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how important is a routine for a baby?


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#1 katiebear26

Posted 13 February 2013 - 07:52 PM

DD is 6 months old and usually has 3 short sleeps per day but never wakes at the same time each day and the naps are all over the place. She often gets sleepy and closes her eyes for a few minutes then is wide awake for another play session.

while i would love to have one, she hasn't settled into a routine and i've found it very hard to get her into one (still working on it though, at least a rough routine, not timed to the minute).

i'm wondering whether babies really need a routine? i figure that when she starts daycare there will be a routine more or less required of her and i'd like to see what i can achieve first.

i'd love to hear from people who have bubs about 8+ months old who have routines and who don't, and whether you think it's worked well or wasn't necessary? thanks original.gif

#2 mandala

Posted 13 February 2013 - 07:58 PM

It depends on the baby. DS needed a structure in his day - so feed, play, sleep, bath before bed, walk around the block in the afternoon. However, it wasn't particularly rigid with times until he had dropped his third nap at 6 months.

I found the 3-2 transition meant I had no idea when DS might be napping or not, and my days were all over the place. It settled down when he went to two naps, and I could easily predict what he wanted to do and when.

DS went to two naps quite early, at 6 months, but some babies still need three at 9 months+.

#3 Lagom

Posted 13 February 2013 - 07:59 PM

I'm not a routine person but I realllllly tried to have one with DD1 because she was a shocking sleeper.  It was a bad idea but I didn't know that at the time.  I think routine is important but so is being flexible and going with the flow.  Stress isn't great whether that stress comes from trying to stick with a routine or by not having one.
Well, that was helpful.... NOT!  lol

#4 Feral-as-Meggs

Posted 13 February 2013 - 08:00 PM

I'm sure my son could have coped without a routine, but I couldn't, and my happiness is essential to his at this point in his life.

I find that a routine lets me get stuff done and also make appointments and plans to catch up with friends (which keeps me sane) and its easier for people to help me out with babysitting because I can tell them where he's up to and what he's likely to need.   It's only rough, everything can move 30 mins or so each way.

#5 axiomae

Posted 13 February 2013 - 08:09 PM

My DD is a changed baby. After implementing a routine she has gone from being an irritable, overtired child to a well-rested, happy baby that is such a joy to be around. She needs predictability, she needs structure. She's the kind of baby that won't settle anywhere but the cot and once I realised that I stopped trying to get her to fall asleep in other places (pram, car etc) and just accepted that for the short term we'd be sticking to a feed, play, sleep routine close to home. SO worth it!

#6 Kay1

Posted 13 February 2013 - 08:10 PM

I need routine because I have other kids with school etc to accommodate. My 6 month old has a flexible routine of two - three naps (depending on how long his sleeps are). I have put a lot of work into getting him to self settle and he now sleeps pretty well during the day. I do tend to rush home at 9.30am for his sleep and again for his afternoon sleep, or ensure that I am somewhere where he can sleep in the pram etc. I aim for a similar bedtime each day, depending on when his last nap was.

I do believe that there are certain times of day that babies are more likely to be sleepy (at this age 9 and 1) and so I aim for sleep at those times. At about 8 months I think its more like 10 and 2) which is going to be a problem for me having to pick up kids at 3pm each day. sad.gif

#7 Phoenix Blue

Posted 13 February 2013 - 08:13 PM

Routine doesn't have to be by the clock, as in 9:30 is sleep time. But can be more by awake time.

DD has what I consider a routine. It became more structured around 6-7 months to help with her night sleep.

At about 6-7 months she would be awake for around 1:45-2hours tops. So if she woke of a morning at 7am,then first sleep was by 8:45-9am. 2nd sleep she was usually down between 12-1pm. And 3rd sleep going down anytime between 4-5:30pm. I found that she slept much better at night if she had the 3rd sleep. Bedtime was around 7:30-8pm. She's only just starting to drop it now at 9 months. She's also happy to be awake 2:30-3hours now.

Personally I think babies thrive better with some sort of routine, and I know I need a routine too.

