Friday 26 April 2013

Finding a Routine at 8 Months

My 9 months is nearly up and my hunt has begun!

Shortly before giving birth to Millie, Stuart and I discussed my plans for returning to work. It wasn’t a question of would I as I enjoy working – I love the adult interaction, I love my job (as an IT Trainer) and I’ve put a lot of effort into getting where I am in my career so I don’t want to give up on it yet. The question was when. I said I expected I’d be ready around 9 months and as that was when my Maternity Allowance ran out so money would be tight(er than it already was) it seemed like a logical plan. It did mean there would be a few months of full time childcare for 2, however, so finding a job that would cover those costs for those few months would be the biggest challenge.

Well, here I am with Millie just turned 8 months and my job search has begun! Mentally, I was ready to go back after a couple of months but my heart definitely wouldn’t have been ready then and is still struggling a bit now thinking of all the firsts I might miss. I was lucky that I had 18 months with Callum so got to see a lot of his firsts!

But, I know Millie will be fine and I will be a better mummy for working! I’m not me when I’m not working and think I’m often feel quite low as a result.

Anyway, all this talk of work is really unsettling me and making me quite anxious with so much going on in my mind. I may need to write another post to get it all out but for now my thoughts are turned to Millie and routines!

Up until now I have pretty much been baby-led. Not just with weaning but with everything. I’ve been relaxed and gone with Millie’s signals for what she wants when. Therefore, we haven’t really had any fixed daytime routine. We established a nighttime routine around 12 weeks (if not a little before) but Millie has otherwise been fed on demand (which is ‘usually’ 3 hours but sometimes more sometimes less), naps when she yawns and starts to grizzle and sleeps for an unpredictable length of time. When someone asks me about her routine or when she naps, for example if she is being babysat by my parents, its all a bit sketchy! But I realise, if I’m going back to work and Millie will be in full time nursery, they’ll want some kind of routine!

So, consciously but still led by Millie as much as possible, I’ve been trying to establish some kind of routine around times! Looking at her nap and bottle times, it does look like she may be naturally slotting into a routine herself. She still wakes up at random times between 6am and 6.45am so I’ll average that it is 6.30am and this is what I’ve noted for the last week:

6.30am – wake up, bottle, dressed
7.30-8am – breakfast
8.30am-9.15am – nap (45 minutes)
9.30am – bottle
11am-1pm – nap, bottle (2 hours)
1.15pm – lunch
4pm – bottle
5pm – dinner
6.30pm – bottle, bed (sometimes this is nearer 6)

At the moment I’m going to remain quite flexible around this times but keeping them in mind. She is still not guaranteed to sleep through every night – like last night she woke at 10.45 and wouldn’t settle then downed a whole bottle so its hard to be fixed during the day plus I find being too strict just causes me stress and babies do kind of do what they want to do whether you like it or not. As hard as they have been I do think I enjoyed the first 6 months a lot more than with Callum because I was more relaxed and therefore Millie has been a lot easier baby (aside from the not sleeping through at night until later).

Now….about that job….!


  1. I think you've got a really good routine there with Millie. The only comment I would make is that she is having 2 naps before lunch which makes for a long afternoon til bedtime and could make her too tired for dinner once the bottles are reduced and potentially overtired for bed.

    When I weaned my two little ones I dropped the 9.30/10am bottle and gave lunch at 11.30. Then nap at 12.30 til 2.30. Bedtime was 6.45/7pm and although Issy has always been a 6.30am waker Olly always sleeps til 7am.

    I guess though if you are going back to work you will prefer an earlier wake up as you will be needing to get up and out the door.

    Routines need to work for you and your family, and of course for baby. I think it is wonderful that you have followed Millie's lead xxx

    1. Thank you very much for your comment, you raise good points.

      Yeah, I was thinking that. She has 2 naps quite close together then nothing for quite a long time. This is very much led by her and when she starts to cry for no reason she goes to bed which happens twice in the morning but she doesn't whinge in the afternoon slot. But what I might do is slowly push the second nap back a bit. When out (like yesterday) she didn't have her second nap until 1.30-2pm sort of time so she can go longer.

      I'd prefer Millie to go to bed nearer 7pm so we got a later bedtime but it does fit quite well with trying to get both kids to bed & while she has such a big awake period in the afternoon she's desperate for bed by the time 6pm comes along.

      Callum has always been a 7-8am riser - it'd be good if we could get Millie to be the same.

    2. 7-8 sounds bloomin perfect, hope you manage to gently nudge Millie that way too x


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