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Bedtime routine that doesn't involve a bath?

(7 Posts)
HerculesParrot Fri 19-May-17 09:47:48

I'm gearing up to tackling my 8 month old's sleeping habits, which have gone from great to a bit ropey over the past month. She's previously been fed to sleep but we need to introduce a bedtime routine so we can start moving the feed back and dissociating feeding and sleeping. She's a very dry and flaky baby so I don't want to get into a daily bath. Can anyone recommend a good wind down routine for an 8 month old that doesn't involve bath? Currently she's just put in sleeping bag, white noise on and feed - which used to work fine, but she now routinely wakes as she's put in the cot. I have another thread about that and working on in-cot settling, but looking for examples of a good lead-in to bedtime. Any tips?

FATEdestiny Fri 19-May-17 10:09:28

You really don't need anything complicated or lengthy.

Living Room: Bedtime milk
Bathroom: Brush teeth, wash face/hands
Bedroom: Undress, nappy, PJs
Cot: straight into sleeping bag and into cot for in-cot settling.

At 8 months old I still had the cot next to my bed (until about 12 months old). So I'd lie on my bed, hand on baby's chest/back until calm. Then I'd left my hand and stay lying on my bed (on my phone usually)until sound asleep, then leave.

We started bedtime stories at about 18 months, until then books were a daytime activity. We also didn't start the "give everyone a kiss nan night" thing that we do now until baby was at the point where she could be put in the cot and left.

While she still needed in-cot active settling (until about 14 months old), I did all of the bedtime routine on my own. This allowed for complete consistency and kept bedtime very low key and calm.

HerculesParrot Fri 19-May-17 11:23:41

I'm maybe over thinking it! Keep hoping there's a magic key to making this in-cot settling take a bit quicker. I suspect not!

FATEdestiny Fri 19-May-17 14:31:41

You possibly are.

To get healthy sleep habits with in-cot settling, you don't have to feed down stairs. Just make sure you don't feed to sleep. But feeding to drowsy isn't the end of the world, if in-cot settling is currently a struggle. For example:

Brush teeth, wash face/hands

Undress, new nappy, PJs

Feed, stop feed as (or before) eyes droop.

Do a sitting up vigorous wind run to rouse baby slightly and avoid a deep sleep at this point

Into sleeping bag, again not done gently but with the aim of not keeping baby asleep.

Then into cot for in-cot settling.

DeanKoontz Fri 19-May-17 14:40:46

It's never too early for books. Incorporate a few stories each night.

HerculesParrot Fri 19-May-17 14:42:49

In principle, yes, DeanKoontz, although I'm a little terrified at that suggestion coming from your username... grin

DeanKoontz Fri 19-May-17 14:44:25

grin my books always have a happy ending though.

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