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Parents (or anyone who has ever taken care of babies/toddlers for that matter) know that sleep can be oh so challenging. While we yearn for hours of blissful, uninterrupted sleep, our littles often have other ideas! One thing I have learned with Bryce is that he really thrives on a bedtime routine.
When I was pregnant, I remember reading and speaking with fellow Mamas about sleep and bedtime routines. And with a year of motherhood under my belt, I’ve found this to be true myself: children are creatures of habit and they LOVE knowing what comes next. So, if you can get them accustomed to a routine followed by sleep, you will (hopefully) set yourself up for some deep, restorative sleep too!
I thought it’d be fun to share the last hour-ish of Bryce’s day with you and what our bedtime routine consists of. Bryce typically goes to sleep around 7:30 these days. I prep dinner as T is getting home from work and we eat together as a family around 5:45-6. (That includes Izzy, as you can tell.)
After dinner, Bryce gets cleaned up (some days are messier than others) and he likes to play and run around. I don’t know how anyone sleeps well after that, but it seems like he needs to get the last bit of energy out before the day is over. Often times, we will play in the family room or even take a quick family walk in the neighborhood if the weather is nice and play on the swings.
If it’s a bath night (he typically has baths every other day), we start it around 6:45 or 7pm. Bryce loves playing with his toys, reading his waterproof books and pulling the drain plug. What a stinker!
T and I like to take a team approach to bath time- I usually play with Bryce while T does the prep work: getting the tub filled, laying out PJs, setting out a towel and a fresh diaper & related supplies, pouring a sippy cup of milk, refilling the humidifier in his room, etc. Then we both usually give him a bath and play/chat with him, although sometimes we switch it up. After Bryce is done in the bathtub, we dry him off and lay him on top of our bed so we have room to dry him off, then follow up with some lavender scented baby lotion, a diaper and PJs (he wears two piece PJs and they are oh so adorable!)
The main products we’ve been using with Bryce that are a serious staple in our nighttime routine are the Huggies OverNites Diapers and Huggies Natural Care Wipes. I had no idea there were diapers specifically for overnight…what a game changer. These have saved me from middle of the night diaper changes since they provide leakage protection for up to 12 hours! There’s nothing worse than having your little guy get woken up from a full diaper (and having your sleep interrupted too!) These diapers have really held up to their name…no issues so far and we’ve been using them for a couple weeks. And the wipes are really gentle on Bryce’s skin and no wonder- as the wipes are 99% water. And equally important- they get the job done too!
After Bryce is all clean and dressed (is there any better smell in this world than a clean baby?!), we brush his teeth and bring him into his room, where the curtains & blinds are drawn since it’s still light out around that time. We turn on a dim light, flip on the humidifier and his sound machine and Daddy will kiss him good night. Then, I’ll rock Bryce while I read him a book while he sips on some milk, say our prayers and then it just takes a few minutes after that for him to fall asleep in my arms. I love those precious, quiet moments that him and I share…and I just love staring at his peaceful little face as he breathes deeply while he nods off to sleep.
After a few more minutes of snuggling, I quietly place him in his crib, turn off the light and tip-toe out of his room (and you should see me- I look like I’m trying to navigate around a land mine…I try to avoid the squeaks in the floor if Bryce is sleeping lightly- it’s woken him up before so I try to avoid those areas as much as I can!)
*Most* nights, Bryce will sleep till 6:30-7am the next morning. I say most nights because there’s things like teething and such that can mess up his sleep, poor guy.
I’m not sure if our schedule and consistency has molded him into a great sleeper, or if he’s just naturally that way – but I’ll take it! I really think the sticking to a bedtime is key for the littles. I think they need it and after a full day, I’m thankful for a 7:30 cut-off time when I can relax a bit!
And part of my nighttime routine? Once Bryce is asleep, I take a few uninterrupted moments to go through emails and such. And order anything I might be running low on, like diapers and wipes- via Amazon of course. (Love my Prime subscription.) Takes just a second and I don’t have to leave the house!
1) Establish a bedtime routine and start early, and stick to it! Take a bath, read a book, turn on relaxing music, etc.
2) Have a good nighttime diaper.
3) Set up a safe sleeping environment. Check out these tips on sleep safety.
4) Create a sleep-like environment. Make sure your baby’s room is dark, and try using a sound machine.
5) Make sure baby eats well during the day and takes bottles as needed.
6) Above all else, don’t stress about it!
What do you do every night with your littles to make sure they get a full night’s sleep? Please share!
And check out this coupon to score some Huggies goodies for yourself!