This post was sponsored by JOHNSON’S®. All words, photos, and opinions are my own.
A child’s bedtime is a special thing, especially when it goes to plan. There have been many attempts at bath, stories, and bed that have gone awry and a few lovely ones where we get the timing just right.
I’ve found that my most common bedtime mistakes come from timing. Either she’s not tired enough or she’s over-tired. This can be the difference between singing in her crib to screaming until she throws up and needs to be changed, calmed down and put back down while we stay in the room.
After about six months, we decided to sleep-train her. This was a week of steadily increasing distances between us and the crib as our daughter learned to put herself back to sleep. It meant that we had to listen to her cry for up to fifteen minutes before going in and making sure she was ok. It was really hard, but she’s much better for it.
Now she doesn’t wake up in the night, or if she does, she’s happy to lay there for a few moments before snuggling her kitty, ‘Lovey,’ and drifting back off to sleep.
We also noticed that after a nice long sleep, she’s happier and will play for longer.
Along with reading books, singing songs, changing her into a sleep diaper and brushing her teeth, bath time, or a shower is a marker for winding down and getting ready to rest.
There’s a handy guide to a proven 3-step baby sleep routine on the JOHNSON’S® website. Here’s the rundown:
Step One: A warm bath
As well as cleaning the porridge out of her hair, we use bath time to play with toys and spend some quality time just splashing around. Now she’s almost two, she can practice what she learned in swimming class, like kicking her feet and blowing bubbles under the water. When she was a baby, it was just a little peaceful moment where she got used to the feeling of not-too-warm water on her head and tummy.
Step Two: Massage
Our little one has sensitive skin, so following her bath, we use gently moisturizing cream that relieves any slight eczema or little rashes. It also helps to calm her down and is another time for bonding. When she’s upset, a little back rub works wonders. Although I think she likes it too much now. When I put her down at night, she says “back, back” and won’t let me leave until I’ve given her a few more back rubs.
Step Three: Quiet Time
We all need quiet time before going to sleep. For us, it can be as simple as putting our phones away, turning off the TV and just reading a book or listening to the rain. Our brains need to switch off and babies are no different. They’re learning everything, and their days are full of people, toys, and shiny things to try to eat before a parent sprints over to knock it out of their chubby little hands.
Did you know that there are certain rhythms and sounds that are more effective than others at bedtime? We always sing the same lullabies (‘You are my Sunshine’ and ‘Twinkle, Twinkle’) before we put baby down for the night, but there’s more science to it than that.
Here’s a video:
When it comes to buying products that work for my family, I’m careful to read the ingredients and make sure there’s nothing to worry about. So, I was happy to hear that JOHNSON’S® has updated its formulas, which are now hypoallergenic, phthalate and paraben-free. More info here.