Most moms can agree: One of the best feelings in the world is putting your little one down for bed for the night. My husband and I literally exhale after we kiss our son goodnight, turn on his noise machine and slowly creep out of his bedroom. We can finally unwind, work and do whatever we want without interruptions. I will admit that it took me a while to finally get into a groove at nighttime. In fact, when my son was around six months old, I started scouring the internet in hopes of finding a way to sleep train my son without using the “cry it out” method. I did come across a couple of tips that helped him sleep through the night. And, once I was able to establish his routine, I finally equated nighttime to “me time”–and I’ve never been happier! Here, the nighttime routine that has made bedtime a breeze.
Consistency is key. My son usually has dinner around 5:30-6:30, then takes a bath around 6:30-7. I feel this gives him enough time to digest his food and “clear out his system” if he needs to before his bath.
After bath time, I let my son play until 7:30pm. Sometimes, his dad doesn’t get home until then, so I want to make sure they get to see each other before he goes to bed. When 7:30 hits, I give my son a bottle of milk and let him chill out for a few minutes.
Though bedtime can fluctuate by 30 minutes, Liam is usually in bed by 7:50pm at the latest. We brush his teeth, change him into a nighttime diaper and read him a story. Then, the “highlight” of the routine: We say goodnight to a few things in his room. This is the tip I discovered from YouTube mommy blogger Liza Adele and it has made all the difference. We go in the same order every single night, and, now that my son is a little older, he knows the drill. Now, he knows that once we do our “night-nights,” he’s ready to go to bed. Sure, we’ve had to let him cry it out a little bit in the beginning (20 minutes max—I’m a softie), but now he goes down without any problems.
Now, here’s where that little sense of “freedom” kicks in. For my husband and I, this is our time to either relax and catch up on our favorite Netflix shows, sit outside by the fire pit or do a little work.
By this time, I’m usually pretty exhausted, but I always make sure to carve out some time to shower and take care of my skin. I shower at night—zero interruptions and I can take as long as I want. I just recently starting dry brushing before getting into the shower to get the blood flowing and help with lymphatic drainage. After my shower, I lotion up, do my skincare routine, hop into bed, read or turn on an episode of “Friends” and knock out.
And that’s it! My routine is pretty simple, but I’ve found that it not only helps my son sleep better, it has also helped me feel more relaxed and less anxious at night.
What are your fave nighttime rituals? Share in the comments below!