Monday, April 30, 2012

Toddler bedtime routine

Is it 7:30 yet?

Some days I find myself asking this as early as six o'clock, yet other days 7:30 sneaks up on us.


Leila's bedtime has been early since she was four months old. I remember rushing through dinner to be home from my parents' rental by 6:15 so Leila could be in bed by 6:30. Those days she was not sleeping through the night, so I was practically going to bed with her!

When she was seven months old Leila was taking two regular naps and also started sleeping through the night. We implemented a 7pm-7am sleep rule in our house after seeing it work successfully for other families we knew.

It's pretty simple.  Basically Leila would be in her crib from 7pm to 7am each night. Personally we have found many benefits to our sleep rule...the most valuable being Leila's ability to self-soothe herself (back) to sleep.

Now as a toddler, Leila has pretty amazing sleep habits. (I hate saying this aloud in fear of jinxing myself, but we all know that can't really happen, right?) This girl loves her crib!

Her bedtime routine begins between 7:00 and 7:30 by saying "night-night" to Mommy and her toys upstairs.

Jeff brings her down to her room and gets her ready for bed (pajamas, overnight diaper, sleep-sack, and teeth brushed). Then he carries Leila around her room to say goodnight to her things, something that we started from the beginning.  Jeff reads her a few books, puts her in her crib with her stuffed animals and pacifiers, says "I love you", and closes the door.

That's it...short, sweet, and simple.

Since we implemented the 7pm-7am sleep rule we haven't had to go check on her at all. Not once.

Until last night.

Either teething or nap skipping was the culprit. I blame them both.


At 9:00 Leila was still awake in her crib playing, whining, crying, and finally sobbing. Jeff went in to check on her and although she didn't want to see him leave, she eventually feel asleep peacefully.

And guess what? She slept in today to make up for the hours she missed last night.

I love it when life works out like that!

The 7pm- 7am sleep rule has worked for us.  Share your success story! 
What has worked for you and your family?

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