Bedtime Routines

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Sleep! I’ve written about it before, it’s something you take for granted until you have children and suddenly those full nights sleep are a distant memory. Our first child was one of those ‘easy’ babies, you know the ones, that sleep 12 hours a night from just a few weeks old. Nothing ever changed that and we wondered what people complained about. Our next two children were relatively good sleepers. They too slept through from quite early, though both started to wake in the night when they were around 1, but would happily come and snuggle in bed with me and sleep the rest of the night. Vega is probably the worst sleeper we’ve had, though to be fair to him, he’s not that bad. He slept through for a couple of months, but then went back to waking up around the 6-month mark. Currently he usually wakes up twice a night, though not at any set times. Last week as a little worse as he has 3 teeth all popping through at once AND a steaming cold. Poor baby.

We have a fairly set bedtime routine {I’ve talked a little about this here in the past}, early nights don’t suit our family – we’re all night owls, and with older kiddos in the house we often have to collect them from late night groups, so a baby going to bed at 6/7pm simply wouldn’t suit us. All four of ours have usually gone down around 9pm as babies.

Currently, we go upstairs around 8pm. I pop Vega’s bath on to run, he potters around upstairs while I put laundry away and tidy up a little. He’ll usually make his way into one of the girls bedrooms. He hops in the bath, more often than not accompanied by Baya, and has a play for 15 minutes or so. He loves having a bath – splashing, playing with bubbles, singing songs with us, and even more splashing. He hops out, I wrap him in his towel and we sit on my bed while he nurses. Then I’ll pop his nappy and PJ’s on and he’ll potter around upstairs again while I hang his towels up/fill the girls hot water bottles/drink bottles etc.

Around quarter to nine, I’ll get him snuggled in his sleeping bag, read a book – currently Dear Zoo is his favourite! – and then he’ll nurse some more. Some nights he’ll fall asleep feeding. Others he’ll feed and then I’ll pop him in his bed half awake. This can take anywhere from 10 minutes to 40 minutes – really depends on how tired/hungry/chatty he is!

I don’t mind at all feeding him to sleep, or getting back up to feed him in the night if he needs it. Some nights can be trickier if he doesn’t want to go down, though they are few and far between thankfully. We’re going to be trying out the JOHNSON’S® 3-step Bedtime Routine, and see if it makes any difference. The routine is this:

B A T H ~ beginning a bedtime routine with a warm bath, with a bedtime bath/wash and incorporating some play time/songs

M A S S A G E ~ follow the bath with a soothing massage to relax baby {and indulge in some post-bath cuddles}

Q U I E T    T I M E ~ reading a book or singing some lullabies before bed to help baby wind down.

The routine isn’t all that different to ours as it is now, though I will be adding in some massage time {if I can pin a wriggly toddler down!}. We’ve always done bath, book, bed and it’s effective in chilling out even the most hyper toddlers! The only thing I may change in our routine is to make his bath a little later {and get all my jobs done first} and cut out the playtime between bathtime and chilling out. I’m hopefull that may make bedtime a little quicker so I can have more of an evening to unwind myself {or work as the case often is!}

I’m going to keep a sleep diary over the next couple of weeks to see if changing our routine slightly has any effect on bedtime and how well he sleeps at night. Fingers crossed it does! I’ll be reporting back in a couple of weeks time to let you know how we’ve gotten on.

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.

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