I’ve written recently about how we’ve struggled with sleep, our struggles with night wakes and with sleep regressions. One thing we did struggle with for awhile was getting H to bed, but since introducing bath, book, bed routine two years ago that struggle has been minimised. So it’s time for an update. No, we’ve not solved all our night wake issues with Baby B, but that’s for another post. I’ve been asked by Book Trust to share ways I’ve made our bedtime routine work, why bath, book, bed works and to share some crafts we’ve been making for simple bedtimes – there’s also a giveaway at the bottom of this post to win a Peppa Pig goodie bag & Book Trust books.
Here are a few of our life lessons that have made bedtime easier and filled with much less screaming.
1. Routine is the most important thing
2. Every baby is different
3. What works for one doesn’t for another, but certain elements are key
This is based on both girls, they’re both very different and somethings that do and have worked with Toddler H who is 3, don’t always seem to work with Baby B who is now 10 months. Where has that time gone???! Firstly I’ve written previously about Toddler H’s sleep, how we left her to cry at 7 months and that was a huge game changer. I’ve written about how we’ve struggled with getting her into bed, a cycle which we broke by introducing a simple routine. What routine? The routine EVERYONE tells you to implement from newborn: bath, book, bed. I can safely say, it was a game changer. Now, our only negotiation is how many books we read. That’s a winner for sure!
Book Trust are running their #BathBookBed campaign for the third year and asked us to get involved. Given my experience above I knew this was something very important. Something which won mummy and daddy an easier life! Now, we don’t always do bath, but the rest remains the same. Here is Toddler H’s routine:
2. Play depending on how early dinner was (determined by when her snack requests started becoming persistent!)
3. Bath, with a few toys and our homemade bunny flannel puppets
4. PJ’s and hair dried
6. Choose one or two books
7. Read book(s) either sat together on the floor, with her getting into bed at some point. H’s Book corner is decorated with her favourite things- butterflies and owls. She also loves unicorns, but we couldn’t find any in Hobbycraft when we found these shapes to decorate with ‘unicorn’ glitter’ and she has gorgeous unicorn curtains from Next anyway.
8. Read either her ‘sleepy time’ story or ‘Tuck Me In’
We’ve found this routine really easy, it’s even written on her door and on the fridge so we can refer to it if needed. It’s simple, although long when written out, but means we can skip steps as there are always a few we can still do to maintain the routine.
The bathtime routine is usually very simple, and we keep thebath toys simple too. If we don’t H gets far to excited and just wont get out. B is just loving splashing at the moment, and her new bunny flannel puppet which I made for her to match the one H had. It’s a simple ‘toy’ and craft wise, really easy to make. You don’t even need a sewing machine, just some terry cloths, or two flannels, some felt, and a needle and thread. All easily picked up in the supermarket or Hobbycraft in or case (we do love felt projects!).
It’s also been easy to integrate with having two littles as B loves watching H’s projection, and quickly learnt the routine. Now, though, we’re in a phase where B just destroys H’s room if we try to do bedtime together, and so we have to do them separately. Bath, and PJs are the same, and then they go to their separate rooms. On nights when hubby is not home for bedtime I leave H reading books in her room (she has a stair gate on the door) or watching her downtime TV programmes (either Paw Patrol or My Little Pony, though previously it was Peppa).
We’ve recently made a reading corner in H’s bedroom so she has another place to have down time, both before bed and during the day. It’s also quite handy for her to escape B trying to grab every book she sits and reads.
The reading corner is just a few pillows on the floor, next to her book shelf. However, we’ve decorated it with gorgeous intricate letters saying ‘READ’ from Hobbycraft as well as made glittery butterflies and owls for the wall. We’re in the process of making some pom pom clouds, but they’re not ready to be shown yet! #mustbeperfect
We made a dream catcher in her favourite colour, purple, to encourage happy dreams after several phases of night terrors. Aren’t they horrible?!! The dream catcher was really easy to make, using the rim of a disposable party cup and embroidery thread. It’s so easy to make, yet, just like the magic fairy dust for ‘happy dreams’ it’s the simple to make concepts that often work. Our magic fairy dust is ‘unicorn’ glitter from Hobbycraft in a glitter shaker (also from Hobbycraft).
I also made a heart dream catcher which I absolutely love. Silver cord wrapped around a white bell heart. Simple but effective.
If you are struggling to get your little one to bed I’d thoroughly recommend the bath, book, bed routine – it’s worked well for us. Book Trust have been running this campaign for 3 years now and aim to help get kids reading, and help parents gain more sleep and kids get a better night’s sleep. They have a bath, book, bed pamphlet you can download on their website in collaboration with Supernanny Jo Frost.
Book Trust have very kindly given me a Peppa Pig bundle and a couple of books to giveaway (note. the books are for illustration only, and you will receive random Kids books especially chosen by Book Trust).
Peppa Pig & Book Trust Bath, Book, Bed Giveaway
Do see the T&C’s and also share with your friends!
Winner will be announced on Facebook so pop over and like to stay up to date (and see other giveaways first!)