#ad – this post was written in collaboration with Johnson’s Baby.
Bedtime can be a real challenge when you have kids. During the newborn stage, it’s all about hitting the hay whenever the baby finally falls asleep. Then as the kids get older, you have to try and wrestle them into bed at a reasonable hour. Ever since I began working with Johnson’s Baby, I’ve been thoroughly educated on the scientific wonders of bedtime. I’ve learned so much about how to get bedtime right, meaning less stress for my girls and I.
When our first daughter was born I really wasn’t getting bedtime right. I would often bathe her in the morning instead of the evening, just because I thought it was easier. That meant that at night time, I would try put her to bed and expect her to settle. There would be no relaxing bath time, followed by a little quiet time before sleep. I had things completely upside down and it was a very difficult time.
Learning with Johnson’s Baby –
It wasn’t until I began working with Johnson’s Baby that I finally began to realise the error of my ways. The most important thing that I’ve learned is that the first three years of our children’s lives are absolutely crucial in terms of brain development. Every tiny interaction helps to shape a baby’s brain, it gives them the grounding on which they will build their lives. I also learned that children relate well to smells. Scents bring back memories for us all, good and bad. So if we pair lovely smells, with even lovelier interaction, we’re able to create long lasting happy memories that will follow our children through life.
With this in mind, I realised that I hadn’t taken the opportunity to create those memories with my children. After all, a quick bath in the morning is not relaxing in anyway shape or form. There are so many other benefits of an evening bathtime routine that we were missing out on. It’s proven that bathtime with a scented bath reduces stress in babies and parents and that it can improve maternal anxiety. Like a lot of new mothers, this was something I really struggled with in the early days. For this reason alone, I wish I’d focussed more on creating a relaxing bath time.
Getting bath time right with the Johnson’s Bedtime Routine –
At this stage in my parenting journey and with a lot of thanks to Johnson’s, I’m now getting bedtime absolutely right. These days, bedtime passes without a struggle and both girls benefit immensely from the calming environment we create each evening. To achieve this, all we had to do was implement the Johnson’s Bedtime Routine;
Step 1 –
Run a nice warm bath, using lush smelling products that will calm your senses and your baby’s. I love using Johnson’s Baby Bedtime Bath.
Step 2 –
Give your littles a gentle massage, even if it’s just on the arms and the legs. This is another super calming experience that will help prepare your baby for the land of nod. My favourite product to use here is Johnson’s Baby Bedtime Oil, it smells amazing!
Step 3 –
Turn the lights down and enjoy a little quiet time, maybe a calming bedtime book. We love to sit and read our girl’s favourite books, lit by their nightlight. It’s the ideal transition into a good night’s sleep!
We’ve been following this bedtime routine for a little while now and it really has made a difference. Our girls know what’s going to happen and when. They jump into bed ready for their book and they drift off without any trouble at all, which is great to give Hubs and I time to relax in the evening.
I put the question of creating the perfect bedtime to my fellow bloggers, asking them to pass on their tips and tricks for getting the littles to settle down to a good night’s sleep. Here’s what they had to say;
Jaymee from The Mum Diaries: ‘I always found bath, story and bed worked well with my 3 boys.’
Jo from Cup of Toast: ‘ We always have a bath / shower, followed by three picture books or a couple of chapters from a book, then lights out! We do the bath / shower time at the same time for our three boys then go in age order with stories (the youngest has them first) so that the older two both get a little bit of extra quiet time in their respective rooms.’
Gail from Yummy Mommy: ‘Routine!! Bath, chat, beaker of milk and a story and cuddling to sleep. Lights go off in our house at 6 and lamps go on. Make the place as dark as possible. Swear by this!’
Jade from Jade’s Journey: ‘We have just cracked getting our 2 year old to sleep after trying everything and what works for us is, no reading or playing for 20 minutes before bed instead we have a cuddle watch a little something then up she goes snuggles down with a teddy of her choosing and we give a kiss and cuddle close the door and that’s that. With our son who is 6 he has a calming down 30 mins before so he can read a book or watch TV then he goes up and same kiss cuddle and close the door.’
Charlotte from Looking After your Pennies: ‘We do bath, books and cuddles to sleep. But mine have never slept through the night (3.5 and 15 months) so I’m probably not one to talk.’
Pete from Household Money Saving: ‘We went with story, bath and then teeth. Then an episode is Sean the Sheep if they behaved (usually they did) and straight to bed.’
Emma from Emma Reed: ‘ My 4 year old has a bath then has to come downstairs to chill for a bit, he doesn’t like to think it’s the end of the day straight after bath time for some reason. So we watch a bit of telly, then up to do teeth, he snuggles in bed and we read 2-3 books, sing a song and then say goodnight. He goes off by himself quite nicely after that.’
It would seem that we have a lot of advocates for a good bedtime ritual! Do you have any tips and tricks to create the perfect bedtime routine?