Many baby books stress the importance of a bedtime routine – and with that I have to agree. I have my own bedtime routine (considerably altered post-babies) and it seems only fair that the children should have one too – it signals to them that the day is over and nighttime has begun.
For us, the bedtime routine is bath, milk, story, bed.
When you bring a newborn home a bedtime routine doesn’t seem terribly important – you’re up at all hours anyway, there is no real difference between night and day. But (hopefully) there will soon be a difference as baby sleeps for longer stretches at night (and eventually really long 10 – 12 hour stretches) and at that point you need to consider – when does nighttime begin?
It might seem a daft question, but if you have a parent(s) who works late, you might be tempted to have a later ‘bedtime’ so that a parent who has not been around during the day can have some special time with baby at night – in our case, this would mean starting bath around 9pm, and nighttime effectively beginning at 10pm.
Well, we tried it. It was ok. Multidaddy was thrilled to see BabyBoy and BabyGirl. But the day was very long, and the babies were cranky and had very disturbed evening sleep. Starting the night at 10pm didn’t mean BabyBoy and BabyGirl slept later in the mornings – it just meant their night was shorter. Continue reading
Regular readers will know that I’ve been writing a lot about sleep recently, as (unfortunately) we’ve had to sleep train BabyBoy.
So I just wanted to share a wonderful piece of news – this morning BabyBoy and BabyGirl didn’t wake us up until 7.03am! That’s the first time we’ve hit the 7am mark, which I’d all but given up on doing, making my peace with settling for 6am.
The world truly is a better place once you’ve had proper sleep…
There are no two ways about it, sleep training involving tears is hard. Hopefully you won’t have to do it (BabyGirl didn’t really need it) but if you do (as we had to with BabyBoy) hopefully the following will help you:
1. Be ready. This is key. It took me a long long time to be fully convinced that BabyBoy needed to be sleep-trained. We ran the gauntlet of trying everything else before we turned to the graduated extinction method. It is important that you have convinced yourself that baby is not getting hungry during the night, and is not ill, teething, getting used to a new room / routine, going through severe separation anxiety…or anything else you can think of that might mean sleep training is not appropriate. Listening to baby cry will make the question ‘what is wrong?’ reverberate around your mind, so think about it in advance. If necessary, write down a list of things you have considered so that you can reassure yourself during the night that, yes, rationally you think sleep training is now needed. Continue reading
I’ve let two days elapse in this sleep training log as the plan is now to move BabyBoy’s bedtime earlier and we moved it back only five minutes on night 19 (unintentionally, life got in the way) and then 10 minutes last night.
Where we decide to incorporate a new strategy into our sleep training.
This was Multidaddy’s report from last night:
‘BabyBoy slept through until 5.30am. He was then on and off until 6.30am, when I went in and started the day.’
So what changed? Continue reading