Author Topic: Getting started - how I survived the first 3 months  (Read 43580 times)

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Getting started - how I survived the first 3 months
« on: December 22, 2002, 17:24:17 pm »

At the request of cc's mom, I made this a sticky message.  Here are some suggestions for how to get started...  It's just what I did and it worked for us.

When our son was under three months old, we concentrated on the following things:

1) getting the awake time to come after eating (even if that meant just a quick diaper change and back to sleep). Activity time was very limited, very short.

2) getting a good feeding schedule going, every 2.5 to 3 hours during the day, and letting him sleep as long as he wanted to (could) over night.

3) If we were coming up on a feed time (meaning it had been 3 hours or more since the last feeding started) and he was sleeping, we would gently wake him up to eat and keep the majority of the feeds during the daytime.  We only did this during the day - not at night, of course. At night if he woke, we just fed him, we didn't try to eliminate any over night feedings at this time.  DO feed the baby at night if he/she wakes at this young age.

4) Cluster feeding at 6:00, 8:00 and 10:00 (approximately) and starting bedtime routine. We started to tweak his schedule around 6-8 weeks so that he was in bed for the night by 10:00 (so that meant starting his bath at 9:00, and if he was asleep he got a bath and a feed anyhow before being put in bed - we chose to "wake a sleeping baby" in order to preserve the bedtime, but if you are not comfortable doing that, don't. Over the next two months bedtime moved up gradually to 9:00, then 8:00 and is now at 7:00. So the routine which we still do now - bath, massage, jammies, bottle, bed - just got started earlier and earlier as his nighttime sleep requirements got longer. We added on to the front end of his sleep, as is usually the way with babies.

5) kept a log of eat, activity and sleep times so we could observe any patterns that were emerging and see what worked.

That's the way the early days went in our house. We had fussy evenings, and irregular naps, and a lot of crying and choas, but we did the best we could to keep things predictable for him. 

We were also committed to progress, keeping an eye toward the future and so in that way we were "starting as we meant to go on."  We didn't try to start at the end - you have to go through many steps to get a baby on a good routine.  Try not to get too stalled at any of the steps along the way and you'll be fine.

Good luck, and try not to worry so much. Patterns will emerge and you and your baby will come through fine. Enjoy your new little one and don't be afraid to take a nap with him from time to time, so you both get nap and cuddle time. Nap lengths vary widely from baby to baby at this age: try to look at the overall sleep in a 24-hour period. Is it at least 15 hours? Try to watch your baby during the transition from REM to deep sleep and see how you might be able to comfort him through that transition - swaddling, patting, sh-ing, holding arms down gently. We'd actually pick him up and hold him through the rest of the nap if he woke up early.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2006, 21:59:00 pm by Gareth - Harvey & Theo's Dad »