Thursday, 24 October 2013

Implementing a routine

I truly believe that all children thrive on having a routine and the earlier you can start to implement a routine then the better. This is easier said than done with a baby of course, but there are certain things that I have started to do with Albie to allow him to wind down in the evenings and wake up properly in the mornings. 

As a routine lover I did have a read of Gina Ford - contented little baby book. I know their are very mixed views on Gina's methods, all you have to do is look of mumsnet to find some strong opinions, however I wanted to read her routine suggestions. There is of course a lot I don't agree with, no one can be expected to plan their day that precisely, sometimes baby just won't play ball. I have taken a couple of things on board from the book though. Gina suggests that babies are fed every three hours in the first few weeks during the day, believing if they have enough feeds during the day they will sleep longer during the night and start to make that day and night assocatiation (which we all long for)  so I did start to wake Albie every three hours during the day, however after his ten day check the HV told me there was no need as Albie had not only retained his birth weight but put on (after his initial loss!) so I have let him decide when he wants to feed however he usually wants feeding every three hours but does have a long afternoon nap where he can go 4-5hours especially if we are out and about. I also found it quite important to make sure that if Albie wakes anytime from 6am then we get up and start our day, if you have a lovely sleepy baby who enjoys laying in you won't know that it's still pitch black at this time, so we come downstairs and turn the lights fully up, I think this has helped him to tell the difference between a day feed where the is light and tv noise to a night feed that is always done in his own room in the quiet with the lights down. (He sleeps in our room but I take him into his for his feed, he likes to make a lot of noise when eating- like his daddy) Gina tells her readers to avoid eye contact and talking to your baby during this feeds, I take this with a pinch of salt, I don't stimulate him at all but I don't go as far as avoiding all eye contact!!! Who can avoid their babies gorgeous eyes!! 

He will usually go for a nap a short while after his bottle, so during this time I will have my breakfast and a cup of tea then get myself showered and ready. When he wakes he will then have a top and tail and get dressed for the day. For the rest Of the day I get on with any plans I have and house hold chores etc. 

Once we get to around 6.30pm we start to wind down, I try to split this feed to he has half before his bath and half after. He loves his bath time, so we never miss this as he enjoys it so much. Once he is in his pj's we come back down stairs for the rest of his bottle and night time cuddles. I always dim the lights during this time.

Once he has fallen asleep usually about half hour after he finishes his feed we put him up to bed for the night. He doesn't make a peep! 

Here is where the trouble starts - Albie doesn't wake for his next feed, so come 11pm I try and do a dream feed, he will only take 2-3 ounzes which can sometimes take an hour to give. He still the wakes up at 2am and again will only have 2 ounces, so he wakes up again at around 5am!!! Don't get me wrong we have had some great nights and I have wrongly thought we had it down, he would be in bed at 7.30pm, he would wake at 10.30pm, then 2am and we would get up at 7am. So a nice early night for us and only one night feed. However since he stopped waking at 10.30 we have been getting up twice. I have decided to try and drop the dream feed this evening and see how it goes, I am hoping that he will wake up around 2ish and take all his bottle allowing him to wake between 6am-7am. I am going to try and push back his bedtime routine by an hour too. Unfortunately it's not as easy as that, we are dictated by when our babies are hungry, but let's see how it goes! I am not rushing Albie to sleep through the night, if he wakes hungry I do not try to ease him with a dummy, if he is hungry then he is fed, no matter how often and what time. I know babies need that night feed during the first few months so we will continue for as long as he wants it. 


Did you implement a routine for your little one ? When did your little one decide to drop his or her night feed? I would love any tips ! 


  1. Ohhhh love the advice Sarah! I hope Albie gets more settled into a night time routine for you soon!! Maybe he is just excited about Harry coming.. Lol! Xx

  2. I hated that part of the Gina Ford book about not making eye contact, I find that whole idea so sad :( I think feeding time should be bonding time when you're gazing at each other. Mean Gina! lol.

    I don't do routine much really. I started to hate them when I worked as a nanny and in nurseries - I got so sick of routine-obsessed parents who would flip out if their baby had napped for 10 minutes longer than the "schedule" allowed.

    We have wake up around the same time (9.30 ish), meals at the same time every day - but Tyne is so fussy with his milk since weaning so theres no schedule at all to that anymore! And he naps whenever he feels like it, and goes down anywhere between 9pm-midnight!! It varies so much from one night to the next.Once he's down though, he usually stays down and doesn't want a night feed anymore.

    My health visitor always told me to drop the nightfeed but I never did - if he wanted it I gave it to him! They drop it themselves eventually.

    I think its just important for everybody to do whatever feels right for them. Everybody and every baby is so different

  3. We were lucky and didn't need to try and get Sienna in a routine. I did read the Gina Ford book just incase but like you said, a lot I didn't agree with! I have kept it incase baby number 2 is not as content as Sienna!

    Kerry @ Lived With Love! | Mummy, Beauty & Lifestyle blog

  4. You're so good Sarah for doing this early. I'm also a little better at implementing at sleep routine with my second one after the hard lesson I learnt with the first one (as you have read in my blog). Good luck to both of us. Good to hear Albie is thriving as well.