Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Bedtime Ritual

I think Corey and I are guilty of providing an inconsistent bedtime ritual for Miles. So I am renewing my dedication to making it so, in hopes of ever improving his sleeping habits. We had something like a routine going, but daylight savings effed everything up and then he went on another sleep strike and I became a zombie again...last night was a good night so I want to keep things that way! Here is the ideal evening gameplan:

1. Bath when appropriate (like the days when he excretes all over himself from all possible orifices)
2. Massage with the lovely apricot oil and his red light
3. PJs, bag, medicine
4. Read 2-3 books in his chair in his room
5. Hug quietly for a few minutes
6. Nurse to sleep

The big problem with this is timing. We would like his bed time to be 8pm, so this ritual would start at 730. Only, some days he does not nap AT ALL and is super exhausted and a big fat mess by 6pm. MAH-eessssssss. What do we do then? Start the ritual early? Force him into a massage and book readin' while he squirms all over the damn place?

Everyone keeps telling me babies need routines and I need to help him have a routine and make his days all identical, yada yada. There are never two consecutive days where Miles does the same anything. I can't even say bedtime is the same time each night, because everything depends on his daytime behavior.

We are hoping that a bedtime ritual can be the keystone in a consistent lifestyle for Miles. Maybe he just needs a good jumping off place.


Laura V said...

You could give the early ritual a try. If he hates it, he hates it. But you might find that it settles him down because he can see bedtime coming.

When Ray gets partway through his bedtime ritual (ours is very simple*), he gets very excited and starts squealing happily, because he knows what is up next is nursing and sleep. And as soon as the nursing starts, he settles to it happily.

this is our ritual, by the way:
* Put baby in overnight diaper.
* Take baby upstairs.
* Put baby in sleepsack. (Usually by this point he is excited that it is bedtime.)
* Nurse baby to sleep.

Em said...

Red light?

Katy said...

we use a low watt, red light bulb in miles' room so as to hopefully not stimulate him with bright whites or even soft white

Rachel said...

Daylight savings effs everything up...

My dad had one eye that wouldn't close all the way (believe me, this relates) The light in our upstairs hallway always had a blue light bulb because my dad said it didn't bother him...on the other hand, people thought we were weird.

I'm a big fan of "flexible" routines for all day.

Em said...

Oh neat. When he gets older he could totally play Hunt For Red October in his room!

kk said...

I can see it now Miles all grow up and he can't sleep so he goes out looking for the red light....And when he finds the red light district he tells all the girls I need the red light to sleep only that's not what they will have in mind....maybe you should change the color:+)

Valtastic said...

Do the ritual. I remember having to either help my mom with the day care babies or when I was babysitting on my own to keep a baby up that wanted to sleep in order to stick to a routine. Although it was a lot of energy to keep a crying baby up for an extra hour or so it would get them in the routine of sleeping through the night so if you want Miles to sleep through the night I would try it for at least 2 weeks straight to see if things improve. Babies need consistancy.

I was also thinking of Roxanne you don't have to leave on the red light... and red light special all through the night...

Miles will become a P.I.M.P.