Chris and I started Florence’s bedtime routine when she was six and a half weeks old. Around this time Florence started spending less of the day napping and more time playing. The change in Florence’s sleep patterns was rather prompt; as soon as she turned six weeks old she didn’t want to nap as much during the day. This meant that she became over tired and refused to sleep when she really needed to, resulting in a very unsettled little girl. By putting Florence into a bedtime routine it meant that I was able to structure her day a little more so that she had regular naps. During the day her routine often goes something like this: Bottle, Playtime, Nap, Bottle, Playtime, Nap, and so on. This routine is similar to the “E.A.S.Y Routine” that was developed by The Baby Whisperer, Tracey Hoggs (although, there isn't much time for ME time!)
We have a lovely little bedtime routine in place now, so that Florence understands it is time to sleep. We usually start the routine around 7.30pm, give or take half an hour. This ensures that Chris is home from work and gets to spend some time with Florence before she goes to bed.
Before starting the routine we make sure that her vest, pyjamas, and nappy are laid out, and that our bedroom is dimly lit by the nightlight on our Angelcare Monitor.
Here is how Florence’s bedtime routine goes...
· -We run a bath at 38°C using Earth Friendly Baby Calming Lavender Bubble Bath. The temperature is a little warmer than what is usually recommended, but Florence enjoys it and it gives her longer in the bath before the temperature drops too much! The lavender in the bubble bath helps to relax and calm Florence before bedtime.
· -We give Florence a little massage, and then change her into a Pampers Baby Dry Nappy and clean pyjamas.
-Then it’s time for cuddles and Florence’s “last” bottle.
· -Florence usually goes into her Moses Basket awake, with the sound of her Tranquil Turtle playing in the background. We say goodnight and give her one last kiss before leaving the room.
From day one this routine has worked, and three weeks later it is still (fingers crossed) working. Florence is still only young, and she doesn’t sleep through the night yet. At 11.30pm we give Florence a Dream Feed*, she doesn’t usually take a full bottle but she does take what she needs. Typically, she’ll then wake for a bottle between 2.30am and 3.30am, and then again between 6.30am and 7.30am.
Of course, there have been occasions where we have been unable to start Florence’s bedtime routine on time. When this is the case we always make sure that we bathe Florence, regardless of the time, before we put her into her Moses Basket to sleep. By doing so Florence is learning to associate bath time with bed time, I also find that she settles easier too.
* For the last two nights we have stopped giving Florence a Dream Feed at 11.30pm. She had started to only take1oz of her bottle and I figured that she didn't really want/need it. We wanted to see how long Florence would last after her 8pm bottle, and since we have dropped the Dream Feed she has missed the 11.30pm feed and has slept through until 1.30am - 2.30am*
What is your Baby’s bedtime routine?
When did your baby start sleeping through the night?