Have you been consistently routining your arse off since day ONE, yet your baby STILL won’t sleep?
Then this seven-step method is for you.
Bedtime routine: It is vitally important that you have a consistent bedtime routine that is routinely consistent at bedtime. For best results use a bed, a baby and a time, every single night.
Expectations: Expecting what you expected when you were expecting? Assuming your baby will go to bed because you are the grown up and they will do as you say? Then you are going to be disappointed. Expect nothing but the very worst from bedtime, that way if your baby goes to sleep at all it will be a bonus.
Drowsy but awake. Is your baby fast asleep in your arms? Then you have FAILED already. As soon as your baby is comfortable, content, peaceful and on the verge of dropping off to sleep, you must act quickly. Put her down immediately. There is a strong possibility that she will scream the instant you lean over the cot, but at least you can enjoy the satisfaction of having done it the ‘right’ way.
Tired (but not too tired). Is your baby a little tired? Is she yawning, but just slightly? Are you tired of being poked, grabbed and climbed on? Are you likely to totally lose your shit if ONE more small person asks you to get them something? Then it is time. STOP whatever you are doing and begin the Bedtime Routine immediately.
Information: Under no circumstances should bedtime be attempted until you have read all the information on all the Internets and in all the books in all the world. Only then will you finally be exhausted enough to trust your own instincts.
Magical Sleep Makers: ‘A peaceful nights sleep is not only important for the whole family, but also for baby’s development. This Magical Sleep Maker will help your baby settle into a peaceful slumber and therefore develop normally. If you love your baby, you will spend many pounds on this item right now.’
It is vital that parents invest in numerous Magical Sleep Makers to help them with their bedtime routine. Magical Sleep Makers are available in book, toy, app, musical, gadget or sheep form but all guarantee to get your infant to sleep (and to make the baby industry a shed load of money).
While Magical Sleep Makers may not get your baby to settle down for the night, they do allow you to enjoy a small glimmer of hope for a short amount of time. Only once you have spent hundreds of pounds on Magical Sleep Makers and lost all hope will you be ready to embark on the final stage of the Seven-Step B.E.D.T.I.M.E method.
Environment: ‘A calm, quiet environment is the best place to help your child get to sleep,’ they tell us.
So to create this environment you need a quiet room, a cot and some calm….
BUT the only thing you and your partner have said to each other in months is ‘it’s your turn’.
Your lives consist of trying to get your offspring to sleep and trying to get some sleep yourselves. Your beautiful baby is tearing you apart. You are like shipwrecks passing in the night. Shadows of the people you once were. Strangers stumbling about the darkness like zombies.
You rock, shush, sing and feed a baby in a quiet room for hours every night. You are desperately lonely but never alone. You are constantly busy but nothing gets done. There is no time or space to think, talk, rest or breath. The exhaustion is relentless and all-consuming.
You are tired and miserable but at least you are FUCKING CONSISTENT.
You are on the verge of madness, but it is OK because you are following the damn BEDTIME ROUTINE.
However, there is a strong possibility that your ‘calm environment’ is now well and truly buggered.
So, maybe it is time to try the unthinkable. To go where no Supernanny has ever gone before. Gina Ford would have contented kittens if she ever read this, but to hell with it!
Forget bedtime. Give consistency the finger and tell the routine to do one…
If you have tried every trick in the bedtime book and your offspring is still wide awake then maybe it is time to call it a day, well, a night! Take yourself and your little one into another room. Watch TV, have a cup of tea or a glass of wine. Enjoy your baby, enjoy being with your partner and calm the hell down!
I guarantee the world will not end because you strayed from the routine and your baby will sleep – eventually.
You have not failed at bedtime. Your baby is consistently happy and healthy and you routinely avoid killing your partner. I’d call that a success.
The ‘wrong’ way, turned out to be the right way for my family. My firstborn may have won the bedtime battle but a year or so later – we finally won the war (when she decided that sleep was actually preferable to sitting up watching Coronation Street).
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*If you are really struggling with the sleepless nights then there are a few useful resources here and plenty of support and actual advice over at www.lovemornings.com. The founder is a formerly sleepless mum who found the light at the end of the tiring tunnel and is passionate about helping other parents do the same!