Sleep. It’s the one thing new moms and dads want the most, and can be the most difficult thing to get! In the early weeks, sleep happens when it happens. Baby is just getting used to being outside of Mom’s tummy, and a bedtime routine may not be effective. But after about 2-3 months, it’s good to establish a bedtime routine and stick to it every night. Here is the bedtime routine that we’ve found works best for us.
Step 1: Bath
We don’t do bath with Rowen every night, but this would count as step one for us. Aren actually does get in the bathtub every night, but we don’t always use soap. I don’t want their sensitive skin to dry out! A nice warm bath is a good way to rinse off the day, plus the heating and cooling of the body signals the brain that it’s time to rest.
Step 2: Lotion and Pajamas
Our climate is super dry, so I try to put lotion on their skin each night – especially in winter! We call it “massage time” and I sing a little song as I rub the lotion on. Rowen doesn’t seem to react to massage time yet, but I can see Aren’s eyes getting heavy as I rub and sing. I love it! Plus I just feel like it’s our little bit of bonding time at the end of the day.
Step 3: Read a Book
I like to start bedtime stories early, even before they know what it means. It exposes them to language to help their speech and reading ability in the future. And it helps them develop a love for books! With Rowen, I will read the same book every night to keep his routine consistent. Aren has a basket of books and she is able to choose the one she wants. Sometimes we read the same book for a week, and sometimes she picks a different book each night. Once she is older, we will let her read the books (but I never stop reading to my babies – until they just don’t want it anymore).
Step 4: Sing a Song (or two)
Every one of my babies has enjoyed my love-filled renditions of “You Are My Sunshine,” and I’m sure they will tell you nobody sings it better than Mom. Or more truthfully, they don’t realize how terribly I sing so they don’t complain. Regardless, I enjoy singing a song to them before bedtime – or sometimes I’ll squeeze in two songs. I like to keep it soft and slow, as sleepy time is near.
Step 5: Snuggles and Sleep
This step has looked different for all of my babies. I remember rocking Hunter to sleep. Kaiden put himself to sleep. Aren was nursed to sleep for 17 months, and now gets snuggles until she’s out. And for now, we are still feeding and rocking Rowen to sleep. We plan to eventually move his bedtime bottle earlier in the routine so that he learns to fall asleep on his own, but for now I am ok with what we are doing.
We also include white noise in our bedtime routine. Aren’s is set on a timer so she knows it’s time to get out of the bathtub without a fight. Rowen’s is turned on when we enter his room. White noise is great for giving one more cue that it’s bedtime, and it also drowns out excess noise in the house. It actually helps me sleep, too!
One thing I am loving right now in Rowen’s room is this Canton Side Table that Delta Children sent to us. It matches Rowen’s crib and is so handy to have next to his rocking chair. There is a little tray that pulls out in the front, for setting bottles on in the middle of the night. The little shelf underneath is where I keep some loveys and his bedtime book. I really love all of the Delta Children furniture we have owned over the years. The pieces are quality, and are actually really easy to put together! Aren helped me with this table on a Saturday afternoon.
I highly recommend you check out this table and other Delta Children products for yourself! You can use the coupon code AMANDA15 to save on your purchase.