Bedtime routine – It’s time for a change

baby bedtime routine

We’ve been using the same bedtime routine for Elsie since she was around four months old. At around 6-6:30pm we’d take her for a bath, get her dressed and ready for bed and then sit in her darkened room and feed her. Usually she’d nod off drinking the last few ounces and we’d put her down. Yep – we put her down asleep! Call the police. Seriously though, we’ve probably made a rod for our own backs and now we’re battling a baby that wants milk in the night to get herself back to sleep.

It’s definitely time to change our routine but it’s hard going and it’s only day three.

We discussed all the ways we could wean her off these night time feeds but we’ve opted for cold turkey. Sounds harsh doesn’t it but so far so good. We’ve had two nights of no feeds. But we’ve also had two nights of listening to her cry it out. I’m not all clued up on the techniques and their names but I guess we’re doing a form of controlled crying or sleep training?! We go in and settle her and put her music on and then leave her for five minutes. If, after five minutes, she is still crying we go back in again and do the same. We repeat this to a maximum gap of fifteen minutes. So far she has settled herself after the third time of going in and so we’ve kept at it. Supposedly it could take a week or so to break the cycle but we’re thinking of the long term and hopefully a week or two of pain for us both will mean a better nights sleep all around.

I hope that doesn’t sound selfish.

The Health Visitor agreed she needs to sleep through and was happy for us to crack on weaning her off bottles but she suggested offering water. I think part of the reason Elsie wakes is for a cuddle so I don’t think this would help much.

Unfortunately, this week has been pretty rough for Elsie as she also has a cold and seems to be teething (they may be linked) so we’ve had the Calpol out and we’ve had a cot covered in vomit. It’s hard to implement any kind of new routine when your baby is ill but now we’ve started we need to see it through. Matt is so much better at being hard on her then I am but I know it’s in all our best interests.

It’s bloody hard though. Although we’re not feeding her we’re still awake three times a night trying to settle her and listening to her cry on and off. I’m praying that when the cough and cold disappears she will sleep much more soundly. Every time she lies down at the moment she coughs.

Did you need to implement some kind of new routine to get your baby to sleep or did they do it by themselves? If they managed it on their own how old were they? Elsie will be 11 months old on April 21st and so I don’t think we’re expecting too much but she’s just such a cuddly little duck I feel so awful for her!

You can read about Elsie’s five month update here.

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