Friday, 21 June 2013

The Rights & Wrongs of Baby Routines

I'm confused.

Before Ruby was born, I was keen to establish a routine. I just thought it would be easier. And I wanted to focus on freelancing and writing so I thought the sooner she had a routine, the more free time I would have to work.

I bought Gina Ford's Contented Little Baby book. I read the first few chapters. All makes perfect sense in theory! Then Ruby was born. How anyone finds the time to even read the bloody book is beyond me! It's so detailed and so comprehensive, there's so much to take in and then adapt to your own child, by the time you've even thought about it you've missed the boat on the timings, you're weeks behind and no closer to a routine than you were to start with!

So here's what I've done so far:
  • I followed the advice of midwives and health visitors and breast fed on demand. It's working fine. I've had no problems and I don't mind feeding in public so as long as I stay flexible with my schedule we do alright. 
  • Ruby, on average, feeds every two hours during the day - which seems like a lot and really I think she should be going longer between feeds.
  • She has a long nap (up to two hours) after lunch, but usually because that's when I go out and she falls asleep in the pram.
  • She wakes to feed once or twice during the night, depending on when I put her to bed.
This is working. I'm not exhausted. She's a very content baby. She rarely cries.

HOWEVER, my concerns are:
  • Am I getting into the habit of feeding her to sleep as she rarely sleeps of her own accord?
  • Am I getting into the habit of taking her out in the pram so that she will sleep?
  • Surely by 12 weeks she should be able to go more than two hours without feeding?
  • At what point will she sleep through the night?
  • Am I aware when she's just tired and needs a nap, or am I just feeding her when she doesn't need it?
  • She often falls asleep on the breast so is she even getting fed properly? Does she need those feeds?
Basically, I work on the principle that if it's not her nappy or wind, then she wants feeding. So that's what I do. When she was newborn, her weight fluctuated because I wasn't feeding her enough (taking too much notice of other people's well-meant advice!) and it took a while for her to get back up to birth weight. So I'm reluctant to be too strict because she's still very slight. But at the same time, at some point you must stop feeding on demand right?

Anyone got any advice on settling her into more of a routine and getting her to go longer between feeds?!


  1. I think the best thing is to follow your instinct and feed your baby whenever you think she asks for it. From my experience, if the baby is full she will make it clear to you (by refusing to eat).

  2. If in doubt, feed! If she doesn't want it she'l let you know. I think feeding to sleep is fine, breastmilk is designed to make them sleepy and it's not just nutrition it's comfort. As she gets older and more alert is when you would start putting her down awake after a feed and she would learn to fall asleep without feeding. If she falls asleep on the breast and you can feel her 'twitching' but not actually swallowing, she is just using you for a dummy so I detach at this point. My little one is 9 months and still not sleeping through! I think this is unusual though my first slept through a lot earlier. 1 or 2 feeds a night is good sound like your doing perfect x


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