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Saturday, 14 March 2020

Bed Time Routine In Our Household

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Well, bed time routine is an interesting topic, and each mum would tell you different story of bed time routine in their household.
I in particular, was always fun of routine. I like routines, I feel organised, I feel that I have my life under control and that makes me one happy chick.

When I was pregnant I loved reading different books about bringing up children, what to do, how to change nappies, how to bath, bed time routine for babies, when to feed and how to feed. I know that all children are different so it's not always how it is in the books.

 But it wasn’t why I was reading them. I needed to have a picture in my mind of myself doing all those tasks with my baby. 
I wanted to have at least an idea of what to expect. I like the feeling of being organised, thats just how I am.
I’ve read books from famous Jo Frost (super-nanny) “Confident Baby Care” and “Confident Toddler Care”. And that’s exactly what I was looking for Confidence!! 
Obviously, when you have a newborn it takes a while to get into some sort of routine. I let the baby to lead the days at the start, you feed them, change them, put them to sleep on their demand.

You might start to set some sort of bed time routine from the start but this might change once they pass that new born stage.

I have started the usual bathing, creaming, deem the lights to get them used to night time straight away.
Until Lily-Mae was in her own crib the routine wasn’t properly set yet.

I have put her to her own crib when she was 8 weeks old. This might be too early for some people or too late for others. Lets not judge each other, we only do what we feel is right for us.

 We didn’t do co-sleeping but I had Lily-Mae by my side in a Moses Basket the first few weeks. I found myself constantly checking on her all night for weeks. I was tired, because I didn't sleep properly at night while she was nicely snoozing. As you become a mum you don’t sleep like you used to any more, the sleep isn’t as deep as it used to be. Not even a tank in the room would wake me up before, I used to sleep like a log.

Since Lily-Mae came along, it all naturally changed. Back to the point, I found myself listening for every move, noise she did, getting up checking if she isn’t sick. She was always fine, it was me. Babies move, make noises, its natural.

When she was 8 weeks old, we decided to try to put her to her crib. We had our baby monitor in place.We set up a proper Bed time routine to stick to and see how it goes.

I tried to organise the nap times so she wouldn’t go for a nap any more after 5pm. We tried to keep her awake, interact with her so she gets tired for 7pm bed time. Sometimes it was a stretch and she was very cranky but we managed. If you see it doesn’t work, perhaps wait another week and try again. 

At 6pm we would ran her a bath, give her a nice relaxing massage using night time creams.  I have read that babies recognise the smell of the creams you use at night and start associating it with bed time routine. Not sure on that one though. 
She would have her milk at 7pm and fall asleep, drinking sometimes. 
Read a story or more often singing lullabies when she was tiny so she would go sleep in my arms but not completely, just enough that she feels me putting her down and I would put her down in her crib. I used sleeping bag to keep her nice and warm depending on the weather and room temperature of course, as its safer then covers. 

If she would wake up when I put her down and started crying I would gently stroke her and tell her I’m there for her. When she settles, I would go out the room. I have left the door open and stayed outside to see how she was doing.If she cried again, I went in, gently stroke her and let her know Im there. I left only deem light on in her room, set up her crib music box to play music to help her sleep. I might needed to come back to the room several times but that's ok. You have to be prepared for that. 

Again, thats just what we did and what worked for us. Kids go through milestone stages, where they might start crying at night a lot, or suddenly start crying each night when they go bed even if they never really did that. We just have to adjust ourselves to their needs. We can only try to keep the routine at least little to what we set up but depending on circumstances at the time we need to adjust it.

Lily-Mae was always a good sleeper, which I was very grateful for but there was plenty of times when this wasn’t the case. Its harder when they can’t talk to tell you if they are in pain, or most of the time its teething that keeps them awake.

Now that Lily-Mae is 5 we still sticking to same routine. At least I try to most of the days. I don’t bath her daily due to her eczema. It just dries her skin more, which we don’t want.

 But we still go upstairs from 6:30pm and wash our hands, brush our teeth and change to PJs. 
I usually cream her with her moisturiser mainly due to eczema, she helps me now.
 I let her play a little in her room and then me or Francis lay into her bed with her to read her a book. 
 At the moment she is into book from Roald Dahl “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”. We read her few chapters each night. 

She gets plenty of kisses and cuddles from us, I leave her lamp on and put on her favourite CD, very quietly. We leave her door open. She normally takes at least 5 teddies into bed with her, play with them quietly. 

I do come into the room to check on her sometimes and ask her to stop playing but try to sleep.  Sometimes it takes her half hour, sometimes an hour to get to sleep. But the routine is always the same. 
Lily-Mae is so used to the routine, when it comes to the 7pm, she would be getting very tired. Her body clock was set.

I strongly feel that kids should go sleep early as it is very good for their development. Sufficient sleep is absolutely vital for child’s health.

It also work better for us, we can have a night together with Francis watching movie, have a nice dinner or a drink.

Its better to have an early night especially when she has a school next day to get up for. That way she’s had a good sufficient sleep and still wakes up early. She’s had a good sleep, she isn’t tired (and we all know what tired kid could be like).

This is just what we always did and we prefer it. I know mums who’s kids go to bed at 9pm and sleep till 9am in the morning and thats great, because it works for them. They like to stay in bed. I do too but I would rather have the evening to myself and wind down over having a lay in. We need to do what makes us all happy.

Hope you find this bed time routine useful, please do what you feel is best for you and your child. Don’t worry about it too much, some mums don’t have any routine and they like it that way.

 We are here to support each other, because we all know its not an easy ride once you are on the parenting wagon. We need to be kind to each other.

Hope you enjoyed my blabbing. Thank you for reading.




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