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Wind down routine for 11 month old - HELP! (a bit long)

(16 Posts)
WannaBeAYummyMummy Mon 25-Jun-07 13:53:21

Hello all.

I am having problems with winding down my son (who will be one year old on 5th July) before bedtime - or at least I think that is where the problems lie....

He has always been a completely and utterly unpredictable napper despite me trying any and all techniques you could care to mention to try and solve the problem. However, he has always pretty consistently had a good 2 hours during the day - just at different times, although I never let him sleep after 4pm. He has always been a pretty good sleeper at night - averaging 11/12 hours every night from 6:30 onwards (unless teething/poorly). We would have a cuddle, he would get very sleepy and I would put him down and he would fall asleep within about 2 minutes.

BUT....about 2 months ago he started not going down on his own at night (coincided with him being able to stand up on his own and dance in his cot!). He just does not seem to be relaxed enough to go to sleep. The routine always starts with a bath (including lavender sleepy time type bubble bath) followed by some very quiet playing for about 10 minutes and then, variously, goes like this:

10 minutes of TV (In the Night Garden), Book, Milk, Cuddle
Book, Milk, Cuddle
TV, Milk, Cuddle
Milk, Book, Cuddle
Milk, TV, Cuddle
Milk, Cuddle

The only reason the TV crept in there is that it seemed to work for about 1 week i.e. he was REALLY relaxed when he had watched it, but then he reverted to not being relaxed at all. What tends to happen is that he is totally relaxed whilst doing something, but then totally tenses up as soon as there is no input of any kind i.e. we are just having a cuddle. It is then normally a struggle to get him to sleep before 8:30 and over the past couple of weeks has culminated in us driving him around in the car whereby he falls asleep after about 10 minutes and then stays that way for the rest of the night.

I know that, compared to others, I am not having a really bad time of it because once he is asleep he tends to stay there but it is such a struggle to get to sleep for him that I am sure I could be doing something better to help him. He is always so much better the next day when he has had a full 12 hours and I want to help him to get that! If anyone has any suggestions that have worked for them I would be really grateful.


Wanna x

Kewcumber Mon 25-Jun-07 13:56:31

I'd cut the Tv and move his bedtime back 30 mins, also about this age my DS stopping going off to sleep immediately and talking in teh cot for up to 20 mins. I think its OK will he go to sleep if you put him in the cot more awake?

Mumpbump Mon 25-Jun-07 14:04:30

I agree. Put his bedtime back a bit and cut out the tv since I think that can actually be quite stimulating. Ds spends about 30 - 40 minutes in the bath (sometimes with me or dh) and then gets into his pj's, has a bottle in his bedroom and a cuddle and then goes in his cot. I find having a LONG bath definitely helps him unwind.

Kewcumber Mon 25-Jun-07 14:15:41

I also do the bath straight into bedtime routine - no playing at all in between and if he's a bit more active than normal I let him play in the bath longer too.

I think there is some evidence that TV does not aid sleep in children (but couldn't swear to it).

WannaBeAYummyMummy Mon 25-Jun-07 16:15:56

Thank you.

So, do you mean put him to bed at 6 rather than 6:30? (Wasn't sure whether you thought his bedtime was 8:30? It's not, that's just the time that he is tending to finally give in at the moment - but we do start off going to bed at 6:30!)

Also, take on board what you say about TV (and in theory I agree) but there is no discernible difference in the pattern of behaviour whether the TV is in the routine or not. More often than not there is no tv involved but on the odd occasion if he won't settle down with a book then we do start off in front of the tv.

Interesting about the longer bath though - we could try that.

Anyone else anything to add to the mix?

collision Mon 25-Jun-07 16:19:10

Def stop the TV as this stimulates the brain. If I go on the computer at night it takes me longer to sleep so it is prob the same with TV.

I would start bath at 6 and keep him in for a while.

Warm milk and PJs.

Into bedroom and lots of stories and cuddles. Maybe a storytape and into bed.

Mumpbump Mon 25-Jun-07 16:19:37

I aim to have ds in is cot by 20h, but he is now almost 17 months. He used to be in his cot by 18:30 'cos he was so knackered from getting up at 05:00, but we gradually pushed the bedtime back. I think at 11 months, he was probably in his cot between 19h and 19:30. HTH.

Kewcumber Mon 25-Jun-07 16:24:59

no i meant wind it back to 7pm - 6.30 seems a little early to me. DS was probably going to bed at 7pm at that age and it has slowly worked its way to 7.30 or 8 now but that partly I think because of the lighter evenings but the later bed-time has meant that he naps a little longer during the day (now reliably 2hrs) which I prefer.

Kewcumber Mon 25-Jun-07 16:26:10

I lose track of names wannabe - were you previously other wannabe's?

CantSleepWontSleep Mon 25-Jun-07 16:26:26

Just a quick post, but wanted to add 'be consistent'! The bedtime routine should signal to him that it is time for bed, but if it's different on different days, then how does he know when he is expected to sleep?

6:30 sounds very early to me, but I appreciate that some babies do go to bed this early (my dd hasn't gone before 8pm since we actually got her to sleep at night time).

WannaBeAYummyMummy Mon 25-Jun-07 17:38:38

Thanks all - very helpful.

Kew - Oh I see with regards to putting it back half an hour. Sorry was being dense! Have never been a different Wannabe - just boring old MumtoHenry before now...

CSWS - yes you're right I guess we may be confusing him a bit at the moment - akthough we try to do the same thing for at least a period of a week.

Will definitely try putting him to bed a bit later - he just always seems SOOOOO tired and grumpy.

Thanks x

yogimum Mon 25-Jun-07 18:10:38

Is your son called Henry? What a coincidence, same age too! Agree with most of the other posts. It normally takes at least an hour from going for bath until sleep time. We do the same routine every night. I don't let him sleep after 3pm at the very latest so he is ready for bed at 7pm. He sometimes protests for a while in his cot but been in a grobag seems to inhibit him standing up. Good luck!

WannaBeAYummyMummy Mon 25-Jun-07 18:37:05

He is indeed called Henry....and could well be called YogiHenry as his grobag does not inhibit him in the slightest when it comes to acrobatics in hist cot!!


Kewcumber Mon 25-Jun-07 19:52:20

IME a week isn;t long enough to establish a routine you need to stick at one thing for longer. I know what you mean about the tired and grumpy bit but I find sticking in the bath perks him right up so perhaps for a while try the longer bath route. I also take DS out for a walk (in the buggy) as often as weather allows around the witching hour of 6-7pm as again it gives him some interest wihout having to exert much (depleted) energy

rozzyraspberry Mon 25-Jun-07 20:10:33

My 2 DS's have gone down at 7pm since they were quite little. Our routine is;-
5pm dinner then some play
6pm - approx 6.30pm bath and pjs on.
6.30pm - 7.00pm stories (even at 11m he would probably enjoy stories)
7pm bed.

I would watch the daytime naps - try to get him to go down just after lunch if possible.

Also, TBH as long as he can't get out of the cot I would put him down awake and just leave him to fall asleep. Hard I know but it sounds like he might be fighting sleep?

All great in theory I know but in practice with lo's it's usually different!

Good luck - you might find he's just going through a phase and sorts himself out in time!

WannaBeAYummyMummy Tue 26-Jun-07 10:15:47

Thanks everyone - will try all of your suggestions and see how we go.


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