One of the first questions people ask new parents is if they are getting any sleep. I don’t know why people ask this all the time, I mean…look at my face! Does this face look like the face that has gotten sleep?! Sleepless nights come with the territory with a new born and now that this is my second, I have come to terms with it. Although I have to wake up a few times throughout the night I have learned the value of getting my kids in a good bedtime routine to set them, and me, up for success. Getting baby in a good bedtime routine allows him to get in a rhythm of a sleep pattern and also allows me to have a little me time before bed. Cameron and I know that a good night routine is a must for our kids as we help them establish good bedtime habits. Because Hendrix is new in town, I want to share 5 steps for a good bedtime routine that are setting him (and us) up for more restful nights.
1.Set The Mood
Our bedtime routine starts at 7PM which is when I start to set the mood for sleepy time for Hendrix. Now that Hendrix has been on this bedtime routine for a couple of weeks, he automatically starts getting sleepy around 7PM. It’s super important to make sure there are signals and cues to your baby that signify that it’s time to wind down. Hendrix sleeps in a bassinet in our room so to set the mood I turn the main light off and the lamp on my night stand on. The low lighting helps give the room a calm and quiet vibe which often makes me sleepy too! We also have a sound machine set to the sound of the ocean that I turn on at 7PM. From day 1 we have always had a little noise going on with the baby so that he would learn to be able to sleep through noise. He can sleep through his sister singing “Let It Go” at the top of her lungs and not be phased! His night time ocean sounds help lull him to sleep and also cancels out any other noise going on in the house.
2.Set The Scene
It always helps me to have his pajamas and all the things necessary to get him dressed and warm set up before hand. This way I am not running around while he is shivering and fussy. I set out his pajamas, his diaper, his lotion, and his blanket all in a row so that I can get him dressed and on his way to dream-ville as quickly as possible. During this time I go ahead and draw the water for his bath so the water can be getting warm.
Typically I do the night routine with Hendrix while Cameron does the night routine with Cami. Sometimes we switch because these times are so sweet with both the kids. Sometimes I need to get in a good bedtime story with Cami. Sometimes Cameron needs to get in a few sweet coos from Hendrix who loves baths. If the water is warm, Hendrix is happy to be in the bath. To help with his dry skin we love using Baby Dove wash and lotion. Both Cameron and I use Dove bars for our showers, so I figured it would be great for baby too! Just like any adult likes to wind down from a long day with a warm bath or shower, so it is with babies. Sometimes on a day when Hendrix seems particularly fussy, I will give him a bath in the middle of the day which always calms him down.
4. Dressed for Sweet Dreams
Once bath time is over comes the task of making sure baby is dry and warm. I make sure that all his little rolls are dry and then slather him down with Baby Dove lotion. Hendrix has dry skin so it’s important for us not to skip this step. If I do, his skin will be dry and peeling the next day. With Baby Dove lotion I have never noticed him having dry skin the next morning if I have put lotion on him the night before.
Once lotion is on, then go the diaper and the pj’s. Let me reiterate how convenient it is to have it all lined up before hand. When baby is cold from coming out of the bath, having everything there for you to grab quickly expedites time and gives less opportunity for the baby to be fussy. The last thing that I want to happen if for Hendrix to be full-out crying at this time because I have already set the mood for serenity. Having to calm him down would take up more time.
5. Full Belly + Lights out
Now that he is dressed, the rest of the night routine is pretty simple. 3 months into breastfeeding him and this night feeding is my favorite of the day. He is calm, smells so good from the Dove lotion, and he’s drowsy. Every night he falls asleep while nursing and when he does I lay him down to be swaddled and it’s lights out.
No matter what steps you have for your child, establishing a good bedtime routine is crucial. With Hendrix and Cami both in bed by 8, Cameron and I have the rest of the night for alone time to catch up on our shows and catch up on each other’s day. This is our favorite time of the day.