I love sleep, don’t you? Unfortunately, it’s something that most new parents are lacking in – unless you’re one of the lucky few! As it’s World Sleep Day today, I thought I’d discuss our sleep routine with 6 month old Autumn with you.
Once we got back from the hospital after her operation, we started a sleep routine (she was 6 weeks old then). From what I’ve heard, it doesn’t sound like sleep routines work with all babies and each person/couple has to tailor it to their needs. However, this is what we do:
We change Autumn’s nappy, putting her in a nice fresh one for the night. We also change her clothes from her day clothes, to her night time clothes and Grobag. The current temperature of our room results in Autumn being in a short sleeve vest, long sleeved pyjama top and her Grobag overnight.
We turn off the television and lights and go upstairs. We put the landing light on, but keep our room in near-darkness. We put Autumn’s slumber buddy on which makes heartbeat sounds. Autumn cuddles with me and I feed her some milk while Dave gets ready for bed. When she requires her first burp, we swap over. Dave burps her and continues feeding her while I get ready for bed.
Between 12.05 and 12.30am
Autumn sometimes falls asleep while she’s feeding. I know some people don’t agree with feeding babies to sleep, but I know others do and we do sometimes. Other times, she doesn’t fall asleep on the bottle. When this happens, we just pop her in her crib with her dummy and switch the light off. Sometimes it takes a while, especially now she’s started rolling, but she does settle down and go to sleep.
Between 6.30 and 7.00am
Autumn usually stirs between 6.30 and 7.00am. However, if I’m quick to pop her dummy in and put her slumber buddy on, she usually goes back to sleep for a couple more hours.
Between 9.00am and 10.30am
Autumn wakes up, then I bring her downstairs to discuss the weather, have milk and have her nappy changed.
I know a lot of people have a bath as part of their sleep routine, but as Dave had eczema as a baby I don’t want to bathe Autumn every day. There’s really no need for baths every day when they’re so small anyway, a top and tail is perfectly sufficient most days.
A lot of people also have books as part of their reading routine too. I tend to read to Autumn each day, but not as part of her bedtime routine. What we’ve established seems to work, so if it’s not broken, why fix it?
When you have a routine for babies, it doesn’t seem to necessarily matter what times you do things, it’s more what you do and what order they go in. The baby then realises there’s a pattern and that sleep comes next. I think it also helps that before bedtime, Autumn is in a dark and quiet room, so there’s nothing to stimulate her. Her slumber buddy making heartbeat sounds replicates the comfort of the womb, making her feel cosy and safe.
I’m sure a lot of people hate me after reading this, as I know from the early days of Autumn cluster feeding just how tough sleep deprivation is, never mind experiencing it for months on end. I hope you can find a routine that helps you!
What is your sleep routine and how early did you start it with your baby? Let me know in the comments below!