I talked about why we introduced a routine in this post a few months ago and had some great feedback from other Mama’s. As I discussed more in that post, I had tried to introduce a routine when Freddie was around three months old and it was a complete disaster!
All it achieved was a lot of stress and a huge sense of failure on my part. My advice, as in most things when it comes to Motherhood, is to follow your baby’s lead. Around six months old, when we started weaning, a routine seemed to naturally fall into place. After making some changes very recently, his sleep and mood has improved dramatically and I thought it might be useful to share our current routine.
We did some sleep, or rather ‘nap training‘ at around seven months to teach Freddie to fall asleep in his cot. I’m aware that this can be a bit controversial but Freddie was not getting enough day sleep and that meant he was pretty miserable a lot of the time. I am so glad I chose to do it as it made a huge difference within a few days. I still feed him to sleep at night so it was very gentle and the right decision for us. Shortly after Freddie turned nine months, he was doing two naps a day. One long morning nap of around an hour and a half and then a shorter lunch nap. Over a week or so he stopped napping at lunchtime so I was left with a grouchy, tired baby until bedtime. I looked into this and realised it was because he was having all of his day sleep first thing.
Trying to swap them over was daunting because I had become very used to having a chunk of time in the morning to enjoy a hot coffee and get on with blogging or house stuff! Over a week or so, I started waking Freddie up from his morning nap after only twenty to thirty minutes. Within a couple of days he was sleeping for two hours at lunch time with barely any resettles!
I really hadn’t expected a simple change in timings to have such a big impact on Freddie’s general happiness and a much welcomed side effect has been nights have improved too! I had noticed that Freddie’s usual bedtime of 6pm was becoming an hour long battle and clearly it wasn’t working anymore. The longer lunch nap meant I could push his bedtime back to 7pm and it has made bedtime so much easier and calmer. With all of the above tweaks Freddie stopped waking up so much during the night too! We are now down to only one feed, sometimes none which is amazing and I hope continues. Of course teething, leaps etc will have an impact but generally we are going in the right direction!
6:00 am | Freddie wakes for a feed. Usually attempt to put him back down until seven.
7:00am | G (my husband) gets Freddie up and they go downstairs.
7:30am | Breakfast- Usually porridge with fruit (Freddie loves this Organix one).
7:45 | G goes to work, I have my morning coffee. Freddie watches CBeebies (Hey Duggee, Go Jetters and Octonauts are current favourites).
8:00 | Freddie has his second breastfeed.
9:00 | We go upstairs for wind down before naptime. Freddie plays with his books and crawls everywhere he shouldn’t…
9: 15 | I read Freddie a story and dim the lights. Then I play him a specific song while I change his nappy and pop him into his sleeping bag.
9:30 | Top up feed and into his cot.
10:00 | Wake Freddie from his nap. Freddie has a feed.
11:30 | Freddie has lunch- baby-led usually. Feed afterwards.
12:15 | Upstairs for wind down before naptime. Same as previous!
12:30 | Nap time.
2:30 | Freddie wakes from his nap- usually by bellowing at me and standing up in his cot! Freddie has a big feed.
4:30 | Breastfeed- he still feeds on demand though (read: all the time…!).
5:00 | Dinner time- I tend to sneak a snack in for me around this time too!
5:45 | Upstairs for quiet playtime.
6:15 | Bath (every other night!) and massage.
6:30 | Freddie and I read a few books together (usually Freddie tries to sit on them…). Daddy gets home and joins us for the bedtime routine!
6:45 | Bedtime breastfeed.
7:00 | Into the cot for bedtime! Mama breathes a sigh of relief…
Sometimes Freddie will wake for a feed around 3am but fingers crossed he seems to be dropping that now! I hope this post was interesting if you have a baby of a similar age. My biggest piece of advice is to look up ‘wake times‘ for your baby’s age. They have been pretty spot on for Freddie!
Thanks for reading and see you on Friday,