Sleep routines and consistency

 

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Over the six years, I have been a parent the one thing I have relied on is the bedtime routine. Luckily my kids so far have been the type to still sleep well even if they are out of their usual routine. However, every night I put my kids to bed reminds me how beneficial it is to set up consistency at bedtime from the start.

Jamie's Routine

When Jamie was a baby all the books I read mentioned some sort of a bedtime routine. There are some parents who would rather not have any routines and allow the family dynamic to be child-led as much as possible and that's ok too, if it works for your family don't change it.

At the start, the routine was bath time, breastfeeding while reading a story and then he would fall asleep on the breast and I would gently place him into the bedside crib until the next feed was due. As he got older and moved into his own room and onto formula the plan was to give him the bottle, read the story and then learn to self settle. This didn't happen. What really happened was that he had the bottle and I read the story and then stayed in the room trying to get him to sleep. This continued with different methods like the gradual retreat, and finally controlled crying which definitely didn't last long. What ended up working was me holding his hand until he fell asleep. This has now been Jamie's routine up until Rosie was born. Breastfeeding an infant while holding a five-year-old hand wasn't working. Now I start Rosie's routine around half 6/7 then Jamie around 8/8.30. We go upstairs with a cup of milk or water, teeth brushed, and PJ's on then a story. After the story, I spray his 'magic sleep spray'. It's an aromatherapy spray from Avon which I have said will help him sleep, you can buy it here. We then do a high five, fist bump, hug and kiss, say goodnight and then I leave the room and he falls asleep himself. 

Rosie's routine

Rosie's routine is similar to Jamie's now she is on formula. She is still in a cot in our room but will hopefully move to her own room soon. She gets her nappy changed and her sleep suit on and then she drinks her bottle while I read a story. Then she is put into her cot and the night light is switched on and she will finish her bottle. The next half hour or longer involves me putting her back down and rubbing her back/ letting her roll around the cot while occasionally saying 'sleepy time', 'lie down, or 'night night'. The aim being the word association will kick in and she will start to settle to sleep sooner. I also have a white noise app on my phone which I put on as background noise. Once she is asleep I then leave the room. Rosie still doesn't sleep through the night but she is getting better and I hope that it is maybe just because she is still in with us.

Update- 05/06/22

Rosie is now two, still in her cot but in her own room now. She has also been joined by little sister Katie who is one. The routine has changed slightly, and I know what you're thinking, this post is about consistency. The core of the routine is still the same, nappies changed, jammies on, night light and music switched on. They both still have a bottle of milk to fall asleep with but will now only occasionally wake up in the night for a refill. 

Consistency    

Consistency is key, no matter what your child's routine is. Always keep core elements to a strict time, if they are sleeping somewhere that is not their own beds the timing and activities will still instil that sense of familiarity. This is why favourite teddies or snuggles help settle children. Many studies have shown that children crave routine throughout their day and their nights should not be any different.

What are your kids' bedtime routines? Have you tried different sleep training techniques? did they work?

Comments

  1. Love this value you share ♥ Sleep is soo crucial and yet soo neglected.

    Have a lovely day♥

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  2. Such a great point about how the kids have different routines but that they each have consistency.

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    Replies
    1. Kids like knowing what comes next, it's a comfort to them.

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  3. I love how they have different routines yet it’s so consistent!

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    1. We try our best, obviously there are times when they might stay up abit later or bath time might need to be two nights in a row as Rosie got her dinner in her hair but the core of the routine is still the same.

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  4. It's great that you have a bedtime routine for both kiddos. It took me a long time to get into a routine with my toddler, and everything I read said having a routine with their sleep is super important. Now she is 4, and we brush her teeth, do a story, and then turn in. She has gotten pretty used to it finally so that is nice. It's great that your husband does bedtime with one kid while you do the other bedtime. Maybe when they get older you can do their routine together. :)

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