Gina Ford - who is either regarded as a saint or passed off as a psycho-midwife with a swift 'she was never a mother' - is all about a strict routine. We've read her books and the Baby Whisperer's too and now have Aidan in a routine as such:
7am: Wake up. Feed, a change, top and tail and a little play
10: Wake up. Feed, change, play in chair or gym
1:30pm - 2: Wake up. Feed and play
3 - 4:40 or 5: Sleep. Afternoon stroll
5 - 7: Wake up. Feed, kick around on the mat, bath-time, feed
7 - 8: Cry, sleep, cry, sleep
8 - 11: Wake him for a feed. If he's doesn't fall asleep he'll drin
k a lot, if he's sleepy it can be tough getting milk inside him.
7: Wake up and start all over again.
Please note most parents overstate their skills. This is part of their survival tactics. We don't get the routine down all the time, maybe 50 per cent. Ok, a bit less.
Random things we've noticed:
Just before he's getting ready for his sleep he'll give a big stare or yawn (Thanks Baby Whisperer). If we don't catch these signs there'll be a long hard cry. We try to catch these signs.
If we swaddle him he sleeps better.
If he's up longer than an hour in the morning he goes into a meltdown.
His dummy is a good aid to sleep but if it falls out of his mouth too soon it can be more trouble than it's worth.
The toughest time for him is 7pm - 8pm. He sometimes wants to play or eat or suck on his dummy or simply cry. Rarely does he want to go straight down to sleep.
He now knows bath-time. He's started smiling while in the bath and if he misses it, which we did twice this last week, he let's us know with a loud raucous yell.
If we don't get enough food in him at the night feed (11pm - 11:3opm) he wakes early and will have to have two middle-of-the-night feeds, sometimes sending him off kilter in the morning. We then worry how the rest of the day will pan out.
The only problem with the routine is that when we don't follow it, or Aidan has an off day with it, it'll be a major worry for us. It usually bothers us more than him.