Babies: 0 - 3 Months

Bedtime Routines??

FTM, so please any suggestions! I realize that each baby is different so I'm not too worried about his routine, but I go back to work in a month and thought maybe we should give it a shot. 

Right now, he eats (breastfeeding) around 5:00 p.m. and then is awake, takes a nap, and eats again at 8:00 p.m. I've been using this 8 p.m. feeding as the start of his bedtime routine. We feed him, diaper change, jammies on, swaddle, and read him a book. All with low low lighting of course. But he's consistently waking up every 4 or 5 hours (so I get 3-4 hours of sleep). He eats, gets a diaper change, and goes back down for another 3.5-4.5 hours.

I know he may just need that middle of the night feeding yet, but can you give me examples of timing and such on your bedtime routines that maybe I could try? Am I doing things backwards and shouldn't be letting him take a nap before his 8:00 p.m. feeding and use that as a bathtime instead? If he doesn't nap all he does is cry during this time. 

Re: Bedtime Routines??

  • DS has to have an evening nap or he won't sleep well. He naps from 5ish to 7 ish and is then awake until 8:30 ish when we do bath, bottle, book, bed. He just started sleeping 6 hour stretches, what worked for us was white noise and swaddling. The first night we used the white noise (just an ocean song on my iPhone) he went from 3 hours to 6 and has been consistently doing that since. 

    Chase Matthew born at 35 weeks on July 31st

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  • every 4-5 hours is a pretty good stretch at this point. The only thing I can recommend is to do those middle of the night feedings as quietly as possible, and in the dark (use a night light?). with my DD I found the less fuss/interaction with her during sleep time, was best, that way she didn't get all wide awake and think it's party time. good luck!

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  • Im not sure how long your LO is but as long as he is awake for at least an hour after his nap to do bedtime routine then you should be fine.  We start our bedtime routine about 7 so if she's already asleep I'll wake her up around 6ish.  We have done the same routine since 4 weeks so this can  also apply to you even though my LO is a little bit older (19 weeks).  We do bath, swaddle, bottle/book. When she was younger we'd rock her in the glider until she fell asleep but now we put her in the swing and then move her to the crib once she's good and out!  4-5 hours for a baby under 12 weeks (which I am assuming you are since you are on the 0-3month board) is terrific!  My LO went from 5-6 hours to once night STTN!  There was no "in-between"; it just magically happened!  I'd let her nap. My LO gets cranky too if she doesn't get her naps (she a big sleeper) so I'd rather her been happy and have fun at the bedtime routine then be fussy and me dread doing it.  We used to do her routine at 930pm but gradually moved it earlier and earlier based on LO's cues.  She was falling asleep around 7 and would sleep for 3 or more hrs if we let her so we moved it up until we got to a time that works for her and us. 

    Good luck!! :) 

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  • I don't know how old your LO is, but that sounds like a really normal sleep schedule for a baby.  He'll gradually start sleeping longer but 3-4 hour stretches to begin with is pretty common.  Taking away a nap will only make him more overstimulated and harder to get to sleep.
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