12-Minute Memoir: Bedtime


*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?

// See the first post in this series: Waking Up

Erin LFF said...

There is nothing cuter than a baby in footed pj's, I swear. Gets me every time ;) We have a 'loose' bedtime routine at this point. We do bath T most nights just since he likes it so much and it's a good way for Jared to get to do something fun with him once he's home from work. T goes to bed SO EARLY... it's something we are working on pushing back but so far we haven't had a ton of luck. Usually by 6:30 he's OUT, sometimes it's as early as 5:30!!! It's crazy, ha.

The Lady Okie said...

When R was taking 2 naps she would fall asleep on the way home from daycare and sleep for an hour (because she wasn't sleeping well there), and I was in tears about it because that was my only time to see her. It was so much better when she got older and was awake and wanting to play :) I'm always like, bedtime already? Stay awake longer! But she starts getting so fussy and it's not fun for anyone at that point. And I know that's just because I'm not with her during the day. If I stayed at home I'm sure it would be different.

Audrey Louise said...

I love that little sleeper on R! The design is so classic and relaxing. And I sleep like that, too! Haha. One leg all kicked up.

We don't have much of a bedtime routine, although we do typically go to bed together (unless I head up there first to read a little bit). When K isn't home (like during his business trip last week) my routine goes out the window and I fall asleep at 1am with a glass of wine and popcorn and Netflix. Haha!

The Girl who Loved to Write said...

I didn't do any of that black magic bedtime routine either haha. Actually, I tried it for a bit, but realized that following his cues always led to a much better night's sleep then following a plan. So nice that she goes down so easily!

The Girl who Loved to Write said...

**than. my brain is broken today.

AnneMarie said...

Footie pajamas are so cute on babies!!! Now that the weather is finally getting cooler, I've pulled some out for Peter, and it's wonderful :) It's so nice to hear that you don't have a strict bedtime routine, either! The only thing consistent about our bedtime routine for him now is nursing and walking him around while we dim the apartment lights. Since he's 5 months old, I'm still figuring things out-he currently doesn't go to bed until 11 or so, but he sleeps really well at night, which I'm pretty happy about (and I'd much rather have him sleep at night than worry about getting him down early).

Nadine said...

She is just so precious in her little sleeper!!! I have heard several parents just kind of feeling out their kids bedtime and even nap times so it is good to see people succeeding because I think that sometimes if you force things it makes it worse. There are some people in the mom group I am part of on Facebook that talk about how they get anxiety at night over bedtime and I am like..oh gosh...more to be anxious about?! I am very much a routine person and have my own bedtime routine. Even my dog is in a routine because of me. If we are up late. Which is like past 10 or 1030 pm...he starts to get impatient and will walk back to his room a few times like hey...it's my bedtime. The second I say, "Hey Mac, you ready to go night night?" He takes flying off to his room. I might use night night for baby too haha.

Laura Darling said...

She looks so sweet sleeping! I have no experience putting kids to sleep, but it sounds like you guys have a great bedtime setup! So cute that she lays on top of her PJs! I've heard other moms say they miss their kids when they are sleeping, and I think that's so sweet!

Allison said...

I love this idea to take a topic and just write about it for 12 minutes (or 15). Bedtime is such a sweet time...or it can be if you have a kiddo like R. ;) We ended up starting a bed time routine with Aiden and I love it. He likes to know what to expect (like his Type A parents). So we brush his teeth, get on jammies, he picks out two cars, grabs his toy fox and we sit together and read books. Then Dad says goodnight and I hold him a few more minutes (just because I can) and sing to him. Then he goes in to his bed and goes right to sleep. And then I do almost exactly what you do when baby goes to bed. I'm very interested/curious to see how things change when I have a 2nd baby to put to bed. Haha. Dun dun dun.

Katie @ Live Half Full said...

We are pretty routine over here- Buel eats immediately when we get home around 6:00, I actually put him in his highchair and give him dinner (usually leftovers that I plate for him the night before and warm up) so I can get unpacked and prepped for the next day, then every other night he takes a bath, we read a book, give him a bottle, say his prayer and put him in bed around 8:00. Rich and I go to bed around 10:00 and eat dinner and hang for a few hours after Buel is in bed.

Rach said...

Such a sweet bedtime routine. I like that you start talking more softly and moving more slowly and just giving the overall impression of "it's time for bed". :)

Kristen @ See You In A Porridge said...

i am so curious about brushing teeth and when you're supposed to start and all that.
i used to have a pretty strict routine.. you know.. as an adult. eat, relax, bath, read, bed. seriously, it's like i was a baby. now, i don't really have a bathtub so my routine is a mess right now. i have to shower like a normal person and i'm not impressed. i'm typically in bed by 9. i obviously have no experience putting babies to sleep, but i think my motto will be whatever works. my friend has never been a routine person (with bath etc) but they try and do the talk quietly and make it obvious that night time is for sleeping. she has 2 boys (3.5 and 1.5) and it seems to have worked for her lol. the fact that R lays down on the ground or on top of her pjs? so freaking cute.

Kayla MKOY said...

It's amazing to me how DIFFERENT all babies are, and I love it! :) I love that you and Jordan try to pray together every night. Caleb and I used to do that, and its just gotten away from us. Thanks for unknowingly keeping me in check ;)