“I love sleep. My life has a tendency to fall apart when I’m awake, you know?
— Ernest Hemingway
I’ve only really seen 3:00am for a few reasons in my life, working terrible night shifts at McDonalds as a teenager, the odd “after party” as a twenty-something-year-old and as a new parent. Either way, 3:00am is never a good time to see. I’d much rather be sleeping!
Being new parents means that sleep is such a big part of our lives, baby sleep routines, babies sleeping through the night and of course, us parents not sleeping at all. The conversations about sleep when you are a new parent often focus on the baby: “are they sleeping through the night?” or “do they nap during the day?” and the conversations about the lack of sleep for parents usually focus on a desperate need for caffeine. While caffeine is amazing and I do love my morning mug hugs, I’ve decided that it’s just as important to focus on our bedtime routines as it is to focus on those of our little ones, because overtired parents are just as messy as overtired toddlers. So, I’ve decided to give some of the ‘tried-and-true’ baby sleep routines (mainly bath, book, bed routine) a try and it’s been kind of amazing so far.
It’s crazy how fast six months goes by in baby-time and I’ve noticed this speed a lot more with my second child. The newborn haze clouds all notions of reality, time and space. This “haze” makes night turn to day and vice versa and through all of this I completely lost touch with my own concept of bedtime, rest and giving my body the time to “heal” that it needs while we sleep. Staying up too late and not giving myself a chance to unwind and relax at night was a huge part of this.
Solution: a lesson from my littles … take a bath, read a book and then go to bed.
Instead of staying on the couch for hours watching bad television, I gave this new routine a try and it’s been making for some great sleeps. While taking a bath every night might not be possible, the warm bath (with relaxing candles, and soothing scents) has made for a smoother transition to bed.
The act of putting my phone down and reading a book right before bed has made a huge difference. I’m totally guilty of being on my phone during the hours before bed and it makes for head aches and not as restful of a sleep. So I’m doing my best to cut this out at least a half-an-hour before bed and picking up a good read instead. One of my favourites right now is Pure Nurture by Kristy S. Rodriguez. Pure Nurture: a Holistic Guide to a Healthy Baby focuses on pregnancy, but the ideas, methods and amazing recipes are amazing for motherhood and beyond. I’m learning so much about the importance of self-care practices, meditation and gratitude and I’m so excited to partner with Kristy and a few other amazing small shops for a Mother’s Day Giveaway! Enter Here.
Creating a clam and restful sleep space has been a huge help as well. Once we decluttered our home and created some more open space, I really started to feel more at ease when it was time for bed. I love soft paint colours in the bedroom (well let’s not kid ourselves, our whole house is the same soft hue of grey) and little- to- no clutter. Keeping the bedroom clean, turning on a soft lamp and climbing into bed with my book has really changed my perspective on ‘sleep’ as a routine.
Bedtime is a real thing for me now, a routine that I practice everyday and one that’s not just for our little ones.
What are some of your favourite bedtime routines? I would love to hear them.