As I’ve learned, textbook babies just do not exist. For this reason, I tried not to read books while I was pregnant. Of course that didn’t keep me off google, but I won’t say that googling anything really helped me. Babies are just hard and each of them is different, so reading book and thinking that was how my baby was going to be was just not what I thought was the best.
I was under the impression that babies sleep a lot and it was easy. You didn’t have to do anything to get them to sleep, and they’d sleep for hours! That was what everything I did read on Pinterest made it out to seem! I also thought babies slept through the night early one. I had no idea that wasn’t true and sometimes it needed to be worked on from us.
After a few week of Annabelle having a witching hour of a few hours in the evening every night, I started reading up on things and did buy Happy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. My cousin recommended this book (I did like it, but wasn’t in love with it because it recommends that every baby needs to have an early bedtime (like 6pm) and it’s a lot of textbook literature.) Anyway, one thing I did find out from reading this was how important a bedtime routine was.
When Annabelle was almost 2 months old, we decided we needed to start implementing a bedtime routine. I looked and thought about it hard as to what to include, and in the end, I wanted it to be simple. A bedtime routine really shows her what exactly is happening.
I chose to start the routine with a bath. She loves water and it really seems to relax her from the amount of stimulation her toys give. Some nights it is quick, and some nights she plays for a little while.
After her bath, she gets dried off and lotion put on, and immediately to her room to get in her PJs. Once she gets her Pjs on, one of us will leave and the other will turn on the sound machine, feed her, and put her down. She does still get a bottle before bed, but I know I need to wean her of that soon. For a little while she was falling asleep in our arms but lately that hasn’t been the case and she put her down awake. She may cry for a few seconds but then knows it is bedtime and goes to sleep (knock on wood).
This isn’t anything extraordinary, but I will say that once we started a bedtime routine, the witching hour stopped and she began sleeping longer stretches. I am trying to figure out how to work in reading some books into the routine and dropping the bottle. I’m all ears for that!
Just like bedtime routines help us, they help our kiddos too.