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Bedtime Routine + Sleep Training

Everyone told me. They said “sleep when the baby sleeps”, “you don’t realize how little sleep you can actually function with until you have a baby”, “mine didn’t sleep through the night until they were a year old”. They told me. I of course, thought “nope, mine will be different”. Yeah, ok. Our little one is 5 months old and he has yet to sleep through the night (except for that one time when he was a couple of weeks old and it was a fluke, and of course I was up 27 times checking on him). 5 months in and this momma is exhausted. So, for the past few weeks, I have been trying to sleep train our infant.

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It’s exhausting just trying to research and pick a method for sleep training.

There are so many methods out there. Cry it out, don’t cry it out, put them in their own bed, co-sleep, swaddle, don’t swaddle…it’s exhausting just trying to research and pick a method for sleep training. So, I decided not to use any of them. 

I tried really hard when our little one was about 6 weeks old to get him on a schedule. That lasted about 2 days, I was miserable and cranky, he was miserable and cranky. It just didn’t work. He eats every two to three hours, the schedule I was trying to follow called for feeding him every 4 hours. He takes a long nap in the morning and a long nap in the afternoon, the schedule called for 4 short naps. I gave up, I decided, if he was happy eating every 2 hours, so be it.

Fast forward, a few months later and we had absolutely no routine. This momma needs routine. So, I began researching sleep training. Every method that I have found seems rigid, none of them seemed right for us. If there is one thing I have learned since becoming a mom it’s that you have to be flexible. Each sleep training method did have one thing in common, a bedtime routine. Something we were lacking. While we haven’t mastered sleeping through the night yet, we are working on a better daily routine. It has given me a little more sanity and a little more ability to plan our day. I can plan work around his naps and feeding schedule, and I can start dinner before he wakes up to eat (most days). There seems to be a little more routine, and therefore, order in our house.

There seems to be a little more routine, and therefore order in our house.

I have found that having somewhat of a routine has also resulted in a happier baby. He doesn’t get overtired as much and he isn’t starving before it’s time to eat. Sleep training for us doesn’t look like it does for most, it doesn’t look like a specific method, instead it looks like working toward a daily routine.

One of the most important parts of this daily routine has been creating a bedtime routine. Before we started researching sleep training, we didn’t really have a bedtime routine. Sometimes we would put our little one down at 7, sometimes he would go down at 11. Now that we have started sleep training, we start his bedtime routine at 6 each night. 

Our little one’s bedtime routine consists of:

A bath -on nights that we don’t give him a bath, I give him a sponge bath

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Lotion/Massage-He loves to have his feet and legs massaged with lotion

Clean diaper and onesie -Not that it’s warmer weather, I put him in a onesie. During the cooler months, I would dress him in PJ’s

Story time-Either my husband or I read to our little one every night. Sometimes my husband reads him Bible stories, sometimes he reads to him out of his college textbooks. I prefer children’s story books. Either way, he loves to be read to and will give you his undivided attention!

Rocking-My husband or I rock our little one each night, we may not rock him in the rocker every night. Some nights, we just hold him on our chest and bounce him. We make sure that he has some sort of skin to skin contact each night right before bed time.

Sleep- While he is still slightly awake, we lay him down in his crib. We try to make sure he is in his crib by 7 PM each night. This gives us a few hours alone and gives him a few hours in his crib. Although we haven’t fully transitioned him to sleeping in his crib each night (he sleeps during the night in a pack and play by our bed, simply for feeding convenience) this time, along with nap time during the day gives him time to sleep in his crib and hopefully won’t make the transition to sleeping during the night in his crib as difficult.

What is your bedtime routine? How did you sleep train your little one? Did you use a specific method?


Monday 12th of November 2018

Maintain a daily bedtime routine is a very effective way to get a good night sleep for all kinds of people including kids, teens, adults, moms and all others. Few tips can improve your sleeping quality such as using a comfortable bed, keep room temperature cool, avoid mobile phones during sleep, taking exercise daily, etc. Thank you very much.

To The Mom Who is Waiting - Loving. Living. Lancaster.

Tuesday 12th of July 2016

[…] day it will come to an end. One day they will be more self sufficient. They won’t need you to rock them to sleep. They won’t need you to warm their food. They will have their licenses and you will sit up […]

Rachel - a la modest

Sunday 12th of June 2016

Oh nice, I didn't know they had muslin sleepers! I just tuck our baby in muslin blankets but almost always she breaks loose and gets cold! I will check this one out. Our baby is not sleeping through the night at all, not even close, and she is 7 months old. I've read so many sleep training books and just gave up. I'm glad you found something that worked for you!

Loving Living Lancaster

Sunday 12th of June 2016

Yes, I love this muslin sleeper! It is HOT where we are, especially during nap time so this is lightweight enough that he doesn't get hot, but keeps him covered enough so we can run the fan.

Sue A Allen

Thursday 9th of June 2016

I have four kiddos and having a routine works best. Although it is not always possible, it definitely helps the child feel safe and secure and ready for bed.


Thursday 9th of June 2016

I know one thing that is a huge part of my bedtime routine is praying every night before bed :)

Loving Living Lancaster

Thursday 9th of June 2016

Amen, sister! We pray as a family every night before bed (even though the little one is already asleep during this time, he is in the room with us!)