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shocked by routine!

we go to a postnatal group with other mums and babies, meeting in a pub weekly for drinks/lunch and a chat. I've been a bit disturbed by one of the other mums, and can't stop thinking about her LO. I know everyone has different ideas about parenthood and its every mum's decision what to do with their baby, but just wanted to run it past you mums to see if im just reacting to her choices negatively because they aren't the same as mine.

Every week her LO is quietly grizzleing, but not really making too much noise. She juggles him with his face into her and a comfort blanket so all he can see is her chest and the blanket. She does this the whole time we meet up - for 3 hours or so. It was only today when i sat with her that she told me the grizzleing just really irritates her and that he needs to sleep and she's trying to get him to go off. She then said she religiously follows Gina Ford's advice, and that its worked, she forces him down in a blackened room for 10 hours at night, one in the morning, 2 at lunchtime and 1 in the afternoon. He's 5 months old and this struck me as a bit mean as he's not allowed much time awake! It was obvious to me he just wanted to see the other mums and babies. She went off to the toilet and asked me to hold him, his face lit up when he could see everyone - it was obvious he had no idea he'd been with us the whole time. I felt really sad for him.

Im not attacking anyone who likes a routine or who follows gina ford, but i realised in all the weeks we've been id never seen her LO's face before. Im a much more laid back mum, my LO does what he wants and has fallen into sleeping through at night although he doesnt sleep much in the day. Ive always had a bathtime/babymassage/feed at night so he knows its bedtime but otherwise have gone with the flow. Id never wake my LO if he was asleep and have tried putting him down to sleep sometimes when's he's grizzley without much success!

It just seems this mum is very keen on showing off her baby's cute accessories and posting on facebook about him - but in reality he's barely allowed to exist!!

Sorry if i sound a bit harsh but i have a ds the same age and could not imagine doing this to him x


  • To be honest, at 5 months they should still be sleeping about three times a day. I didn't follow Gina Ford, but my LO slept for pretty much the same amount as she is talking about at that age. Maybe she is a bit rigid about it though, but to each their own I guess. I wouldn't wake up a sleeping baby though!
  • I would never force my son to have a nap. He has his bedtime routine which he is very good at and during the day I just read his cue's and make sure he is able to take his naps when he needs and wants them. But if he is awake and wanting to play/look around then I would never stop him from doing that as it is so important to his development. I would never wake a sleep baby, I would like that done to myself so I wouldn't do it to a baby.

    I would feel sorry for this baby too if I though his mum wouldn't let him have a wee look round. But as everyone says, each to their own!

  • I'm like you, Alfie, and allowed my son, now a toddler to determine his routine - the only routine I enforced was a bedtime one at 6 weeks which we still do now at 2 1/2. I did try Gina Ford once, and the EASY one, but found them too restricting, particularly Gina Ford and he didn't want to sleep when she said to.

    I also found that he would have his routine for a few days then it would change. To be honest neither hubby and I are big on routine and prefer to be a bit more spontaneous, it would make us feel restricted so definitely not going to enforce it on my son.

    I am a little peed off with my inlaws right now, they are very much creatures of habit and do everything to a routine, even down to eating the same meal on the same day of the week. We stayed with them over the weekend and they know we are relaxed and like to do our own thing. Hubby spoke to his dad last night and he said that we should have my son in a better routine, as they felt his behaviour was bad over the weekend. He was incredibly clingy but has had a cold for over a week and when we stay there, he has to sleep on the floor in our bedroom which is very dark and I forgot his night light, so I think he was just out of sorts. I'm also 8 months pregnant and we met my friend's 5 week old baby which I held and I think the realisation that this is like what's in mummy's tummy was bought home to him!

    Each to their own I say, but this lady's behaviour seems a bit strange - could you have a word with her? I too would try not to wake a sleeping baby but sometimes it has to be done to be able to get on with life, going out etc., although if I could avoid it I would.

