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Old 06-27-2011, 08:26 PM   #1
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Sleep-eat-play-sleep routine...how does this work? And when?

Okay mamas...DD is a month old tomorrow. I have read threads on here about this sleep-eat-play routine, in which I guess there is no nursing to sleep. With DS we were pretty much without routine and he ended up needing to constantly nurse to sleep and to stay asleep. So I'm trying really hard to avoid that issue again. But, how can this routine work? DD wakes up, we nurse, and then by the time she needs to go back to sleep, it's time to nurse again anyway. I don't get it. Then she is going to sleep on an empty tummy and can't stay asleep for long. I've tried it a couple of times...nurse, awake for an hour or so, then I can tell she's sleepy. She will fall asleep but not for more than a few minutes, because it's really time to nurse. I'm just confused I guess! If you follow this routine, how does it work?

ETA: Is she just too young for this? At what age do you start?

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Old 06-27-2011, 08:32 PM   #2
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I think she is too young for that routine - I wouldn't put my kids in that kind of routine until they were at least a few months older. Maybe closer to 6-7 months. My new little guy is only 7w, and so he isn't into much of a routine. The pattern that does seem to be emerging is a 9am nap, 1pm nap (which is his longest one), and then another one around 5:30-6pm. Just in time for dinner. The rest is nursing, some awake time, and little catnaps until I put him down to chase his siblings.
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Old 06-27-2011, 08:47 PM   #3
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yes mine too. DS is 8 weeks and naps are also appearing at 9-10, 1130-1,4-6 longest nap, then up until bedtime around 830. If I were you, I would nurse before nap, but take her off when she is just starting to get sleepy. I feel the same way as you do, my first always nursed to sleep and stay asleep and at 6 months it got to be a big problem. This time around, Im not letting DS fall to sleep at the breast. There are some crying periods, but they arent bad.

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Old 06-27-2011, 08:56 PM   #4
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Re: Sleep-eat-play-sleep routine...how does this work? And when?

I've done this routine with all of my children and it works wonders! They all go to sleep on their own, as in I put them down drowsy and they drift off to sleep. After I'm done nursing, I change their diaper and talk/play for a bit. Then, when their eyes begin to droop, or they yawn, I lay them down. It seems silly when they are that little, but the habits/routine you teach them at that point impact their sleeping abilities in the future.
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Old 06-27-2011, 11:32 PM   #5
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Re: Sleep-eat-play-sleep routine...how does this work? And when?

I love the routine. And it is just a routine, not a 'schedule' and it's not written in stone. Your dd is too young for it to work entirely but you can still start it.

But the routine is based on the correct 'wake time'. At the age of your little one, I wouldn't expect them awake for long. So if they were to wake and eat at 9am, I'd expect back to sleep within 30-50 minutes probably. And yes, I realize it probably takes them most of that time to eat. Then they sleep for an hour or two and wake up and start all over.
They key is to really really watch for sleep cues. they are probably sooner than you think. If you get it right, baby will drift off to sleep easily. By about 5 weeks I'd take dd2 into her bedroom, rock her for a few minutes, she'd cry for 15 seconds and she was out.

My dd1 did this routine on a 3 hour schedule but my dd2 ate more often and she was closer to 2-2.5hrs. Either way, it made my day somewhat predictable which really works for me.
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Old 06-28-2011, 06:23 AM   #6
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Re: Sleep-eat-play-sleep routine...how does this work? And when?

We did this and it worked brilliantly. I think you are getting a caught up in the "play" part. The acronym was "EASY" for eat, activity, sleep, you time. At that age the "activity" is just staying awake for another ten minutes to get a diaper change or a bath or whatever and then going back to sleep. I think the biggest thing is to try to not associate eating with going to sleep on the boob (except for nighttime in the beginning.) So anything that is a little break between boob and sleep is fine, esp. at only a month old.
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Old 06-28-2011, 08:36 AM   #7
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Re: Sleep-eat-play-sleep routine...how does this work? And when?

Yep. After feeding the baby, just burp and change the diaper before laying down to sleep. I always did that with my babies (without reading the book!!) and they have never had any problems going to sleep, slept great for naps and night time, and I've never done CIO. Another advantage is you never have to try to sneak your baby to bed, like if they fall asleep on the way home or something. I've always been able to just carry them in and put them in their bed. My sisters have to try to sneak their kids in and then they wake up and cry.
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Old 06-28-2011, 09:39 AM   #8
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We did the eat, play, sleep routine from the beginning. The actual play doesn't start until they get older, but when they were younger it was parent/child interaction or bath. The play part is the shortest and can be less than 5 min or 10 min. Up until about 6 months they need to go down 1 1/2 hours after they first wake and then the next time it can be 2 hours. If they are fully rested they will sleep better. Mine would fall asleep nursing but they ALWAYS woke up when I burped them and we would "play"/ talk for a little bit then I would lay them down and they would just go to sleep. It was a very natural rhythm fit them. Never any crying.

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Old 06-28-2011, 09:41 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mommyfrog
Yep. After feeding the baby, just burp and change the diaper before laying down to sleep. I always did that with my babies (without reading the book!!) and they have never had any problems going to sleep, slept great for naps and night time, and I've never done CIO. Another advantage is you never have to try to sneak your baby to bed, like if they fall asleep on the way home or something. I've always been able to just carry them in and put them in their bed. My sisters have to try to sneak their kids in and then they wake up and cry.
Exactly!

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Old 06-28-2011, 01:02 PM   #10
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Re: Sleep-eat-play-sleep routine...how does this work? And when?

Wow, I have never heard of this but goodness I sure needed to! I'm subscribing so I can look back when I have this baby. My DD just learned how to fall asleep without nursing at 15 months and still is having trouble falling asleep without some sort of help. I'd love for this next baby to learn how to fall asleep on their own without CIO since that isn't an option to me.
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