Our Bedtime Routine
I’ve shared my bedtime woes with Selene in a previous entry
. Just to refresh, it was the normal no-sleep-up-all-night experience most new parents go through during the newborn stage. While I’m proud of being able to experience and overcome the sleepless nights and challenging why-is-she-crying-3-hours-straight moments (I was even ready to take on it again with Tristan!), there are major advantages to getting your baby to sleep better and longer. Benefits that aren’t just for your little one, but also for you (which extends to the whole family too)!
And I can attest to these benefits because I’ve sleep trained Tristan to be the good sleeper that he is now (and hopefully forever and ever! LOL). Aside from the growth benefits of good sleep, you also get a happier, much calmer baby that doesn’t fuss too much throughout the day. I can’t imagine that I’m able to work and go out since his 1st month because he just sleeps, nurses and poops. That’s it. He still cries, of course, but no extended crying spells like Selene used to have.
“When baby sleeps well, Mom sleeps well.. everybody happy!”
Another important benefit — since baby sleeps well, Mom sleeps well too. And when mom is well-rested, everyone is happy! RIGHT?! When I don’t get enough sleep because of a super late night or more night feedings than the usual, I get snappy during the day. More impatient, a bit more irritable… than the usual, haha! But seriously, “no sleep nights” affect moms mentally and emotionally.
This is why there are occurences of the so-called baby blues that lead to post-partum depression. The nonstop newborn demands, add to that societal/outside pressure, worries if baby is growing well, getting enough milk, etc, anxiety when baby keeps crying and fussing. Add to that the lack of sleep. And you have a recipe for getting overwhelmed and breaking down. I went through all these (and more) when I had Selene.
I was aware that it was just “the baby blues” as I was warned but what I didn’t know was that my lack of sleep was contributing to it even more. I also went through this phase with Tristan (the first few days I was crying a lot for no reason and then I’d rationalize it by telling myself that I’m crying because I was afraid of failing being a mom to two kiddos, etc). But instead of my past baby blues experience with Selene that spanned almost four months, I only experienced it for a week this time. Maybe I’m more self-aware, or have that don’t-care-what-others-say attitude, but I attribute most of it to having such a good sleeper of a baby.
So yes, let me share with you our simple routine that I’ve been doing since Week 1 until now.
Our Johnsons Bedtime Routine
We start off with warm water mixed with the Johnson’s Bedtime Baby Bath Wash. Sometimes, when he’s sweaty before bathing or when he feels cold, we start off with the Johnson’s Bedtime Baby Oil which I slather all over his back and tummy before we proceed with the bath. While he’s on his bath tub filled with the bath water, I gently sponge his whole body. Tristan loves being in the water so we don’t have a hard time with bath time. Sometimes, when he cries or fusses near our scheduled bath time, we adjust, proceed with the warm bath at that moment and poof, he instantly settles down. After I sponge his whole body, we rinse off with just water and proceed to the next step in our routine.
I used to not use baby powder because I didn’t feel that it was needed. But living in a tropical country with a humid climate, I’ve started using baby powder when Selene was starting to get into her peak ‘toddler kakulitan’ stage. I’ve also been using it with Tristan to avoid the dreaded diaper rash. So far, we’ve been successful – no redness even! I make sure though that there are no lumps of powder left in the creases and that it doesn’t ‘cake’ down there. I’ve also been told by our pediatrician that most baby powder scares happening are just fear-mongering with no direct links to any diseases. I mean, come to think of it, my grandmother used powder (the old kind pa ha!) on all her 10 kids (my dad and his siblings) from birth to pre-teens and none of them have any illnesses (esp those connected to baby powder).
Massage with Lotion
This part of the routine is memorable to me as the first time Tristan burst out that toothless smile was when we were doing this massage (back when he was a month and a half). There’s a technical way to do the baby massage as practiced by nurses and midwives. I don’t necessarily follow that massage when I do this (but am told that it relaxes baby even more and makes this part more effective). I just slather on the lotion on his arms, tummy and legs gently massaging as I apply the lotion. I love engaging with him while I apply the lotion so I talk to him softly while I do this (no peekaboos or kulitan ‘cos it’s meant to relax him and wind him down so he’s ready for bedtime).
Have gone through three bottles of this lotion since Week 1! Got rid of Tristan’s persistent dry skin on his tummy. It smells really good, too.
After our massage, we turn the lights down and bust open the Johnson’s Bedtime App
– which I’ve talked about in detail here
. Our quiet time before I was introduced to the app was reading bedtime stories as this is what I usually do with Selene during bedtime even before Tristan was born. However, we’ve incorporated the app into our routine because it has been so useful from the ambient sound mixer (that plays white noise!) – which I use when it’s so quiet and I don’t want to wake Tristan when Selene suddenly starts talking out loud. My favorite part of the app which has been extremely useful is the Lullaby playlist – the woman singing the lullabies has such a calming, relaxing, soothing voice that even I fall asleep to her voice. Sometimes I even sleep first, hahaha! I love the lullaby selection, too (wow, I can’t believe I’m actually reviewing lullabies now HAHAHA!!).
And that’s it. Those three steps – not too technical nor specific – have helped paved the way for long, uninterrupted sleep for Tristan (and I!!). There are nights, of course, that he still fusses a bit especially when he’s gassy. If at first, you don’t feel like it’s working, just keep on doing it. It takes a few weeks to establish the routine so your baby will get used to it. But when it has been established, it’ll definitely be worth the patience. With Tristan, there are nights he’d even fuss a bit when it’s time for bath but I’m still busy so because he knows it’s time for his bedtime routine na!
GIVEAWAY: 20 Bedtime Range Packages!
I really wanted to share this experience to all the moms, especially those having sleep troubles with their babies. Those with babies who are sleeping well may also join, of course.
1. On the comments section below, just answer the question, “why do you and your baby deserve a good night’s sleep?” with a photo of you and your baby. On the lower left of the comment box, there’s an ‘upload photo’ button. You can also just drag and drop on the comment box itself. This comment serves as your official contest entry.
2. Additional entries will be given if you post on social media, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Please leave the links of your IG, tweet and FB post on the comment here as well so I can track them.
3. Twenty (20) winners will get one (1) gift pack of JOHNSON’S® BedtimeTM products to do their own 7-Day Challenge, which they will share on their respective social media pages.