Should I be trying to put my baby into routine now?

Shai - posted on 07/03/2010 ( 60 moms have responded )

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My baby girl is 4 weeks old next tuesday and her sleeping pattern is all over the place atm should I be trying harder to get her into routine now?

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Vicki - posted on 07/15/2010

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ive never had a routine for my daughter and she sleeps and eats well,
ive always gone by what she wants, This has helped as we havent been tied down by it.
I f she wants to sleep she will, she lets us know when she is hungry.
The only time she is in a routine is in the evening at bedtime,
Dont force anything upon your daughter

Catherine - posted on 07/15/2010

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At four weeks a baby is still to young to go much more than 4 (at best five) hours without milk. The is always an exception to the rule. Generally it's important to allow them to feed on demand, this advice is breast focused. With bottle feeding the about every four hour rule should be applied and with both bottle and breast there will be times when baby feeds more particularly around eight weeks, a noticeable change in feeding and sleeping patterns can occur, babies go through a developmental leap and therefore require more. Of course they are growing all the time it's just that at this time you usually have found your feet a little and settled into a routine and then this leap comes out of the blue and you find much aof your routine changed. These periods of unrest and change will happen frequently for the first six months and then you'll find bigger gaps between the leaps.

Hayley - posted on 07/14/2010

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No chance! You will do nothing but frustrate yourself. Your daughter is very young, and her schedule will be all over the place for the next six months at least.

Jenny - posted on 07/10/2010

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I noticed my son around 7 weeks getting into his own routine. Just sit back and enjoy her. She'll have a routine in no time. :)

Ez - posted on 07/03/2010

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Don't worry too much about routine at this point, It can take up to 6 weeks for some babies to even recognise the difference between night and day, so it makes sense that there is no pattern to their sleeping. Give her another month or so, and then just take notice of how her natural sleeping and eating patterns emerge. Babies this young should be fed on demand (whether BF or FF) as they can only take in such small volumes at a feeding.

Just relax and follow your baby's cues. If you allow her natural patterns to form the basis of the routine you will have a much happier and calmer household. Good luck!

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Jennifer - posted on 07/20/2010

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you can try, but its a futile effort because babies this little sleep alot! you won't start to really see any kind of normalicy for a while yet. wet diapers and being hungry are going to wake her up, so before i worry about her sleep pattern, i would get her feeding pattern under control first... and her feeding pattern will change as she gets bigger, but her sleeping schedule will revolve around that. you can try establishing a nighttime routine when its time for her to go to bed (for a few hours anyways)... before bed i would give her a nice soothing bath, put her in something comfortable and easy for you to change her diaper in, so if she does wake up with a wet diaper you don't have to totally wake her up just to change her, and then turn your lights down low, turn down the volume on tv or stereo, and give her bottle/breastfeed and rock her to sleep playing soft lullabyes or singing softly to her and do same routine at around same time every night for a week... she'll start to recognize this routine as her bedtime routine... as far as the rest of your day, your baby is so little that you just have to let her sleep when she wants to sleep... as she gets bigger she'll spend more time awake during the day and less time sleeping, in the not-so-distant future you'll be looking back at this time and thinking to yourself "geez it was nice when you slept all the time. now i can't get a minute to myself!" .. lol

Julia - posted on 07/15/2010

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Don't get stressed about having one, but definitely start differentiating night and day. Our son sleeps from 10:30pm to 6am and then eats and sleeps two more hours. From the start we tried to keep him up during the day, kept lights on, played music, and then we decided at 10:30 it's bed-time. We wrap him up in his swaddle and feed him, then tuck him into bed when he's getting sleepy. During the night if he wakes up we feed him, but don't make any loud noises or be playful with him. Then we rock him till he is sleepy and put him back to bed. He does really well with this routine. It's kind of up to your baby how you get her scheduled though. Good luck!

