Sleep is a huge big mahoosive topic when it comes to parenting. I have lost hours of my life discussing it with other parents, friends and family. And rightly so I guess, nothing prepares you for the effect sleep deprivation has on you in those first 6-8 weeks. There is nothing quite like getting up every hour, on the hour and thinking 2.5 hours sleep uninterrupted is bliss. I totally get why it is used as an interrogation technique now!
So, in light of this, I thought I’d share our bedtime routine with you.
We have been pretty lucky when it comes to Isla’s sleeping habits. Bar a 6 week colicky period, which we don’t talk about in our house. It is too traumatic to re-live!
Since she was 12 weeks old, or whenever you are told babies can self-settle, we have been pretty strict with our bed time routine. We didn’t use to be so strict on the actual timing (when I was on maternity leave…it’s a different story now!), just the process of getting ready for bed.
From the start we have avoided:
Rocking her to sleep
Having the TV on near bed time. If we do, it’s on a very low volume level and she gets her milk facing away from it
Picking her up after she’s been put down for the night
Taking her into our bed, unless literally nothing else will settle her
So our basic routine is (timings are rough):
6.30pm – bath time. We have lots of fun playing, singing and splashing in the bath. Isla has always loved being in the water.
6.45pm – pajama time. We have lots of cuddles, get dried, put her jammis and sleeping bag on.
6.50pm – story time. She’s starting to pay much more attention to books these days, rather than trying to rip the pages, so that’s nice!
7.00pm – milk time. Isla literally shouts for her milk as we come down the stairs. She’s so big now but I still like to have her on my lap to have her bottle so I can steal cuddles. It’s the only time during the week I get this sort of time with her. She usually wakes up for a bottle between 5 and 6am but then goes back to sleep for a couple hours. She’s started entertaining herself in her cot for an hour or so at the weekend sometimes, which is great!
What’s your bed time routine with your little ones?
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A twenty-something, full time working, mum of two, with a love for all things cat, cacti and scandi related.