HTH

#8 mum2jp

Posted 13 February 2013 - 08:14 PM

Hi, I never had a routine in the sense that I was watching the clock. I do think it's important to have some kind of flow to the day though. We always did things in the same order each day but based on when DS was hungry or looking tired. DS is 2 now and has settled into a flexible sort of routine but we still don't have set times for things. At 6 months we would have a flow that went feed, play, feed (as he always fed to sleep) then seep again.

#9 minidiamond

Posted 13 February 2013 - 08:15 PM

I have just started DS on a routine, of sorts.  He's like your DD, catnaps during the day and has a little sleep while BF-ing and he's all set to go.  Sometimes I resent going in the car or taking him for a walk in the pram because he'll get a little shut eye and ruin any hope of a decent nap.

However, the routine definitely is helping, a friend suggested it from a mothercraft nurse she hired, and it doesn't always 'translate' (ie there's an assumption of a 2 hour nap in morning and arvo which doesn't happen for us).  But I stick to the feed times and the times to put him down.  It's going ok.  His night sleeps have improved alot, although we just started solids about 4 weeks ago so that may've contributed.

#10 katiebear26

Posted 13 February 2013 - 09:02 PM

QUOTE (meggs1 @ 13/02/2013, 09:00 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'm sure my son could have coped without a routine, but I couldn't, and my happiness is essential to his at this point in his life.

I find that a routine lets me get stuff done and also make appointments and plans to catch up with friends (which keeps me sane) and its easier for people to help me out with babysitting because I can tell them where he's up to and what he's likely to need.   It's only rough, everything can move 30 mins or so each way.



meggs 1 i am the same, this is why i am leaning towards a routine. i usually get out during the morning and am home by 1pm at the latest, so in a sense *i* have a routine...

QUOTE (minidiamond @ 13/02/2013, 09:15 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
His night sleeps have improved alot, although we just started solids about 4 weeks ago so that may've contributed.


minidiamond DD is the opposite! as soon as she started solids she started waking during the night for another feed, and sometimes twice now. i've just popped her down again after a bottle and she'll no doubt be up between 1-3am.


we used to have a bit of a routine in that whatever time she got up, she would need a nap 1 hour after getting up, then a couple of 2 hour blocks, then the last awake session was about 3 hours and she'd be asleep by 7pm. now it's crazy - waking anywhere from 4:30 - 6:30am, awake for between 1 hour and 3 hours that first time, then 2 hours, then the afternoon can drag on like today she went for 4 hours then 3 hours before her longer sleep tonight.

it's driving me a little crazy... we're working towards self settling (that's another thread in itself...) so maybe after that i can get her to be more predictable.

BTW how do you know a baby needs a structured day???


#11 Funwith3

Posted 13 February 2013 - 09:06 PM

QUOTE (Phoenix Blue @ 13/02/2013, 09:13 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Routine doesn't have to be by the clock, as in 9:30 is sleep time. But can be more by awake time.

DD has what I consider a routine. It became more structured around 6-7 months to help with her night sleep.

At about 6-7 months she would be awake for around 1:45-2hours tops. So if she woke of a morning at 7am,then first sleep was by 8:45-9am. 2nd sleep she was usually down between 12-1pm. And 3rd sleep going down anytime between 4-5:30pm. I found that she slept much better at night if she had the 3rd sleep. Bedtime was around 7:30-8pm. She's only just starting to drop it now at 9 months. She's also happy to be awake 2:30-3hours now.

Personally I think babies thrive better with some sort of routine, and I know I need a routine too.

HTH


Thank you, you have really hit the nail on the head with regards to a routine for my 8 month old!! Your routine fits in perfectly with school runs and for some reason, I just could never figure it out. Somehow, having it in writing in front of me - what you've said makes perfect sense. MUST be down before 9.15am in order for her to be asleep again by about 1pm ish - which would then mean she has enough time for a second long sleep before school pick up.

I always got the 9am sleep ok, but by the time I got DD3 organised for her 2nd long sleep, there wasn't enough time left and I'd be waking her to pick up her sisters from school. Then I never even thought of doing an after school nap.