Varda - posted on 07/14/2010

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with all my 3 ones I tried to put them on routine as soon as I was strong enough.
The quicker you get her in a routine the happier you'll be.
Good luck and be strong

Gina - posted on 07/14/2010

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she will be getting to the age where you could start now, babys thrive on stability. they cannot control anything in their lives so knowing when bed time is or when a bottle is due is calming and healthy for them.

Madilyn - posted on 07/12/2010

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No. babies that young need to sleep when they do. My 14 month old started his own pattern around 6 months and now has it well established with no help from me. Let your baby sleep when she wants and eat when she wants for now. If you want to start a routine, wait until at least 6 months to slowly make a routine. A nice bath and infant massage before bed is nice and doesnt hurt now, that may make your baby more relaxed before bed.

Trudi - posted on 07/10/2010

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Dont be too concerned about routine at this age, just be guided by what she needs. It is good to maybe get her into a routine at night say, give her a bath before she goes down for her evening sleep that way when she is older she realises that after her bath it is bed time.

Olivia - posted on 07/10/2010

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I disagree with routines, especially so young. My daughter is 6 months and we haven't really put her on any routine she tells us what is best for her and we listen.



Now with that said I do believe in leading your LO in the right direction. If your LO is all over the place you can promote a good schedule not a routine. There needs to be lead way so if something changes she doesn't get upset over it if it is now or years from now.



Is she breast feeding? Do you nurse on demand? If not that a good start to a schedule surprisingly. Now a 4 weeks her sleeping pattern will be all over the place if you compare it to your sleeping patter. It should be fairly constant throughout a 24 hour period. 2-3 hours of sleep 1-3 hours awake. It will stay like that till she is about 4 months. Slowly changing week by week. At least that's what my LO did.



Does she sleep in bed with you? My LO has since day one and I know that has helped her sleeping patter. She slowly went from 1-3 hours of sleep during the day to at least 4 hours at night.



What I suggest since all LO are different follow your daughters lead while you lead her. If that makes any sense. The both of you together knows what is best. If she is giving you a hard time that's her way of telling you to try something else.

[deleted account]

I tried to get a routine going for my my baby boy at 6 weeks, I stressed so hard about it, cause he was sleeping all over the place to, we'd have to be up with him til 2-3am then he'd sleep all day, I gave up on the routine except for getting up at 7am every morning and waking him too, at about 7-8 weeks he started going to sleep at 11pm, waking up for 1 feed at night and slept till 6-7am, which I thought was great! now he's 11 weeks, almost every night he'll go to sleep at 9:30-10 which is perfect for us cuz my husband works late and that way he gets to play with him yet too, quite often he'll sleep through the night till like 6-7am, but sometimes I still have to feed him once at night. All baby's are different, for us the routine thing just didn't work, I think some baby's just have to grow out of the weird sleeping habits, and they get a routine going on their own.

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YES! they should have some sort of routine from the start. i would start one now while shes still a newborn

Katherine - posted on 07/10/2010

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I would only put a very young baby on a routine if you are going back to work very soon. my little girl got into the routine herself around 6 weeks old when she slept right through the night. I have found that if you want them to change it never happens. Just enjoy being a mum! Another thing is during the day what about reading them a story or playing with your child it may keep your child awake longer during the day so they will sleep longer at night.

Krystal - posted on 07/10/2010

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I cant recommend routine enough! have you heard of Save Our Sleep by Tizzie Hall? My son has been on it since 6wks old and our next baby will be on it from Day 1. Not only does she have great routines but fantastic feed, settling advice too :)

[deleted account]

I recommend recording when she eats/sleeps/nappy changes etc and see if you notice her own routine. At first it will be all over the place but around 4-5 months I noticed my daughter going to sleep etc roughly around the same time and I was about to work out a routine for her around that. She's now 8 months and on a good routine for both of us. Remember to keep it flexible and respond to her changes. Inevitably, just when you think its all sorted, they'll go and change. :)

Megan - posted on 07/10/2010

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well some doctors would say yes but in my family we wait till 2-3 months because by then working with her for a routine will be a lil easier...shell be more likely to wake when you want and sleep easier and play

Sherrie - posted on 07/09/2010

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I have a 3 month old son and I tried to do a routine in the beginning. It didn't work. I let him sleep when he wanted to sleep and fed him when he wanted to be fed (of course, not letting a feeding go over 4 hours). When he was about a month and a half he started to get into a routine on his own and I helped. For example, bed time is between 9-1030. So what I do is give him a bottle of cereal between 730-830 then I nurse him. That is a que that it is bedtime. Have certain que's for bedtime like putting night time lotion on her the same time every night.

