*This is part of a new post series where I set my timer for 12 minutes and write about a specific word or phrase. Idea originally from here. (I actually wrote 15 minutes on this one!)
I know a lot of books recommend having a consistent bedtime routine for babies, but we never did that for R. We don't give her a bath every night or sprinkle her with essential oils or read a book or turn on a baby lullaby. My main concern when she was a new baby was to "set the mood," so to speak, by making it clear that it was night, and nighttime was for sleeping.
We tried to talk softer, turn down the lights, and move a little slower. Since I'm away from R most of the day at work, I would be happy to keep her up later at night so we could have more time to hang out. I am never excited for bedtime, because I want to keep playing with her. But right around 7:00, she starts getting fussy and rubbing her eyes, so that's when we start getting her ready for bed.
I change her diaper and put on her pjs, and for some reason I've always called it "sleepy sleep," so I say, "Are you ready for sleepy sleep?" If she's sitting on the floor when I ask her that, she will sometimes straight up lay down on the ground. Sometimes if I give her her pjs, she will set it on the ground and sit on top of it like she's trying to put it on herself. It's adorable.
I put her pjs on, and then I turn to Jordan and tell R, "Say goodnight to Dada." And she waves at him and smiles. Over the past few months we've been trying to start brushing her teeth regularly before she goes to bed, and she hates it. She shuts her lips and glares at us, so we shove the toothbrush in there anyway. She opens her mouth wide to yell, and we quickly scrub her teeth. You could say it's going well.
We try not to take for granted the fact that she typically goes to bed really well. Some days she isn't having it, but for the most part I just lay her in her crib with her blanket, a few pacifiers, and her bear, cow, and giraffe, and she goes to sleep without hardly crying at all. I tell her that Jesus loves her and daddy loves her and mommy loves her, and I tell her she's smart and strong and beautiful, and I pray that she has a good night sleep, and then I say, "I love you. Goodnight," and shut the door.
I nursed her before bed until around 14 months, and then one day I decided to not nurse and see what happened. She didn't wake up during the night or seem to miss that final feeding, so it really went great! We don't give her a cup of milk before bed, just whatever she drank during dinner at 6:00. (Although if she's thirsty between dinner and bedtime, of course we give her something to drink.)
Most nights she's asleep by 7:30, and then Jordan and I have a few hours to ourselves. Usually I clean up dinner and tidy the house a bit, maybe get a few things ready for lunch and snack the next day. Then I watch TV while I blog or work on a freelance editing project if I have one. I like to be in bed by 9:00 so I can have time to read my Bible and maybe even a few chapters of my book before I fall asleep.
Jordan usually stays up until 10:00 or 10:30. Even though we go to bed at different times, we try to make sure we pray together every night. It doesn't always happen (usually because I've already fallen asleep), but we do our best.
And that's what our bedtime looks like!
What time do you go to bed?
Do you have a bedtime routine?
Do you have a bedtime routine?
// See the first post in this series: Waking Up