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  • bath/night time routines?

    Just wanted to get some ideas....I'm currently trying to get ds into a consistent nightime routine, where he goes to sleep at 8 and gets up between 7 and 7: 30. Last week he was going to sleep between 10 and 11:30, and last night I managed to get him down at 9:20.

    I was only giving him a bath every other night for a while(b/c it was winter, we weren't going outside as much and we are also in a drought), but now that it's warmed up a little, I've been trying to make his bath a solid part of his night routine. But I've noticed that while he used to just tolerate his bath(he would barely even own the whole time for a while), he now LOVES it, and has taken to splashing and giggling....which of course I love but it's not really working as "wind down" time. After his bath the past few nights , we went in his room, and he went on this crazy jumping spree, jumping off his bed and onto a comforter...lol, not exactly in "sleepy" mode! So i'm thinking maybe I should give him a spongebath at night and give him a real one in the mornings...although that would mean going straight from the bath to outside again....so I don't know.

    I'd love to hear some of your bath/nighttime routines, and how you get your LO's to wind down. TIA!

  • #2
    We don't really have a routine. We put on her pj's, but that's about it. She usually signals to us when she's ready for bed by signing bed or just going to the bed and hitting it or climbing in.

    If I've been home all day and need a relaxing bath or something, we'll take a bath together, then she'll get out and go to sleep with dad while I stay in.

    For the most part, she just goes to sleep when she's tired or when we go to bed.

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    • #3
      We also don't have a solid routine, so we also rely on DS's cues that he's getting tired. Mr Crankypants is definitely one sign he's really tired. Usually it's the standard starting-to-get-rambunctious-so-I-can-stay-awake energy. When we see that, depending on the level of the crankiness or hyperness, we either say "Let's take a bath!" or redirect to a calmer activity, usually playing with his stacking/sorting toys or reading.

      Because I work during the day, most errands that need to be run have to take place once I'm home from work, so we don't have many "relaxing" nights per se. What we try to do if we're in for the night is take a bath straight from dinner, since dinner is rather messy now that he's feeding himself. After we dry him off & get the jammies on, we will say "Go get your books" and DS will grab an assortment of his board books and will sit on the couch with daddy or me so we can read to him.

      And since we're cosleeping, the ultimate cue for bedtime is "Mommy's tired. Tell Daddy good night!" and off we go.

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      • #4
        It sounds like your little one absolutely loves the bath, which is definitely much better than not liking it. However, I see your concern with it hyping him up as opposed to relaxing him. Have you thought about using some lavendar essential oil in the bath to help relax him?

        When my son was that age that is what we did as he also got really excited in the bath (he's 6.5 and still does hehe). Lavendar, a little baby massage afterwards and some cuddle time would help relax him a bit.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Mama*Pisces View Post
          Just wanted to get some ideas....I'm currently trying to get ds into a consistent nightime routine, where he goes to sleep at 8 and gets up between 7 and 7: 30. Last week he was going to sleep between 10 and 11:30, and last night I managed to get him down at 9:20.
          is he still taking naps? b/c if he is, expecting him to sleep from 8-7 seems like a lot to me. i realize every kid is different, but if my son slept that much, i'd be shocked.

          we have done the bath, books, bed routine for our two for quite a while, but it doesn't seem to make a whole lot of difference in settling them down for the night. on night's we don't do the routine, they still go to bed about the same time. i know there's lots out there on how a good night routine helps cue better sleep, but my boys didn't read those books.

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          • #6
            Nighttime routines have always worked great for us. Could you possibly start his bath a little earlier to give him some time to play?

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            • #7
              yes, we are not really routiny type people but try to do some stuff. A friend of mine also gives a nightly bath to her girls, but that is too time consuming and messy for us to do it every night. Routines can be good because kids know what is going to happen next, but if they are not sleepy yet, no routine will make them BE sleepy. I would also be interested in the nap he takes, if any, because that would be a lot of sleep.
              If you truly want a tired kid at 8pm, make sure he didn't sleep in too late in the morning, scant nap if any, and run him around the park for a few hours!
              Just try to remain sensitive to his level of tiredness and don't expect drastic sleep changes, just subtle adjustments and nudges towards 8pm.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by PaxMamma View Post
                is he still taking naps? b/c if he is, expecting him to sleep from 8-7 seems like a lot to me. i realize every kid is different, but if my son slept that much, i'd be shocked.

                we have done the bath, books, bed routine for our two for quite a while, but it doesn't seem to make a whole lot of difference in settling them down for the night. on night's we don't do the routine, they still go to bed about the same time. i know there's lots out there on how a good night routine helps cue better sleep, but my boys didn't read those books.
                Yeah, he's still taking naps, though he seems to be having staying asleep for them lately. He used to sleep two straight hours, now he'll wake up sometimes after a half hour or 40 minutes, sometimes fall back asleep, sometimes not. Although if I allow myself to take a nap with him, we can both sleep 3 straight hours provided that he is right next to me.

