We started a night time routine with Tula about 2 weeks ago. This proved to be very helpful for Ivy, who slept through the night beginning at 9 weeks! (Come on, Tula, that was SOOOO last week!) We feel like a consistent routine is a good thing for so many reasons:
1. It helps calm Tula.
2. She knows that night time sleep is coming.
3. It gives Greg and I guaranteed time together each evening.
4. We hope it will lead to a full nights sleep.... eventually!
So here is what Tula experiences each night!
We start with her last night time feeding which takes place between 7:30 and 8:30. After she is done eating she gets in the bath tub. She is still taking a bath in the little bath tub in the sink. She loves bath time and talks, coos, smiles, and seems wide awake!
HEY! Don't take my picture, mama! I am taking a bath!
But rather than wide awake, Tula is truly winding down from the day. To prevent dry skin, we alternate soap days and simply give a water bath every other day. The end result is the same.... she is calmed by the water and this signals that night time is coming.
After bath time, Tula gets lotion on and we usually do this with very little light so her eyes get used to the dark. She begins to get sleepy. After getting on her clean diaper and pajamas she gets swaddled up (one arm out, my friends!) then we read stories to her.
We like to read 2 stories. We always end with Goodnight Moon which is a Mommy, Daddy, Ivy, and now Tula favorite. We could seriously read it with our eyes closed :) And Ivy can recite the story to Tula since this was part of her routine for a LONG LONG time!
After reading the stories we turn out the lights, and turn on both her sea horse and the little lamb sound machine. Both of these noises soothe Tula and drown out any other noises in the room. We use both of these devices during nap times as well. The sea horse plays music for 5 minutes and the lamb does water sounds (that's our favorite) for 40 minutes. We lay Tula down awake but drowsy and within minutes....
Tula is sound asleep!
We have never let Tula cry it out. We go in if she fusses and rub her belly and give her the paci. The first few nights this lasted about 20-25 minutes and now we sometimes go in once or twice. She is used to going to sleep and typically doesn't wake up until it is time to eat!
She is still eating during the night once but goes right back to sleep and then wakes up for the morning between 6 and 7.