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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I’m a few days late with this update on, not so little, Elsie and I considered not bothering but then I thought about all the cool stuff she’s done this month and I really wanted to make a note of it so we can look back on it with her in years to come. My mum and dad kept a baby record book of my milestones when I was a baby and I absolutely love looking at it!

So probably the biggest change in Elsie’s life this month has been the introduction of food.  We decided we’d try and wean Elsie a little earlier than advised. To us, she seemed ready. She can sit, with padding, in her high chair and we get the full on grabbing at our food when we’re eating something with her on our laps.  I had Marmite on toast for breakfast last week and Elsie was sat on my lap. Every time I tried to eat a piece of toast she’d try and grab it from my hands so in the end we gave her a piece big enough for her to hold and she sucked it until it fell apart. I don’t think she actually ate any but she loves Marmite!

We started her weaning using these Babease pouches; they’re totally organic and suitable from 4mths. I’m a bit advocate of making homemade food for the little ones, especially during weaning, but as Elsie is still so young I felt more comfortable knowing the Babease purees were specifically designed for babies of her age and I didn’t need to worry about any hidden lumps. It’s one of the easiest times to ensure your kids get a great diet because believe me, as they get older its hard to say no to all those naughty treats!

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Elsie’s been weaning for a good 2-3 weeks now and she has  2-3 meals per day – it just depends on our schedule that day. She has a mixture of pouches and homemade food and I’ve found one of the cheapest ways to feed Elsie is to bake a sweet potato and then divide the flesh into four zip lock bags. Each bag makes more than enough for a small meal for Elsie when combined with her own formula.

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In my last update I think I mentioned how erratic nighttimes were. Sometimes Elsie would feed twice a night, sometimes once and sometimes 3 or more times. We have now introduced a solid routine and Elsie seems to be loving it, and so are we! Elsie feeds once a night now, at around 4am, and then goes back to sleep until around 6:30am. During day Elsie has a loose routine but come 6:30pm we are in her bedtime routine. We give her a bath, sometimes on her own and sometimes with her sister, she is then dressed ready for bed, given a bottle and asleep by around 7pm. This has worked every night without fail since we started two weeks ago. Last night I put her down wide awake and she was asleep by the time we’d finished reading Florence’s bedtime story. She then slept soundly until 4am.  We couldn’t ask for more! I’m not sure if it’s the routine, the food or a combination of both thats sorted her out but I’m feeling much more human these days. Time for another baby?! HA HA HA!

Finally, this month Elsie has learnt to roll.  Like properly roll, not just a one off, overtime I put her down on her back she rolls on to her front. I didn’t know about this little trick and put her down on the carpet and walked out the room to see what Florence wanted.  Came back to muffled sounds and she was face down.  I almost had a heart attack so, suffice to say, I won’t be leaving her again! I need to take the cot top changer off now as it’s just not safe for her to be on there. I think we will also be moving the cot mattress down soon as she has started grabbing the bars and it won’t be long before she can pull herself up.

How time has flown and my how she’s changing. Our little rainbow baby is flourishing!

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If you missed Elsie’s four month update you can read it here.

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