Stacey - posted on 07/09/2010

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My son was 3 weeks old now his 14 months old bath at 7 n bed ar 7 30 n hs get 30 mins of a dvd a night n it hekp hegets up at bought 8 thr night

Krista - posted on 07/09/2010

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I wish I could have put my daughter in a routine at that age! It was a gradual process but she put herself into a nap routine by 6 months. It was a long process though but I think most babies will do it on their own with some help.

Cinys - posted on 07/09/2010

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When Sabrina was just a week old up until she was 6 months

she had a bottle every 3 hours.

7am 10am, 1pm, 4pm, 7pm, 10pm. She would nap in between those.

from 6 until I think she can go without its every 4 hours.

8am, 12pm, 4pm, 8pm (she is on all solids except her breakfast which is formula and cereal)





If your baby is on a routine, you can plan your day better. You know when you can do what, you can even schedule people to come over and visit with the baby during her up time. Personally, I hate waking a baby just so someone can play with her. I figured, How would I like someone waking me up just to play with me. Id be cranky!





If your baby is on a well established routine, you will have more time to relax and more time to do the million and one things you need to get done.



For the first month and a half, I did need to wake up with Sabrina, however, at tthe end of that month and a half, I wouldnt get up in the middle of the night unless she cried for her feeding. Soon, she was waking up later and later until she was sleeping the night. (by 2 months)



She has had only 1 cold (my fault, being a new mom I bundled her up to much) and Her doctor visits are fabulous!



I recommend a routine for your health and sanity (lol)





Good luck!

Cinys - posted on 07/09/2010

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I had a routine for baby girl from the moment I had brought her home from the hospital.
It is a life saver.
She is 10 months now and knows that after her 8pm feedings, its bedtime.
I know now, if she fusses or cries, it is because she is not feeling well or has tummy aches.
She is a great sleeper and a great overall experience.

Maj-Britt - posted on 07/09/2010

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The advice I got when I had my babies was to work on full feedings from when they were born. So i tried to keep them awake long enough to get a good feed and then they naturally seemed to sleep for a couple hours before getting up for another feed. Also, I was told that new borns shouldn't go for longer than 4 hours between feeds so I woke my little one during the day if they over slept, changed their nappy, had a little chat and then put them back to bed. At night I just fed them and put them straight down again and they got the difference between night and day within a week. Also, from 4 weeks I started letting them sleep 4 and a half hours from the last feed. So at 11pm I would set my alarm for 3:30am and then if they didn't wake first, I would feed them then. Then after a few days I would allow 5 hours from the last feed and so on, until they were sleeping through the night. Once they slept until 6ish I would start making the last feed earlier until by about 12 weeks old they were sleeping from about 8pm through to 6am without a feed. Of course there were days they were hungrier or having growth spurts so I always fed them when they were hungry but having the routine helped us both to know what was going on with them and also if it was just wind.

Part of the night time sleeping through was because I would wake them through the day if they overslept. It didn't seem to do them any harm and it's so nice to spend time with during the day, also with my second, it was nice for him to be up when his sister was to help them bond.

I wish you and your little girl all the very best. They are amazing little miracles aren't they.

Take care

Catherine - posted on 07/08/2010

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If your having problems with pure exhaution on your part you could try to see if you could get her to stay awake alittle longer during feedings see if she sleeps better at night. my daughter is almost 5 mos. and she sleeps all night I never tried to put her on a routine.

