Friday, July 29, 2011

His own routine

**I've never participated in this before..but thought I would give it a try.  I read Kelly Korner all the time and decided to write a post that goes along with her Show us Your Life theme.  This weeks theme is best parenting advice.  I'm learning so much everyday and love to share any knowledge or experience I gain.  Please know that I am no expert (not even CLOSE), this is just what I've learned that might help someone out there!  I had no idea I'd learn so much in just 4 months! :)**

Routines..where do I start?!

Since Kason was born I have struggled with the idea of forcing a routine onto him.  I did want him to be in somewhat of a routine when it comes to eating and napping, but wasn't exactly sure at what age to start this.  I also didn't want to stress out about a schedule because I thought that would be hard on Duane and I along with Kason.  I read Babywise because I have a couple of friends that followed it's guidelines and they have the happiest, most well adjusted babies/kids I've ever met.  I wanted what they had, so I read the book.  Although I did like and agree with a lot of what Babywise suggested, I can also see why it might not work for some families.  It's all a matter of opinions.  I did know one thing, when Kason was old enough I wanted to put him on our (mine and Duane's) schedule instead of us rearranging out whole schedule for him.  I thought this would start bad habits and I didn't want that!

When we brought Kason home from the hospital I encouraged him to be on the eat, wake, sleep schedule because I thought this would help him sleep thru the night sooner rather than later.  I was not all about those 1, 3, and 6 am feedings, so I hoped that this would help.  At about 3 weeks Kason started to really follow this schedule.  Around this time he started only waking up once during the night at about 2 am.  At 8 weeks, sure enough, he slept that glorious 8 hours thru the night.  I was thrilled! I'm not sure if it was the schedule I had tried to put him on, or if I just got lucky..but I was thankful for a full nights sleep.  

He has done pretty well at sleeping thru the night.  He has had a couple of rough nights since 8 weeks, but for the most part he sleeps between 8-9 hours every night.  We have a nightly routine we started following around the time he started sleeping thru the night.  At around 10 we would give him a bath (shampoo every other night).  I would then rub lotion on him, put him in his pjs, and read to him (if he wasn't starving by this point).  After I had set the mood for bedtime, I would nurse him and put him to bed.  We've never (knock on wood) dealt with a lot of crying at bedtime.  Nap times are a different story..but we'll get there!  By 10:45 we were all in bed and fast asleep.  It was great!

Although this routine was working well for us, I realized I would be starting back to school soon.  I knew I'd have to wake up by 5 am so going to bed at 10:45 pm was no longer an option.  We also started noticing about 3 weeks ago that Kason would just melt down around 9 pm.  He would scream and cry because he was so tired from the day.  I would usually nurse him at 9 and then we'd still bathe him at 10.  From 9:30 - 10 he would just scream.  I'd feed him again at 10:30 and he would be out like a light!  (I know that's only 1.5 hours between feedings, but that's the only way he'll sleep thru the night.  He needs those two feedings close together to make it thru the night.  I've tried spacing them out..not a good idea!)  With school starting, I decided that we needed to start the bedtime routine about an hour earlier.  Not only would it help me, I could tell it's what Kason needed.  So we tried it.  I fed Kason at 8 instead of 9, gave him a bath and went thru the normal nighttime routine, and by 9:45 we were all asleep!  Kason slept thru the night and I actually had to wake him up at 6 to feed him.

Although we have the nighttime routine pretty much figured out, we're still working on a napping schedule.  Kason still catnaps throughout the day.  He'll sleep 20 min. here and 45 min. there..but never a  solid 2 hours like I would like.  I haven't really tried to force a set nap time on him because I think he will kind of fall into a routine on his own.  The last few mornings he has been taking a consistent morning nap around 9.  He'll sleep for about an hour and then he'll wake up ready to eat.  I'm thinking this will be his morning nap, which will be great.  Of course all of this happened right before I went back to school.  Oh'll make it easier for my mom and sister I supposed! :)

I think the biggest thing I've learned about putting Kason on a schedule is to fit him into our schedule.  If we need to go to bed earlier, we'll make it so that Kason goes to bed earlier as well.  Along with this I think it's important to watch for cues from Kason.  The crying at 9 pm made me realize that an earlier bedtime was a must.  When he starts rubbing his eyes and fussing at 9 am, I know that it's nap time, not meal time.  I'm no professional, but I do feel like I'm learning SO much about how to figure out a good schedule that works for Kason along with his mama and daddy.  I'm sure the schedule will continuously change, but for now, I'm embracing a happy, scheduled baby!

I'd love to know any routine advice you have!  Feel free to leave a comment of email me! :)

1 comment:

  1. I am a huge fan of BabyWise...I am a teacher as well so I love the schedule and getting to go to bed early! :) Good luck starting back to work--it is so hard to leave them but you will make it!