- 03-28-2008, 10:48 AM #9Registered User
- Join Date
- Jan 2007
I wish I had known Sarah's advice about the first six weeks. I had a really rough time, thinking that I should follow a three-hour schedule. But things ironed out in the first three weeks.
For my baby, I found that she took to the three hourly routine very well in the first three months or so. I start her at 7-7:30am every morning. She was breastfed exclusively and once she was weaned (taking solids), slept through the night.
I think that Gina Ford's routines work well for babies who are formula fed, or those who are given a bottle of formula for the dream feed. I didn't want to feed my baby any formula, and so, I had to wake up at night, once, to feed her.
On the other hand, I found that Gina Ford's routines for sleeping worked very well. My bub is taking two naps (1-1.5hrs each) and sleeping from 7-7:30pm to 7-7:30am. She literally drops off like clockwork around her naps and bedtime. I find this very useful (for naps) when I'm out, as she would just sleep in her stroller/carseat.
The interesting thing is that, if I keep her up (for some reason) and disrupt her naps or bedtimes, everything else is disrupted and she wouldn't sleep well and gets really grumpy at mealtimes. I guess it's true as they say - sleep begets sleep.
- 03-28-2008, 11:24 AM #10Registered User
- Join Date
- Jun 2003
- Hong Kong
The time your child goes to sleep is a very cultural thing.
In the English speaking west (especially countries with a British influence and I 'm willing to bet the sleep consultant comes from a country with British influence) children tend to go to bed earlier and wake up earlier. Likewise reducing or eliminating the daytime naps is a favourite in these cultures. This is heavily reinforced in books advising on childcare – most of which have are heavily culturally biased. Even the good ones like “The No-Cry Sleep Solution: Gentle Ways to Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night” assume that the American/British way is the only way.
The cultural norm for Hong Kong is for babies to go to bed later and wake up later. And to retain the afternoon nap for much longer – maybe even until the child is six years old. This is also true in the Mediterranean.
Babies all need around the same amount of sleep (some individuals more and other less) so if you have time in the evening while your baby is asleep you won’t get it at some other time of day.
For me the Chinese culture of a long afternoon nap (so I got time a break from the children) and sleeping late (so my husband got time with my children) suited me fine. I know I didn’t get as much time alone just my husband and me (but I decided we were a family now). I did, however, make the most of Sunday afternoons when my husband and I were awake but the kids were asleep!
I'd choose a bedtime that suits your family rather than one told you from outside.
- 03-28-2008, 11:45 AM #11
My bubs is 10 weeks old and I never read any of these books. However, I try to be sensitive to his cues and he basically set his own routine. He gets tired around 6pm and is usually fast asleep by 7pm. He wakes between 4-5am for a feed and again around 8am. Thereafter he feeds around every 2 hours and naps 3-4 times (about 30 min each). I don't over stimulate him and give him restful time in the crib or on my bed where he will just dose off by himself when he is tired.
I exclusively breastfeed and I've never waited for him to cry to feed him (except in the early weeks where they wake up crying). I think even at 10 weeks they really try to communicate what they want. He usually poops every morning after his 1st diaper change. I know his cry for when he wants to be burped. Also, when he is full and I offer him the breast he will get fussy and upset so I know that's not what he wants.
It's important to work with your baby and listen to what they need. I think as they get older, you can set a more strict schedule that works around your own.
- 03-28-2008, 11:51 AM #12Registered User
- Join Date
- Feb 2007
Thanks very much for your words of wisdom. I keep feeling guilty as I wasn't sure whether I am doing the best for bubs. he is a very chinese/hong kong baby and loves to stay up late ( for us it works as well since we are both working full time and get home late), and he wakes up later as well. I figured that as long he gets a nap in the morning and a longer one in the afternoon ( and so getting more or less the right amount of sleep) and sleeps reasonably well a night, then it should be fine.
I got confused by the consultant who said I wasn't following schedule for bubs and hence not sleeping as well as he should be. Bubs is not great with sleep and he does sometimes have erractic nap times and bed times , but I am not sure whether its just him, or is it true that I am not following a strict schedule starting at 7am.
Barb, bubs has a fluid schedule which means he does the same things each day in the same order but not always at the same time - would you recommend that we give more structure in terms of the timing?
- 03-28-2008, 04:59 PM #13Registered User
- Join Date
- Jun 2003
- Hong Kong
My views about schedules!
Well you asked – maybe after you’ve read this you will wish you didn’t!
