Routine Schedule Advice Please

5 Replies
angeev - November 24

My son is 4 weeks old and is on no schedule or routine at all. Well, he does eat the same amount every 3 1/2 -4 hours, but as far as the meals being around the same time from day to day or his sleeping paterns...NOTHING! I think he might be young to expect a routine but still feel it is never to early to start steering him in the direction of some structure. Any advice? Books? When does a routine usually start, do they just develope their own or as parents do we need to force them into something? THANKS!!


JerseyGirl - November 24

You are correct in saying that 4 weeks is too early (way too early) to expect any sort of eating or sleeping pattern. My now 5-month-old started his own schedule at around 3.5 or 4 months old. Believe it or not, the baby will dictate. He eats at 8am, 12pm, 4pm and 8pm, (give or take), and naps at around 10am, 2pm and 6pm. For the last week, I've let him CIO for naptime, and within 10 minutes, is out like a light for at least an hour. I hated the idea of CIO, but was curious to see how he'd react, and I'm happy I did. I can't tell you about any books because I never had (still don't) time to read. I kinda think there's no point. I'm a first-time mom who has a DH who hardly helps so I'm pretty much on my own... and was still able to figure things out for myself... with baby's help, of course! Good luck. It'll get easier and more structured.


DDT - November 24

I started a routine at 6 wks with my ds. Believe is or not it is possible to start a routine from birth. The books I read and used were "The Baby Whisperer" (3rd series) & "Good Sleeping Habits, Healthy Child." A routine can start anytime because it largely depends on the parents & their lifestyle. Some people never start a routine for their lo's and some, like I've already said, start from birth. Keep in mind that a routine is NOT the same as a schedule. It's not written in stone. But really it's creating a time for naps, feedings, play, bathtime ect. (Just like you would for a toddler...times for play and times for sleep). Of course if your baby is going through a growth spurt and is hungry every 2hrs instead of 3hrs then by all means feed him. But if he can go 3hrs between feeds then why not try to set a feeding routine. By 6wks my ds was eating every 3hrs and then by 4 months old every 4hrs. now at 9 months he drinks every 5-6hrs. Babies appreciate routine because in essence it makes them feel comfortable in their enviroment because they "sense" what is coming next. I wouldn't call it "forcing" but rather "teaching" them. Many babies need to be taught to sleep because and a routine helps that. My ds fought sleep from a very young age and was pretty much over-tired all the time. That's when in desperation I turned to a routine and it helped 100%. Good Luck!


Crystal83 - November 24

I started a routine with my baby from birth and she has slept through the night since about 5 weeks. Although, from birth she has always gone right back to sleep after feeding even if she did get up at night. Are you b___stfeeding? I had baby sleep with me for the first 8 weeks and I just b___stfeed lying down with a low dimmed light on so I could see what I was doing and after I got the hang of it I started falling asleep during the feedings and would wake up an hour later and she would be unlatched and fast asleep. I started this with my second daughter after figuring out with my first that a routine is sooo neccesary for babies it keeps them comfortable and helps them to trust that they are in a safe environment where mom and dad are there for all their needs. I started putting dd in her cradle beside my bed at about 9 weeks and she actually started sleeping longer, her first night she slept from 11pm - 6:30am. I thought it wasa fluke at firtst but that has become her routine and she is 13 weeks. Of course there was a growth spurt in between there that kind of put off the routine a bit, but you can't be too strict. If baby is growing and wants to sleep all day you have to let them and just deal with them waking up at night for a couple of days. I let baby do what she wants during the day and keep everything for bedtime routine the exact same every night. Lights out at 10:30pm. When it becomes dark she knows it's bedtime and I keep evrything light and noisy during the day and with 2 other kids it is ALWAYS noisy lol, and she has learned to sleep through it all. hope this helps a bit. GL!


cubbie - November 25

Hi, I know you say that your son is not on any sort of routine, but without you knowing it he is! He's going the same time between all his meals - which is the first step to any routine! I would advise though not to let him go more than 3 hours during the day which will mean that he needs less food at night and will start sleeping through earlier. Also if you want more of a timed structure in the day, which really isn't necessary at this age, but can be done, wake him up for his first feed in the morning so he's getting that (and then all his later meals) at roughly the same time each day.


angeev - November 25

Thanks everyone!! Great suggestions here, some that I think will work for my little guy. And DDT, you're right "force" does sound kind of harsh, I think I meant more something more like "guide." And my baby does the same thing...he doesn't nap well and gets over tired and that sets an off mood for the whole day. It's not every day though and he does sleep well at night so I am not complaining--I just know how I feel when I am over tired. After reading what you have said and keeping close track of his days, I guess I am seeing somewhat of a pattern developing...I just needed you guys to help make me aware of it.



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