Saturday, 8 March 2014

Bedtime routine

I've talked briefly before about our bedtime routine and Ophelia's night time habits but this time i'm linking up to Kerry's share it Sundays about bedtime.  
 Let me begin by saying that I always knew I would need to return to work, so I knew how important it would be to get Ophelia into a routine so that I would have some chance of functioning! My job is fairly stressful/dangerous so the more sleep the better!  You can imagine how much of a mountain I had to climb then when, after 24 hours of labour and 36 hours of no sleep we brought our daughter home and she did not want to sleep.  I kept hearing "ohhh I love it at that stage because all they do is sleep", oh no no no no no, not this little lady and especially not at night time! After a while, this did pass but not without some extreme routine building! 

 We stayed quite strict with the routine and I think if we had just gone with the flow, I would still be going to work now with no sleep! At first she slept in a carry cot type thing and we used to roll a towel into a U shape, popped it in the cot and snuggled her body into the shape before tucking a muslin over the top.  This worked really well (she hated being swaddled) at making her feel secure and sending her off to sleep and we transferred this same technique to the cot when she moved into that.  At first when she was teeny tiny, she really didn't like gro bags, but we tried again when she was a few months old and we have been using them every night ever since. 

The routine we used remains the same even to this day, although the only difference is that she goes down much quicker now so her bedtime has got slightly earlier (generally!):

6ish: Start getting everything ready e.g. bottles out of the fridge, hot water, run bath, boil kettle etc. Wind down by reading a book.
         Give bath/wash down and put sleepsuit on.
6:30ish: Give bottle
7-7:30ish: Put to bed and always give her a kiss goodnight.

Ophelia never used to be able to settle herself to bed and it was quite the laborious exercise so I can see why some parents decide to feed to sleep/rock to sleep/co sleep etc because it ain't pretty! But always at the back of my mind was that I was going back to work and all those things would simply make my life more difficult further down the line- obviously if you're not going back to work relying on those techniques probably isn't an issue and is probably quite nice!  I also never liked to co sleep for a massive safety issue-on a nightly basis I kick/talk/shout/move in my sleep and so I wouldn't trust myself to not do any of those things to her by mistake.  

Like anything with children, i'm sure this will all change as time goes on and even when she was ill last week it completely set her off kilter and regressed.  I in fact ended up letting her sleep on my chest all night, so then sleeping in her cot was evidently unappealing! But we persevered (I survived at work by having 5 strong coffees a day!) and she now seems to be back into her normal routine (touch wood).  The length of time she sleeps still varies a little bit; sometimes she stirs quite a lot but gets herself back to sleep but other times she wakes up at 3ish or mornings like today when I was awake before she was (7:30am!).

So that's our bedtime routine story! It works for us and for her, although it isn't neccesarily what I imagined I would do prior to having her!


  1. This is a great post and it's finding a routine what works best for you as a family :) #ShareitSundays x

    1. Thanks Michelle, I completely agree! xx

  2. I find it interesting to read other routines, it looks like you have a great routine set. Wish I had stuck to one from an early age. Thanks for liking up at shareitsundays x