Now that we’ve started to figure out Veronika’s daily routine, it’s time to set up a proper nighttime routine for her, too.
As mentioned, I don’t bother with routines for my kids when still in their “fourth trimester.” But starting about 10 days ago, we noticed a big change; Veronika stopped her evening cluster feed (which had been going pretty-much non-stop from 7 to 10 p.m.!), and instead, well, she found her thumb. And with that, she’s capable of self-soothing and falls asleep between 6.30 and 7.
So now we needed to make bedtime special. The key to aby routine is consistency. I’m still working out how to do this best with two kids, but here’s what I’ve come up with so far.
Step 1: Bath (or cradle cap)
I don’t do baths nightly yet (too much washing can make a newborn’s skin dry), but if it’s a bath night, we start with that. If not, one night a week I comb through her cradle cap; try adding a little edible oil, like olive oil, to the scalp. Let sit for about 10 minutes, then brush through and shampoo out.
If there’s no cradle cap or bath, I still make it cozy and special to get into pajamas, with lotion and everything all laid out.
Step 2: Storytime
Because I’m juggling two kids, Veronika’s storytime has to be while big brother has his bath!
Yours might look a little less chaotic and a lot cozier, but I think she’s already come to associate her little bathroom chair with books, and anticipates that sleep is next – which is exactly what you want.
Step 3: Lullabies. We do a final nurse and I sing her a special song or two.
Then it’s lights out – and don’t forget a big kiss goodnight!
One additional item that we’ll add to her bedtime routine now that she’s old enough? A quick baby signing song. What does bedtime look like in your house? Please share in the comments!