Sleep is a very important commodity in our house. My kids are like me and they need their beauty rest, but also just like my husband in that they never just laid down to go to sleep. They needed to be wound down, with a specific bedtime and nap routine or there was no chance.
Very early on in Maya’s life (at two months old) we began a sleeping routine with scheduled naps and a 7pm bedtime. The routine was bath (when applicable), book, nurse, bed. Keeping to schedule was the best way to keep her well-rested and when little brother came along, I put him on the exact same schedule so that they were aligned. This meant that starting when Mateo was two months old they both took an afternoon nap from 1-3pm daily and Mami got some much-needed rest time herself!
There was one element to Maya’s sleep equation that made every nap time and bedtime a success: one specific song. When I was nervously awaiting her arrival in my last month of pregnancy and had difficulty sleeping myself, I started listening to one specific song to calm myself so I could drift off. Then after she was born, I found that song was also relaxing to her, and it became an immediate part of our routine.
The song I chose was Oceans by Hillsong United, and I loved it for the lyrics, the melody, the bridge, and the tune. There’s a long instrumental intro and exit, which is relaxing in itself, and the song is nine minutes long, which gives even the most sleep-resistant toddlers time to fuss a bit and then calm down. I play it right when it’s time for her to sleep (after bath and book.) And I can count on one hand the amount of times I have played this song for Maya and it has not put her to sleep. It works that well! She is now almost six years old and although she doesn’t nap anymore, we still listen to it everyone night before bed.
So here’s a foolproof way to get your littles to sleep. Pick a relaxing song that you won’t mind listening to for the rest of your life, and start playing it before naps and bed. Make sure the song is soothing and long enough. Then try it out and stick with it. Sleep habits beget sleep, so if your child isn’t an infant, it might take some time to build the routine. But I swear it makes a difference.
Whichever song you choose, be ready to hear it over and over again. I have listened to this song at least once everyday of Maya’s life. Do the math and that’s 2,104+ times!
I write this as I lie in bed next to Maya, who just fell asleep about 30 seconds into the song. It’s highly likely I’ll be listening to this song at least 1,000 more times in the future and I am completely okay with that, if it means we can have an stress-free bedtime. So I’m going to admire this little angel’s profile for a few more minutes, and then go enjoy the evening to myself.