Xavier is an excited dude. All. The. Time. Which is great and entertaining and makes everything we do more fun.
Except for sleep.
Sleep has never been an easy thing for us to conquer. From getting him to fall asleep to keeping him asleep, you name it, we’ve tried it and it hasn’t worked for us.
He turned 2 ½ last week and I am just now starting to feel like my body is getting used to functioning on little and/or broken sleep. Suggestions for people that want to have kids: train for it. Stop sleeping WAY before you have kids and by the time you’re bundle of joy arrives, it won’t affect your body so harshly. You’re welcome
Anyway, over the years we have come to understand the bedtime routine of a spirited kiddo and I’ve come up with a short list of helpful things that we use to get Xavier to fall asleep more easily. Keeping him asleep is another issue. One that I still have no clue about!
- 1. Limit the number of people doing bedtime routine.
- It used to be a family affair that we all enjoyed and had fun doing, bath-time, reading books, talking about our day, cuddles. But once X was in his room, he would protest for 10-20 minutes, sometimes hours (he’s very tenacious). When I went away to Puerto Rico back in January and M did bedtime alone, he discovered the protest didn’t happen, not once. So we implemented a one person bedtime ritual and have been good to go since.
2. Limit stimuli in the bedroom. From his sheets, to the furniture, decorations on the walls and the carpeting – everything is plain in pattern and neutral tones. It’s soothing and minimalist, allowing his senses to shut down easier. There are no toys in his room either, which sounds harsh – but once I left a book on his dresser and he shook his crib about 2 feet over to it so he could get to it.
3. Limit stimuli before bedtime. For most kids, reading books is the thing to do before bed, and Xavier loves to read. But I noticed that his books were jump starting his imagination and revving him up, so we read before the bath now and afterwards, we just cuddle while he drinks his milk and I play with his hair. It’s quiet and peaceful, allowing his overactive senses to begin the long process of shutting down. I rub his legs and feet and we say goodnight to all his body parts, one-by-one.
So what do you do that helps your little one get good and sleepy?