Amanda - posted on 07/08/2010

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My son fell into as routine on his own when he was about 2 months old. He has 5 feedings a day and then sleeps 6-10 hours a night. Prior to that he was waking every 4hrs to feed. I would just give her another couple of months to see what she does.

Sarah - posted on 07/08/2010

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i agree with every one but just keep an eye on the kind of a routine you keep as it could change if you have unexpected events as it could through any routine that you do have set up with her and she will let you know when she is ready to sett a better routine

Corlia - posted on 07/08/2010

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Please no for heavens sake. 4 weeks! just get plenty of sleep for yourself whenever you can and get proper meals each day. the first 6 weeks after my baby was born is total blur. take it 1 day at a time. we did try to do bathtime at 17h00 each day but it did not always work like that. a bedtime routine is where you start but 4 weeks is really to early. i never woke my baby for a feed of bath or anything and he has always fallen into his own schedule. it changed as he grew and I made lunchtime at 12h00 as it is practical for our house. as I said a bedtime routine is a nice way to start but we only got a proper routine going at about 7 months. my boy is now 16 months and in a routine.

Tracie - posted on 07/08/2010

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We started giving our daughter a bath every night at the same time (around 6 or 7pm) as soon as her umbilical cord fell off. Following a bath we would cuddle her & give her a bottle & put her off to bed... After a few weeks it just kinda became the norm & she put herself into her own routine...

Allyson - posted on 07/08/2010

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I kind of just did as she wanted and later regretted not doing a routine. Now my little girl is 13 months and we both thrive on her routine. It doesn't have to be anything big but I found the bedtime routine the most essential. It has always been bath, milk bed, and as she got older it became snack, bath, milk, bed. I have always thought of the bath as the "sign" that it's bedtime. I know some people think of a routine as a bad thing but don't we all as adults even have a daily routine? It's just something that makes things easier on everyone, I think.

Jessica - posted on 07/08/2010

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by routine i do not mean scheduled feedings or naps, but pay attention to cues.

Jessica - posted on 07/08/2010

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start now! you'd be surprised how much they pick up on now. i recommend the No Cry Sleep Solution. the routine is just as much for you as it is for her. lights off/dim in the house an hr before bed, no talking, singing, music, playing during night, etc. keep everything boring and low key. trust me, you'll be so glad you encouraged her now. i have a 2 yr old that we didn't do these things with and she still is hard to put down and stay asleep. my 3 month old has a more predictable night time pattern because i've had a routine for 2 yr old since he was born.

Brandy - posted on 07/08/2010

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No, they say a baby's not really even capable of getting into a routine until about six months or later. My daughters sleep pattern was everywhere for abut five months. They eventually fall onto their own scedule. You can help though by starting a bedtime routine around the same time each night.

Katherine - posted on 07/08/2010

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Routines are good but only if everyone is happy with it! My daughter was bf approx every 3 hours during the day (very loose routine but I stuck to it during the day) and by 8 weeks old by sticking to this routine during the day she'd sleep through the night and has ever since! I think I've been very lucky but it's never too early as it can help you keep your sanity too... Best of luck and I hope you find something that suits you both.

Shai - posted on 07/08/2010

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Wow, thanks for all the help ladies, havent got to read them all just yet will do soon...baby duties call so Ill get back to you all...

