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  5. When do they get in2 a routine?

When do they get in2 a routine? Lock Rss

Can someone help me please? I have had different pieces of advice from different people (child nurse, Karitane, other support groups, baby books, midwives, etc.) as to when a newborn establishes their own routine and settle themselves to sleep. Some have said 3-4 months, others say 3-4 or 6 weeks. I'm confused as I've been trying settling my 3 week old baby girl in her own bed (keeping her awake for feeds, patting, not running in as soon as she cries, only pick up if she gets distressed and put her back in awake, etc., etc) but there doesn't seem to be much improvement (although my hubby thinks there is-maybe it's hard for me to see as a baby screaming for a couple of hours on end from 12pm-4pm is beginning to drive me nuts!!!) I know I can't expect much from her but does anyone else have any suggestions for settling her into her own routine? Thanks!
A teary mum. smile

Angela, NSW

Hi there, at 3 weeks your little one will not be in any sort of routine yet. My daughter was in a routine by 5 weeks and sleeping through by 7 weeks but every bub is different and they do change their routine all the time. At about 4-5 weeks we started to give her a regular bathtime of 5pm. So we would bath, breastfeed, bed from 5pm. In doing this she learnt the difference between day and night. When she was about 3 months old she wanted to go to sleep a bit later so we bathed at 6pm, breastfed and then bed. She is still doing this same routine at 6pm every night and she is 9 months old. Once about 5:45pm hits, she is starting to rub her eyes, yawn etc etc and can't seem to wait until the 6pm mark. Your little one will also change her day routine. At 3 weeks she will probably still be just waking to feed and then going back to sleep again with not much awake time. Once she gets to the 4-5 week mark she will be having more awake time where you can have little play sessions in between her sleeps.
Goodluck. If you want any more advice or to chat pot me back - I'm certainly no expert though. I just know what works for my daughter.

Rachel, 20mth girl + 1 on the way

My daughter is 8weeks old has has had her own routine since we came home. As the weeks have gone on she has been progressively going to bed earlier and earlier and sleeping for longer. She now sleeps through the night 8/9 hours straight. We haven't done anything in particular to get her to this point but we do make sure we go about our every day activities around her i.e we don't turn down the television or make people whisper. she still naps throughout the day around the same time every day and sleeps about the same time every night. My other half had the same attitude as yours when it came to her crying but if you're not happy you can't enjoy the experience of being a mother. I think people listen too much to what others have to say about motherhood, everyone's an expert. Do what you want to do and don't try too hard to make your child get into a routine, they will by themselves. Keep yourself happy not others.

Baby: Jessika

Angela, I know it is hard.. I don't think a 3 week old will have a routine because every day is different. This is the time for you to learn your baby's cues as to when she wants to sleep, feed, nappy change etc. Try to pick up on different cries and movements from your baby to learn what she wants. I think you are putting too much stress on yourself to expect a routine this early. Go with what your baby wants and when you need to, try to make it fit with what you are doing. Remember every baby is different and some babies like routines early and others don't. Some babies settle into a routine later on and others never will. If your baby is screaming for long perids of time, could it be wind? Also, I find that when I try to put my baby to sleep during the day and he doesn't want to go to sleep, I don't bother. It just stresses me out too much.. so I just wait until after the next feed and see if he wants to sleep then, and so forth. Hope this helps.

SA, 2 boys

Thanx everyone for their feedback. I know that the first few weeks are hard, but things do get better. However, as my little one can't settle for 4-5.5 hours straight during the day, my child nurse has referred us to Karitane for a week, as she is a difficult one to settle. I guess it's a matter of her gradually learning to trust that I'll be there for her when she needs me. It's so hard when I respond to different cries and she still doesn't settle for hours on end and I can't help but feel guilty when I'm forever getting up and leaving my 21 month old when all I want to do is spend some time with her as well as get some much needed rest myself when the little one is asleep (????!!!!).

Angela, NSW

Hi, my baby was in a bit of a routine about 4 weeks but when we hit 6 weeks, she started noticing everything going on, eyes following, etc. That knocked the routine for good and she only has a routine from 9pm to 10am. The rest of the day depends on noise, activity, whether we're out... I find a lot of people noise is too distracting for her and she won't feed or settle unless I can go to a quiet room or something.

