Our bed time routine is essential to the structure of our day — its a time where we can get ready for the night, snuggle, and put the day to bed so to speak. As BB storms to the 15 month (1 year 3 months) mark he’s learning so much every single day it can be hard for him to settle down and ‘turn off’… Its easy to forget that he’s only little, that he needs to learn the skills that sometimes even as an adult I struggle with.
Because I want to establish good routines with him, we’ve followed the same steps each and every bedtime since he was twelve weeks old. That said, as he’s grown older I’ve felt the need to adapt and add an extra step or two.
Dinner is at 5, and is a substantial meal. I usually give BB what we have but if we have something like curry or chilli then he will have his own little dinner.
After dinner, until 5.45pm we have some more playtime. I turn the lights down for this however, and we have ‘normal’ channels on the TV as background noise. Anything slightly CBeebies related just gets him excited at the moment, so it’s usually a quiz show on low volume.
After that we have bath time, filling the bath with bubbles and warm water — usually a good amount of splashing and water play takes place but it does wear him out ready for bed. Between 6.15pm and 6.30pm he’s ready to get out, and we head upstairs wrapped up in a towel.
Once freshly dried with a clean nappy and some fresh pyjamas on it’s time for the new bit of routine to come in. When Dream Pillow got in touch, they offered to send BB one of the new Dream Pillow Dreamimal™ products, Sharkie.
Sharkie is actually aimed at children around the 26 month (2 years 2 months) mark, when writing down dreams on the cloud pad included is encouraged. Because BB is only 14 months (1 year 2 months) we decided to be creative with implementing Sharkie into our routine.
We settle into the nursing chair, with BB laid with his head on Sharkie (or his hands inside the pillow — the pillow itself is a cylindrical shape, much like a hand muff) and instead of writing down a dream.. We read. I’m a huge fan of the ‘Bath, Book, Bed‘ initiative and this is the first time BB has really taken to reading a book before bed.
Sharkie is soft, with a lovely little fin on the top of his head which BB is prone to having a bit of a nibble on at the moment. A good size for cosying up with on my knee or even in the car, he’s pretty adaptable and can be stored and transported easily. As I already mentioned, he’s aimed at older children who can interact with the notebook and write down the dreams they want to have, before slipping it inside Sharkie for him to work some magic with.
Instead, we read a book and have a cuddle with Sharkie but I’m definitely hoping to start the wonderful little habit of writing dreams down with BB as soon as he’s able to. Adding this little bit of time into our routine has given us a little bit of positive time together to unwind and relax, as well as being close together before bedtime. What could be better?