It was a beautiful summers evening when I found myself full of fear that I was several days late and many hundred dollars short. I was maniacally sellotaping tin foil to the windows of my son's bedroom in an effort to convince him that it was in fact the night. A time for sleep, not a time for jumping on the mattress shouting about Old MacDonalds farm. My efforts were rewarded with a slightly confused toddler ceasing his performance and settling down for the night. It was then that I realised if I wanted to keep my head and preserve my precious rioja time, I would need to keep faking bedtime. The astute parent starts faking bedtime from the early months; sleep experts refer to this as consistency or routine. That being said it's never too late to start, sometimes even grown up kids need to fake bedtime, so here's how it's done.
Block out day sounds. One of the key distinctions of nighttime is the relative silence. How do you expect the little one to want to fall asleep when he can hear people partying like it's 1999 downstairs? Obviously it can be hard to convince your neighbours to stop existing after 7pm and awkward to whisper for the whole evening. A great way to fake the silence of night is to block out daytime sounds with something soothing. Unless you've set up home under a lovely rock you've heard of Ewan the dream sheep but in our house we go for white noise from dusk til dawn and have invested in a white noise machine.
Make it smell dreamy. A lavender room spray or a few drops of lavender essential oil on a favourite toy can be a great way to help relax an excitable infant. Whilst lavender is well known for it's sleep inducing properties I think it's important to create a strong association between the smell and sleep time, you could probably do this with bacon if you prefer.
Make it cozy. The best thing about falling asleep is that warm, snuggly feeling you get after you've been wrapped in a duvet for a few minutes but it takes a wee while to get there and sometimes babies are impatient. Fake the warm, snuggly by popping a hot water bottle in the cot for a few minutes before putting the baby to bed. The first time I did this I was actually able to put my son in his cot awake instead of rocking him to sleep. I felt like a magician! If you're concerned about spills get a microwavable one.
Bring on the night. Lastly and most importantly, you must make it dark - completely dark. Ideally your child should not be able to see their chubby little hand in front of their face. My tin foil blind was fine for a night but is not the most stylish choice. Put up a black out blind for instant sunset. VELUX even make blinds for hard to reach roof windows and their cute Disney & VELUX Dream Collection means that any kid will have sweet dreams.
Do you have any tips for faking bedtime?
This post was sponsored by VELUX