Friday, 25 March 2016

Johnsons 3 Step Sleep Routine Challenge

Over the last 2 weeks we've had a bit of a change to our bedtimes as we have been trying out the Johnsons Routine.

Today I'm here to report on how the 2 weeks have gone!

Now it has to be said that we tried this routine out with Noah (As Tyne seems a little old and Sailor is far too young in my opinion for any kind of routine!), and he is by far our "easiest" child when it comes to bedtime! (And everything else, come to think of it...)

I have written before how I'm not really one for routines, but Noah seems to be...he settled himself into a bedtime routine when he was 10 weeks old as he started sleeping through the night and making it very clear that he needed to be put to bed by around 7.30 each night.

As he's got older, that time has edged ever earlier...Noah seems to be a little boy who just needs a lot of sleep (unlike everybody else in this family!) and now his bedtime is at 6.30 every evening.

Noah's previous bedtime routine was pretty straight forward - he'd have his dinner around 5.30 pm, have half an hours worth of playtime and then he'd be getting tired and we'd take him up to bed, get him changed into his fresh nappy and pyjamas, give him his bottle (he takes 9oz of milk at bedtime) and then lay him in his cot with the lights out, and his lullabies playing on his baby monitor.

He always slept through the night until around 8.00 or 8.30 am, but a few weeks ago he picked up a very bad cold and started waking often in the night.

His cold is all gone now, but he is still waking once or twice in the night...we usually put his lullabies back on and sometimes this is enough for him to fall back to sleep, if not we usually offer him a bottle and he usually drinks it and then goes back to sleep.

So how did we change things when trialling the Johnsons routine?

Well we brought Noah's dinnertime forward by half an hour to allow a little more free time in the evenings, and we used that free time to start his bedtime routine off with an evening bath using the Johnsons Bedtime Bath products including the Bath Bubbles and the baby wash - Noah loves bath time but as we've always bathed him together with Tyne before (who sees bathtime as an excuse to go totally hyper and play "Splash Wars!") it's not exactly been a relaxing experience for him and he usually ends up soaking wet and crying by the end of it!

Having a bath by himself seemed to have a nice calming effect on Noah, and he was happy to sit and gently splash about in the bubbles and play with his bath toys...after his bath I tried for a few nights to do some baby massage on him as the routine suggests, unfortunately Noah was at all a fan of this!

He isn't a very "cuddly" baby at all and doesn't seem to like a lot of fuss...he got very angry with me trying to massage him and spent the entire time smacking my hands away whilst trying to crawl away and escape!! So after a few evenings of trying, I decided to eliminate this aspect of the routine and instead once he was dried and into his pyjamas I sat him on my lap and we had story time instead.

Noah was happy to sit and cuddle in with me whilst I read him a couple of short baby books including the Good Night Sarah provided by Johnsons as part of the routine. He loved helping me to turn the pages and seemed to be listening pretty intently to the stories for a baby of his age!

After story time, I gave Noah his bottle and then put him in his cot with his lullabies on and the lights out and he'd drift easily off to sleep.

I would love to say that Noah stopped waking in the night completely but that wouldn't be true...he still wakes once or twice at the moment for a bottle, but I did feel that he slept more soundly for the first 4 or 5 hours after going to bed following our new routine.

I feel that the routine has been beneficial in making bedtime a more recognisable time for Noah, and he seems to understand once he sees the bath that its wind down time and he goes to bed happily every night, regardless of what chaos might be happening with his whirlwind brother downstairs!

I have also found the new routine beneficial, as it gives me some lovely one on one time with Noah which can be a difficult thing to remember to try and squeeze in with three young children...especially when one of them is a demanding newborn!

I love our evening bedtime routine now, and that ten minutes spent bathing Noah and reading stories with him is something I look forward to each day as just "Mummy and Noah time".

Although we haven't seen any amazing changes since implementing the routine I will definitely be sticking to it, as it is so enjoyable for both of us...and keep in mind that Noah was a settled baby at bedtime to begin with so it would have been difficult for the routine to improve upon it much...I will be using this routine with Sailor starting in a month or so too and am hopeful that he may be more open to the baby massage element than Noah was!

To find out more about the Johnsons Routine, click here.

What sort of bedtime routine do you follow with your little one? As always, I'd love to hear from you!

*Sponsored blog post by the JOHNSON’S® brand. I have received payment incentive and samples but all opinions are my own JOHNSON’S® clinically proven bedtime routine consists of bath, massage and quiet time, tested on babies 7 months+, 1 week+ use

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