It took me about 4 weeks to settle into a night time routine with Oliver. However, since we started, it has been FANTASTIC! I wish that we had started our bedtime routine much earlier. I don't think it is ever too early to start. Before I share what we do at night, a quick disclaimer: I DO NOT stick to this every night... We are human! There are nights that just don't go as planned. I am ok with having off nights, but we try to do our routine whenever possible.
1. Bath Time EVERY NIGHT
Before people start arguing, I do not use soap on Oliver every night. The National Pediatrician Association recommends only bathing a baby with soap every 3 days as to not dry out their sensitive skin. However, we put Oliver in his tub and let him play around in the warm water every night. He spends about 5 minutes kicking around in the warm water and the temperature calms in down and makes him drowsy
I recommend a sink tub for the benefit of your back. The Puj is my dream tub and will hopefully be the one we have for our next baby.
2. Rock and Read
After bath time I leave him in his towel, and while he dries off, I rock him in his rocking chair and read to him.
3. Diaper Change and Into Pajamas
As soon as I take him out of his towel he goes straight into a diaper and pajamas. As of yet he hasn't peed on me when he was in the towel, but I don't push my luck for too long! I also make sure to lather him down with baby lotion.
We failed miserably in the swaddling department, which is what led to a bunch of your sleep issues. Swaddle baby as long as humanly possible!
5. Nurse or Bottle
Once Oliver is in Pajamas I nurse him either in bed or in his rocker. I make sure to pump him as full of milk as he can handle!
6. Lay Down
Once baby is asleep, lay them down in whatever vessel you choose for them to sleep in. Chances are your baby will wake up. It is so hard for new parents to let their baby fuse, but the more you do, the easier your sleep journey will be. You don't want to let newborn's cry too long, but let them fuss for a minute, pick them up an rock for a minute and lay down again. Continue to repeat this process until baby doesn't wake up when laid down. This may take 30 tries the first time, but as baby realizes that no matter what they get laid down, it will get easier and easier.
I recommend the Dockatot for the best infant sleep. We tried the Pack N Play Bassinet and it didn't work very well.
We try to start our bedtime routine around 7 and have him in his bed by 8. It won't work every night, but when it does, you will happy and fulfilled parents!
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I am 25 years old with a 2 year old son and a wicked handsome husband living in Birmingham, Alabama.