Friday, November 10, 2017

Tyler & Beau's Bedtime Routine | 1 & 4 Years Old ♥

People are often amazed when I tell them how easy it's been for me to get both of my boys to sleep through the night - I'm not boasting by the way, it's just how it's been and I'm completely grateful to them for being 'easy' children to parent when it comes to all things sleep... well, for the most part anyway.

They've both slept through the night from five weeks old and I've previously shared my tips on how I got my babies to sleep through the night. The boys have been like little old men since they were born though, thriving on routine and enjoying their own space, so they've both loved their cot and being in their own rooms from a young age.

Now that Beau's a year old (almost seventeen months) and Tyler is four years old, I thought I'd share an updated bedtime routine for them both and share what's really worked in helping to settle them for the night and not have them wake up - touch wood I don't jinx it all with this post (I really did touch wood, superstitious much?).

So bedtime for the boys really starts with dinner, as I like to make sure they're going to bed with a full tummies. Tyler's at that picky eating stage so getting him to eat dinner these days can be quite the chore... The boys both have dinner between five and half five and they finish up around six - depending on whether they're on a go slow or not.

I give the boys a bath every second day and on bath nights they go straight up after dinner. I give them a good twenty minutes or so in the bath. They love playing together, splashing about and just being in the warm water, so I'm happy to leave them in there for however long they want.

When Jacek is home for bath and bedtime we share the responsibility of getting the boys ready, so we each take a child and get them dressed for bed.

Both boys get massaged with Sleepy lotion from Lush straight after their bath. This has a gorgeous and calming lavender scent which I've found has really helped the boys to relax and wind-down for bedtime. Once the boys have a fresh vest and pyjamas on, and a fresh nappy for Beau, we take them downstairs and let them play in the sitting room for half an hour before going to bed.

I also give Beau a bottle before bed - he only takes them heated and a new part of our routine for the colder months is giving Tyler a warm cup of chocolate milk before bed too - he has the added bonus of a biscuit with it on a Saturday night as a treat.

I put Beau down to sleep first. He gets put in a sleeping bag - I've used these with the boys since birth and I get a lot more peace of mind putting him in one of these instead of loose blankets as I don't want him pulling anything up over his face or kicking blankets off and becoming cold at night. He does have loose blankets for his daytime nap though.

Both boys goes to bed at seven o' clock. Beau goes to sleep with a dodie and a put a tiny bit of camomile syrup on it before I give it to him. He always lies down straight away and cuddles up to his beloved teddy comforter (the thing reminds me of the Velveteen Rabbit as it is most definitely loved and shabby at this stage!).

I now read him a bedtime story too and once I'm finished I give him the book to look at - he's taking a keen interest in books now and it's lovely to see. Whilst I'm reading to him I turn on his mobile and his lullaby cube so he has the soft sounds on as well as my voice. Sometimes I also sing him to sleep and stroke his hair after reading if he's very tired. I love those moments.

He also goes to sleep with a lamp on now as before he was waking up crying for his dodie and couldn't see anything. With the lamp now on he's able to find it himself and go straight back to sleep if he wakes.

Tyler gets to choose a book for bed and we take him up. We allow him to take all the cuddly toys he likes to bed as he's quite attached to them, but once he's asleep we take them away and leave only one or two.

He was also quite attached to his dodie and had it to go to sleep with up until August - he never sucked on it just played with it and tucked his lip out over it. It was a comfort thing for him and it seemed to regulate him and allow him to calm down for sleep (he has quite a lot of energy), so I did feel a bit mean for taking it away, but he's doing fine without it now.

He gets read his story and then he knows it's time for bed and he's not allowed out of his bed after we put him down - unless he needs to go to the toilet of course. He also goes to sleep with a nightlight and with his Frankie the Frog lullaby and light projector he's had since he was a newborn.

Both boys sleep until between six and half six in the morning. Sometimes we have a rare lie-in but those happen once in a blue moon. They do both sleep all night though and Beau also has a two and a half hour nap between half twelve and three each day so I can't really ask more of them.

I find the boys sleep a whole lot better when they've had plenty of fresh air, so I try to have a daily walk with Beau and leave Tyler run around the garden each afternoon - all weather permitting of course. A trip to the seaside always helps them to calm down and make them sleepy too - that good, fresh sea air does wonders!

This is their bedtime routine and what is currently working for us. I may tweak it a bit coming into the winter, but for now it's working well and I think seven is an age appropriate bedtime for them both.

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