Bedtime Routines Revisited: The Evolving Needs of a 1 Year Old

As the Wee Baby T grows, he changes so much.  What used to be a simple routine of feeding, cuddling, and laying him in the crib at night is no longer sufficient.  He can sense when you’re putting him down and does NOT appreciate it.  After a week of trying to convince him to sleep using our same old methods we realized it is time to go back to the drawing board, we need to update our routine.  It was time to do some sleep training.

Relying heavily on the routine established at T’s daycare, we get him home around 5 PM each day.  While K or I play with him in the living room, the other will prepare dinner for the family.  It’s so much easier now that he eats a simplified version of whatever we are having. We aim to eat around 6 PM, then more play-time.

At 7 we run the bath.  I know he isn’t exactly building up a sweat running around at daycare, and he always smells wonderful, so soap isn’t always involved.  It’s more just an extension of play-time.  When T was 8 months old he had grown too big for the kitchen sink and we had to migrate him to the bathtub.  The first week was a challenge, keeping him from slipping as he tried to stand and crawl around was a full-time job.  After a few days we decided to purchase a bath-mat and a spout cover, which made all the difference.  Throw in some toys, a tiny beach-ball, and blow some bubbles and he has an absolute blast for about 15 minutes.  Typically we just do a quick wash of his face, but every few days we will do a full on scrub-up.

From here on in the goal is to keep warm and calm.  Slow transitions and dim lights are key, having over sized and soft towels help dry him off, even if he starts to squirm a bit.  Using Johnson & Johnson’s Bedtime lotion I give T a soothing massage.  This stuff smells fantastic, and I start yawning as the aroma gently lulls me to sleep.

Massage done we get dressed and cuddle in the chair with a book until he shows signs that he is ready to doze off – eye rubbing, turning over and burring his face in my chest, or falling asleep are usually key indicators.  I’ll give him his bottle in the crib and once done, lay him down with his pacifier and blanket and walk out the door.

While we still stick to many of the principles of Elizabeth Pantley’s No Cry Sleep Solution, we did have to let him cry a bit for those first few weeks. The transition was challenging, but now he sleeps 11 hours through the night without interruption.  I think we got his transition time just right…

Good luck out there!

 

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