    I'm just hoping this baby is as easy going as my first!
  • hi ladies

    i wasnt criticising anyone for putting a baby down to nap 3 times in a day, i was just a bit shocked by the length of the enforced naps! I think my LO is unusual in not sleeping much in the day, sometimes we manage 30-45 mins but tbh he shows no signs of needing to sleep until evening time so i don't think babies of 5 months are supposed to do anything - i think it depends on the baby. foxinsocks i think i got paranoid that my lo was sleep deprived and have tried really hard to make him sleep more, but sleeping 12 hours at night for a BF baby from 12 weeks is pretty good, so i count myself lucky and follow his cues. He's a good happy boy most of the time, if he seems sleepy i do try to get him off but i dont force him. He pretty much slept 24/7 for the first 6 weeks of his life, then dropped most daytime sleeping so it was a shock! I am a bit envious, even if my LO just had an hour it would give me a break and let me get some things done - but he sleeps through so i can't have everything, and he feeds 1-2 hourly a day so is busy getting the calories in.

    it was more the forcing him not to look at everyone and be part of things that i thought was worrying - he was not upset when he was allowed to see what was going on. Im sure she's probably just a bit stressed and we all know what's best for our own babies after all but it all seemed a bit rough on the little fella image

    I work with brand new mums and i have to say gina ford causes real problems for those who've read her books but also want to breast feed - not really compatable to have a rigid routine and BF - lol! I am definately not saying all routine is bad and mum does know best but i do feel sad when it feels as if people are more concerned about their own space than giving their LO time for cuddles and developing, play, new experiences etc.

    Cas 1980- can't believe what your in laws said, your poor LO is poorly and you are 8 months pregnant - obviously things are a bit different for you all at the minute. I bet you don't feel like going back image I agree the only times ive woken my LO are when ive absolutely had to as we have to be somewhere. In general though on maternity leave there arent that many places i have to be for a strict time so i can usually wait for him. His little face is so devastated when i wake him up i feel terrible!
  • Sorry but this is just my opinion and don't mean to offend anyone. I don't agree with following books on routine. Every child is different and will want to do different things at different times. Its a person and not an animal that is getting trained. My first is 4 years old and I was never strict on routine and she fell into one herself and sleeps throuhg no bother at night. I have done the same with my 5 month old. I do not make her sleep and let her sleep during the day when she wants to although I try and let her have a good sleep in the morning and afternoon and then a few wee naps in between. She is sleeping through since 14 weeks old. I know some people feel happier following books and routine but I know I never would.

    Alfie the reason the poor baby was like that today and grizzley was because she was following Gina Ford and not letting the baby see around and see other children. She just needs to relax more. I know some people like to follow routine but they have to remember Gina Ford is not with them and she doesn't know their children.
  • louise n i agree just don't want to offend anyone - i think the word routine is proper over rated! Im not sure nature intends for children to live by the clock. Obviously it's fab if your little one can know night from day - but mine does and he's thriving. Every other word this lady says is a quote from gina ford - i think some of it is fear to trust your own instict. But mummy does no best, we all love out LO's and will ultimately do the best thing by them instictively, so we shouldnt need a guide.

    Also, Gina Ford has no kids of her own! So it probably all needs taking with a pinch of salt. x
  • I thought Gina Ford didnt have kids but wasn't sure. I dont understand why you would want to follow a book especially from someone who obviously doesnt know what being a Mother entails. Bet she would change her book if she had children. A mum always knows best.
  • I have a 5 month old baby girl. We havent tried to instil a routine (apart from bedtime) because it seems daft to me and I would sooner go with the flow. My daughter takes 3 naps a day at about 30-45 minutes but she chooses to take them. But, I do have to say I am also the mum at the mother and baby groups who has to stand and bounce my baby whilst she grizzles and, at times, screams and shouts and it is really hard. On a good day Phoebe will sit and play with the toys and 'chat' away to other babies for the first hour before kicking off. More often than not she is fine for a while but then becomes over stimulated and kicks off in dramatic style shouting and screaming no matter what I do with her. Sometimes she is grizzly from the second I take her out of the carseat! I spend my time bouncing her around at the back whilst the other mums chat and look over either judgementally or sympathetically. Sometimes the only thing that works is to hold her close and cover her face so that she cant see anything. Then she calms down or has a little sleep and wakes up all bright and happy again. She is the love of my life, but she is also very demanding and tempremental. I think she gets bored very quickly and lets mummy know it! Once she is older and able to move around I am certain that she will become less shouty because she is better at 5 months than she was at 4 and 3 and so on. I understand your concern that all this mother does is try to shush the baby and never lets him see other people because that does seem a bit much. But, please try to understand how hard it is when you are the mum with the tempremental baby. Everyone looks at you as though you are some sort of monster or worse, that your child is. You feel like everyone else is judging you and that you are doing something wrong. You look at all of this happy, calm babies lying on the playmat and staring up at their mums all contented and assume it must be something you are doing that is stopping your baby from being like that. The only thing that has stopped me from feeling like a bad mum is the fact that my doctor and health visitor have reassured me that she is just a demanding baby and will improve with age. I cant count the amount of times I have taken her to the doctors and health visitors and gone through every aspect of her care and begged them to tell me what it is that I am doing wrong, only to be told she is just a madam and will grow out of it! image
  • oh glitterbug hun i'm sorry you've had such a hard time of it. Babies just have their own personalities, she clearly struggles with tiredness and needs her naps.

