Everyone LOVES a good routine right? You’d be insanely insane if you didn’t. I mean after endless hours of Cbeebies and chasing the giddy toddler around the house because they ‘re naked and their bum hole is pouting there’s nothing better than me time at the end of the night.
Time where you can relax, remind yourself what silence is and bang that fu*#cking vodka art mi gal whats up wi ya?
Ok I reminded myself of Vicky Pollard then and it made me wanna be sick a little.
Anywayyy…..It’s NEVER easy when you first
introduce ATTEMPT to introduce a solid routine so I thought I’d share my tips and tricks! Obviously I’m no parenting chuffing goddess but I’ve been there, done that got and the shit stain to prove it.
Now obviously I know this won’t benefit every parent on the planet I’m totally aware of that. Some children co-sleep some don’t, some mummy’s titfeed some don’t, some have -8368 inches of patience and others could happily sit and watch 4 rooms of paint dry. However despite our differences, If I manage to save even 1 parents sanity then I’d be delighted.
The best thing you’ll ever do
So, when Rio was around 11 months old he still had around 6666 naps a day. No word of a lie (a little exaggeration maybe). The naps would involve being cradled to sleep, snuggled up on the sofa with his dummy blanket and annoying as shite sleepy baby music in the background. How fine and dandy does that sound? lucky bugger.
Sleep was whenever he wanted it, he was the boss! He’d be awake with me until whatever time it was that I dragged myself of upstairs to bed.
Sounds pretty straightforward right? WRONG! He was the clingiest baby known to man. When we’d reached our bedroom me or his daddy would then have to rock rock rock and rock him until he drifted off to sleep. Plainly we was circling the room not knowing weather it was gonna be a 2 minute job or a 2 hour job, it was torture at times.
It got to the point where I was heavily pregnant with Junior. I had that bulky little munchkin in my womb and I also had my toddler laid on top. It was then when I realised that this was enough. I couldn’t wrap him up in cotton wool forever. Rio needed a routine, I needed a breather and the baby would need to sleep with me when he arrived. NO way would 4 of us fit in one bed I had to hang on for dear life as it was!
At the time everything just seemed easier to co-sleep with Rio when it came to the night feed. I was breastfeeding so I could just whack it out slip it in and drift off back to sleep before waking up with a lifeless sack of flesh.
Where to start
I’ll hold my hands up and mention that I attempted to get a routine established and gave up straight away. It was emotionally draining for both me and Rio resulting in us waiting another 3 weeks before trying again!
First of all I needed to get him familiar with his cot! I’ts a painfully slow process but its best to take things moderately and one step at a time rather than going in with full force and authority, that’d put far too much pressure on the child and yourself.
This is a HUGE deal!
So.. for Rio’s nap time I continued to sing him to sleep with my unbelievably wonderful vocals and rock him as I would do but the second he drifted off I would talk him up to his room and pop him into his cot. That way he’d wake up realising that he’d just been snoozing in a room by himself and everything was perfectly fine. I continued to do that step alone for a week! Rio was starting to recognise his cot as his place to dream!
The next step was to get him staying in there overnight (easier said than done) I needed to make sure that he was ACTUALLY tired when it came to 7pm bedtime. I didn’t let him nap past 4! A hell of a lot of dancing playing and pretending to be monster was done to keep him lively but it worked! I still rocked and cuddled him to sleep for the first few nights but then as I said previously the second he dropped off I would pop him into his cot.
I wont lie when I watched him on the monitor whilst I sat downstairs on my own I felt a tad emotional. I didn’t know what the hell to do with myself, I was so lost! I couldn’t remember the last time I was actually able to sit down in silence and do naff all.
I kinda hated it but god I needed it.
Night by night by night it was proving to be a success, I was so proud of my not so little baby boy.
The final step was to let him fall to sleep by himelf.
This was the part that I dreaded the most. I didn’t want him to be upset right before going to sleep but the older he gets the harder it gets. I needed to hit the nail on the head. To be honest I was suprised with how well the whole thing went.. even the first night!
I took him to bed at 7pm.. he had little winge but then put his blanket down, laid his head on top and drifted off to sleep.
I cried a lake! I was so so so so proud of him and that is a feeling I will never forget.
That’s it! Although I’ve managed to cram all of that into a tiny blog post please be aware that from start to finish It took approximately 6 painfully long months but it was all so worth it. It was at a pace that Rio felt comfortable with, there was no pressure or rushing involved and now Rio in a solid routine where he is happily in bed for 7pm EVERY SINGLE NIGHT.
I am completely and utterlly overwhelmed with emotions right now.
If it makes you feel any better.. I’ve gotta repeat this whole process with Junior in around 3 months time, good lord.
Send help… and vodka.
Lots of love,
At what age did you get your little ones into a routine and how did you go about it?