Ray’s Bedtime Routine: Our Ridiculous Nighttime Ritual
Almost 18 Months Later and We Have A Routine
We are just one month away from my sweet baby Ray being 1-and-a-half-years-old. It took us this long to finally sink into our bedtime routine, but who is counting? Between teething, learning what food upsets her tummy and the random night terrors , finding a routine has been a challenge. Once we thought we had one down something new always came up. Well we have finally concocted the best bedtime ritual that works for Ray (and me).
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Winding Down starts With Dinner(5:25pm)
We make it a point to get dinner on the table by 5:25pm every day. Yes, that means I am cooking around 4pm where the day honestly feels like it is just getting started. I try to hold off on giving her any snack after 2:30pm, and that is when we typically have our smoothie sugar rush. We also focus on giving Ray a balanced dinner and avoid any foods she has trouble with in the past (black beans to mention one).
Always one strong source of protein, some sort of veggie and some sort of grain. Oddly enough at 17 months throwing food has become a “super fun” game for Ray. We are doing our best to bring this “super fun game” to an end but for now this highchair mat has been a godsend. Rather than vacuuming/sweeping/mopping 4-5 times a day I can just pick it up and shake it over the trash. We have, however noticed when Ray is finished she will pick up her plate and hand it to one of us. PROUD MAMA MOMENT.
WE ALWAYS TAKE A BATH(6:00pm)
After dinner, and almost every night this means 6:00pm, we get in the bath. I do not wash Ray’s hair everyday. I was and it started to feel dry. Now I wash it every other day. None the less I still put her in the tub. On days she has been more crankier than others I will put a free drops of lavender essential oil in the tub water. Just to try and set us up for success. Ray is all about pouring water in and out of cups, and taking the occasional “gulp” that we try to avoid. It seems kind of silly just watching her but then I think about how well her hand-eye coordination has gotten, and “que the tears”. We typically splash around for at least fifteen minutes. I’ll rinse her off with some fresh water just to get rid of the”bath germs” before we get dried off.
After Bath Ritual(6:15pm)
When Ray is teething I like to give her a little Motrin or teething gel before bed(both rare occasions). She is also one little baby prone to hiccups. If we are having a “hiccup episode” I’ll give her a little Gripe Water. The Gripe Water I use is made up of 100% natural ingredients and children can not form any type of dependency on it. Back to her after bath ritual though.
We put our pjs on, brush our teeth and kiss Dada (and Hog) goodnight. Ray then gets to pick out her books for bedtime (I try to limit it to 3). We rock and read and rock and read. This never puts her to sleep but does have her chilling in one place for some time.
Last but not Least, Lullabies(6:45pm)
Once I have finished reading our last bedtime story I always ask, “Time to go night night?”. We turn off the lights, put on the white noise on the Alexa and say a little prayer.
Now this is probably where I made my mistake and at this point we are too far gone. In order to get Ray to go in her crib with out throwing a total tantrum I have six nursery rhymes I sing to her while I rock her around her room. It doesn’t take long, usually by song 4 (Ba Ba Black Sheep) she is out. But she will not go down with out them. We have tried. The pick-up-put-down method and the CIO method and nope, not for her. I can’t say it bothers me getting to hold her the last 15 minutes of her day as she falls asleep. Deep down I know she should know how to self soothe. In reassurance to self soothing, if she does wake up during the night I always wait 10 minutes (unless its her pain cry) and she goes back to sleep on her own every time. Baby steps?
I would like to finish this post with saying I am no baby guru. I do what works for my kid. People will disagree with some of my methods and that is ok. The main thing I am putting out with this post is that routines are helpful when it comes to babies. If you find something that works, try repeating it the following day and see how it goes!
Thanks for the read!