G used to sleep so well. When he was 9 or 10 months old (after moving into his own room), he finally started sleeping through the night. Around 13 months, that all started to change. The usual routine didn’t work any more, and he started to wake up about once a night.
About a week ago, we started something different; we started a routine that has all the good stuff he needs in it. G’s bedtime is roughly 7:30-8:00, so we start the whole routine around 7:00. The times aren’t exact; sometimes certain things take longer/shorter than usual, and he doesn’t always get a bath. I know the whole routine doesn’t take a whole hour, but I haven’t actually timed everything yet. I will update the times if I ever do that. Here’s a rough outline of what we’ve been doing:
7:00 – Strip down to diaper, and have a snack. – This helps keep him from waking up hungry in the middle of the night.
7:15 – Clean up and brush teeth. – I try to get him to actually let me brush his teeth, but it doesn’t last more than a few seconds and then he just bites down on it. Better than nothing, though. Sometimes we brush our teeth together, and he’ll try to mimic how I brush mine.
7:20 – Bath time. – Because his dry skin is so bad, I try not to give him a bath every night, but he can get really dirty during the day sometimes.
7:35 – Towel off and put on diaper. – G is always really snuggly after his bath. If he doesn’t get a bath, this is where I change his diaper and lotion him up. We use off brand Aquaphor from Aldi and Target; the stuff works great!
7:40 – Put on jammies. – This needs to be done right after the lotion to help lock in the moisture.
7:45 – Sip of water then books. – G will often pick out a book, then he’ll sit in my lap on the recliner in his room while I read it to him. We usually read two to three books, depending on their size. Before the last book, I will turn on his sound machine and give him his pacifier and bunny. Then we read the last book for the night.
7:55 – Down to sleep. – I put him in his crib with his pacifier and bunny. Sometimes he fusses for about a minute, but he usually goes down pretty easily.
Like I mentioned before, this whole routine doesn’t take quite as long as I made it sound. It usually takes closer to 40 minutes or so. This routine has been working fairly well for us. Now, it’s just a matter of sticking with it.