What Bedtime Looks Like at Our House #MomBloggersClub

10/21/2014

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Have you heard of Mom Bloggers Club? No? It's the "oldest and the largest social network dedicated to mom bloggers in the world." They post daily blog prompts over on their Facebook Page, which is a great resource when you have writer's block, or if you're like me, when you don't have time to get any new recipes to try {or cook in general}, printables created, or makeup/fashion-worthy looks made. Well, today's prompt was to talk about what bedtime looks like in your house. Considering we've been in the midst of sleeping training E {per se}, I thought this was a great topic to work on. With any luck I'll have this post written and posted within the same day....

Okay, as I said, we've been working on sleep training our now nine-week-old daughter, E. Naptime is pretty much when it happens, but I am trying to get her to nap in her crib as opposed to anywhere else whenever possible. What we're really aiming for is a bedtime routine. For the last two weeks we've been sticking to a particular regimen, and I had been planning on talking about it, so this prompt was the perfect push. But first, some back story.

E is a catnapper. 15 minutes is usually her norm, 30 when I'm lucky, but the only time she'll sleep longer than that is if she's being held or is riding in the car/out and about. Bedtime she was up and down whenever it suited her, but I desperately wanted her in bed at a reasonable time so I could have an hour or two to myself before starting the day all over. Especially considering she doesn't sleep much during the day. Having that time could allow me to finish up laundry, dishes, or just plain relax and try to catch up on the food and water I wasn't able to consume throughout the day. I looked into some schedules that had worked for breastfed babies and came across the E.A.S.Y Routine. It wasn't that far off from what we were doing anyway, but we definitely needed a consistent nighttime schedule. We began this journey on a Monday, and after reading it takes babies approximately a week to catch onto a schedule, I figured we'd have this thing mastered in no time. Well... it's now two weeks later and counting, and while we've made some headway, we are nowhere near mastered.

I guess I'll begin with the schedule, then I'll tell you how E is accepting it. Our bedtime begins at 7 p.m. when I take Miss E upstairs to her room and get her ready for the tub. I bathe her, dry her off and get her in her pajamas, then depending on her mood/how hungry she is, she is read to before I nurse her. {If she's hungry she'll be read to during or after nursing. J, L and I each read her a book.} She is nursed, then if no book is read after, I get her into her favorite snuggle position and begin rocking her. It takes about 30-45 minutes for her to get into deep sleep, at which point I'll transfer her to her bassinet in our room. {If I try to move her sooner she will wake up and we have to start all over again.} During this time L has showered, read E a book, been told goodnight. and has taken herself to bed.

Now, this is where it gets interesting. Three times since we began this routine we've been fortunate enough where she stays asleep from 8-something until 10 p.m., when I nurse her {or dream feed, though E always wakes up for this feeding} before putting her down for the long haul. The first time was the first night we began this ordeal, which was a horrible tease! She didn't do this again until the next week. The other nights it's up and down to reinsert pacifier and/or rock back to sleep, or change sheets/clothes because she's spit up everywhere. There are some nights where she just won't settle down and I have to bring her downstairs and just hold her for an hour so I can get some peace until I go to bed. I'm definitely getting my exercise these days!

Despite how disastrous this may sound, we are getting somewhere. I have noticed E is catching onto when things should be happening and how, such as one night where she ate a little early, but was still tired, so I began rocking her to sleep. She suddenly wanted to nurse despite eating not that long before, so I nursed her and she ate, then nodded off to sleep. She associated nursing with the rocking and going to bed. Score! Also, around this time E started sleeping longer stretches at night, which is another purpose of the E.A.S.Y Routine; to help babies sleep through the night. Her stretches went from 2.5-3 hours, to 4-5 hours, and one time we even got a six hour stretch! Yes, I realize she's at an age when they tend to sleep a bit longer, but I do believe the routine is helping.

So, what does bedtime look like in our house? It's a lot of up and down, up and down, holding, rocking, shushing, patting, and sometimes giving in. We may or may not be able to watch any t.v. due to decibel level, and I may or may not go to bed even remotely relaxed. However, this too shall pass.

What does bedtime look like at your house? Share in the comments below or submit a link to your post on the matter!
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