Recently I had a conversation with my older brother, who has an 18 month old son. His family has struggled and not yet had success getting their child to sleep through the night. My sister-in-law has been running a 102 fever for over 2 months now, and the doctors have simply concluded that she is so stressed out/sleep-deprived that her body just can’t recover from illness.
To say they are struggling would be a gentle way of putting it. And I know all to well how frustrating it can be to have other people who don’t walk in your shoes tell you EXACTLY what you are doing wrong and EXACTLY what you need to do to fix it. Ever notice how for any given problem there are at least 20 different solutions that other parents swear by, and sometimes those different solutions are even polar opposites of each other? It leaves parents utterly confused and doubting their instincts. Been there. Felt that way.
But I can also tell you that not every aspect of parenting is intuitive. Far from it! It is ok to be completely lost at sea and not know what to do. And it is ok to ask other parents for advice. You’ve just got to be prepared for folks to get their noses out of joint if you choose not to take their advice. Because that will happen!
Establishing a Bedtime Routine
So with all that said, I am going to give those of you who have a child who won’t sleep through the night some advice. You are free to take it or leave it. I won’t be offended if you aren’t interested in it! I simply want to share what is working for us. Maybe it will also work for some of you!
First and foremost, I recommend The Sleepeasy Solution, which is what helped us go from a baby who woke up every 90 minutes to a baby sleeping 11 hours straight, all within a 4 day time span.
Beyond, that, though, I want to recommend that you create and STICK TO a strict bedtime routine that your child will be able to recognize easily. We have found that “the routine” goes a long way toward helping our baby, Layah, get herself calm and ready for sleep.
Here’s the nighttime routine we are using:
1. Bath time! We show Layah the sign (we use some sign language with her) for a bath, which gets her VERY excited. She usually will crawl into the bathroom and stand by the tub, watching us fill it with water. She will also put tub toys in the bath while it fills up. It’s totally cute. Mommy’s Bliss Sweet Slumber 3-In-1 Baby Wash is what we are currently using, as it contains lavender, chamomile & ylang ylang in a very gentle formula.
2. To the room! After the bath, we dry her hair for about 30 seconds and then take her into her room to put on her diaper. After her diaper is on, we do a quick baby massage with Mommy’s Bliss Sweet Slumber Massage Cream. It is really amazing how quickly she will go from being very active to very calm. She knows that night time is near once her massage begins. After her massage, we put on whatever she is sleeping in that night. It is very important that all bedtime related activities (other than the bath, obviously) happen in her room.
3. Story time! Now it is time for 1-2 books. Darah often reads with us. Sometimes Layah sits attentively, and sometimes she crawls over to her crib, letting us know that she is ready for night night.
4. Bottle! This is Layah’s favorite part. Either mom or dad will rock Layah in the rocking chair and feed her a bottle. We also turn on some white noise at this point, as well. Layah holds onto her lovey (a small stuffed dog) while she drinks her bottle. The overhead light is off, and her closet light is on. At this point, if she is having trouble getting very drowsy, I will use the Mommy’s Bliss Sweet Slumber Mist and give a quick spritz to her bedding and her lovey. I don’t use it every night, just as needed.
Important note! We keep Layah awake during the feeding. Very important not to let her fall asleep while eating! Then we turn off the closet light and put her in her crib, drowsy but still awake. She usually rolls over on her side, cuddles on her lovey (a dog), and goes right to sleep.
What a dramatic change this is from just 6 weeks ago. Our lives are completely different! I’m enjoying using the Mommy’s Bliss products as part of our new routine. I feel confident about these products because they are made with essential oils that are historically known to assist with relaxation and sleep. Best of all, they are easy to find! You can purchase them at your local Walgreens (a place I shop at every week!).
I’d love to hear if you are having trouble getting your little ones to sleep, or if you have a routine that works like a charm! Feel free to leave a comment with your concerns, questions or solutions!
I received complimentary products for review purposes. All thoughts and opinions expressed here are strictly my own. This post may contain affiliate links at no cost to you.