    I promise i was not making any judgement about the baby grizzling - tbh my son grizzles a lot worse - it was just her restricting him. I'm pretty sure the only reason he was upset was because he was restricted from being part of anything. He isnt really especially temperamental and he's such a little cutey. I just feel for me and DS the trips out to group are for him as much as for me, i get to chat to other mums and he gets to see what's going on.

    My LO screamed so badly in public once i walked into M+S cafe and fed him without even paying for anything. And I do know that look your talking about, as if you must be torturing your child, as ive had that look from people!

    It sounds like you have your work cut out but are very dedicated - very far from being a bad mum i would say. And 3 30-45 min naps sounds ideal! How's she doing at night?

    Remember you can always come on here for support. I'm glad to hear she is getting better as time goes on, it must have been tough for you.xx
  • Shes still up twice in the night but hubby does one feed and I do the other so it isnt too bad. To be honest, she had colic and screamed in pain for the first 9 weeks (until we discovered the wonder drug that is Colief) and I would take tempremental shouting over colic crying any day. The cry you get with colic breaks your heart, but the shouty crying with temper pails in comparison. It gets tiring, but at least I know she is just being a bugger rather than in pain and can try to entertain her. I wouldnt change her because she is brilliant, shouting and all! She cut two teeth today and I am so proud! x
  • hi glitterbug

    good to here your hubby is supporting you - i have heard the terrible stories about colic (is it the same as reflux?) my friends baby was hospitalised with reflux twice he is barely bigger than my 4 month old and he is 1. His cry was heart breaking, his poor parents were at the end of their tether. He's now one and they're ttc, don't know where their energy comes from!

    DS is really a very healthy and happy boy so we're lucky. Sounds like things are getting better for you, your LO just knows her own mind, they often make more intelligent adults! She will probably blitz her exams when she's older! x
  • Glitterbug - Don't worry about your baby being grizzly and temperamental. All babies have different personalities. I find my daughter the same at times especially if she doesn't sleep. She could be sitting smiling and playing and the next minute is like a monster lol. I do understand you and the way you are saying about the other girl but I do feel a child has to at least try and look about if they feel restricted. My daughter sleeps with the blanket touching her face and if I was holding her it would look as if I am holding her in tight to me and covering her face so I know exactly where you come from. My 4 year old daughter was exactly the same with her blanket and still has it and won't let it go. A woman stopped me in Tesco when she was a baby to tell me that the blanket was over her head lol. I had to tell her she sleeps like that lol. As long as she has air I don't mind. With my 5 month old she sleeps in a sleeping bag and I wrap the blanket around the bars to stop it from going over her head. The things us mums have to do.
  • This is a tricky one. A slightly different situation but when my DD was 4 - 12 months I took at least 2 (sometimes 4) flights a month (from Scotland down South). I've never forced a routine on her BUT she has always had a routine of her own creating (if that makes sense). I'd always try and book flights that meant she would have just woken up in the morning or could have a nap in the car in the journey to the airport but it didn't always work out like that. The result is that, sometimes by the time we were boarded she would be over-tired and well meaning people sitting next to us would try and entertain her, over stimulating her even more. I absolutely knew she needed to sleep and the only way I could get her to do this (her naps at home are always in her dark room, in her cot/bed) was to hold her to me, cover her face with her blanky (she slept like this too!) until she gave in and went to sleep. To everyone else though, it must have looked awful! So, it may well be the case that your friend's LO needs to sleep. I think if it were me though, and that was happening every time, I'd question what either of us were getting out of it as it just sounds pretty stressful for them both!

