Wednesday 18 July 2012

The Road to Sweet Dreams

I've been having an easier time putting baby girl to bed ever since I got her into the good old bedtime routine that every parenting book talks about.

Wanna know my not-so-secretive secret?

1) No Nap After 5pm
Ensure that she does not take a nap after 5pm. Not always an easy thing to do but 'short pain better than long pain' (direct translation of the Chinese idiom).

2) Drain the Energy
Usually the responsibility of the HOD of Play (i.e. Daddy)
Toss her into the air, tickle her into fits of laughter or chase her around the room! Whatever you do, make sure it really sucks out all her energy until there is nothing left.

3) Drink the Milk
Baby girl prefers drinking from a water bottle rather than a milk bottle
Get her to drink her milk. A full stomach almost always result in sleepy eyes.

4) Brush the Teeth
After repenting from my sin of not brushing baby girl's teeth at the dentist, I've been dutifully ensuring that her beautiful smile is well taken care of.
Propping baby girl on something higher so that she is at my eye level (don't want to bend down)
Tooth-brushing Tip: Make her laugh!

When she's laughing, her mouth opens up involuntarily thus making it easier for you to stick your brush in. Eventually, she'll also associate the brushing of teeth with laughter and will soon look forward to it. True story =)

5) Read the Books
Her collection of books placed strategically near her 'bed'
She loves to read so one book is usually not enough for her. Every time you finish reading one to her, she'll go "want some more!"

Her favourite is 'Bedtime with Baby Bop', which follows Baby Bop's own bedtime routine. I'd say to her at the end, "look Baby Bop went to sleep already. Do you want to sleep?" And she will usually nod her head and lie down on her mattress =)

6) Stay cool
And finally, the most important part of her bedtime routine is... *drum rolls*... the air-conditioner!

Baby girl just cannot fall asleep when it is hot! She will toss, she will turn and she'll even cry!

So you can just imagine my horror when one day the electricity of some of the units on my floor went out and we had no air-conditioning or fans. Of course baby girl couldn't sleep and was so cranky and frustrated that I decided to pack my bags and head off to my mum's house, which was thankfully just across the road, to stay for the night.

With a cold environment on the other hand, baby girl can fall asleep in just 30 seconds (especially if she's really tired).

And there you have it!

Generally if I follow these steps, she will be in dreamland in no time. And by "no time", I mean 10.30pm. She never sleeps earlier than that.. just like her mummy they say.

Ah well.

What's your child's bedtime routine?
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