This week's 'Share it Sunday' theme on ohsoamelia.com is bedtime routines, and as this is one of the most discussed topics at the breastfeeding group I go to, I thought it would be good to write a post all about Zoe's bedtime routines and sleeping habits from when we brought her home through to today.
We didn't really have a pre-bed routine with Zoe until she was about 6 months old - before that we would take her upstairs when she looked tired and give her a bath and then PJs, books, boob and bed! From 6 months or so, we tried to stick to a proper routine of bath at 7.00, nuddie time at 7.30 (when she can run about with no clothes on and burn off any excess energy - she loves it!!), then into PJs, read some books, and having her bedtime milk by 8.00 at the latest.
I remember in the hospital the night after having Zoe, she wouldn't settle in the cot, so I ended up sleeping with her on my chest - i got into trouble from the nurses for doing that! To be honest, my adrenaline was so high that I didn't really sleep much that night anyway!!
We brought Zoe home and she slept in the moses basket at the side of our bed (and then at the bottom of our bed) for about 3 months or so. When she woke through the night I would feed her sitting up in bed and then put her back in her moses basket. Sometimes I would fall asleep with her in bed but usually she'd go back in her basket.
When she got too big for her moses basket, we attempted to move her into the cot in her room. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't! I would feed her on our bed until she was asleep and then carry her though to her cot. Occasionally she would wake up, this became more and more regular until in the end she wouldn't go in her cot at all! We ended up completely co-sleeping for a few months, probably from when she was about 6 or 7 months old until she was 10 or 11 months old. We would put her to sleep in our bed and she'd stay there all night with us.
As I breastfed Zoe almost exclusively until she was about 15 months old, it made sense to have her in bed with us - if she woke up for a snack through the night, she could get easy access, and it meant that neither of us really woke up - she just seemed to find her way to my boob in her sleep! Lovely times!!
Zoe is 19 months old now and the routine is that she will go to sleep in her cot, but wake up at any time from 11 onwards and come into bed with us. I am happy with this arrangement (as is Martin) as it means that all 3 of us get a good night's sleep. If I try to get her to go back in her cot after waking up, it can take a couple of hours to get her back to sleep - I can't be doing with that when I work!!
We have a toddler bed for her - we are just waiting for the mattress to arrive - so I'm hoping once she has her new bed she might sleep better - but I'm not counting on it!
I'm sure that she will sleep through when she's ready!