Some people love routine and others hate it. Just because you’ve become a mother doesn’t change your basic personality - so you are likely to either love or hate routines in the some way you did before motherhood.
People who like routines tend to wake up at the same time every day, have breakfast at the same time every day and may even eat the same thing for breakfast everyday. Then because they had breakfast at a certain time they will eat lunch at the same time every day and likewise with dinner. These sort of people like to have dinner at dinnertime and not 30 minutes earlier or 30 minutes later.
As this type of routined person becomes a mother she tends to do things in the same orderly manner – as much as her baby will let her. So she tends to give the baby a bath at the same time every day, may take the baby out for a walk at the same time everyday. And slowly as the baby grows and can fit in with the family the baby begins to like routine because this is familiar to him.
Then there are the people who hate routines, these people don’t get up at the same time everyday – unless they have to for work and then at the weekends they sleep in. They tend to follow their bodies more than their clocks to tell them when to eat. So because they have an early breakfast they have and early lunch and an early dinner, etc. These people also eat dinner at dinnertime but dinnertime is anywhere between 6:00 pm and 9:00 pm.
When this type of flexible person becomes a mother she continues in her flexible way. So rather than have a bath time she just baths the baby when she thinks about it – baby could even have two baths in one day if he really filled his nappy after the first bath and maybe no bath the next day if there wasn’t time. And slowly as the baby grows and can fit in with the family the baby begins to like the flexibility because this is familiar to him.
Then , of course, we need to think about the baby’s basic personality. One of the things I love about having children is seeing their personalities immerge. Some babies like routine and others like life more flexible.
If both you and baby are routined people then very quickly your life will become routined and you both will be happy.. If both you and baby are flexible people then very quickly life will be flexible and you both will be happy.
The problem comes when one is routined and the other is flexible. And then, just like when this happens in a marriage, it takes time and effort to learn to live together. Generally it has to be the mother, as the adult, who gives a little. So if you are a flexible mother with a routined baby you start to put in a little more routine and because the baby is happier you feel your lost of freedom is worth it. Likewise if the mother is rountined and the baby is flexible the mother becomes a little more flexible and because the baby is happier you feel that although it didn’t happen exactly as you wanted it to it was worth it.
I personally believe that all this will happen without the need to think too much about it. Just keep trying to communicate with your baby and after a while life will start to sort itself out.
One last word. The people who write the books tend to be extremely ordered/routined people (the flexible people are having far too much fun to sit down and write a book). I don’t see this as a problem. But they also have another characteristic – they think the way they do things is the CORRECT way. So if you do it differently you are WRONG.
This isn’t true. No two families are the same and there is no right way to bring up a family – just your way for your family. So to answer your question. “Would you recommend that we give more structure in terms of the timing?” Do what works in your family – you have to make the decision because only you know your family circumstances.
- 03-29-2008, 01:15 PM #14Registered User
- Join Date
- Mar 2006
- Sai Kung
I think you have to decide what works best for you and your family.
I personaly love routine, and hate days where things are out of sync.
I tried a few less strict methods of trying to get my little one on a routine, but they didn't even come close to working.
Initially I hated the idea of Gina Ford, but in the end it worked beautifully for my son, and he was so much happier and more settled once it was established.
I left a few things out, I really didn't need to be told when to eat!
And I don't believe in a completely dark room in the day.
My son also has always happily slept in his pram when we are out if it's his sleep time, which has meant not being tied to the house.
I also did 8pm-8am sleep pattern for the night, and shifted the naps by an hour.
It all depends on the individual (parent more so than baby).
If you don't need a routine, than your baby probably doesn't need one either.
There are an infinite number of ways to parent your children, try what will make life easier for YOUR family, and don't let people make you feel bad for your choice.
There is no right or wrong way, just what works for both you and your baby.
- 03-29-2008, 09:01 PM #15Registered User
- Join Date
- Apr 2005
- hong kong
Interesting comments from all of you. I think every baby is different and picking out the parts it works for you from the book is the key, rather than strictly following it.
I have one question - when do you start putting your baby down in his/her cot and let him/her to learn to fall asleep without your help?
- 03-30-2008, 08:40 PM #16Registered User
- Join Date
- Jan 2007
My bub WANTS to be put down to sleep on her own since she was four months old. I don't think it's the norm because I know many babies who are rocked/held/driven-in-a-car/etc to sleep. I'm not smug about it - on the contrary, I miss holding her when she is sleeping. If I do that, she'll arch her back and cry.
Btw, she uses a pacifier, which may be her way of putting herself to sleep. Occasionally she rejects it - particularly when she is tired.
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