You'll get to know your baby better and that will make it easier. Hopefully it will be sooner, rather than later. I know its hard to think anything's great when you're getting up all night to feed - I'm still there - but it will get easier soon.

Just another mum.
Teresa, thanx for your reply. I actually found your message very encouraging. They also say that babies go thru a growth spurt around 6-8 weeks so want to feed more often to build up the milk supply. That's a benefit of bottlefeeding, I guess. You only have to make up more formula to satisfy bub's appetite but I've decided to breastfeed to 12 months if I can. Yes it does get better and I hope Karitane can help, though I'm sure they will. They were great with my first one and she was a much happier baby for our stay. Do you have anything like a sleep school in NZ?

Another weary mum!!!!

Angela, NSW

my baby is now just on 3 months old and I can cetainly sympathize as she is still waking every 3 hours (this is the longest period) overnight for feeds. I just seem to get her into a routine and she goes through another growth spurt and is unsettled for a couple ofdays until my milk supply builds up again. I've been nursing her to sleep until this week as it was the only way she would settle so either of us could sleep. Now I've started putting her to bed awake and going in whenever she gets upset to resttle and its working like a gem (sometimes I sit in her room beside her to let her know I'm still around) So anyway I'dd forget asbout making her fall asleep in her bed just yet if you are both not ready and try again in a month or so. Hope what ever oyu try works.

Another sleep deprived mum

happy mum,vic,baby charlotte 17.11.03

Hi Angela
Those first few weeks are really hard aren't they? All the midwives in hospital and the clinic nurses said the "R" word should be banned in relation to newborns, as it just puts too much pressure on new mums. The main thing is to get to know your baby and work out how to recognise tired signs. I know with my son (now 8 mths old) I used to leave it too late and he'd be whingey and by that stage it was really hard to get him to sleep. The hospital gave all the new mums heaps of info including a sleep needs guide from Karitane which explains how long different aged babies wake times and sleep times were. I found that really helpful. As time went on it became much easier to read his tired signs - everday was different, just like we have lazy days and energetic days. I also found that he would (still does) get unsettled if we'd been out all day or had visitors, it takes 3 or 4 days to get him back to "normal". I know it's hard sometimes but try not to get too distressed as babies can pick up on it. If things get too much see if your husband or someone else can take your baby for a walk for half an hour or so just to give you time to relax. One of the clinic nurses told me even if you are feeling stressed as you put your baby to bed just hide it with a smile and reassure her that you're still there and most of all have confidence in yourself.

It's only been since my son has been having three solid meals a day that he has started to develop a more structured routine ie where he eats and sleeps at more or less the same times everyday. But before that he had been pretty settled and we were both happy to take each day as it came.

So I guess my advice would be don't put too much pressure on yourself, don't let people try to force you into doing things you are not comfortable with after all you know what's best for you and your baby.

Hope this helps

Hey Shelli,

My little boy is 3 months too (what date was your baby born), and I have recently become increasingly aware that as yet, he doen't have a stable routine! I am not worried as such, just a little concerned when I speak to friends who have babies of similar ages, who seem to have a routine 'down pat'. I have tried leaving him in his cot when he is apparently tired ... but within five minutes he's crying his little lungs out! I hate leaving him alone crying ... it really saddens me. I have tried sitting in his room, but that only 'wakes' him up, so while he stops his crying, it takes another few hours to get him back to his tired state!

Jasmine, I was wondering if I gave you my email address if there would be any way that you could possibly send me a copy of that 'sleep needs' guide from karitane? If you found it to be helpful, I'm sure it would be a great aid for me! I'd appreciate it very much!

eìí? well ... it started with a kiss eìí?-3-064

Hi Angela...I have a 3 month old girl Natalie. We started to get her into a routine as soon as I got home from hospital. we used 'controlled crying' and putting her down awake to settle herself. We had to do this for 4-5 weeks because by the time she was 6 weeks old she settled herself. The hard work of letting her cry has paid off because we now have a baby who is happy and content, settles herself without the slightest of fuss and sleeps through the night. Whilst it is the hardest thing to let your baby cry, I'd recommend perserving because the benefits outweigh the hard work!!
Good luck

No problem, I've got a scanner. I also have some Karitane guides on sleep and settling techniques however a friend has them at the moment but I'll email those too when I get them back.


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