    K x
  • I used Gina Ford with my daughter and BF her exclusively until 9 months. I don't believe those things are mutually exclusive by any means, in fact I think the regular feeding helped my supply. I did adapt a couple of the parts of the GF routine to suit my baby. She never slept long periods at lunch and I moved the 2pm feed to 1pm. Abby was an extremely content baby and the routine suited her. Some days she didn't cry at all as she never got hungry or tired and always knew her needs would be met. She also slept through (10pm-7am) from 10 weeks, not bad for a 100% BF baby.

    The biggest problem I can see is that your friend was trying to push a routine at the wrong time. She wants it all, you can't expect your baby to sleep in a busy area. GF is very strict about putting a baby to sleep in a darkened room away from distractions. If she wants to follow GF then it is unfair to expect the same routine if you want to go out. Make a choice, you can't have your cake and eat it!

    My son has had a number of medical issues so GF wasn't possible. However even in hospital he was on a routine right from the start. We also found a feeding and sleeping routine was essential because of his severe reflux and feeding issues.

    I would say that the problem is not trying to place your baby in a routine but not being flexible enough to adapt to your own baby's needs and the daily activities.

    H xx
  • hi ladies

    you've made me rethink things as i didnt realise a LO could get such comfort from smelling and touching as blanket. Maybe i have misjudged things a bit. I agree blondfriend maybe she has tried to encorporate gina ford whilst also wanting to do what she wanted to do and that this isnt possible. I think i couldnt cope with such a strict routine as i would go bonkers doing it properly and never going anywhere(and so would LO - we both get bored!), and i guess you can't be half hearted about it.

    I work with brand new mums and tiny newborns and with BF working on a supply/demand basis and it being so important that they feed lots in the beginning, and that they often cluster feed, the gina ford argument can be frustrating. Its nigh on impossible to make a bf baby fit in with what you want in the beginning (or even a bottle fed baby come to think of it!!) I guess what i was trying to say is that BF relies on the call of nature and you shouldnt stray too far from what is natural by forcing eating/sleeping time when you want to, as ultimately you want milk to come in well and the baby to gain weight.

    However, that said, everything i learn about babies after the first couple of weeks comes from being a mummy, and with my first LO only 16 weeks its all a learning curve. I have let my LO demand feed, i've always had a good milk supply and LO has gained weight fast - he slept through from 12 weeks - a 12 hour stretch - and has done so ever since. At 10 weeks we were managing an 8 hour stretch, though sadly not the right time stretch for me not to sleep through - but i recognise this is fab for a bf baby.

    blondfriend im very impressed by your first babies sleeping - sounds like gina ford certainly worked for you and made your LO a happy baby.

  • Hi

    My baby's routine is continually adapting and maturing as he grows and can stay full for longer and therefore sleep for longer. I'm with you Alfie.

    All the latest research shows they are too young to have the ability to even remember such patterns until they are 4-6 months old so IMO its cruel to enforce a routine.

    I can definitely see all babies are different and develop at different rates and so perhaps a more rigid routine works for some but I'd question if this is the case until they are over 4 months old. This is the reason why i think a set routine dictated by a book can't possibly suit all babies but you fall into the one that works for you and your baby which is very individual.

    My midwife recommended going with my boy's routine and then aim to slightly extend time between feeds and wake him up if he's slept longer than 4 hours in the day which seemed reasonable to me. I'd say naturally he now has 4 naps a day lasting between 20 minutes and an hour but he sleeps for 9 hours plus every night between 8.30-9.30pm and wakes around 6-7am. Total nap time must be about 3-4 hours or so.

    I think maybe this lady has taken the advice a bit to the extreme. Surely if its nap time then he should be asleep at home and not on her knee with all the stimulation around?
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