Thanks!!!!  biggrin.gif

#12 Feralina

Posted 13 February 2013 - 09:16 PM

Like some others, we followed a loose routine, mostly based on how much awake time DS could handle. Our whole day pretty much depended on what time he woke up in the morning - I'd base his first nap time around that (up for up to 2 hours, then nap), which would then affect his second nap, etc. If I needed to do something at a particular time later in the day, I'd wake him up earlier/later in the morning so that i could work naps around the activities (he was never big on sleeping anywhere but the cot).

Oh, and we followed feed/play/sleep from when he was about 6 weeks old. I found that made a huge difference for me.

Edited by Zeppelina, 13 February 2013 - 09:17 PM.


#13 ubermum

Posted 13 February 2013 - 09:22 PM

Depends on the family and the baby. I have an 8mo who's only routine is to go down for the night some time around 7pm. The rest of the time, it's just go with the flow around all of our activities and committments.

#14 premmie

Posted 15 February 2013 - 08:03 AM

I tried desperately with ds1 at that age to get him to sleep longer than 20 minutes. I found once he hit 2 day sleeps and we had sorted the night sleeping at about 8 months his day sleeps improved a lot? I suddenly had a pretty solid eating and sleeping routine and a baby that slept all night. My holy grail original.gif and I was so much happier for it, he was well rested, hitting milestones and we could plan around his sleeping times to be out and about. It improved further apfrom 14 months on 1 sleep as we could be out and about for longer and longer.

Ds2 was a better sleeper all round and I found I could try and get them sleeping together in the afternoon from quite young. Study still sleep together at 1pm every day which works well for me!

I think it depends on you and your baby. I. Wasn't a clock watcher, but I figured out a routine that worked well for everyone. I could never cope with all over the place...and neither could both my boys...some structure and predictability is important I feel, particularly when they become toddlers

#15 Futureself

Posted 15 February 2013 - 08:16 AM

QUOTE (Phoenix Blue @ 13/02/2013, 08:13 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Routine doesn't have to be by the clock, as in 9:30 is sleep time. But can be more by awake time.

This is us too. First awake block is only 1.5-2 hours as he gets tired but is 3 hours for the rest of the day. I've tried for shorter in line with recommendations of only having him up for 1.5-2hours but 3 hours awake time works for him. He wakes up anywhere from 5:30 - 7:00am so my day just has to keep shifting but I consider it a routine  shrug.gif

#16 mysonsmum

Posted 15 February 2013 - 08:34 AM

I wouldn't bother with routine if ur baby doesn't seem to need it. The worst times I ever had with my son was when I stupidly listened to everybody telling me he needed a routine, if I didn't do it now I'd regret it later ect so I tried to put him in a routine & it was awful but as soon as I went back to going with the flow & following his leads he was happy as & I never had any problems

#17 mandala

Posted 15 February 2013 - 08:35 AM

How do you know if you have a baby who needs structure? You try to put one in place, guided by their cues, and then you see if they're happier original.gif And then you try and change it and see if they are unhappy!

My DS is flexible to a point. He can miss a nap one day, or have a later night, or have a big morning tea and a late lunch. But by day two or three of that kind of thing, he's grumpy and overtired and clingy. Some babies are even more attached to their routine.

#18 Madnesscraves

Posted 15 February 2013 - 08:44 AM

For my DD, she needed Routine. It was actually implemented at the hospital as she was a premmie. everyone kept telling me she didn't need it, it was silly etc. So I decided to not to do a routine and oh my god. she was horrible. So I put the routine back into place. She's far happier if she has a routine in place in terms of sleep. Not so much what she's doing during the day, but the routine more for her awake/sleep time.

What she does when shes awake varies. so it doesn't bother her. Just long as she gets her sleep after 4.5 hours of being awake in the morning is all she cares about.

It really makes it easier for me to book appointments knowing when she sleeps. I agree every now and then I do have to go out during her sleep time and she's not too bad, she's only rotten if it happens to many days in a row. once in a while though, doesn't have an issue.



#19 Blossom73

Posted 15 February 2013 - 10:29 AM

My DS needs the routine and was much happier once we had one. We still have one today at nearly age 2.

This meant that I did have to be home for sleep times most days, but it made the rest of our time together much easier and happier.




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