Sarah - posted on 07/08/2010

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I breastfed my son so i fed on demand but he was a very very hungry baby and made me very sore so i put him on formula when he was a month old (those first 4 weeks were hell lol) I tried getting him into a routine when i was breastfeeding but it didnt work for me. So once he was on formula, i carried on with the routine and by 9 weeks he slept through. But we used to cuddle him after he had his night bottle for abit so when he woke during the night he wanted cuddling back to sleep !
So this time ive learnt from my mistakes. As soon as me and my daughter came out of hospital i put her into a routine. Babys and children like routine, makes them feel secure. I feed my daughter every 4 hours, and if she went over because she slept a little longer, id give her next bottles earlier so she would always go to bed between 10pm and 10.30pm. She has been sleeping through since she was 4 weeks old. She has her last bottle at 10pm and wakes up at 6am then goes back to sleep at about 7am after her bottle. But unfortunately i cant go back to sleep as my son is usually awake by 6.30pm.
It was harder to get my son into his routine because of the cuddling at night time but now he goes to bed at 8pm and we dont hear a peep from him until 6.30am. With my daughter she has her bottle, we wind her and then turn the light off and put her down and thats it.
As for during the day, i let my daughter sleep whenever she wants but most of the time she fights it so i know when shes tired when shes really grumpy. And as for my son, who is now 2, i ask him between 1pm and 3.30pm if he wants a nap, after 3.30pm is a no no otherwise he'll be gettin up out of bed until about 9pm.
My mum is amazed at how well they are in a routine. Her other two grandchildren arent in a routine, well the youngest is. But the eldest stays awake until god knows what time and he's 4 in august. If my son doesnt stick to his routine, he is very grumpy . He even has to have a story and his teddy bear at night time and if he doesnt have them, then he kicks off lol.
Whatever you decide to do, good luck and it's your choice what you do with your child and if you think she's ready for a routine then go for it, if you dont then thats fine. Dont let anyone tell you what you should or shouldnt be doing, you know your daughter best so you do what you think is right. Thats what i do :o)

Cassandra - posted on 07/07/2010

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My son was never on a routine until he started sleeping in his own bed at 1 yr old, but that is just a bed time routine, not nap time. We did just fine without a routine, but I suppose some babies do better with one.

Katie - posted on 07/07/2010

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I would try to make a nap routine if you can but, she'll make a sleeping routine when she's ready! Just be paitient with her!

Kory - posted on 07/07/2010

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I didn't start my son on routine until he was about 2 months..He never fusses when he goes to bed, he just talks to his bear (he is 16 months now) then falls asleep on his own..its sooo nice!

Erin - posted on 07/07/2010

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I started my baby girl on a feeding schedule (she's on formula) and the sleeping pattern just kind of fell into place. She is now 6 months and takes her naps at the same time every day, it is so nice! She has also been sleeping through the night ( from about 9pm to 7am)since 6 weeks. It seems like for the most part they kind of setup the schedule themselves. It does take a couple of months though so hang in there!

Michelle - posted on 07/07/2010

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NO!!!! They sleep a lot in the beginning. Think of it this way, if they sleep they grow so let them sleep as much as possible. mine is 19 months old and she only started sleeping through form 13 months all babies are different. Don't worry about the sleepless nights as you should still be at home with your baby during the day and you can catch up when she is sleeping. Good luck and don't think to much about it. ;)

Megan - posted on 07/06/2010

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YES! Absolutly! the sooner the better. she might not fall into the routine right away but when she does u will both be much happier :) it doesnt have to be extremely rigid or anything but just a lil but of routine is better then nothin

Alysha - posted on 07/05/2010

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the sooner you put her on a routine the better in the long run my son is a yr old and he isnt on a routine

Vicki - posted on 07/05/2010

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Good luck whichever way you choose. My baby doesn't seem insecure despite me not making him feed and sleep by the clock. He eats when hungry and sleeps when tired and is happy and healthy, never seems confused by my lack of clock watching.

Angela - posted on 07/05/2010

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YES!! You need to put your baby on a routine! I did with my son after the first week and by week 7 he was sleeping all night. I'll give you this website to go to and they have books that will help you understand why its so important and help you not just with a rountine, but many other things...I didnt do everything they suggested, but a rountine make a baby/child feel secure,its so important to give them that!! http://www.gfi.com/ click on "GFI Store" Its growing families international- the books are called On becoming babywise, pretoddler wise, toddler wise and it goes all the way up to teen wise. Good luck...I would at lease give it a try. :)

Vicki - posted on 07/05/2010

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Forget 'should', do what works for your baby and you. I never put my baby into a routine. He worked out night and day sometime in the early weeks, not that he sleep through, just went back to sleep after night feedings. Day sleeps sorted themselves out somehow.

