Establishing A Bedtime Routine With Your Baby – What Worked For Us
With both of our boys (Ethan now 4 and Logan now 2), we were lucky in that going to bed and sleep was never a constant battle, but I can remember during the tougher phases feeling a bit like I was going to break at times due to the lack of sleep. There was a time when we found ourselves in a phase of sharing our bed every night. And there was a time when we had to pick our youngest son up from his grandparents because he'd woken up at 2 o'clock in the morning and just outright refused to accept that he needed to go back to sleep. There were also times when I would feel consumed with Mum-guilt because my baby would wake up at night crying and we'd struggle to settle him back off to sleep.
But then I expect that at some point that's pretty much the same sort of story for all parents of babies. I just feel very thankful that it didn't take us too long to be able to establish good routines and find an approach that meant the sleepless nights weren't too much of a long term thing.
Setting a routine
The first thing we made sure was that we were consistent and that we set a bedtime routine. The importance of routine was proven to us when our first son was quite young and we didn't quite realise how much a change to his normal routine would affect him whilst we were on holiday. Whilst away we let him stay up a bit later and also come into our bed with us. Naively we thought he'd be fine going back into his own bed when we were home again. But of course, he wasn't and what followed was quite a hard bedtime battle phase. So ever since then we've tried to keep to a good routine when it comes to going to bed;