Just before I start this I would like to clarify my bedtime routine implementing skills are…average at best. I have no factual basis but what I do have is a little experience of the ups, downs, successes and failures.
Emily is about 3 inches away from filling the entirity of her moses basket, so I know the dreaded transition into the cot is iminent. I did get Sam to take the cot down, put it up in our room, to realise it was too big so then it had to be taken down again and re-built in the nursery. What a pain. I have considered kicking Sam downstairs (not literally) to sleep on the sofa so Emily can have his half of the bed but I know in the long run my selfishness will cause a whole array of bedtime issues.
So first things first, you need to decide if your baby has a sleep assosciation. This could be with bottle feeding, breastfeeding, a dummy, being held or rocked. If any one thing is required to get your baby to sleep this is a sleep assosciation. This needs to be broken before you proceed with a routine.
For Emily her sleep assosciation was her bottle, the last feed of the night she fell asleep with. Often when transferring her into her moses basket she would wake, meaning we had to rock her to again get her to sleep.
To break this I gave her the last feed she has before bedtime (10:30pm) then put her to down to sleep. Now the tiniest whimper or whine we would rock her, not this night. We left her to whinge herself to sleep. This continued for 3 nights (not sure why 3, guess it’s the magic number.)
After 3 nights, it became apparent she had this whole sleeping thing sussed but she still wasn’t sleeping until around 11:20pm, so every other night I brought forward her feed and bedtime by 10 minutes. This has eased her into an earlier bedtime which is a working progress still. Her bedtime now is 21:50pm. Hurray!!
Eventually I hope to get to the point where she is sleeping from 7pm, waking at 10pm for her last feed then sleeping through until 7am-ish like she does know…but ideals are wonderful things, haha.
One thing I noticed helped was sleeping bags, these mean she can’t kick them off and get cold, it also makes other blankets harder to kick off.
Emily also won’t sleep if the room isn’t dark, so we turn all lamps off, turn our phone brightness down and tend to be a quiet as possible if we are also in the bedroom, this will be easier when we transition into the cot.
I am aware some babies are a little harder work than this, of course when Emily had bad colic sleep assosciations were a positive as they soothed her to sleep. When her teethig is bad she also may regress for a few days/weeks, her next jabs are in a couple of days so I also assume this will have an effect. However overall I am very happy with my progress and quite proud of my determination and consistency.
If you have any questions, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave questions. Thank you for reading and I hope you all have a wonderful day. Xoxo.