Monday, May 11, 2009

Sleepy Head, Time for Bed

Bed time has changed over time since Cora was first born in December, 2007.

When we first brought her home, it was whenever we could finally get her to sleep, and she certainly didn't sleep through the night!

Then later on, she'd usually finally nod off around 10 or 11pm...much later than mommy wanted, since daddy had to be in bed earlier since he had to be at work but Matt would go to bed, then whenever I could finally get Cora asleep, I'd go to bed, but sleep in after he got up.

That pretty much lasted until September, 2008, when we had a bad windstorm on a Sunday afternoon, which put us out of power until sometime on Thursday that week! We were operating on generators to keep the freezers frozen, and lanterns or flashlights at night. That meant no TV on in the evenings, and no nite lite either. Surprisingly, our daughter was ready to go to bed well before her previous usual bedtime of 10 or 11pm, somewhere around 8 or 9 when it got dark, plus, she was sleeping more soundly through the night!!

We quickly discovered how sensitive our daughter is to the light when time for bed, so all winter, all we did was just turn out all the lights in the house, and she knew it was time to go to sleep.

In comes spring, and with it daylight savings time. Uh oh - soon it will be staying bright light out until 10pm for a good part of the summer, and we'd prefer our daughter to keep her bedtime around 8 or 9pm....but how????

So far, what we've been trying is to implement a more structured bedtime routine. Sometime after dinner we make sure she's in her pajamas (often it's just the clothes she had on all day if they're still clean - she wears mostly comfy knit clothes anyway) then play with her for a while in the living room. After a while we let her pick out a book to read, read it, then offer her a chance to go potty, put her in a night time diaper, brush her teeth, find her blanket, and than daddy carries her upstairs.

The trouble is, she's begun crying as daddy carries her up the stairs. Thankfully, she's usually calmed down and quiet (asleep) by the time he gets back down the stairs, but it's tough to put her to bed crying. I'm hoping she gets accustomed to this routine, and starts going to sleep easier. She's been weaned for about a month now, which it was a lot easier when she'd nurse to sleep, then daddy would carry the sleeping baby upstairs and calmly and gently lay her in her bed, still asleep. But, nursing is not an option - baby's decided she's doesn't want to anymore! And it still worked pretty well when it was already pretty dark at 8pm, but now that it's staying light-ish til 9pm...we're running into problems.

Anybody got any night time routine tips they want to share, to help make it easier for our daughter to go to sleep willingly??? I'd love to hear them!