12 September 2016


Lucas has been a tad difficult at bedtimes recently. Bedtimes have been stressful and night times have been even worse. Getting Lucas to go down to sleep was a battle and then at 2am we were faced with an even bigger battle and a huge tantrum, screaming, hitting and kicking doors and at 33 weeks pregnant, we'd have enough and needed to really lay down some ground rules and re-think the bedtime routine we already had in place.

I wrote a blog post on the 1st July on Lucas' bedtime routine and that was working really well for us, until about a month ago when he just became a total handful. We couldn't figure out why, he didn't want anything in particular and he certainly couldn't continue this behaviour, especially when we have a newborn waking us up at all hours of the night.

So we re-evaluated bedtimes and decided on a different method, different times, getting stricter and finding a solution to the terrible bedtimes. We noticed last week that every time the hallway light was switched off after he woke up at 2am, even though his door was closed, he'd go from nearly falling asleep to freaking out again. So we sorted out getting a nightlight for him and we put in a later bedtime and tried a different technique and routine, and fingers crossed it's working.

Our routine:

5/5:30pm - TV TIME:
This is something calming like the clangers or in the night garden. This gives me time to make his dinner and also gives Lucas time to calm down and focus on something without getting excited, running around or making a mess with his toys. It's sort of wind down hour or half an hour.

5:50pm - TOY TIDY/ HOOVER:
Lucas will help me tidy up his toys from the floor and then he'll sit up at the table ready for his dinner to be dished up and i'll run the hoover around the lounge, dining/play room and kitchen and Lucas finds it hilarious and then i'll serve up his dinner.

6pm - DINNER:
This gives me some time to tidy up anything or sit down and chill before he has his yogurt and piece of fruit for pudding.

6:20pm - BATH TIME:
Lucas is bathed every night, mostly in a warm shallow bath. This is purely a routine thing. It helps him understand routine, the warmth will settle him down and he gets to splash around and smell delightful. We also brush his teeth whilst he's in the bath too. He's really good at letting us brush them for him and will always remind us if we forget.

Once out of the bath he knows to lay down on the rug, he gets dried off and we use absolutely no lotions or creams over his skin due to the fact he's really sensitive to them and haven't found anything he gets on with at the moment. We do use bepanthen on his bottom though. He's allergic to most wipes, and even the sensitive ones, if he's had a day of very full nappies wet and dirty then by the evening he's a little pink, so to stop him from blistering, getting sore or bleeding we just use bepanthen every night. We will be doing the same for his sister when she arrives too.
Bepanthen is really great and Lucas gets on really well with it, so it's definitely a favourite in our household. Lucas knows if we're forgetting something, but he also likes to talk in lists and remind us of the thing we need to be doing next, so when he's laying down and getting dry he'll go "mummy, cream, bum" it's very cute.
We then put his nappy on and get him into his pyjamas.

Once dressed and dry, we have cuddles on the floor and he's allowed to pick 2 books, we're quite strict and it has to be 2 books only as this keeps a strict bedtime routine. His favourites currently are "As cute as a button," "the very hungry caterpillar," and "Pirate pete - New big brother." He reads them with you and knows certain parts. It makes bedtimes really lovely.

Once he's read those he has to get into bed and we read two more books, but these ones are the same ones every night and they help him know that this is the last bit of the bedtime routine and then he HAS to go to sleep. We read the Gro clock book and the slow snail. The gro clock book explains his special clock every night and the slow snail is his absolute favourite and we read it together every night and he basically reads it to me now.

Once it hits 7pm, i'll click the button to turn his "yellow sun" to the "blue moon" and I make sure he has a kiss, cuddle, is tucked in and has it explained to him that the blue star means bedtime and he must go to sleep.

Hopefully this good bedtime thing will continue and he'll soon understand properly about the blue star and yellow sun and what they mean and that bedtimes will continue to be stress free. Especially with his little sister soon due to make her appearance.

Do you have a strict bedtime routine?
You can check out the vlog here

*This is a post entry for the Brit mums linky challenge for #bepanthenbedtimechallenge sponsored by bepanthen*

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