The dreaded word for a newborn: "Routine"

November 09, 2015 1 Comment

alba sleeping Don't get me wrong. Babies need consistency, 100%. Babies should be introduced to the difference between daytime and night time, yes. Toddlers need routine, of course! But if one more fellow mother asks me about my routine for my newborn, i'm going to get a teeny bit mad.

"Is yours sleeping through yet?" "No". Do I care? No, not yet.

"You must get her in a routine". Why? So I can spend my nights with my hubby just like old times and we can drink that bottle of merlot together and reminisce about how we used to go out and get wasted in Shoreditch? I'll pass thanks (no offence hubby). You only get this newborn stage ONCE. We chose to have a baby, sleepless nights, sore cluster feeding nipples and all. Yes at 6 months I'm sure she will be in her own room, and we will eat dinner at a certain time, have a bath, a story and bed. But for now, she is 13 weeks old, she is still a baby. Lets cut new mums some slack and all just chill out a little. Just like the dishes can wait, so can this.

Why is it that some mothers are obsessed with getting their babies into a routine? Or at least talking about it. "My baby goes to bed at 7, but screams for 3 hours when I try to put them down". Maybe I want an easy life, or maybe I just believe in letting your baby telling you what they want. Right now at 13 weeks, I don't want to watch my infant scream in her cot because she's not ready for bed. I don't want to end up crying myself to sleep for forcing something that has little reward. Am I going to listen to the human being that I created and comfort her if that's what she wants? Feed her some more if that's what she needs? Of course I am.

What's interesting about all of this is that she does actually have a routine, but she built it herself. I just hate the pressure on new mums. I really don't think it makes anyone feel good. But just for the record, currently, as of this week, 9th November 2015, she goes to sleeps between 8pm and 9pm (she falls asleep on me after cluster feeding), she wakes at 4ish and then wakes for the day between 7am and 8am. I pointed out the date in that sentence because I am well aware that this may change next week. And THAT IS FINE. She is just finding her way.

I also love our time together. I love that she sees her Dad when he gets home, because I know that soon enough she will start falling asleep a little earlier, and then a little earlier and we won't have that time together anymore. This stage does not last forever. Don't waste it away killing yourself to achieve a "routine" that doesn't work, or is too soon for either of you.

So a little note to all mums to be, new mums or mums killing themselves trying to get their offspring down at 7pm and not succeeding. Just take a minute to ask yourselves why you are doing this? There will be a time when it just happens, when everything just falls into place. For now just enjoy this time, lap up the cuddles, love your way through cluster feeding and just "be" with and there for your baby. They will be happier and so will you. Save the routine for a month or so. Your baby will probably let you know when they are ready.

1 Response

Claire pugsley
Claire pugsley

February 23, 2016

My second child is 10 weeks old. He isn’t in a routine apart from the fact that I go to bed at 9 and so does he. He falls asleep anytime between 10 and 11. Like with his big sister I’m not pushing a routine. He will get there, my daughter did. Bedtime routines on newborns do not make you better mothers nor does it make you righteous. Each mother for themselves so please DON’T ask the question!

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