a few weeks ago our littlest bird, klo viola, decided that her crib was too cool for sleep. at just sixteen months, she discovered that all the climbing skills she has acquired since she was nine months old could get her out of the crib. yep. you read that right. our sweet bird has officially fled the nest.
at first i was surprised. but knowing her, like we do, i had to chuckle because of course she would figure this out. i mean she is, in fact, the queen at climbing. and she is, in fact, the queen of growing up beyond her years. she is sixteen months going on three years old and while i wish i could hit the pause button on time reality is, babies don't keep.
despite this change and the fact that she has grown out of her 'nest', her sleepy time routine has and will remain the same until there is a need to switch things up. aaron and i have been doing this sleepy time routine with her since she was just a wee bub, give or take a couple changes along the way. we have found that this routine is what works best for her. and ultimately for us. i have outlined what we do below.
one mama's guide for sleepy time :
we try our best to set the tone about 10 minutes before we start the routine. we do this by eliminating any extra stimulation. we start by putting away toys, making sure if music is playing that is is calming and soothing. during this time we also make sure to replace a wet diaper with a fresh one. no one likes to fall asleep with wet pants!
- pick out a book to be read: now that klo is a old enough to understand simple direction, i ask that she pick out a book for sleepy time. she usually goes for her one of the books she is favoring at the moment or if not, i simply pick something from something that is not too long, but not too short either.
- spray linens + tickle feet with a calming blend of essential oil: while klo gets cozy in her spot with her book in hand, i will lightly spray her blanket and pillow with a calming blend of essential oil. lavender, orange, cedar wood, gentle baby, bergamot, roman chamomile to name a few, are all good and safe choices for little ones. i love how klo participates in this process too by using the roller bottle on her feet and toes.
- story time: after the linens have been sprayed and her feet and toes have been tickled with calming oils, we read one short story together.
- listen to soft music + turn on white noise + rock or dance or hold until sleep: following story time, we set the final tone with white noise and music by bon iver. we have been playing this album for klo since the day she was born. in fact, we play bon iver anytime she is upset and she instantly melts and becomes calm. we usually hold or lay next to her until she is asleep, which usually takes five minutes maybe. once she is asleep we gently lay her down, turn off the music but keep the white noise on to fill the space for the remainder of sleep.
aaron and i are fully aware that some may say we are doing wrong by not letting her fall asleep on her own by having a routine such as this, but this is what works best for her. and if it works for her, it works for us. we have tried a variety of methods and routines along the way and have come to find that she sleeps best this way.
what about you, what special rituals do you share with your little ones during sleepy time?