I decided to write about this very common and easily fixable problem as for some reason it’s something I’ve been struggling with, with having my first born eleven years ago to having my second child nine years later, there is just so much we forget. Our first born grows up and becomes independent and all of a sudden we expect our little ones to be just as independent forgetting about everything it took for them to get there.
I would always say that my kids and fur babies are all trained to be in bed by 8pm and I would say this proudly. The fur kids at about past seven would start settling down and Zac even when some nights allowed would not be able to make it past 8pm. Eli would fall asleep past 6pm or around 7pm without any help needed, he just needed a bottle and me next to him and like clockwork, he would knock out and I’d get to have me time.
For the past weeks Eli has been pushing his bed time, lately even only falling asleep past 10pm, leaving me way too exhausted to even have me time, I would actually just end up sleeping and then have to wake up in the morning and start mommying all over again. If you know me , I’m all about being a mom but my own person too, I believe that it is super important to not completely lose yourself in motherhood, motherhood is great but it’s not all you are which makes spending some alone time with yourself very important .As a mom after the kids go to bed at night, it’s like our golden time, we get to be just be, whether it’s watch a series, eat ice cream, dance, do a TikTok or just lay and relax, it’s our time. Without this time mommying can become exhausting. I believe a mom who throws her all into mommying and has no time for herself often begins resenting her children which can create a horrible family environment. Find your me time mamas!
I did a little research and I decided to put a routine in place. At 8pm I decided to switch off all the lights, the TV and lay in complete darkness which I never do. I did this and said to Eli, it’s sleep time now. He got out of bed and fussed abit but I just kept pretending like I’m asleep, he cried and eventually got into bed, I gave him his bottle and he fell asleep which actually shocked me as I swear he was wide awake. It actually is astonishing how fast these kids adjust! Its 8:30pm and Eli is asleep! Next I need to get him into his own cot but we not there yet!
I did some research and this is what I found!
First find out how much hours of sleep your child should be getting!
• 1-4 weeks old
• Newborns sleep for 16-17 hours per day with periods of wakefulness lasting 1-3 hours. Babies this age are supposedto wake up to feed every two hours starting from the first hour they began feeding throughout the day & night.
• 1-4 month old
• Babies at this age still need to sleep for the same amount of hours. Their night time routine kicks in and they are able to sleep abit longer at night waiting a hour longer between feeds.
• 4 months - 1 year old
• Babies this age usually take up to three naps a day and they still require 14-15 hours of sleep. It is important to start developing a healthy sleep routine for your baby at this age.
• 1 year old - 3 year olds
• Babies at this age usually take about one nap per day and they need 12-14 hours of sleep.
• 3-6 year olds
• Children this age usually still require one nap per day which falls away when they enter grade R. They need 11-12 hours of sleep.
• 7-12 year olds
• Children at this age need 10-12 hours of sleep.
• 13-18 year olds
• Teenagers need 8-10 hours of sleep.
Second make bedtime a routine.
Now trust me, I am not the routine kind of person, I love just flowing with life and seeing what the day brings me but with kids sometimes a little routine is needed. A bedtime routine can be anything from brushing their teeth, to playing calming music or reading a book. Just something to let them know sleep time is coming so that it prepares them abit. It’s difficult when they playing and all of a sudden you like it’s sleep time and you turn the light off. This will most definitely be met with lots of tears. Eli’s night time routine starts with a bath, he then gets rubbed out with lavender baby oil, I like the Woolworths brand. I also fill the humidifier with lavender oil which makes the room smell of lavender setting a calm environment and then he gets his warm bottle. If I’m honest at this point I would put on his favourite movie and he would fall asleep while drinking his bottle but the sleeping stopped, he would finish his bottle and then get up and play for hours sometimes and that when I knew something had to change, most definitely the TV had to be switched off which brings me to my next point.
Third creating an ideal sleep environment
As we all know I am not here yet, as we are still co sleeping so right now his sleep environment is mine too which personally I don’t mind at all. Firstly TV off, secondly lights off. Apparently lights trick the brain into thinking it’s day for kids. Add some calming music to drown out the sounds of everyone whose still up, whether it be white noise which is most popular or ocean waves.I have a humidifier that plays different calming sounds in my room at night, you can choose from waves to white noise and this often helps Eli to sleep a lot a longer, it even puts myself into deeper sleeps. if you do not have a sound playing humidifier, there are lots of baby toys that plays the white noise which in my opinion can sometimes be overpriced. What you can do is download a app on your phone, or just go onto Youtube and Google calming baby sounds or even white noise.
Fourth get that energy out!
Make sure your kids get exercise everyday in some form, whether it be from playing sports or just good old playtime with mom and dad! Getting this energy out really does help children to wind down at night.. I love to take Eli for walks to the park or for swimming sessions in our pool. It works like a charm and by the time night comes, he is exhausted and falls asleep easily.
Fifth calming oils
I truly believe calming oils make a huge difference, rubbing Eli out with lavender oil before bedtime or Niva Balm from Niva and co really does calm him down and set the tone for the evening. I am also a fan of Olbas oil, which in winter I love to put on the pillows or on his vest before bedtime.
Thats it from me mama’s!
I think it’s all pretty simple and doable!
Goodluck and let me know how it goes!