Establishing a sleep routine
Updated: Feb 11
Let's talk about sleep routines. Evie is turning nine months old this weekend, and I’m reluctant to say it aloud for fear I’m going to jinx us, but for the last two weeks we’ve been getting 10-12 hours of sleep from her every night.
This hasn’t always been the case, and as with anything your baby does it can all change in a second. I really worried about us not having a routine in place, but I equally struggled with the idea of having a very repetitive and rigid evening schedule.
If I’m honest it’s only been in the last 2 months that we’ve finally gotten our routine down, and there are definitely days when I feel like all I do is feed and bathe Evie on repeat, but I can see how much Evie benefits from her bedtime wind down, she settles much more quickly and seemingly is happier to stay in her cot at the moment.
Our evenings now look a little like this:
17:30-18:30 – Dinnertime – this is the last real play time of the evening, depending on the meal this can be a messy affair, we encourage Evie to have a nice big drink of water with her dinner to keep her hydrated.
18:30-19:00 – Bath time – whilst we are getting the bath run I’ll walk round with Evie and turn all the blinds and close the curtains upstairs. We only use a low-lit lamp in her nursery in the evening. I’ll also pop some “plinky-plonky” music on, we are currently listening to 50 Sleepy Collection for Seep – White Noise, Nature Recordings & Baby Sleep, on Amazon Prime. (Amazon are currently offering a 30 day free trial*).
I think that mentally this little process is just as much for me as it is Evie, the process of us both winding down for the evening. Evie now loves a bath, we try a keep toys to a minimum and just have a simple routine of body and hair wash then a little splash around then a rinse off. We let Evie stay in the bath whilst the water drains, and we make the toys all say goodnight to her as the water level drops. We just try and make the process as gentle and calm as possible. Now Evie has teeth so we give her teeth a quick brush as soon as she is wrapped up in her towel.
19:00-19:30 – Sleepy time – Once she is out of the bath, cleaned and dressed for bed in her sleep bag, we have our last feed in the rocking chair and she’s usually out like a light. Then we pop her in her crib and slowly back out of the room.
Once we've escaped like Ninja's from her room we generally sit downstairs in near silence watching her every move on the baby monitor.
Are you after a baby monitor? We use the Netvue Orb and absolutely love it. You can read our review in full here.
If a bath is impractical every night then here are some other bedtime ideas:
• Quiet time – As simple as dim lights and some soothing music can help your baby realise it’s time for bed. Having the same music each night can help, it works for Evie.
• A bedtime story – Evie gets way too excited by reading a book, so we have found that at the moment a bedtime story just doesn’t work for us, but as soon as she is a little older we have a stack of books waiting
• A mini massage – If we are away and can’t give Evie a bath we try and give her a little massage when we are getting her changed for bed. We learnt some excellent techniques at our baby massage class, but as simple as stroking your baby’s skin can relax them.
• Sleep aids - Sleep sheep, or other projectors that have lullabies built in are a great tool and companion for bedtime routines
We are still learning what works with Evie, but as a family we try and be as baby lead as possible. The most important thing is finding what works for you and your family, if that means you cuddle your baby to sleep every night, or your baby needs to be rocked every time they wake then go with it, none of these phases last forever.
*if you sign up to the Amazon Music trial using this link we receive £4.50 from Amazon, even if you cancel within 30 days. This does not cost you anything.