Henry on average, sleeps right through 3 times a week, which is usually 8pm – 5.30am. Compared to a mere few months ago this is a bloody miracle. The other 4 times a week he either needs soothing back to sleep in his bed or will inevitably end up in ours, which if I’m honest its because its far easier.
I know what you are thinking as you read this, “3 times…. what’s her secret?”… Only joking, but I do have one piece of advice that seems to work wonders… (this is stolen from my friend Catherine) toddlers love routine. Therefore I try and keep the same routine with Henry every night. If I time hsi bedtime just right, it works wonders. If he’s over tired or just not ready (late daytime nap for example) then it’s not so great.
But here, in its little 3 times a week glory, is Henry’s little bedtime routine…
Henry knows when I utter the word “Shower” that his playtime and day is over. This word is usually met with a stern “NO” and he runs to hide anyplace he can. His tent being his current hiding place, which is a nightmare as its full of coloured balls that he then proceeds to chuck all over the kitchen in protest.
Denial also comes with refusal… Refusal to go upstairs, refusal to get undressed and refusal to enter the bathroom. As you can guess, this is not my favourite step in the routine, but alas it has to play out for the play to end.
At some point he gives in (or I do, but that doesn’t make for a great story). Usually we pop him on our bed to jump up and down and take his clothes off between firebombing our bedsheets. Or I bribe him with a shower toy, however the tile crayons are lost their appeal lately. Any shower toy tips welcome.
3. Getting Clean
This is one of the easiest parts of the routine for some reason. Henry is so good at letting you soap him up and wash him down. He is also good at letting me put the shower stream over his head to remove shampoo. What I’ve just realised he does this to conserve energy for the shower decent.
4. Eating the toothbrush
More commonly known as brushing his teeth. Henry has gotten so much better lately at letting us brush his teeth properly, which he does twice a day. However at the end he insists on sucking the toothpaste from the brush and chew it to pieces.
5. All wrapped up and only one place to go
Henry loves his Dinosaur towel and if you are willing to pop it on your own head and roar, Henry usually wants to get out the shower pretty quick. Looks like playtime is back…
6. A little toddler massage
Once in his room he is lotioned and potioned up a treat with Aveeno and Aveeno Baby products to help with his eczema. This is a great opportunity to do a little baby massage on his arms, legs and feet in the hope it soothes him to sleep later.
During his massage I pass Henry his milk which he usually devours straight away, like we’ve starved him of water all day. It also keeps him calm and relaxed during his creaming up time and whilst I faff around getting him dressed.
8. Pyjama time with MyK by Myleene Klass
Next up I get him dressed in his PJS which during the winter months I would leave on the heater to warm up. However I’m now loving that it’s cooler, so I can mix and match new short sleeve styles or longer length, depending upon the temperature. Which is one of the reason’s I am obsessed with the new pyjama sets by Myleene Klass for Mothercare, she kindly offered up both.
Her MyK collection yet again doesn’t disappoint, with little toddler shapes, in her signature monochrome prints and super soft fabrics. I totally love the cream based cloud print with the Dream logo, Henry not only looked super snuggly, he looked pretty cool too. Next up is the longer length style in a glow in the dark rocket print. Which is a great alternative when its still cool at night.
Once Henry is all wrapped up in his GroBag and is settled in his Big Boy Bed (we recently removed the sides to his cot bed) I get in with him for story time. His current favourite book is Owl Babies by Martin Waddell and Patrick Benson. He is interacting with the story more and more and I love how excited he gets during the story. It’s a must read.
10. Cuddles and pray for sleep
Now this is the part that can either leave you skipping down the stairs in glee or screaming down to my husband “your turn”. 50% of the time, Henry will chat away, try and get out of bed or wiggle around until he falls asleep. Usually within 15-20 minutes. & yes I’m still lying next to him, my husband prefers to sit in the rocking chair. Or sometimes, I either fall asleep first or Henry can take a good hour to settle. This is usually because he napped late (naughty Nana) or he’s not feeling too good, so cannot settle. But eventually he does and the routine, thankfully for that night, is put to sleep.
Do you have any night time routine tips you would like to share? x