Too Young for a routine?

Shakira - posted on 11/03/2009 ( 3 moms have responded )

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My son is 5 weeks old and won't go to bed until after midnight. Is he too young to start some kind of routine to try and get him to sleep earlier? He also won't sleep in his crib/bouncy seat/car seat, only if he is in my arms in bed which is getting annoying as well.

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My son is 6 weeks old and we have had him on a routine since Saturday (not long I know). We had a few weeks of him sleeping for 10 minutes or similar at a time, and only while we hold him. If we even moved to reach for a drink or anything he would wake up and we would have to go through it all again. After reading about a book called 'Save Our Sleep' we went out and bought it and the next day started him on the routine. The whole day was bliss! He went to sleep when I put him in his bed, I woke him up to feed him when needed (otherwise he would have slept one big block during the day and then up for the rest of the day and night). So far it has been great, only a few very minor exceptions. He does cry, only a little and when he gets distressed or is crying in hunger or pain from wind, we go in to him. He is now getting the idea of how to get to sleep on his own and in his own bed. We do the same thing everytime he gets put to bed, we close the blinds and wrap him up while he is in bed, tuck him in, say something like 'have a big sleep' and leave the room. Recently he hasn't even been crying at all, more talking noises and then off to sleep. When he did cry it was a very broken cry, almost like he was trying to say how tired he was. The more we would tend to him the longer it would take for him to go to sleep (almost like we were disturbing him in his efforts to get to sleep), but if we left him for just a few minutes while he was crying on and off, he would go to sleep and not wake up for hours. Now, after starting the routine, he is more alert and happy when awake. He definately doesn't grizzle like he used to and is very happy to look around and soak it all in.

Melissa - posted on 11/03/2009

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Its never too young to start a routine. the key is being flexable and being able to tweak it to fit your babies needs while being ridgid enough to still call it a routine. most babies will develop their own routine in time. As for the sleeping problem....babies cry....i dont mean that to be harsh but sometimes they need to cry themselves to sleep for a while before they realize thats how its going to be done. eventually they learn that when i am in this bed i sleep.

Pia - posted on 11/03/2009

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It's not too young. The problem is finding a routine that is suitable for him. I never had a strict routine for my son, I would just pay attention to his cues (sleep, hunger cues) and go from there.

We have a bedtime routine which is the same every day. He knows as soon as he's eaten that we will then go for a walk (this relaxes them), then he has a bath (which also relaxes them) then he has a cup of milk, we read a book, have a cuddle and then it's bedtime. He knows as soon as I put him in his pram that he's got to unwind. He is 16 months though, not 5 weeks so it is a little different but you could try implementing something like this.

Your baby is still only 5 weeks old and needs a lot of love and attention, there are ways to put him to sleep without him crying and without you rocking him. There are many books that introduce methods and routines of getiting your baby to sleep without your baby crying it out (which I am opposed to at such an early age). Try and learn his tired cues, he is probably ready for bed before midnight but you may be missing the signals and so he gets overtired.

Go to your bookstore and flick through some sleep method books. Your child health nurse should also have some tips. Hope this helps.

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