Bedtime Routine?

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September 11, 2012 by growingaworld

Up until now I never had any sort of routine for putting my LO to bed. I either rocked him to sleep in his pram or nursed him to sleep and put him straight down, hoping he would stay asleep when I let go, which he often didn’t. If these didn’t work, I sang, stroked his nose, patted, cuddled, and eventually left him to cry himself out. The only similarity each night was that we started the process at 9.30pm. An average evening had him crying and fussing until nearer 11pm while I clung to his dad to stop myself picking him up and making everything worse. I am sick of this.

Tonight, I decided to follow’s Four S’s routine. I “set the scene” (took him upstairs, got him into a sleep suit, dimmed the lights and put the blind down), I swaddled him, which I don’t normally do because past 2 months it stopped helping and I began “sitting”. This was the hard part.

Sitting, as The Baby Whisperer, Tracy Hogg, describes it, is when you hold your baby to your chest and do not rock, jiggle or pat him. This is difficult when he’s seemingly asking to be consoled, so I resorted to quietly shushing him. I tried to stay as relaxed as possible, knowing that his cries were just because he was tired and that he would pick up on tension in my body. After about 10 minutes he quietened down, his tears subsided and he closed his eyes. His breathing slowed and his whole body became relaxed.

However, this sudden drop out of consciousness meant that his head flopped violently onto my shoulder and woke him up, at which point the crying resumed. I stayed strong, though, refusing to resort to walking about with him and eventually he relaxed again. The screams became whimpers which became murmers and then silence. I put him down ever so carefully. His arms twitched with the shock of motion and he opened his eyes for a moment, but after another wave-like shush, he fell to sleep.

All in all, the process took less than 15 minutes. It’s normal for a baby to cry before sleeping, and why I ever thought his naps would be instant is a mystery to me. 25 minutes later he’s still asleep and I couldn’t be prouder of myself.

So what’s your LO’s bedtime routine? How long does he/she cry for before accepting sleep?

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