Despite being in the midst of the dreaded four month sleep regression, Violet is generally a good sleeper. She has been from day one really, and as a newborn was pretty predictable for her three hourly feeds. And now she does manage to go the full night every now and again. I'm not sure if we're just "lucky" or it's down to putting a bed time routine into place early on. So I thought I'd share our little routine that has been tweaked through the last few months, but I think we've just about found what works for us.
Lights out at 7pm - We have been pretty strict with this rule from day one. So many people said to keep your days light and loud and the nights dark and quiet. This was especially important when I had a summer baby and the days were longer than ever. Investing in a good black out blind, is certainly a good idea.
Bottle, book and bed - I tend to give Violet her bottle downstairs and then take her up for a book and to get into bed. I've tried to disassociate bottle and sleep so that Violet doesn't need milk before going to sleep all of the time. I recently found this amazing sensory light in B&M, which is lovely to put on in our room while I read Violet a story. Violet will go into her bed whilst she's awake and has learnt to sooth herself to sleep without being rocked in my arms. Of course, I'm in the room and she can see me, but it's a big help that she settles herself and drifts off without being on me.
Tilting the Next2me cot - This was one of the biggest helps for us for Violet sleeping. I'm sure I've mentioned Violet has reflux, which initially resulted in sick covered sleep suits and a very unsettled baby. Violet is still a very sicky baby during the day (despite how upright she's kept) but during the night the tilt on her cot seems to do the trick and she manages to keep that last feed down. Adjustable beds are so handy, I'm hoping we can continue to keep her in a tilted position, as she moves into her own room.
Tweaking your routine - We did try the bath time before bed, but Violet is a water baby and bath time makes her far too exciting. I also tried dream feeding at 10pm to see if that helped, but to be honest V would hardly take any milk and it was just disturbing her sleep. So now we stick to what we know and more often than not, it works for us.
Getting out of the house - It's very rare that I will have a full day at home with Violet. In fact, unless either of us were unwell, I don't think I could handle a full day inside. We tend to go to local baby groups and meet up with other mamas or even just walk to the shop so we've at least been out. I find if Violet has done an activity that day, like swimming or sensory, she will sleep so much better during the night. Plus there is only so much entertaining a 4 month old, you can do.
That's my few little tips of getting a sleep routine established. The key is definitely finding out what works for you and your baby. And if it's not working, try something new!
*In association with Adjustable Beds