If you have/had a baby-led schedule, advice please! — The Bump
Attachment Parenting

If you have/had a baby-led schedule, advice please!

So I'm thinking we need to start thinking about a bedtime routine. Whether he goes down or not will be up to him, but everything I've read said that kids like routine. But this is a kid who slept for 18 hours yesterday and 18 minutes today. (YAY growth spurt!)

I'm just curious when you started and what you did. Or why you chose not to.


My Life Blog My Book Review Blog Be wary of people who say they don't have a toilet...because where are they putting their s**t?

Re: If you have/had a baby-led schedule, advice please!

  • We most definitely have a bedtime (and naptime) routine, but when we start it depends on her.

    Once she starts giving me tired cues, I take her upstairs to her room, turn on her sound machine, change her in to a fresh diaper and comfy clothes/pajamas, then sit down in the recliner in her room, read a bood, then nurse her to sleep.

    But the time that we do this varies GREATLY each day.  Sometimes she wants to go to bed at 7, sometimes not until 10:30.  I don't do the routine at a set time, I do it when she's getting close to being tired.

    I think we started a bedtime routine around 2 and a half months.  She didn't take regular naps until 4 months or so, but I've tried to be consistent with those.

    ETA: I just noticed your baby's only 6 weeks old!  I think you can start to think about a bedtime routine at that age, but at least for us -- it was all a guessing game.  When I started the routine around 2 months, DH would tease me because I was determined to have a consistent bedtime and read to her before bed, but I never knew which feeding session was going to be the one right before bed.  I also would time it wrong and wait too long -- so I'd be trying to read a book to her, and she'd just start screaming.  Cut yourself some slack, and start one when it feels right for you!

    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker Apparently the doll needed a time out... image
  • We started our bedtime routine at 2mo and for the next one I will do it much sooner. We still follow his lead for every nap and meal but this helped him know when night time was. Every night when he rubbed his eyes we would give him a bath, nightime lotion masage, pj's & nurse. Then if needed rock him to sleep but now that he is older we just place him in his crib.

    We did it EVERY single day for two months and then let it slip a little here and there because of the holidays. A month ago he started to really melt down around 6pm so his bedtime went from 8pm to 630pm. He is in his bath every night no later than 6pm and asleep by 630 or 7. Sometimes we have to adjust bedtime a little because he will want to nap at 4pm. In that case it moves up by 45min or so but its just following his lead. We try to keep it the same. He knows exactly what to expect and what bath means now. Good luck!
  • We've made some sleep changes and added a bedtime routine in the past few weeks.  It has made a HUGE difference already.

    Basically, for the first 3ish months, she decided when she wanted to nap and when she wanted to go to bed.  I would mostly just wait for her to fall asleep on her own, which worked well for the first couple of months.  But in the past six weeks or so, she's started to become super aware of everything, and therefor wasn't able to fall asleep on her own when she was tired.  So she was getting overtired, and then would hardly sleep at all.  Naps were becoming non existent and she was up every night until at least 10pm, usually crying and fussing to no end.

    So I started reading NCSS and learned that she was not getting even close to the amount of sleep that she was supposed to be getting.  And I realized that she needed me to start putting her to sleep for naps at the FIRST tired cues I saw (no matter how subtle) and that a bedtime routine might help us with moving up her bedtime.  

    For naps, as soon as I see her rub her eyes/glaze over/start fussing/etc, I take her straight up and rock her to sleep.  Sometimes it takes me much longer than it used to to actually get her to sleep (sometimes 30+ minutes of rocking/soothing/etc) but she has gone from four or five 25 minute naps to AT LEAST  two 45+ minute naps, and one (sometimes two) 2 to 3 hour nap a day. 

    For bedtime, we've moved her bath to night instead of morning.  She gets a bath at 7pm, then a story (depending on how tired she is), then straight up to bed with me.  I've found that rocking her to sleep only results in her crying and fussing, so instead I've been laying in bed with her cuddled up to my side until she falls asleep.  Sometimes I bring my computer up and just surf the net while she plays with my hand.  She's usually out by 7:30 or 7:45 at the latest.  I then move her to her bassinet and come downstairs for dinner with DH and some relaxation time.

    She has been so much happier and more rested since we've started these routines.  I wish I'd done it sooner!

  • We've had a routine from the first week.I feed her, we have some activity time, at first this might have just been a nappy change and a quick play, then with sleep cues she goes to bed.

    How long she sleeps varies but it's mostly 2-  3 hours. Although sometimes longer. I only woke her before she gained her birth weight because my midwife said she needed to be eating more frequently.

    We also have a bedtime/nap routine that revolves around swaddling, being patted and shushed and going down in her cot. She just about always goes down in her cot awake.

    Elizabeth 5yrs old Jane 3yrs old

  • At 6 weeks, she was sleeping so frequently and still waking up at night so frequently that I just picked on nap arbitrarily around 7pm as the one where we would both go to bed and turn out the light. That, at that age was our bedtime routine. From that nap to 7 am, I'd keep the lights off and interaction as minimal as possible during wakings to show her that night was different than day. We followed her cues, but use definitely had a pattern of sleep after no more than 2 hours of wakefulness. So, there was always a sleep time between 6 an 8 at night. When she was a teeny bit older, about half an hour before I expected her to be tired, we'd start our "routine.". I think this worked well because she'll still go to sleep like a charm. I can't get her to stay asleep on her own all night, but I think that's a different kettle of fish.
  • We did bath, massage, pyjamas, book, boob, bed.

    As soon as she started her tired cues that was the routine. I didn't get a baby who slept more than 1/2 hour at a time until 8 months but, it did seem to calm her.

    image Josephine is 4.
  • We started around 6-7 weeks. Ari needs a lot of wind down time. Evenings were a mess - he would be fussy terror & exhausted but wouldn't go to sleep until 10-11. We started doing bedtime routine, moving it gradually earlier & earlier until we had him down around 8. As his needs have changed, we've had earlier or later bedtimes. 

    We do bath, lotion massage, pjs, then I read to him while nursing. I just read whatever I'm reading - just the sound of my voice is soothing & I get to catch up on my reading. :) He rarely fights bedtime anymore. If he does I know it's because he's either hitting a wakeful period or his needs are changing.


    Certified Positive Discipline Educator

    "Remember: You're not managing an inconvenience, you're raising a human being." - Kittie Frantz

    Ari has 3 food allergies/sensitivities, down from 21 @ 16 months! Mama is Gluten & Dairy free.

  • thanks guys! I'll watch him this week and hopefully get something going :-)
    My Life Blog My Book Review Blog Be wary of people who say they don't have a toilet...because where are they putting their s**t?
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