                He usually sleeps anywhere from 10-12 hours at night, but it's just that if he goes to sleep later, he'll get up later. This hasn't been that much of a problem in the past, but I want to get him on an earlier bed schedule for a few reasons: if we were to get up at 7-8 on a regular basis, we could eat breakfast and start our day with DH, whereas if Donovan is still awake at 8:30 when he gets home, he tends to get excited and riled up a bit. That also leaves less one-on-one time b/t DH and I, sometimes if when I come downstairs from putting Donovan down at 10 or 11, DH is already asleep.

                I've read that kids his age *should be* getting anywhere from 11-12 hours sleep at night, and taking 1 nap during the day, 1-2 hours (from Pantley's No Cry Sleep Solution)....now of course every kid is different, but that amount of sleep does seem to work well for him(and for me), it's just a matter of getting his schedule to be a little more consistent.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by sugarplum818 View Post
                  Nighttime routines have always worked great for us. Could you possibly start his bath a little earlier to give him some time to play?
                  This is something I've been tossing around in my head: like maybe end our outside play at 5, come in and have a bath before dinner, he feeds himself and it can get messy, but not as much as it used to be....then if he needs it, I could always give him a quick spongebath. That way he can get all his "rowdies" out in the bath, but that'll be done by 6, then after we eat, we can read and do other quiet activites.

                  Sounds like a good plan; I'll have to test it out and see how it works.
                  He is pretty hard to get out of a routine once he's set on it though -- I have been trying to gently persuade him to let me brush his teeth before his bath for a little while now(just to make the whole nighttime process a little smoother....usually this is the very last thing we do before bed and by then he is cranky and wants nothing to do with the toothbrush), and the most i've gotten him to do is let me brush his teeth in the bath. So we'll see how it goes, I guess....

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                  • #10
                    Our son (almost 21 months) went through the same thing of going down around 10:30 or 11 PM too (and is back on that "schedule" again right now, as a matter of fact). I think with the days being longer now and us being outside more that our dinnertime has gotten later, which seems to push everything back. He seems to want to nap around 2 PM until 4 or 5 PM, and he can stay up for about 5-6 hours after sleeping. He also wakes up around 8 or 9 AM (sometimes even 10 AM) in the mornings. I'm at home with him, so I don't mind as it's not like he has to get up to go to school, etc. It can be a little frustrating when I try to get him to go to sleep around 8 or 9 PM so my husband and I can watch a movie, etc., but I tried to put the whole situation in perspective for our entire family (me, my husband, and our son) and not just the needs/wants of my husband and I. I can tell that our son wants to stay up and play with us (or mostly my husband who is usually outside working on our ranch during the daytime or traveling for his job), and I guess he thinks that since we're up that he can stay up too. I usually nurse him to sleep (still co-sleeping), and if I'm tired, then I fall asleep with him. If I can manage to get him to sleep around 10 PM and I'm not give out, then that leaves time for my husband and I to talk, watch a movie, etc. (if he's not already asleep too). I just try to leave things like this in the Lord's hands and not try to control it as things normally work out the way their supposed to. For example, we're hoping to nurse our son until he is two or three before conceiving our next child (if it's in God's plans for us) using Natural Family Planning. Some nights that my husband and I may want some time alone but our son is up late winds up usually being better that I fell asleep nursing him instead of spending time with my husband as I may have been fertile at that time. Or, like the last two nights, our son had to poop before going to bed, so I was relieved that we stayed up until about 11 PM as he is restless during the night if he cannot eliminate before going to bed (I'm sure as an adult I would be too if I had to poop before going to sleep and didn't/couldn't). Sorry for the ramble...

                    Here is our bedtime routine- I TRY to have dinner ready most nights about 7 PM (if not then by 8 PM) so we have time to play outside in the "cooler" part of the day (after his nap and before dinner). Then, it has always been "bathtime" (which he LOVES anyhow) right afterwards. California Baby makes some great scented bubble bath, bath wash, etc. (one is called "Calming," and I will tell you that it is). I usually take a bath with our son as it makes it easier on us for nursing if needed. If I have to shave or take a shower, then Daddy gives him a bath. We hang out in the bathroom afterwards to get dressed, nurse, brush our teeth, potty, etc. (he has some toys in our master bathroom that I rotate out once/week- I also started rotating out his bath toys once/week too). Then, we try hard to keep the lights dim around the house and play quietly or read some books before bed (we may sometimes fold a little laundry or unload the dishwasher which are low key things to do). It's hard some nights if he hasn't had much time that day to play with his Daddy which leads them to getting rowdy before bed. That makes it hard for me to wind him down. But, we have a nightlight by the bed in the master bedroom so I can see to nurse him at night where we pray and then go to bed (making sure to potty that one last time). We nurse to sleep (sometimes with much persuasion of me trying to get him to be still). I just try to laugh about him being so busy and remind myself that there will come a time that he will no longer need to nurse to sleep or need to sleep next to me/us. I just try to cherish these moments.
                    Last edited by loveleighbird; 05-19-2008, 09:38 AM.

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                    • #11
                      Aw, thanks LoveLeighBird, that was a sweet post. I love to ramble too.

                      I've pretty much given up on the early bedtime schedule, with the days being so long like you said and with all the kids running around our neighborhood till 9 at night, I've found it easier to just roll with the punches, which means we're having dinner around 7 or 8, and he's still going to bed at 10 and getting up at 9. At least it's consistent...for now. haha

                      Thanks for the replies mamas!

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