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It’s tough getting babies to sleep.  And it’s even tougher to get them to fall asleep on their own, in their own beds.  If there’s anything that makes this impossible task a little bit easier, it’s having a consistent routine.  I’m sure you’ve heard that proclaimed all over the internet, and if you’re at all like me, you hope you can take recommendations at face value.  I really hoped this routine thing was real.

When we were sleep training Kenna, I did oodles of research, and I kept seeing this topic come up again and again.  So, this was the first thing we started doing, long before we got to the “training” part of the process.  I noticed right away that Kenna was starting to associate sleep with the steps in our routine.

Nap Time Routine:

  • Check Kenna’s diaper and change if needed.
  • Give her the nubby (pacifier).
  • Sit in the rocking chair and read a book together.  This is the one we read:i love you as big as the world book part of our routine
  • We sign all done, and I say: “It’s nap time, let’s go turn off the light together.”
  • We turn off the light and walk to her crib.
  • I cradle her and sing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star twice.
  • I bring her up to my shoulder and she snuggles into my neck, then I take her nubby and say: “It’s nap time, mommy loves you.  I’ll see you when you wake up.”
    • I take the nubby from her to facilitate her grabbing it on her own in the night.
  • I put her into her crib on her back, and put the nubby within her reach.
  • She usually grabs the nubby and rolls onto her tummy and goes right to sleep.

Bedtime Routine:

Our routine for bedtime differs quite a bit, and that is intentional.  We try to make sure she understands the difference between nap time and bedtime.  This is how we do bedtime:

  • Kenna gets a bath after dinner is all cleaned up.
  • We have this funny thing we do when she gets out of the bath.  I wrap her up in her towel, calling her a baby burrito.  We then brush her teeth and go find the “daddy burrito” for quick snuggles (she thinks this is hilarious).
  • I take her to her room and put on a night time diaper (I usually use a Gerber prefold and a homemade terry cloth insert with a fleece topper).
  • I put her in her jammies and we go find Daddy again.
  • Daddy sings to her (he has a special song for bedtime, it’s adorable).
  • We head back to her room and sit in the rocking chair for story time and snuggles.  She likes the following three books, if you are interested:

guess how much I love you book part of our routine
goodnight moon book part of our routine
time for bed book part of our routine

  • We sign all done, and I say: “It’s bedtime, let’s go turn off the light together.”
  • She helps me turn off the light and we head to her crib.
  • I cradle her and sing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star twice.
  • Next I bring her up to my shoulder so she can snuggle in and I take her nubby.
  • I say: “It’s bedtime.  Goodnight, baby,  Mommy loves you.  I’ll see you when you wake up”
  • I kiss her and put her down on her back into her crib. I put the nubby in arms reach.  She usually grabs her nubby, rolls onto her tummy, and goes right to sleep.

How Goes It?

Kenna usually takes two 1-2 hour naps and bedtime goes smoothly.  If she’s teething or sick, we have an issue.  We have more good days than bad, I’d say.  I definitely believe that having a consistent routine is key; this lets your child know what to expect when they are sleepy.

We’ve gotten to the point where I can ask Kenna if she’s tired and she will act excited about nap and bedtime.  I never thought that would be possible.  Honestly, I credit it all to the amount of snuggles and stories we read together before she goes to sleep.  I highly recommend reading books to your child in general, but definitely before they go to sleep.
What does your routine look like?  Need help with routines?  Leave me a comment below; let’s talk!

Until next time,

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