter rubbish. So many mums I knew had said how well routines had worked for them from the early stages. I thought surely if you are doing the same thing with your baby in the mornings and evenings surely they are going to learn something.
I completely understand if people are against routines from birth but I honestly feel it helped us out a lot and Sofia definitely picked up on a routine from just a couple of months old.
We were very lucky as Sofia was a 4hour baby. She’d have a feed every 3 1/2 to 4 hours so we had an idea when her next feed’s would be. Everything worked around this.
I would always make sure that come 6.30pm we went up stairs and had a bath with sensory lights and relaxation music, (we bathed every other night and still do now, so on the days we don’t have a bath, we would still go upstairs come 6.30pm and have ‘down time’ in her bedroom. Sensory lights, relaxing music with cuddles) we would then move on to a massage and getting dressed, still playing the relaxation music. Once all ready for bed it would be story time with a bottle (She always seemed to want her bottle around story time which worked out perfectly). We would then stay up stairs in till Sofia fell asleep in her Moses basket.
Sofia isn’t really a cuddly baby (she could never settle on us), so was an ease when it came to self settling. Once I saw her getting sleepy we would place her in her Moses basket and let her settle herself to sleep. She slept in a swaddle which I believed also helped with the self settling. We did also play white noise to her, we just downloaded an app and she seemed to settle best to the hair dryer noise.
Once asleep we set up the baby monitor (we use the Tommee Tippee baby monitor with the camera) and would go down stairs, have dinner and have a general catch up with each other. I felt it was so important to do this.
I must admit not every night was like this and of course some days it didn’t all go to plan, but I always made sure there was some sense of a routine there even when it all went out of the window. Yes some days she was hungrier than others, and sometimes she did find it hard at self settling. We did just go with the flow.
Roughly we found she would have her bottle at 7.30pm, 11.30pm,3.30pm,7.30pm – I must say her night time bottle feeds were a lot better than daytime. During the day her feeds seemed to be more all over the place and took a while for a routine to fall in place.
So during the night she woke twice for feeds, I did try and catch these before she got to the crying stage, again it didn’t always go to plan. When feeding I kept lights off and stayed as quiet as possible (yes I did a lot of nappy changes in the dark), I cuddled her in our bed, once her bottle was finished, i burped her and put her straight back in to her Moses basket. I believe it was all about keeping the lights off and not talking much which helped Sofia learn that it was night time.
Once 7.30am comes, it’s change nappy and getting dressed time. I felt this was important as I thought it was giving her the sense that it was a different part of the day (morning).
Each day we try and do something different, we are always out and about and try to attend many different groups. I love watching her around other children and how they interact with each other. I was never one for staying in, I’ve always been like this. I remember taking Sofia out when she was 3days old and people couldn’t believe I was already out of the house. Everyone is so different, I do sometimes wish I could sit in the house in my pjs for the whole day!
Sofia started sleeping through at 10 weeks old. She roughly went from 7.30pm-5.30am
When this happened I started giving her a feed at 5.30am and she always went back to sleep after and would go till around 8/8.30am. As she got older and I started weaning, that early morning feed started to drop. She now roughly does 7.30pm-8pm.
I feel that a routine really worked for us and really helped Sofia with getting a good sleep routine in place. Of course routines aren’t for everyone and I’m sure others have many different ways to go about it and works out better for them. What I have written just worked out so well for us and it’s the reason why I’ve stuck to it. If Sofia hadn’t of adjusted to the routine we had, I would have changed it to suit her more. I was just very lucky it all worked out.
Would love to know all your thoughts on routines and what worked best for you and your little ones!