Kacie - posted on 07/04/2010

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best thing iv EVER done for myself, my fiance and my daughter was get her onto a good but simple routine. I only started about 2 weeks ago when she was 6 weeks old but i wish i did it from the start. Read Babywise. It talks about a flexible routine that helps your baby know daytime from night time by waking her every 2 1/2-3 1/2 hours during the day to eat, followed by awake time, then nap time (at night let them wake naturally). The napping is something that doesnt come along right away but my daughter is getting more and more predictable everyday and shes only 8 weeks. She now goes to bed between 930-10 and sleeps until 530-6 then goes back to bed until i wake her between 9-10 (whenever i get up). The past few nights shes been getting up around 3 but she had her shots thursday so since she slept so much during the day her schedule as been thrown off a little. Its still a HUGE improvement from before. Babies/kid thrive on routines and i personally think as long as you give your routine a little flexibility you can only help your situation!

Kerri - posted on 07/04/2010

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At that age it is completely normal to have no routine at all and personally I would never try to 'force' one, babies feed when they want sleep when they want. You wouldn't not feed a baby just because it isn't 'time' yet. However if you like to bath baby at certain times this is fair enough to establish a better routine yourself so you don't feel over the place all of the time. I let both my babies feed and sleep when they pleased and never had any problems. When they start sleeping through the night is probably the best time to start thinking of setting a night time routine, which is usually fiollowed by the same wake up time. Despite this my daughter is 6 months old, fully breastfed (occasional formula if I am not around) and on solids. She still does not sleep through the night everynight but there is nothing in my power to prevent this from happening. She has the same bed time between 9-10'30 and will wake up at 8ish although some nights she will be up 4 times during the night.

Maria - posted on 07/04/2010

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At this age I wouldn't make the routine set in stone. At about 4 mths, was good for my daughter. But if you kind of keep your day the same she will naturally move into it. As my baby got older, i got it more set in stone, making sure no matter what we were doing we were home in time to nap and bath time has always been at the same time since she was born or I mean our bedtime routine. But I also have a 6yr. old that has the same bedtime routine so she kind of just fell into it. I have to say though that my son as a baby was not a routine baby. So I guess its really up to the baby, too.

Also i kind of let her set her own routine, and went with that. Kind of worked it into our days.

Elisabeth - posted on 07/04/2010

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I didn't start a routine per say at that age but i did do certain things the same way every day like.. close the blinds at night and turn off lights, in the am i opened blinds and had music and other noises going all day. I let my son decided when he was hungry and he fell in to his own schedule and now at 4 months he is like clock work, every 3 hours still during the day, and sleeps 11 hours at night. don't worry too much (i did and it did nothing but make me feel a bit insane) it all falls in to place. Enjoy!!

[deleted account]

4 weeks old is too young to try and establish a routine. Let her sleep and eat when she likes and she will soon slip into her own routine.

Rachel - posted on 07/04/2010

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Are you breastfeeding or using formula?
Reason I ask is that breastmilk typically keeps a baby right on a 3 hour schedule. Wake, change, feed, change, sleep; is pretty much what the first 6 weeks were for me.
With formula they can last longer, which they are really supposed to start out with that 3-4 hour schedule. Its what keeps everything else in line.
When I started to supplement formula instead of using breastmilk, my daughter started sleeping longer and her pattern would get out of wack too. But she was still needing to eat, and would wake ravenous, which made her too demanding for breastfeeding since I waited too long to feed her and was more engorged. Its a bad catch 22.
In our case, (except for one nice stretch if she slept at night for 4-6 hours at night) I woke her and did her "routine" as normal every 4 hours unless she wanted to eat or woke sooner as normal. If she only ate an ounce so be it, but it kept her on a nice pattern. And she'd be more at ease waking up to feed the next time. Plus it kept her elimination on schedule as well.
Hope it helps!

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