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Monday, March 19, 2012

Bedtime Routine

Well, we made it back in one piece!  The trip back to Raleigh was pretty uneventful - the baby slept almost the entire way.  Lilly woke up about half an hour from home.  We were so close that I didn't want to have to stop to feed her if we could avoid it, so I was able to hold her off with the paci for around 15 minutes and then I just gave her a bottle of freshly squeezed (LOL - I had just pumped) milk while we were still in the car and burped her as soon as we got home.  Although we miss my family (I especially missed Mom at the overnight feeding, I got spoiled with her getting up with  me every night and feeding Lilly while I pumped), it is nice to be home.  We spent the day unpacking, straightening up and organizing, and we even got out for a nice walk in the beautiful sunshine.

Something I've been working on with Lilly lately is figuring out a bedtime routine.  The pediatrician has been telling us that it's still too early for a routine and that she isn't capable of understanding yet, but I think they should give Lilly more credit.  She's much more alert and awake these days, and call it a mother's intuition but I think she knows what's up.  Our bedtime routine consists of: bath, lotion and fresh jammies, books and rocking, bottle, bed.  However, it doesn't always work exactly like that because she's still not really on a set feeding schedule.  Most days she eats around every 3 hours during the day, but sometimes she goes shorter or longer between feedings.  And on days like today (almost-2-month growth spurt maybe?), she eats every 2 hours.  Oy!

My problem now is trying to figure out whether I should base our bedtime routine around a set time or around her eating.  For example: should I start the bedtime routine (bath) at 8:00 p.m. every night, regardless of when she's due to eat again?  Or, if I know she's going to want to eat at, say, 7:00, should I start the routine at 6:00 and then put her down after the 7:00 bottle?  Which brings me to another set of issues, because she still wakes up during the night to eat.  Per my research and her pediatrician, this is totally normal if not better than normal for a 7-week old.  But say we base the routine around option 2: if she eats at 7:00 we start the routine at 6:00 and put her down after the 7:00 bottle.  She is sleeping anywhere from 4-6 hours before waking up, so will that cause her to wake up twice instead of once, at say, 11:00 and 3:00?  Selfishly, I want this routine to work around mine as well.  I don't want to put her down for the night at 7:30, go to bed myself at 10:00, and then have to get back up at 11:00 and 3:00 for bottles.  We've been putting her down somewhere between 10:00 and 12:00, and she's been sleeping until somewhere between 3:00 and 5:00 before waking for the overnight bottle. 

So, dear readers, do you have any advice or suggestions?  What are your bedtime routines?  Help!

In the meantime, I will leave you with a funny picture of L sporting Grandmommy's glasses on St. Patty's Day (not sure why it won't turn the right way, sorry!):

Hope you had a great weekend!


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