I get many lovely compliments on my children’s good sleeping habits. I say ‘good’ because they are by no means perfect and I still go through nights without sleep like anyone else. So yes, my kids are sleepers but I certainly know what being tired is as well.
Before I go on, you need to note that this may not work for you and your baby. I believe every mum does what they think is best so I am not saying this is the only method to use. I am not a lover of parenting books to learn routines and if you feel they are helpful, I encourage you to read more than one to take the pressure off trying to fit your baby into a method that may not be right for them individually. To put it in perspective, if the same routine worked for every baby, there would only be one text book and every mumma would be peacefully sleeping each night. Coffee shops would also start struggling!
So here is the sleep routine for my babies.
I have three children that each fed differently, have completely different personalities and yet all slept the same. I am a routine person and I guess that is either the teacher in me or just the way my brain is wired. Naturally I fell into one with each baby and although I am flexible, I just liked the idea of kind of knowing how to plan my day.
From the moment my bubbas were born they were put on a three - four hourly routine. I didn’t really go under three hourly unless they were screaming, going through a growth spurt or I had an appointment somewhere (there you go, I can be flexible).
I liked my last feed of the day at 10pm so I could go to bed after and then my feed during the night was at 2am (KILLER) and then again at 6am.
Around 6-8 weeks, mine began to drop the 2am feed and started sleeping through to 5am. From the first time they did that, I realised they were fine to keep going so that was the beginning of training for an all-night sleep. Every 4 or 5 days, I would do my last feed half an hour earlier and held them out to a time after 4am. By 12 weeks I had a 7:30 - morning sleeper and was once again a sane woman and a fairly nice person to be around. If I can have a decent sleep then I am happy to take on any challenging day.
Now before I get ‘rolled eyes’ and ‘whateves’ thrown my way, it wasn't easy and I had many nights of back and forth putting the dummy back in, shushing, terrible singing efforts and back rubbing. I knew though, if I put in the hard yards then and while I was already completely exhausted, I was one day going to reap the benefits.
If you are at your wits end with your bubba, I am not saying to follow this but find a system and stick to it. People always told me it takes a good three days to break a bad habit and start a new routine. I personally would say that is wishful thinking as my experience is more like 1-4 weeks but you never know you may be a winner!
Below is my routine if you are looking for something to go on. If it doesn't work then I suggest buying yourself a coffee machine and getting into some TV shows
Feed routine from newborn
Look out for my sleep routine series for different age groups and email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions. Don't forget you can seek help from your doctor or a nurse at your local community centre.