When you are new parent, you have SO many decisions to make and SO many people who feel the need to weigh in on your choices. I can remember getting unsolicited feedback from people when I decided to implement a bedtime routine for my first daughter when she was a baby. However, that was one of the best decisions that I ever made.
We are on vacation so my girls have had busy days and slept in unfamiliar locations and unfamiliar beds for the past 2 nights. Sounds like a recipe for them to meltdown at bedtime…right? Right. Of course they don’t want to go to bed because they are on vacation! So…how did we get them to go to sleep? We did the same bedtime routine that we do at home.
With both of our girls, we established a bedtime routine as soon as we could. Our routine is pretty simple but very effective. It consists of:
- A bath (most nights)
- Bottle (for my 10 month old)
- Reading books
- Singing songs
- “Good night. Sweet dreams. I love you.”
Within this routine, there is something else that really works. Instead of singing different songs each night, I picked 5 songs to sing every night…and in the same order. It might sound boring, but it worked for us. I found that by doing this every night, it helped her prepare for the fact that I was about to lay her in the crib and leave her to fall asleep on her own.
Last night, my 10 month old was not interested in sleeping even though she was obviously tired (eye rubbing, laying her head on my shoulder, crying, etc.) She has a bit of a temper so she was starting to throw a pretty good fit. As I sat down to rock her, I starting singing the first song of our “bedtime playlist”, and I felt her relax a little. As I continued to sing, she stopped crying and let her eyes get heavier. By the fourth song, she could barely keep those beautiful blue eyes open. As I was finishing the last song, I layed her down in the crib. She tried to resist, but she couldn’t. She finally gave in and drifted off to sleep. Sweet success!!!