After being blessed with a baby that slept through pretty well, and pretty early on, the first time round, karma got us this time around and our newest member of the family has been somewhat challenging when it comes to sleep and bedtime routines. He also suffers from silent reflux and a cow’s milk intolerance so if this isn’t being managed properly, his aversion to sleep gets even stronger. JOHNSON’S® heard our cries for help and asked us to take part in their ‘Tonight We Sleep’ challenge, which aims to improve your baby’s bedtime routine and in turn improve their sleep (and therefore yours as well!).
The challenge consists of a unique 3-step bedtime routine which we have to try out for one week. It has been clinically proven to help babies and toddlers aged 7-36 months to fall asleep quicker and stay asleep for longer. Sounds pretty wonderful to me!
The 3 step plan:
Step 1 – Warm Bath
Who doesn’t love a nice, warm bath? I wish I could have one every night but this isn’t about me, it’s about the kids! I’ve been terrible at bathing L, to the point that the husband pretty much ends up demanding that I wash him. I just love his natural smell and don’t feel the need to bath him that much as he doesn’t get particularly dirty. Obviously if his nappy leaks or he has a massive sick incident then he goes in the tub. JOHNSON’S® studies have found that babies who were bathed in a fragranced bath product spent nearly 25% less time crying before going to sleep. So, actually, I think I will be upping L’s baths to nightly to see how we get on…
Step 2 – Baby Massage
Here is something else I love – a massage! These babies don’t know how good they’ve got it sometimes! When the toddler was a baby I got into a good routine of giving her a massage every night. I had a YouTube playlist of ‘relaxing massage music’ and would spend a good 10-15 mins massaging her skin with oil. I’ve given L a couple massages here and there but more to try and relax his silent reflux symptoms, rather than as part of a bedtime routine. I’m excited to give him a massage every night and be able to spend some quality time bonding with him. Life is pretty crazy with a two-year-old in the house as well so it’s great to have some uninterrupted one on one time with L. JOHNSON’S® highly recommend that your baby is dry and warm and on a soft (safe) comfy surface before beginning. You start with hands resting on baby’s tummy, then move downwards to massage legs, and then move back upwards in small, soft circular motions, engaging in eye contact with your little one. It really is such a special time to have with your baby.
Step 3 – Quiet Time
I am a huge believer in quiet time before bed. I remember reading about the importance of turning the TV off, dimming the lights and creating a relaxing atmosphere before bed, and it all made total sense to me. In our house, once the kids are bathed, they stay upstairs and get straight into bed before getting their stories read to them. I always felt if they came back down and were surrounded by their toys again, with the TV etc in the background, then it would be too stimulating before trying to get to sleep. Close contact between you and your baby helps to calm their breathing which relaxes them before bed. The JOHNSON’S® BEDTIME™ Baby Sleep App has lots of relaxing lullabies to help with your quiet time as well.
We LOVE the app. There are all sorts of helpful tips and logs on it and it really helps you keep on top of your sleep routine.
How we got on:
I’ll put my hands up and say that we have been more relaxed on the routine front this time because life is just 100x busier once you have more than one child, isn’t it! Nailing the bedtime routine again has been on my to-do list for ages, so I am glad the JOHNSON’S® Tonight We Sleep challenge has come along when it has. It’s given me the kick up the bum to get ourselves sorted.
6.30 pm – bath with sister.
6.45 pm – massage and lotion.
7.00 pm – feed whilst big sister gets her stories.
7.30 pm – bed.
Wake ups – one at 6.00am for a feed.
Wake ups – two. One at 3.00am, but went back to sleep after 10 minutes and one at 5.30am for a feed.
Wake ups – NONE!
Wake ups – none.
Wake ups – one at 6.30am for a feed.
Wake ups – none.
Wake ups – one at 6am for a feed.
All in all, the JOHNSON’S® Tonight We Sleep challenge has made a huge difference to our bedtime routine with L. It is so nice to have him going upstairs to bed content, shortly after his older sister, rather than staying up with us downstairs for half the night. It has given us part of our evenings back which has had a big positive impact on our moods as well. Everyone is a winner! He is still only four months old so one wake up a night is totally acceptable, in my eyes, for a feed.
I think he is starting to associate the whole process with bedtime and sleep, which is great. I’m sure the lovely scent of the bubble bath, oil and lotion helps with the sleep association as well (and I love feeding him when he smells so fresh too!). I’m very happy with how this new bedtime routine is shaping up and I’m looking forward to the day when both kids go upstairs to bed at the same time and sleep through. That will be a serious parenting win!
Do you have a strict bedtime routine or do you prefer to go with the flow? We’d love to hear what works for you!
*Sponsored blog post by the Johnson’s® brand. I have received payment incentive and samples but all opinions are my own. Johnson’s® clinically proven bedtime routine consists of bath, massage and quiet time, tested on babies 7 months+, 1 week+ use