Lets talk about sleep..
I feel like when you become a parent sleep is always the topic of conversation. Whether your baby slept through or didn’t sleep at all we’re always searching for the ‘answer’, The truth is there is no answer, every baby is different, different techniques work for different parents. So to one parent to another this is my tried and tested sleep routine. It’s worked for both my boys and I swear by it. All these things take time, it didn’t happen over night but I was very persistent and didn’t give up and I think that’s the reason it’s still going strong 4 years later.
With my first son Otis I started his routine at around 3 months old and with my second Marley it was straight away as we already had a routine in place for him to slot into. I think making it simple is key. Dinner, bath, stories, bed.
Try making dinner time roughly the same time every night. Making sure they’ve had a good dinner before bed is a key factor to a good nights sleep. Make it exciting. My boys love a split plate if I put something different in each compartment they’re much more likely to eat it.
I give the boys a bath every night, not because they particularly need it but just because it’s a nice relaxing time. They have lots of bath toys they’ve always enjoyed playing with and it’s just a nice time to unwind and settle before bed.
Milk and stories 6.30pm
We’ve read stories since they were tiny babies. I’d sit and read to them both even though they didn’t have a clue what I was talking about but now story time is one of their favourite times. They chose a few books each and we read for about 20 minutes. With my eldest Otis we often use this time to encourage him to read and spell out words.
Since they were little I’ve always tried to let them fall asleep themselves. If they wake up in the night they need to know how to self settle or they’ll always just cry out for you. I find a CD with bedtime stories really helps them fall asleep, it gives them something to focus on and listen to and distracts them from you leaving the room. I also have a Gro clock for Otis and |’ll do the same for Marley when he goes into a big boy bed. You set it to bedtime, so the clock turns blue to show its nighttime. You then set it to a time you want it to turn yellow, to show its morning. This helps them understand when it’s actually time to get it and if they wake in the night shows them its still nighttime so they need to go back to sleep. This worked from the day we bought it with Otis and has been a god send. I think its better to start this earlier than you think, Otis was about 22 months and we thought he wouldn’t understand but he did.
I also used the cry it out method with both boys. This isn’t for everyone, it’s not easy but it does work if your persistent. I started this when they went into their own room and cot. The idea is you simply let them cry for 10 mins at time (while watching the monitor like a hawk checking they’re ok) before going in, laying them back down, stroking their head for a few seconds and leaving. I’ve repeated this for hours at a time, at 1am, 3am and 4am, but if you can get through it by the 4th day they’ll start to adjust and after a week it should have worked fully. It might mean a few nights very little/no sleep but it does mean good sleep in the long run so you just have to keep thinking about that.
Love Hattie x