When I saw Emma‘s call for posts for her Bedtime Routines Carnival I thought it was a great opportunity to write down my experiences with Edward.
As an expectant mum I went out and bought all the books I could find, including Gina Ford’s Contented Little Baby. People seem to either love or hate her ideas but several of our friends swore by it so we thought we’d see what all the fuss was about. We pretty much discarded all of the advice within a week or two of Edward arriving. It was difficult (and in hindsight hilarious!) to try and encourage a newborn into any kind of routine and it just didn’t work for us. I remember carrying the book around with the relevant page folded and trying to follow the schedule. What was I thinking? I should have been enjoying ever precious moment rather than worrying about feeding him with the lights on or off according to the time of day.
The only bit of the routine we did stick to was bedtime at 7pm. This allowed us as parents to have an evening to ourselves and Edward had a great routine where he had plenty of sleep.
I think we’ve been incredibly lucky as Edward is a contented little baby (without any help from a book) and we’ve never had any problems putting him to bed at 7. He slept in a moses basket in our room until he was 6 months old and then we (reluctantly) transferred him to his nursery and cot. He’s now 11 months old and sleeps from 7 until at least 7 and only wakes in the night due to teething pain.
To encourage him to sleep we have done a few things:
- put up a blackout blind (now fully lined curtains) in his room
- ensure we stick to a routine of bath, bottle and bed at 7
- ensure plenty of fresh air and activities so Edward is tired by bed time
He’s not perfect and sometimes he’ll take a while to settle but our routine works well for us. We love our sleep!