LETS TALK ABOUT SLEEP
I feel like when you become a parent sleep is always the topic of conversation. Whether your baby slept through or didn’t sleep at all, we’re always searching for the ‘answer’, or a ‘solution’ to getting them to sleep. The truth is there is no answer or solution, every baby is different, different techniques work for different parents. So to one parent to another this is my tried and tested sleep routine. It’s worked so far amazingly for Freddie and I believe its because I Got Freddie into a good routine quickly and have always stuck to it. All these things take time, it didn’t happen over night but I was very persistent and didn’t give up.
I started his routine at around 4 months old and I think making it simple is key. Dinner, bath, stories, bed.
Dinner is one that obviously comes as baby gets bigger, but since around 7-8mnths, Freddie has always had dinner around 4-4:30pm. Try making dinner time roughly the same time every night. Making sure they’ve had a good dinner before bed is a key factor to a good nights sleep. Consider how you’d feel going to bed unsatisfied and not feeling full, our babies are the same. Freddie loves a split plate, if I put something different in each compartment of his plate/tray, he likes to choose what he eats first.
Freddie doesn’t need a bath every night, but he does. Not because he’s dirty but just because it’s relaxing and a way of winding down for him. He’s had a bath nightly since he was only a few months so he’s got used to it. If we go a night without a bath for whatever reason (too tired, poorly, etc.) he doesn’t sleep well at all. We fill bath time with lots of nursery rhymes and bath toys. Again, try and do bath time at the same time every night, we do bath time somewhere between 6:30-6:45pm.
MILK & STORIES
We’ve read stories since Freddie was tiny. I’d, as well as Ryan would sit and read to him, even though he didn’t have a clue what we were talking about. Story time now is a little trickier to do, as come getting ready for bed, Freddie’s far too tired to have a story and just wants a snuggle and milk ready to go into his cot. Sometimes, we try and read books to Freddie before we take him up for bath time so we get them in, but often now, we just read books throughout the day and let him look at his touchy-feely books.
Since Freddie was little, I’ve always tried to let him fall asleep by himself, even when he was next to me in our room. If he wakes in the night, I wanted him to know how to self settle or he’d just cry out for me. Freddie will have his milk on one of us, in his room and we keep the room dark so it signifies night time, we’ve always done this and then he’ll go straight into his cot, 9 times out of 10, he falls asleep on his bottle and is asleep when we put him down; but sometimes he doesn’t and drops off by himself in there.
On the off chance, he’s finding it hard to drop off, we sometimes will put white noise on with some music playing on top of it. This helps Freddie to fall asleep. When Freddie was first born, where he was premature, he found it hard to settle unless he was on my chest so whitenoise and music was our go to. We stopped using whitenoise not long before he turned 1 as it was keeping him awake in the end and he was getting restless, but now we use it as our back up and it works for him. I find this is helpful also as it gives him something to focus on and listen to and distracts him from me leaving the room. Freddie also goes in to a sleeping bag, again he always has, it’s like his security and helps to keep him warm so added bonus.
I have never used the cry out method with Freddie, I found it far too hard. This isn’t for everyone but some people find it really helpful and works for their children. Don’t get me wrong, I have let Freddie moan and whimper and do a little cry but I’ve never let it get to the point where he’s screaming or inconsolable. Me going into him when he cries, is not spoiling him, nor is it your babies if you do this too. Your baby simply needs you and that reason to them is huge, they need reassurance and to be helped back to sleep. Me doing this with Freddie, has not effected his sleep in anyway. He self-settles if he wakes in the night and he’s never in our bed during the night unless he’s poorly. It is extremely rare we have to go into him to settle him back down.
Love Chloe x