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The Bedtime Battles



Many parents swear by a bedtime routine, in fact I would say the majority of them do. When Amelia was born all I kept hearing was "My daughter slept through from 6 weeks", "My son went in his own room at 3 months" and all I kept thinking was good for you and secretly I hoped for a night of more than 3 hours sleep! However since Amelia was born I've not had a full nights sleep yet! Right up until Amelia was around 20 months old we've never had a bedtime routine as it varied every night, however more recently we have got her into somewhat of a routine which works for us. I thought it would be nice to take a look back at her 'routine' of how she has slept since she was born.


When we came home from the hosptial with Amelia for the first evening on our own we tried her in the moses basket however after many hours of screaming it resulted in her being in bed with us. As I was breastfeeding this was easier and because I had a pretty bad birth I was having a tough time recovering and couldn't pull myself out of bed easily so it made sense to keep her in bed with us. Even though I did keep trying her in the moses basket, she was pretty big in it and kept touching the sides so a few days later we gave up with it and put it away in the attic. 


I moved her cot into our bedroom and tried her in there at nap times when she was a few months old and once she had fallen asleep on me I would put her down in the cot and she would usually sleep for a while until she decided she didn't like sleeping in there and she ended up napping in her swing instead. I did try her in the cot at night once she had fallen asleep but she would wake up an hour later so she ended up co sleeping with us fully until she was around 16 months.


I really do enjoy co-sleeping, especially when she was younger. If she was sleeping in our bed on her own I would but a bed guard on the side or pile up plenty of pillows. Now I get pushed to the edge of the bed and kicked most of the night. When she was younger we would put a small pillow in between Andy and Amelia to stop him from rolling over. I was always aware of my movement however Andy is a deep sleeper so would move a lot. I ended up sleeping in the one position all night which would kill my back! Now we co-sleep for half of the night which isn't too bad. 


At 16 months I would put her to bed at 10pm in her cot which was then in her own room, but I would have to climb in there with her to nurse her to sleep then quietly climb out without waking her. She would then sleep in the cot for a couple of hours and wake between 12 and 1am and I would bring her into bed with us. This went on for a few more months until we moved in October when she was about 18 months and I finally got her to nap in her cot during the daytime and then decided to start somewhat of a bedtime routine and get her to sleep in her cot.


At around 6pm we would have dinner then give her a bath if needed that evening and change into pj's ready for bed. I would then turn down the TV and dim the lights so she knew it was bedtime and also read a few books. At this age I started getting her down at around 10pm as I was just glad that she was sleeping in her own cot I didn't care what time it was, I couldn't wait for the evenings to myself. I decided I wouldn't climb into the cot with her, but I would just sit next to the cot and reach through and stroke her chest until she had fallen asleep. This was much tougher than I had imagined as she has never been one for lying down and just falling asleep so some days it took well over an hour to get her to fall asleep. 


She did 3 nights in a row and I realised she was getting into a routine, I was so happy! For the next week she continued to go down at around 10pm and then I brought it forward each week and she ended up going to bed around 8.30pm. When we got back from holiday around 19 months she dropped her nap times which resulted in her being tired much earlier and she would start falling asleep on me at 7.30pm instead. So we finally had a bedtime established which I was rather excited about as it meant I could have the evening to myself once she had gone to bed, until she wakes up between 11 and 2am. 


We then moved her into her toddler bed not long after Christmas and she transitioned really well. She' still not sleeping through the night at 22 months but I'm just glad that she's sleeping in her own bed for part of the night. I still enjoy the snuggles when she comes into our bed and it's not going to last forever so I may as well make the most of it now. How many teenagers do you see still sleeping in their parents beds hey!?

Here is what our bedtime routine looks like now. 

6.00pm |  Dinner and tidy away toys

6.30pm | Bath time (Every 2 days unless extremely messy)

7.00pm | Get into PJ's and read books or watch bed time songs on the iPad on our bed 


7.15pm-7.30pm | Amelia will feed and fall asleep on me and I carry her through to her bed. Othertimes I will take her through and lie her down on her bed and sit in a chair next to her and rub her belly until she goes to sleep. She also has lullabies on the iPad to keep stop any noise from waking her up. 


11pm-2.00am | She will wake up and come through to our bed. I usually don't go to sleep until 1/2am so if I'm awake when she wakes up I'll go upstairs and take her through to our room and if I'm already in bed she will come through on her own.

Come and link up your bedtime routine at Share It Sundays this Sunday!

