As a young mom, I am always learning new things about how to take care of my (almost) 5 month old baby boy, Skyler. Every day is a new adventure, a new challenge, a new opportunity to grow as a parent. One of the challenges of having an infant is how do you teach you baby it is time to say “night, night”? How do you convince them that since the sun is down, they should lay their head to rest???
There are many books on baby sleep patterns. What To Expect the First Year, Baby Wise, The Baby Book, and many many more. Some I have read, and some I have only heard of. There are also countless articles on websites like BabyCenter.com.
Some of the best advice I received was about a “bed time routine.” When I read that, I thought, oooh now that sounds like a great idea! I love bedtime routines, so maybe Sky will too! I am all about my routines when I get ready for bed. Change into PJs, brush my teeth, wash my face, set my alarm, give my husband a kiss goodnight, put Vaseline on my lips (because it’s super dry here in Colorado), tell my husband I love him, tell Roxy (our dog) that I “ruv” her, and then tell Sky I love him (even though he’s in the other room). This is our routine – EVERY NIGHT. So anyway, it makes sense that Sky would have a routine too. Right?
At first, I was a little doubtful. I couldn’t believe that a routine would work when he seemed like he was talking a mile a minute and waving his arms and trying to eat the book we were reading, but miraculously… a regular bed time with a normal routine WORKS! It’s amazing!
Most nights it is pretty flexible, but there are some basic parts. Sometime between 630 and 730, we start getting ready for bed. The routine consists of a diaper change, footie pajamas, and then we sit down in the rocking chair to read a book! Sometimes we read a short story children’s book like Goodnight Moon, but most nights it’s a story out of his children’s Bible. After we finish reading, I stand-up and sing him a song like Twinkle, Twinkle. From there, I give him a kiss goodnight, lay him in his crib, and voila! It’s like magic! Sometimes I have to give him his pacifer but then he immediately falls asleep 🙂 (I’m spoiled I know… but I really think it can work for others as well).
All this to say: yes, I really do think bedtime routines work. I know that the same routine won’t work for every kid, and it won’t work every night. But I’ll take any night I can get without fighting baby Sky to go to sleep! Kids need structure. They need loving and cherishing. What’s a better way to share your favorite books and put your child to sleep in one fell swoop???
If you have any other techniques for putting your kids to sleep, leave a comment to share! Night, all.