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Bedtime routine for a 16 month old?

(9 Posts)
LingDiLong Mon 17-Oct-11 19:52:08

My 16 month old DD is an absolutely hellish sleeper - she has been since about 4 months. In desperation we did CC when she was about 11 months, it worked for a couple of months but she regressed badly so , after going with it for a while in the hope she'd get better on her own, we ended up doing CC again a few weeks back. It seemed to work quickly and we had a week or so of her going straight off at night and sleeping through.

But now we're having problems again. Every evening it takes around 40 minutes or so for her to go to sleep. Bedtime routine is quite babyish still, bottle cuddled up in the dark in her room then straight down in her cot. After a few minutes she then gets up, throws her dummy across the room and cries loudly. We go in and give her back her dummy, she stops crying straight away, lies straight down and we tuck her in. This pattern is then repeated for around 40 minutes until she finally goes to sleep. We don't talk to her at all when we go back in, just plug the dummy in, tuck her in and leave.

I'm wondering whether she needs a proper wind down in her room before bed, a couple of stories and a song or something?? What does everyone else do?

RitaMorgan Mon 17-Oct-11 19:57:30

This is my 14 month old's:

Pyjamas on, cup of milk in his room
Brush teeth
Into bed, DP reads him a story
Lights off, music on

Whole thing takes about 45 minutes from getting in the bath to lights out I reckon.

Trillian42 Mon 17-Oct-11 20:11:22

DD is also 16 mths and I was about to post a similar question! We have bath, pyjamas on, brush teeth, story (or 3), 5 mins projection lights with music while BF lying down and then... a very long time later she falls asleep and I transfer her to the cot. From projector to sleep takes on average 45 minutes, which seems far too long to me. From bath to projector is 30mins. Without wanting to hijack the thread, any suggestions for me would be gratefully received also!

LingDiLong Mon 17-Oct-11 20:16:08

THanks Rita. Have 2 other kids with various after school stuff going on so we not sure I can fit in a bath but I think we need to try some stories and music.

Trillian - hijack away, misery loves company!! Had been wondering about a projector too but obviously that's not working for you.

InmaculadaConcepcion Mon 17-Oct-11 20:23:24

At 16 months, DD's routine was bath, pyjamas, play (she always needs to work off a bit of energy after her bath), toys away, sleeping bag on, story, BF, cot. From the beginning of the bath, the whole thing took an hour.

At 20 months, DD's routine is the same except without the BF as she's now been fully weaned. We had to do a little CC (not much, thankfully) and went through a month or two of DH doing any overnight settles and putting her in her cot (when I stopped the bedtime BF) and since all that, she's tended to be much better at going down. If she doesn't go straight to sleep, she may chat a bit in her cot, but she usually doesn't need us to go back in, she usually drifts off on her own after a short while.

I wonder OP, have you thought about ditching the dummy? It sounds like it may be contributing to the problem. You'd have a couple of bad nights, but hopefully it wouldn't take long for her to stop needing it or using it to get you back in her bedroom after lights out...? Might be something to think about over half term...

LingDiLong Mon 17-Oct-11 20:49:01

Thanks Inmac, I think we are being too ambitious expecting her to have a bottle and go to sleep 10 minutes later! Looks like we need to make more effort.

You are probably right about about the dummy but I'm not sure I have the strength for that fight right now, she's bloody hard work in the day as well and I'm not sure I can face adding anything to that iyswim? She also doesn't wake much once she's gone to sleep - perhaps once during the night.

InmaculadaConcepcion Mon 17-Oct-11 21:46:22

I sympathise - DD had a dummy for a while, but it became a PITA with all the re-plugging. As it turned out, she weaned herself off it, day and night at about 8 months. Before that, I was tearing my hair out about trying to lose it when she seemed so dependent on it for her kip.....

Good luck smile

Orangesarenottheonlyfruit Mon 17-Oct-11 21:58:02

Bath, 6.15pm ish,
story on my lap, one for DD2 and one for her older sister in older sister's room.
Kisses and cuddles, 2mins.
Put to bed and left to get on with it, 7pm
Mum downstairs, opening wine to the Archers, 7.05pm.

Bath to bed 45 mins, same routine as we've had since birth so used to it now!

I admit I've never done dummys with my kids and would guess it isn't helping but getting rid of it now might be too confusing, I think I'd sort out the routine first.

How soon do you go in when she starts crying? Can you leave it a bit longer?
What is the routine over the rest of the day? Do you make sure there is a long gap between the lunchtime nap and bed (I'm sure you do, just thinking things through). Is her lunchtime nap long enough? As much as you want her to be tired before bed you don't want her over-tired.

As far as I can gather, I think the key with routines is to be relentlessly, boringly, the same everyday, without fail. I know it sounds dull but when you're establishing a routine, if you mess around with it, it will cease to take affect.

LingDiLong Mon 17-Oct-11 22:02:02

Hi Oranges, thanks. We go in pretty immediately when she cries, DH wants to stop going in so quickly though. I think we might just try that. Routine over the day is a nap at around 11/11.30 which is usually around an hour and a half, sometimes less. So she has plenty of time to get tired again and does seem knackered by bedtime. I agree re: overtired though, she gets hyper when she's overtired. We definitely aim for that magic combination of tired but not over tired.

Think I'm going to try adding a story or 2 to the routine and then leaving a bit before we go in.

Damn, got the bloody Archers theme song stuck in my head now!!

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