Trying to get your baby into a routine can be hell. I am a big fan of a good routine but you need to go into it with the right expectations. So here is something for many of my first time mum friends and those with babies unwilling to participate in what your idea of a day should look like.
NB: there are other routines/options available this is just the one we tried (and mainly failed) to do.
Gina Ford Guide to a Contented Baby
Routine for a 2 month old
Baby should be awake and feeding no later than 7am
No later than 7 you say? Baby has been awake on and off since 3 am fussing, feeding, definitely not sleeping.
Try have some cereal, toast and a drink no later than 8am
Hang on I have to feed this baby 38 times a day and now I have to remember to feed myself?! If I am lucky I will use the time before my husband goes to work to shower. If the baby does let me put him down long enough to make breakfast toast will be the best option as can be eaten with one hand whist feeding, comforting and burping the baby.
Wash and dress baby
Well may as well have someone washed and dressed in the house.
Check baby’s nappy and draw sheet
Hang on Gina the baby has been up since 5.30am so if I wait to put him down this late he will lose the plot. Should I put him down earlier or keep him awake till now and risk complete meltdown. How will I keep on track the rest of the day?
Settle the drowsy baby, half-swaddled no later than 9am. He needs a sleep of no longer than 45 minutes
I waited too long and baby is not drowsy just wired and going a bit mental. If I lay him down he screams the house down. I try rocking him, singing, turn the white noise on. Damn it Gina what do I do now?
Unswaddle baby so that he can wake up naturally
I would have done this Gina but he woke up screaming after only 20 minutes. I had thought it safe to shower now because you said he would sleep for 45 minutes. I heard him and had to jump out the shower with shampoo still in my hair.
Baby must be fully awake now regardless of how long he slept.
Encourage him to have a good kick under the play gym
Well of course he is awake this kid never sleeps!
You said he can play on the mat for 20 minutes but he will only go in for 4 minutes before crying. He just wants to be held. You said the next feed is not till 10.45. I literally have no idea how to entertain him till then. I put on This Morning and this buys us a little time as he stares at the flashing lights and Holly Willoughby.
I check Facebook and see pictures of people with happy babies who obviously love your routine Gina and people on holiday in Thailand and have a little cry into a muslin square.
He wasn’t that interested in eating because I fed him at 9 to get him to sleep. He has now fallen asleep on me though and sleep time is not till 12. Should I let him sleep? Should I wake him up. Gina do all babies bow to your demands just not mine?
Baby needs a nap of no longer than two and a quarter hours. Make lunch and get some rest
Ah shit he’s hungry now not tired. After trying to get him to sleep and failing I feed him and he falls asleep in my arms. If I try to move he yelps and I don’t want him to be tired so I decide not to move. I am now stuck under the baby for the next two hours.
Unswaddle baby and allow him to wake naturally. Feed baby
At 1.45 baby was awoken as I practically had to throw him onto the couch and run to the toilet before my post-baby bladder gave in and he is now mad at me for disturbing his nap. He cheers up a bit when I feed him then does a poo so explosive that goes all the way up his back and I have to practically hose him down in the bath.
Baby can have a short nap
Baby must be fully awake if you want him to sleep at 7pm
Of course he is awake Gina, witching hour has begun
Let your baby have a good kick without his nappy while you prepare things for his bath
I have somehow entertained him till now but the bath only lasted till 5.48 because he is to tired and hungry and he already had a bath after the earlier poo explosion so wasn’t that dirty to start with.
I put on In The Night Garden which buys me 15 minutes. You should really have this in your book Gina, I mean whoever wrote it is obviously tripping hard on some kind of drugs but the baby loves it.
Baby should be fed in a quiet room with no eye contact
Baby fed for a while then remembered it was witching hour and screamed and bobbed on and off my boob for the next 20 minutes. I lay him down but he doesn’t seem drowsy and screams at me.
Your baby must be asleep no later than 7pm
Ok Gina its 7pm and no amount of rocking, shushing, feeding is getting this kid to sleep. Husband not home for another 30 minutes and I am going slightly crazy. Put baby in the car and drive round town for 20 minutes. It works he is finally asleep!
It is important you have a good meal and a rest
I have barely eaten all day so order a pizza. The delivery guy rings the buzzer really loud twice and the baby wakes up again.
Wake baby for a feed
The baby seems really mad that I woke him up. I try to change him quickly and quietly but he wees in my face and I have to change all the bedsheets and his outfits. Baby is now fully awake and wants to play.
In the night
If the baby wakes in the night feed him quickly and quietly with no eye contact
The baby woke up 7 times. The only way to get through the night was to look at his lovely little face.
At 5 am I let him fall asleep next to me just to get some peace but I lay awake terrified I will squash him.
Baby should be awake
Way ahead of you Gina
To read more from Lisa, visit her blog: nymummysurvivalguide.blog