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21 comments

  1. Such a great post. Ours would be quite short as its not changed since Ted was 3months...I'm that annoying one whose child has slept through the night from a young age(sorry!) But so nice to see were not the only parents that don't bath every night! Its so hard on my back leaning over the bath I couldn't do it every night! Glad you guys have some sort of routine! Xx

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    1. You're so lucky! Do you have any tips haha! Next time I am going to be strict and start from an early age. Ahh yes, if i bathed her every night I would probably loose my mind, of course if she's been messy that day I do but I just don't see the point in wasting water every day lol. xx

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  2. I love reading other people's sleep stories because every baby is so different. We are very lucky in that Arthur is an amazing sleeper (i'll link my post I did on this on the linky tomorrow). But we've had difficulties with other things e.g. he was a really really fussy eater for a while and wouldn't latch on so I couldn't establish breastfeeding :( Soooooo relieved to hear that I'm not the only one who doesn't bath their baby religiously every night haha xx

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  3. Great post! There are many simularities with our child. She is a very diffucult sleeper. I would like to now how you get her to sleep when you are away?

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    1. How old is yours? Ahh i'm still working on that ha ha! I've only spent one night away from her since she was born when she was around 16 months old which ended up in her being taken into bed with daddy and she slept the rest of the night luckily. I'm dreading next time

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    2. Tara is 5 months old. Your story is cery similar to ours, and she sleeps only when i feed or rock her. In a few weeks I am one night away from home. I am worried. Afraid that she will cry the hole night and my husband will go mad. I am.thinking of let her sleep at my grandma house, so is in a different space. ( excuse my english :-)

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  4. LP didn't sleep through until 15 months and we either fed or rocked her to sleep until then. After 15 months she started sleeping through and it was fantastic! Her Little Brother came along when she was 20 months and she moved into her new bedroom and a single bed but did amazingly well. Recently though she's started waking in the night but not very often. T is now 10 months and still wakes 2-3 times a night, I doubt that will stop until I stop breastfeeding x

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  5. This literally sounds like us!!! Will work on a post I think! xxx

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  6. Bless her, hopefully the routine you've found continues to work for you. I think we have been quite lucky, none of our four have struggled over night for too long.

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  7. this is exactly us. calebs still in with us. i really need to work on getting him to bed on his own and not at 1am!

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  8. Never mind the bedtime routine, Amelia has the most fantastic collection of pretty pyjamas! Great topic I would love to link up, thanks x

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  9. Love reading this,thanks for posting. I'm forever researching ways to get Amelia to sleep through the night,I'm obsessed with sleep,because we get so little of it,at times. It seems we have succeeded in the last 2 weeks,long may it live. I'm going to do a link up later xxx

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  10. You're so lucky to have the co-sleeping experience, my little one won't settle anywhere but his own cot. I can't believe you stay up so late, where do you get the energy! I'm lusting for my bed at nine o' clock almost every night haha :)

    Fiona @ www.dollydowsie.com

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  11. Matilda is only 3.5 months and I've been worried that we have no routine. She usually sleeps in my arms in the evening until we go to bed then I feed her in bed and we co-sleep. It's reassurring to know that not everyone has a routine :)

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  12. Another lovely post Kerry and great photos. We're like you with bath time too every other day unless they have had a really messy day. I couldn't imagine doing the girls hair everyday, it's a battle brushing their hair already x

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  13. Aren't they all so different!! We put Zoe in the bath each night but only because she loves it so much! She goes up the stairs saying bafbafbaf!!
    Anna x

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  14. We are lucky in this house both my daughter have very little hair, Isabella is almost two and has short hair like a boy. My friend's little boy has had loads of haircuts, we haven't had to have any yet!! Alice is only 3 mths and has hardly any hair. They both have a bath every night as part of their routine and I'm another one of those annoying mums as Isabella slept through from 3 mths and Alice was a few days shy of 2 mths when she began sleeping through from 7.30pm-8am. The last couple of days Isabella has finally realised she can get out of bed and open doors so has been coming into our room at 7-7.30am, we are not early risers!! I'll have to get a padlock for her door!! ;)

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  17. When my twins were born I started their routine from almost the day they were born, We were like robots, when they were a bit older, around 2, if I missed on something they would remind me! and you know what? my daughter didn't sleep through till she was 5! Having now a singleton it seemed like I couldn't do the routine thing anymore, she does have her naps regularly though but apart from that we just go with a flow and I must admit she's a better sleeper, calmer and things are just easier. Maybe it's just the experience that I didn't have with the twins?

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  18. Very interesting story, I only had a daughter and she was in a routine nearly immediately, every 3-4 hours whilst she was a baby and no 'battles' whatsoever when older. Listening to friends & family we were very lucky & It really seems to be the luck of the draw.

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Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment. I love reading them all and will try my best to answer all of your questions. If you would like to contact me for a quicker response please feel free to tweet me at (@ohsoamelia_blog) or email me. Kerry