Out littlest dude is 15-months-old now, and I'm pretty dang proud to say that baby sleeps through the night.
Typing those words feels like such a win. Three times around (well, the fourth is on his or her way) and I feel like I have some sort of control over this sleep routine thing. That's the important thing, I think. Knowing that our actions as parents actually can make a difference.
Setbacks always happen when you least expect them. A little while back, I thought I had the whole work-kid-home balance sorted. Then, baby Minion hit a phase that swung the pendulum violently to the “kid” side. Everything else in my life got jammed into the tiny window after he would (hopefully, please dear God) fall asleep and it really put a lot of pressure on our nighttime routine. Suddenly I found myself thrusting a bottle at the kid in his crib (no!) and skipping quiet time because I was too dang exhausted (another big mistake that backfired in the form of restless sleep and nighttime wake-ups).
This time around it was teething that did us in. Oh my word, I have never seen any child teeth as fiercely as this sweet little guy. We've worked with the JOHNSON’S® brand for a long time now, and they always seem to step in right when we're having issues. They reached out to tell me about their BEDTIME® Baby Sleep app. It helps remind parents of the three components of a bedtime routine – bath, massage and quiet time – and includes a 7-day challenge that offers expert tips to make healthy adjustments to your routine to get back on-track.
Step one – bath – is easy. We've got that down. The boys' room actually has a handicapped shower from the previous owner, and they think it is a BLAST to hold themselves up by the little railings, giggling as the water streams down. We do have a bathtub insert we put in here when they're younger, but by this age they're usually excited to crawl around with their toys.
Next, our step two is massage or cuddle time. Physical touch reassures him and helps remind him that he is loved. I rub some JOHNSON’S® lotion on the little guy before we get out jammies and read a story.
And finally, step three is quiet time. Gentle melodies help him make that last transition to sleep. I'm utterly tone deaf, so the app actually has a bunch of songs to help me out. One of the songs, called Tonight We Sleep, was created based on scientific studies of sounds that are actually proven to help baby not only fall asleep, but stay asleep longer.
How to get baby to sleep? Routine. Your actions as a parent really DO make a difference!Click To Tweet
For me – a mom with three kids ages four and under – it was hugely helpful to dedicate a week to resetting our routine. Kids are all about routines, after all. Their little bodies are bursting with energy that can be trained and directed and taught. As with any discipline, practice makes perfect. I truly believe that perfect nighttime practice can eventually make perfect sleepers.
Even if there are a few bumps along the way.