Baby Bedtime Sleep Essentials

If you’re a mom, you might agree with us that the phrase “to sleep like a baby” is much harder said than done! If there’s one thing moms often struggle with, it’s your baby’s sleep routine. At Ackermans, we know moms because we are moms, so we’ve decided to chat all things baby bedtime in an Instagram LIVE session (link to view the session at the bottom of the post).

Our Baby Merchandise Planning Manager and mom of two girls, Nare Molotochatted to mom of 1-year old Mila, Justine Graham from Ground Nomad to share their experiences.

If you missed the LIVE session or just want a recap of what our moms shared, you can read all about it below!

Nare Moloto: First tell us a bit more about you and your Instagram page.
Justine Graham: I started the Instagram page to empowering moms and their mental wellbeing. I wanted to create a community for moms to share challenges and joys with each other in order to know that they’re not alone.

NM: How did you find settling into a night routine with your daughter? What is your bedtime routine?
JG:  Mila is quite a dream when it comes to sleeping except if she’s sick or something else is up. In general, she’s usually very busy during the day and by 7:30pm, we have a routine where we put her down and she’ll sleep until the next morning around 4am. Our routine is very simple, and we find that if we don’t stick to the routine, she’s not going to have a good night.
Basically, our routine is to start winding down with a bottle while I’ll sit in the rocking chair with her and do something that will calm her down like reading a book or singing to her. It can take a while, sometimes it can take up to an hour, but being close to my body relaxes her. Once she’s calm, I’m able to put her in her own cot. She sleeps in her own room and we’ve got a monitor, plus we will check in on her throughout the evening. There’s no one size fits, but this works for Mila and I do believe that there’s no right way to have a routine.

NM: What clothes do you normally put Mila in to sleep?
JG: I’m very much about comfort, especially at night. I like to put her in light cotton in summer. Ackermans has light cotton babygrows that are great, especially the short sleeve ones are perfect. What I also like about them are the zips, they’re amazing. View these babygrows here.

NM: What do you use in winter?
JG: I will use a fleece material or just put a vest or two underneath with the long sleeve babygrow over it because she gets quite hot during the night. For the first year we didn’t have blankets on her, and it was more me being a first-time mom and being very worried about her getting stuck in the blanket.

NM: Do you have a special song for Mila
JG: She has her favourite, which are “The wheels on the bus” and I just keep going with the song plus humming also works.

NM: Does she have a special blanket?
JG: She definitely has a favourite blanket, it’s called dudu and it goes to bed with her. It’s also quite a light material.

NM: What neck do you prefer for her with babygrows?
JG: I do like envelope, Mila doesn’t like when I put things over her head, so envelope definitely helps with that and is easier.

NM: Can you share your experience at Ackermans stores?
JG: I am a huge fan of Ackermans because I feel that the quality for the price range is actually unbelievable. Everything is so soft, and Mila is very comfortable in them. I just love the versatility of the baby clothes – it goes beyond bedtime. Mila is very active, and she gets messy and dirty and I don’t worry about it because I know with Ackermans, you just put it in the wash, and she can wear it again. If the day does come in a few months that we need new stuff, we can go and get it because it’s so affordable. I love it. I went to the Canal Walk branch and the variety is just amazing.

NM: Could you share your 3 tips for bedtime?
Tip 1: My biggest tip is just to listen to your baba. They’re communicating with you through movement or through the things they’re screaming about. Just give them space and listen to them when you put them down. Communication and creating a space to just listen to your child is very important.

Tip 2: We have a wind-down routine. We bath her, feed her, and then start winding down. I think a wind down routine at the end of the day is always a good idea.

Tip 3: Moms and dads need to follow their gut. Never feel like you have to take on something that you don’ feel will work for your child. Especially in the beginning, it’s very hard to find that routine but if you follow your gut and you just work through it, you will find a balance. It’s very much about your journey and what you think is right as a parent.

Click to view the Instagram LIVE session