I was recently directed to this post on Babble, written by Expatria Baby, about baby sleep schedules (or lack of) in Japan. Babies there don't nap or nap for minimal amounts of time where ever they happen to get tired (in the car, the pram etc) and then the babies go to bed late, like after 9pm! Sleep books be damned!
I have been meaning to write about our experience with the book Save our Sleep by Tizzie Hall - though what follows is more of what we've worked out as a 'routine'. Opposite of Japanese babies, I have found that the daytime schedule in the book is helpful, though Lulu is more of a 6:30am - 6:30pm baby than a 7 to 7. She also goes down for her morning nap by 8:50am, as she just can't stay awake longer and she naps in her pram. But the bottle on waking up, solid food an hour later, then nap an hour after that is working. Though she likes more bottle before going for her nap so we have a little bottle than story routine pre-nap.
On waking from her nap she has another bottle. Lunch around 12. Afternoon nap just after 1. She'll sleep until 2:30 or 3 if I'm lucky.
As for getting her to nap? Well she usually screams as you buckle her into the parm & you think 'oh boy, I'll be getting you out of here in 5 mins time' but you give her a minute or two - I do the Tizzie suggestion of setting a small task & if she's not asleep, or at least quietly chattering, by then, then I get her back up again, but usually she's asleep.
Nighttime we follow the dinner at 5:30, bath after dinner, then bottle then story then into the cot by 6:30/7. She will go into the cot awake and roll around for a bit before going to sleep -again following the scream then chatter shutdown - but some nights she falls asleep on the bottle, others the screaming doesn't stop so you go back in and try more food or a cuddle. Usually it's more food she needs.
Waking during the night? Well, she wakes around 10:30 - 11 and we give her another bottle. Until recently she has woken up during the night and we feed her again. The bottle gets her back to sleep. I was worried that this would continue, but this week she has been sleeping through from 11ish so I've stopped worrying about giving her the bottle to get back to sleep. If the bottle isn't what she wants she wont take it & when she does take it she drinks at least 150mls, so she must be hungry, right?!
Save our sleep was useful for routine suggestions and simply for a guide on how to do things. As with everything, you have to pick out what works for your baby. Does your baby have a sleep routine? Do you strictly follow the routine or are you relaxed about it? I don't follow Lulu's routine strictly, nor do I get the daycare to follow it or her Grandma to follow it on the day she takes care of Lulu. I figure that it is just as important for Lulu to fit into other schedules and routines as it is for her to have her own structure at home.