(Shh… Finally Sleeping!)
Let’s talk bedtime routines.
Peyton has always been a pretty easy-going baby. Early April, my husband and I took a week trip to the Dominican Republic, and Peyton had her first week-long trip to Grammie’s(my mom).
Before we left, bedtime was not a fun time. It started with an hour of whining, starting usually RIGHT when my husband came home (5:30pm). After dinner, it would be a fight – first, between neither Noel or I wanted to have to deal with a cranky baby, and second, because Peyton didn’t want to do anything. No playing, no singing, no TV shows, just miserable. When we all finally had enough, we would head to bed around 9:30-10:30pm, and the 3 of us would share the bed, with her rotating between the middle and the wall-side. Needless to say, our sex life was trumped, and neither of us slept well at night with the 15%/80%/5% bed split.
(Not a happy camper in her crib!)
While we were away, my mother gave us an amazing gift – a routine for Peyton. When we came home from our trip, Peyton had a new 25 minute routine that gave us back our evenings. What used to be a struggle was now easy and relaxing for all parties!
First, we start with a bath every second night – no loud music toys, but just a relaxing bath with some bubbles and a rubber duck. We try to keep simulation to a minimum, but still seem to have a newly-washed bathroom floor, a sparkly clean half-side of the toilet bowl, and significantly less shampoo. Nevertheless, after her bath, we dry her off and change her into her PJ’s and a fresh new overnight diaper.
(She really does love her baths!)
Then, we have story time! I ask her to get a book, and it usually ends up being 2 or 3 stories, but just enough to settle her down and steal a few cuddles. Generally it is the same book each night, but we always manage to tell a different story – you would be amazed to hear all the different ways Polar Bear makes it back home to her arctic friends!
Then we have bottle time. Peyton is almost completely off her milk and on solids, but milk has always been a comfort for her. So, we give her a bottle of warm homo milk twice a day – first thing in the morning when she wakes up, and the last thing of the day, as she is settling down. However, the trick we have learned is to tuck her into her crib FIRST, and hand her the bottle and have her drink it laying down in her bed. Saves having to transfer her after the fact and wake her up all over again.
Finally, we need the secret trick – music! She LOVES music. However, most free lullabies that are available online are 2-3 minutes each, so we listen to either a repeated lullaby, or a string of songs put together – ideally, we look for at least a 30 minute cycle of music, and try to change it up as often as we can. We alternate between “Fisher Price” kind of music and classics preferably keeping the music without any words, and just melodies. Please find below our top 3 favourite 30 minute and longer lullabies that are available for free online via Youtube:
#1 Fisher Price Style – 4 Hour lullaby by Music For Babies
#2 Instrumental Lullaby – 2 Hour Lullaby with Video
#3 Instrumental Amazing Grace – 2 hours
What is your little one’s bedtime routine? Do you have any saving graces and tricks that you find work? Please let us know!