Recently, my kids have been waking up in the middle of the night. I keep thinking about my old Bedtime Routine For Babies because sleepless nights stink!
Recently, my kids have been waking up in the middle of the night again. My daughter has had a stuffy nose for days (I think her allergies are starting to kick again now that the flowers are in bloom) and my son is just having a really hard time staying asleep (thank you not so much, Daylights Savings time). Needless to say, I’ve been a tad bit cranky.
I like my sleep and I’m definitely one of those people who needs a solid eight hours to be at her best. This is why I struggled for so long when my kids were newborns. Between my son mixing up his days and nights, and my daughter being a preemie, I don’t think I slept for weeks after each of them first came home. And even though parents have many different experiences with their newborns, I do feel that we can all agree on one issue: sleepless nights are the pits.
Ironically, I don’t think that I ever truly understood the importance of a good night’s sleep until my son decided that nighttime sleeping wasn’t for him. He was our first born, and we were the first among our friends to have a child, so we had no idea that an infant could confuse days and nights. So imagine our surprise when it actually happened! Even now, I can see myself sitting on his nursery room floor, picking at the braided rug crying while I waited for him to go to sleep. I was exhausted – mentally and physically – and all I wanted to do was close my eyes.
After a very emotional and tearful conversation with my Mom, she advised us that we needed to develop a solid bedtime routine. It sounded like the easiest thing in the world to do, but for busy parents, it’s easier said than done. Yet we knew that proper sleep patterns were vital to his health, and ours, so we got down to business. We started to keep him awake as much as possible during the day and only allowed for teeny tiny baby naps. I’m not going to lie; this part was very trying on everyone, but we had to reset his internal clock.
Our Mom suggested that we start the bedtime routine right after he ate dinner. This way he could start to develop a sequence of events in his little mind, which would make him look forward to bedtime each night. For us, that included lots of love and TLC in the shape of three wonderful sensory experiences: a warm bath, a gentle massage, and quiet, snuggly time in the rocking chair with Mom or Dad.
With each passing week, he started to adjust and we all started to sleep better. I’m not going to say that this rectified his sleeping issues completely, but it definitely helped. So much so, that we immediately started doing the very same bedtime routine with his little sister when she came home from the hospital. Even now that they are school-aged, we still stand by bedtime routines.
So when Daniele and I got invited to an event in Manhattan with Johnson’s® to learn more about their multi-sensorial 3-Step BEDTIME® Routine, we were intrigued to see if it matched what Mom taught us to do. While no two babies ever sleep alike, we were very pleased to see that it followed much of what Mom suggested. The 3-Step BEDTIME® Routine consistently improves a baby’s sleep and is clinically proven to help them fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
Step 1: Warm Bath. Who doesn’t love a nice warm bath before bedtime? Our kids have always loved splashing around and singing songs in the tub. Even now, so may years later, the mere scent of JOHNSON’S® BEDTIME® products brings me right back to their nightly bedtime baths.
Step 2: Gentle Massage. Massages are great for getting little ones to unwind. As you massage each little finger and toe, you can see them slowly settling down. Plus, JOHNSON’S® BEDTIME® baby lotion consists of a special blend of gentle and calming aromas designed to help soothe baby before bed.
Step 3: Quiet Time. For us, this meant sitting in the rocking chair, with the lights dimmed, reading a book that they loved. It was also a special time where I could sing them a lullaby or two and not be judged for my off-key tunes.
Speaking of lullabies, Daniele and I were also in attendance for the unveiling of the first lullaby that leverages the science of sound and the wisdom of moms, to aid in the bedtime process. Like the rest of Johnson’s® products, the Tonight We Sleep™ Lullaby has been formulated and designed with babies in mind and is crowd-sourced with sounds from moms all around the world. It was really interesting to learn about the creation of this lullaby. We found out that they used ordinary sounds like the ocean, a heartbeat in the womb, a fan, static on the radio, and even forest animals because these noises help babies fall asleep all around the world.
Now you can experience everything we did at this event by downloading the JOHNSON’S® BEDTIME® baby sleep app, which features the Tonight We Sleep™ Challenge, an interactive 1-week bedtime experience for you and your baby, as well as the Tonight We Sleep™ Lullaby.
Did you encounter any sleep struggles withy our newborn? Do you follow a bedtime routine at home? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.
Have a good night’s sleep,