If you watched Jenson’s 5 month update or have been keeping up to date with us on my social media then you may know that Jenson isn’t the best sleeper. From the get go he got into a pattern of 3-hourly wakes at which he’d wake, feed and then drift back off to sleep. It was never really a problem as I managed to get a few hours of kip between waking but then he teased me with his first full night of sleep at around 3 months old. It only continued for a few nights before he went back to 3 hourly wakings, but since regressing even more to 2 hourly wakes (you can understand the eye bags now right?) I’ve been desperate to get those through-the-night kind of nights back!
I’ve tried so many different things to help Jenson (and me) to have a better night sleep. I felt like I had all the experience from Jasper who never slept through until he was 13 months old so now that all of my attempts have made zero impact, I feel slightly deflated.
Jenson is a big boy; he has more than the recommended amount of feeds during the day and he even has solid food now too. I know that he doesn’t need those feeds during the night but I’ll admit that at 3am it is so much easier to give in and make him a bottle than try and persevere with alternatives. He has 2-3 short naps during the day so he never goes to bed overtired and after learning from my mistakes with Jasper, I always make sure that he self settles with few sleep associations.
I think what is most frustrating is that I know Jenson is capable of sleeping through the night; he’s done it before so it’s now a case of figuring out what is stopping him from doing it now. I’ve gone through my mini sleep checklist and at present he’s ticking all of the boxes. He sleeps in a cosy sleeping bag in his comfy bedside crib. The bedroom is always dark and set at the perfect temperature, never too hot nor too cold. He doesn’t feed to sleep, I always wait for him to finish feeding and then place him in his bed to self settle which he does really well listening to white noise or watching his mobile on the ceiling.
To be honest going to sleep initially isn’t really the problem, it’s waking in the night and only going back off with the help of a bottle that’s causing me to be one exhausted muma!
JOHNSON’S® have noticed my struggles lately and have asked me to take part in their ‘Tonight We Sleep’ challenge; and in a last bid to get rid of these eye bags, I’ve accepted!
The challenge consists of a 3-step bedtime routine which I’m to try for one week. It’s a unique routine which is the first and only of its kind that’s been clinically proven to help babies and toddlers aged 7-36 months to fall asleep quicker and stay asleep for longer – I’m sold!
Here are the steps:
1 – Warm Bath
The boys love bath time and although we went through a phase where baths would make Jenson a bit hyper; he now seems much calmer in them especially the last couple of nights since we’ve been using the recommended Bedtime Bath and Bedtime Wash products which smell divine! I don’t usually bathe the boys every night due to their sensitive skin so I’ll update you after the weeks challenge as to how this went and whether we stuck to it.
2 – Baby Massage
I’ve always massaged Jenson before bedtime but admittedly I’ve never really had a method to it. I suppose I more massage his cream in rather than give him an actual massage so following the Johnson’s baby massage tips will hopefully make my massages more effective! The JOHNSON’S® 3-step routine focuses on giving your little one a real massage to help them to feel secure, loved and most importantly – ready to sleep. Eye contact is key and JOHNSON’S® stress that it’s important to make sure bambino is dry, warm and on a comfortable and soft surface. They have loads of great tips on baby massage on their website which I’ve started to follow alongside using the JOHNSON’S® Bedtime Lotion which I warm in my hands first.
3 – Quiet Time
Now this is something we’d never managed to do. With a hyperactive toddler-sized brother leaping around after bath time I’d always just found it too difficult to keep a calming environment for Jenson so this is a step I’m really working hard on. I’ve recruited Jasper as my helper for bedtime so he now helps me to close the curtains and choose a nice book and then snuggles down with me and baby for a little cuddle before bed. He does this on the premise that he’s a big boy and once Jenson is asleep he gets to stay up for a whole extra 15 minutes with me!
As part of the Tonight We Sleep Challenge I’ve also been using the JOHNSON’S® Bedtime Baby Sleep App which not only has relaxing lullabies perfect for quiet time but a Baby Sleep Tracker and a Baby Sleep Questionnaire so I’ll be able to monitor Jenson’s sleep throughout the week.
So far Jenson has been settling really well; the environment seems a lot calmer and smells heavenly! For the past couple of nights Jenson has still woken at his usual 2 hourly intervals but I’m determined to see this out for the whole week and am really confident that this new routine will help him to sleep better; even if it’s a minor improvement.
Make sure to check back when the week is up to see if Jenson’s sleep has improved and whether or not this mama is feeling more refreshed!
Thanks for reading!
*Sponsored blog post by the JOHNSON’S® brand. I have received payment incentive and samples but all opinions are my own. JOHNSON’S® clinically proven bedtime routine consists of bath, massage and quiet time, tested on babies 7 months+, 1 week+ use.