At just four months old Aria is sleeping from about 8pm until anywhere between 8am - 9.30am. Now that we have a fully established bedtime routine I thought that I would share my experiences and what works for us.
We don't bath Aria every night, her skin is quite dry so we have been told only to bath her around twice a week. Spencer and I take it in turns putting her to bed, usually doing every other day unless one of us has something on. We start putting her to bed at around 7.30pm, some nights it will be a little later but it is always between 7.30 - 8pm.
We always put a clean nappy on her before bed as well as a clean vest and sleepsuit/pyjamas. We then take her into our bedroom where she is currently sleeping in her Moses basket. We turn the lights off, close the curtains and turn the fairy lights on. We then give her her last 6oz bottle of the day.
Sometimes she will fall asleep straight after the bottle and not wake up, even through being winded. In this case we would put her straight into her Moses basket. The majority of the time she will be awake and quite chatty following her bottle. In this case we read to her, she loves us reading, she just looks up at whoever is reading to her smiling, and sometimes cooing.
Once we have finished reading to her we pop her in her Moses basket wrapping a blanket around her and tucking it in under the mattress to prevent her kicking it off. She tends to stick her thumb in her mouth as soon as we put her in, but sometimes she will still be smiling and cooing.
Even if she is still cooing away we leave her to self settle. We were given this projector light that also plays music, we put this onto the floor projecting the light onto the ceiling above her, turn the monitor on and leave her to it. She is very good and will go to sleep alone, I believe that this is because we started doing it from such a young age (around seven weeks). We leave the fairy lights on so that we can see when we go to bed without having to turn the big light on, and also because Aria likes to look at them.
We have the monitor in our room with the other end in the living room, the receiver is wireless which is great if we are in the kitchen or the attic as we can just take it with us. We use the monitor to let the other one know when we are almost done so that they can make a cuppa, and obviously to listen out for Aria waking/crying, which thankfully she never does. Now and again she may make a few little noises or even a little whimper but this is usually in her sleep, we always leave it for about five minutes before going and checking on her, usually she stops before the five minutes is up.
We have black out curtains from Next, although they still let a little light in around the edges they block out the majority and really are great. We've only had these up for about three weeks and in those three weeks Aria has definitely been sleeping in for longer.
The first feed of the morning is usually done downstairs as Aria sleeps in quite late, but some mornings we will let the cats into the room, give her the first bottle in bed and then have cwtches in bed for a little while before getting up, these are my favourite kind of mornings! I always keep at least one clean bottle and the formula on my dressing table and a bib & muslin cloth on the Moses basket stand in readiness for if I do feed her in bed (we keep the Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep machine in the bedroom in the evenings).
I am aware that Aria is an unusually good sleeper for a baby so young but I thought this was worth sharing just in case it does help anyone else.
Do you have a routine in place for your baby? What do you do differently to us?