Aiden has always been a pretty good sleeper, but at about 3.5 months, we decided to start him on a bedtime routine. There were three reasons why chose this time:
- We started to hear about the four moth sleep regression and got nervous. I did some research and found out that around four months a baby’s sleep changes from constant deep sleep to a sleep pattern of light and deep sleep. As this happens it can be difficult for a baby to transition through the cycles. Having a good sleep routine was one way to help ease the issues associated with sleep regression.
- We have heard a lot about habits parents get into in order to get their child to sleep (ie; nursing or rocking baby to sleep, or putting the baby in a swing). These habits can cause sleep associations, and the older a baby gets the harder it is to break those habits.
- We were going on vacation and would have to deal with a time change so we wanted him to know when to go to sleep. More about that here.
Here is our nightly bed time routine:
- Now that the weather is warm I like to take Aiden for a run, after work, in between his last two feedings.
- Aiden has his last feeding at 5:30pm. We do not change this time more than 15-minutes in either direction.
- Prepare the room — We make sure the overhead lights are off, the blackout curtains are closed, the humidifier is filled and on, and the sound machine machine is on.
- Bath time — Aiden takes a bath every night. He loves to splash around in the water. More about bath time here.
- Baby massage — We give Aiden a little massage with Burt Bee’s calming (lavender scented) lotion.
- Nails — We cut Aiden’s nails every two to three days, or I should say I cut his nails (Dan and I made an agreement that I would cut his nails if he would suck out the boogers with the Nosefrida 🙂 — not sure who got the better deal since there hasn’t been any booger sucking yet!) More about that here.
- PJs and Zippy — We put Aiden in pajamas and then put him in his Zippadee Zip.
- Pacifier and story –We give Aiden his pacifier and read him a story.
- Rock and Dock — After the story we will rock him for a few minutes. When he starts to rub his eyes and turn his head we put him in the DockATot in the crib.
- Sometimes we play his mobile which he likes, and stand by the crib for a little bit. When he is ready, he falls asleep and we leave.
In the first few weeks of doing this he would wake up at 9 or 10pm for one more feeding, but recently that has stopped, and he now sometimes wakes up at 4 or 4:30am. We try our best to get him back to sleep so he can eat at 5:45am.
Overall, having a sleep routine has really helped. It takes so much less time to put him to bed and he is falling asleep by himself!