So I decided that this time around I would create a bedtime routine with my daughter as early as possible. My other two daughters didn’t really have much of a routine and ended up in my bed most nights. I honestly don’t remember when either of them slept through the night for the first time, in fact I imagine neither of them ever actually did. Now I am a little older, a little wiser and thankfully have developed a little more patience I hope this time will be different.
I am not a strict follower of any of the new fangled “parenting types” that I have been reading about: baby led, attachment, parent led…I suppose I would consider myself a mixture of all three. I like routine and structure but will not bind myself or my daughter to it, I wouldn’t miss a lunch date over a nap schedule for example. I do believe that a bedtime routine is good for a baby though so this is one I will try to stick to every evening.
Now that Rebecca is over four weeks old we have started to give her a bath every night before bedtime. Thankfully she LOVES the bath. We purchased the Mama’s and Papa’s bath set from Argos when she was born – it includes a thermometer, the bath, a towel and a top and tail bowl. You can find my review here https://beingmumblog.wordpress.com/2014/04/24/mamas-and-papas-bathing-set/ We were given a bath seat by a friend which we put inside the bath to allow hands free bathing – aswell as allowing Rebecca to splash and kick it also saves my back!
I don’t have an exact bed time for her yet as her timetable is still so changeable but usually between 9pm and 10pm she will have her bath. When she is finished her bath and dressed in her pyjamas I put on her nightlight and read her a story, you might think this is a ridiculous step in the routine for a six-week old baby but I have added it as I do believe the earlier the better. It is something I regret not doing with my older girls but each to their own and you don’t have to include it! It doesn’t have to be anything major, this is the one that my elder daughters picked for her – it’s short and sweet but colorful and plays sounds which catch her attention.
After that she has her fifth and final feed of the day – she is following the standard guidelines for bottle fed babies in Ireland which for her age is currently five, five ounce bottles in twenty-four hours. Her night-light plays a bedtime lullaby which I play for her while she settles which never takes long, it is usually about 10.30pm at this stage but this has varied (sometimes she has had her fourth feed at 8pm and then bath at 9pm – her fifth bottle would then be at 1.30am. This meant she had her last bottle of the evening before her bath)
For the past couple of nights she has slept right through until 6am – I don’t know if this will be a permanent thing as she is still so young but I do believe that she has learned the difference between night and day due to this routine and she really enjoys going into her crib for the night! .