Leo was four months old when I realized I had not slept a full night in almost a year. Between first trimester bathroom breaks, third trimester backaches, and newborn night time feedings, I was sleep deprived and exhausted. Something had to change.
Before my realization, our night time schedule consisted of watching late-night TV and nursing as needed. I mean, we essentially had no schedule. It dawned on me that our poor baby had no idea what to expect at night, and didn’t know how to differentiate night time from nap time. Ah-ha!
I researched night time routines and rituals online, and adapted what I read, to fit in with our own lifestyle. And it actually – eventually – worked!
Our schedule in a nutshell:
- 7:00 pm – bath
- 7:20 pm – mini baby massage
- 7:30 pm – bottle & story time
- 7:45 pm – baby in crib, lights out
Don’t be misled, it took a little adjusting and quite a few tears, but we found it. I could finally stop rolling my eyes when I read about babies who slept through the night and mums woke up rested. That was me!
I’m not telling you that this will work overnight (pun intended). But my advice to you is simple: Create some kind of night time routine. Anything. Keep in mind that whatever you start today can be adjusted, so don’t get hung up on what your schedule is. Just try something.
I promise you that full night of sleep is on the horizon. As I write this, Leo is now two and I have a new infant keeping me up at night. I’m sleep deprived, hormonal and just plain pooped out. But I plan to take my own advice in the next few weeks and get on another schedule for baby number 2. I know it will take some work (and tears), but I’m looking forward to a good night of sleep in my near future.
Here’s to well rested babies and mums!