Sleep and Bedtime Series ~ Guest Blogger 

Today I am featuring Sophia who Blogs at ‘Tattooed Tealady.’  I absolutely Sophia’s personalised header for her blog. I find the blog so clear and she uses some fantastic images in her posts, making for a very eye catching Blog.  

Tattooed Tealady started as a beauty Blog, which is great as I’ve not featured a beauty Blog before, Sophia also writes: 

 book reviews, recipe posts and restaurant reviews, and most recently, a place to document my journey through my first pregnancy, with plans to include parenting posts from January 2016.”


1. Please explain a bit about yourself. How many children you have and how old they are? 

– I’m Sophia, a 28-year-old Psychology graduate turned blogger. I write over at http://www.tattooedtealady.com where I talk about beauty, food, books and parenting. I’m a first time mama to 7-month old Willow, an independent baby girl who makes every day an adventure. 

2. What is your child’s usual bedtime routine? 
– From the beginning we always said we wouldn’t try and implement a routine, because our lives are fairly flexible and we wanted to go with what Willow wanted and needed. For the first two months this meant no routine whatsoever, but by 9 or so weeks old, we noticed Willow was starting to put her own routine in place, which we started to follow along with her. Now at just over 7 months old, this is more like a proper routine with most of our day set like clockwork to do certain things at certain times, including bedtime. 

Unlike many families who find a bath right before bed works best for them, Willow is not a fan of baths when she is starting to get tired, and so we usually have ours much earlier in the day. Instead, our bedtime routine centres around dinner time and story time. I aim to have Willow at the table eating dinner between 5pm – 5:30pm at the very latest, which varies day to day simply by what time she decides to wake up that morning. We’ll have dinner together, tidy up and settle down on the sofa for her last bottle of the day, before going upstairs around 6pm – 6:30pm, getting into her sleepsuit or pj’s for the night and settling down to read together. 
Willow loves reading any time of day, but I find when it’s close to bed time it really helps to keep her content and help her drift off peacefully, rather than fighting sleep. After a few books she’ll go into her sleeping bag, I’ll pop her cot-bed with her night-light on and I’ll say goodnight. Some days I can simply kiss her nan-night, leave the room and she drifts off herself, sometimes I have to go back in a few times to reposition her, find her dummy for her or just generally soothe her. On a good night she’s asleep within minutes, but every now and then it can take much longer.
3. If your child has tried to gain your attention after you’ve said goodnight, what do you do? Go back and see what the problem is? Leave them?
– Generally, we decide what to do based on the noises we hear coming through the monitor. If Willow sounds like she’s just content talking away to herself, we wait to see if she’ll drift off alone. Other times, for example if she sounds a little frustrated or on the very, very rare occasions she’s getting upset, we’ll go straight in. On those occasions I’ll go into her room quietly, trying not to make her more alert than she already is. She will often have rolled onto her side or tummy, which she tends to find distracting and uncomfortable. I’ll pop her back onto her back, find her dummy which she often throws out of the cot whilst playing, and go back through the goodnight process. I’ll check her nappy, usually the culprit to her still being awake, before stroking her face, make shushing sounds which she has always found calming, make sure she has her comforter and then say goodnight before quietly leaving the room again. Sometimes once is enough, other times I’ll have to do this anywhere up to a handful of times before she’s asleep.

4. What is your child’s usual bedtime? And usual wake time? Do you have any views on later bedtimes, does it mean they get up slightly later? Or still the same time in the morning? 
– Willow generally wakes between 5:30am – 6am, any later than that is a treat for me as I get a little longer in bed too, although those times are sadly few and far between! Bedtime generally is between 6:00pm – 6:30pm, although there is the odd occasion once every fortnight or so, where she will fight sleep and stay up until 7pm – 8pm. On these occasions she still wakes up at her usual time in the morning. 

5. Do you have any strategies or tips for a smooth running bedtime?
– We are very lucky that after the initial first few weeks when the world was a very big and confusing place for Willow, we generally have things very easy with her. She never really cries, she’s exceptionally well-behaved around others and is a very happy and content baby. Because of this, we find that most of the time, bedtime is pretty smooth running. She does like to have her nightlight on, which is a projector that displays stars on her ceiling as well as playing a variety of soothing lullabies or nature themed sounds, but on some occasions we go without as it can also be distracting for her if she’s having the odd night where she’s fighting sleep. 

6. Do you have any other strategies that have worked for you?
– Staying calm! Babies aren’t robots and their needs will change from day to day. I read Willow’s singles as much as possible and try to work around her, rather than making her work around me. Listening to her cues, watching her body language, giving her what she needs all works for us.

7. Does your child still have day time naps? Morning or afternoon? Morning and afternoon?
– As Willow is just over 7 months, we are still lucky enough to have day time naps, although these have always been more difficult for us than actually getting her to bed at night. She’s always been a light sleeper in the day and often fights nap time. I found a chart when she was just a few weeks old, which was a rough guide to how many naps a baby has at different ages, roughly how long each nap should be and roughly how long they are awake between naps. I find Willow has loosely followed the chart and so it’s a pretty good guide to go by.

At this age, Willow tends to have 2-3 naps a day, usually 2-3 hours of awake time between each nap and napping for 30-60 minutes. Her usual is more around the 30-minute mark and she very rarely naps longer than an hour. That said, she sleeps so well at night and very rarely wakes throughout the night – even skipping those dreaded sleep regressions we’re all warned about -, that I don’t mind so much if she doesn’t nap for long during the day.

You can read more from Sophia at: 

www.tattooedtealady.com

Twitter

Instagram 

Facebook 
Thanks goes to Sophia for joining in with the Sleep and Bedtime Series.

Thanks for reading 🙂 

This is the last guest Blogger feature in the Sleep and Bedtimes Series, it has been a wonderful few months in sharing experiences from some wonderful parenting Bloggers, thanks to everyone who joined in. I will look forward to my next guest series. 

~ Nicki 

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