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Bedtime Routine for 18 MO(9 Posts)
Can I ask you to share your bedtime routines for a 18 MO?
DD has had a solid routine of bath, bottle of milk with 20 mins of bedtime hour, upstairs for teeth brushed then into bed. Usually in bed for 6:30-6:45. Has always settled straight away without any fuss. She has a 1.5 hour nap from around 11:45-1:15.
Recently though we’ve been struggling getting her to settle. She’s quiet when we first leave the room but within 10 mins she’s chatting and shouting which progresses to full on screaming/crying if we don’t go in to her. It’s taking a good hour+ most nights to get her to sleep. Wondering if we maybe need to tweak bedtime a bit, maybe making it slightly later say 7-7:30ish? Any ideas anyone?
How long has her usual routine not been successful? If only a few days, leave it and see if she settles. If not I'd push bedtime back a little.
Everyone has slightly different timings for example my lo would never have gone down before 7! We do similar but not bathing every day and she goes down between 7.45 and 8.15. It used to be 7.15 on the dot but that changed at about 1 I think. At 21 months she naps between about 12.30 and 2.30. Miss the time to myself in the evening!
Thanks @SnowdropFox. It’s only been a week so not too long. She never used to be able to keep her eyes open past 6:30 but doesn’t seem to have been quite as bad the last couple of months but still always went straight to sleep when we put her down at that time.
Could it be the increased light in the evening?
DD 18 months started fussing at bed time a few weeks ago - it seemed to coincide with a growth spurt. She is back to her usual routine now and we didn't change anything - PJ's at 6:30,
small beaker of milk, read a book and teeth cleaned around 7pm then bed between 7-7:15pm.
I'm sure your DD will settle back down again soon.
Forgot to add that although DD asks to go to bed at 7:15pm she will always play in her cot until around 8pm then go to sleep.
I've been doing a lot of research on the sleeping habits of 18-month olds lately. Mine decided last week that he wants to fall asleep sitting up in his cot and has proceeded to do so every single sleep/nap since.
I'll share what I've learned. Maybe it will be helpful. The most likely causes are one of these 3:
1. rule out anything keeping her awake - light (particularly relevant now), noises, sensations (nothing uncomfortable in her cot, no changes to how it's washed, no reason to think she's hungry or thirsty etc.).
2. She isn't tired. Pushing her bed time back may help. 15 minutes at a time.
3. She's too tired, which can make her uncomfortable, making it harder to sleep... bringing her bed time forward 15 minutes at a time could help. What time does she get up?
Beyond that there's teething and the fact that sleep regression around 18 months is common
To answer the question you actually asked -
90 minute nap at 11:00
18:30 - we kind of 'wind down'. What that entails changes but he gets a cup of warm milk, we lower the lights, read some books or watch some cbeebies bedtime stories with low volume. I'm no longer allowed to throw him around the room etc.
19:00 - in the sleeping bag, clean teeth and off to bed with a bottle of water.
We followed a sleep training method wherein we wouldn't enter the room again unless he's been crying for 10 minutes solid (and then it's 20-30 second comfort and back out again). We technically still stick to that but it literally never happens. I suspect sheer luck plays a big part of that. He's always been very content to go to sleep when it's time. Even now that he's choosing to doze off sitting up (he repositions himself more comfortably 15-20 minutes after falling asleep).
You don’t necessarily need a long routine.
I put my 18 month old into her room with a bottle of milk and with this music playing- m.youtube.com/watch?v=jcYr1aNKUOU - and leave her there.
She was crying whenever she was put in the cot - so i put her mattress on the floor surrounded by pillows - and there is a stair-gate on the bedroom door. So if she isn’t tired at bedtime she can play with her toys and fall asleep when she is ready.
She sometimes cries a bit - and if she isn’t settling then i take her downstairs and wait another hour before putting her back to bed.
DS 17m gets his tea about 6, then milk while watching cbeebies. After that change for bed, teeth brush and he often crawls about hall for a bit until going in cot at 7pm.
Some nights he goes over quite quick, but often takes at least 20 minutes. He moves about cot, plays with his comforter etc... I have white noise on and a light show. Occasionally we go in and lie him down if he's in an awkward position. A month or so ago we had to sit with him every few nights as he cried when we left room, now he doesn't bother. They seem to change their ways often! Once he's over that's him till 6-6.30am.
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