As I write this, I’ve just put my son (now 2 and a half) to bed. He is singing himself to sleep. I can hear him on the monitor. His song of choice tonight is ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’ which is now on repeat, until he finally gives in and closes his eyes for the night. I feel grateful to have a happy little boy who is happy to find his zzzz’s via gentle humming rather than wild screaming (although of course it has been known, when he’s been unwell).
As parents, we are all striving for similar things (I think?!). This is what I am striving for... Happy child during the day. Sleeping child at night! I’m no child sleep expert, for sure, but I’ve compiled a few things that have helped us over the past 2 and a half years together.
They’re ALL plastic free choices for Finn’s nursery / bedroom, which I hope you will love as much as we have.
- Set a nice little routine together - Nowadays we read three books together, put on Finn’s white noise, and then have a glass of milk before settling down to sleep. A book to be highly recommended is Penelope Polar’s Plastic Journey which helps children to understand the importance of reducing the use of plastic. It’s a lovely little read.
- Have a potty on hand! - I am currently in the throes of potty training with Finn, and I have found that having a potty in the bathroom and also one nearby his bedroom really helps for last minute / late night toilet requests. I don’t have a bathroom upstairs, so having two is excellent. These eKoala potties are biodegradable, and even come with a little flower seed under the label to plant in your garden or balcony box with your toddler. The potty itself is so colourful and fun - it’s made of renewable raw materials such as corn, beetroot and switchgrass. Lovely.
- Swaddle swaddle swaddle - For newborn babies, I cannot recommend a swaddle highly enough! It keeps newborns all cosy and wrapped up when they are fresh from the womb and in need of reassurance. Swaddling really helped Finn. These Fabelab organic cotton muslin swaddles are divine, are super soft and are gentle on newborn skin, and are not made of synthetic materials like so many other swaddles on the market. I still use Finn’s swaddles as blankets, cover ups and in all sorts of other ways. So they have life beyond the newborn weeks and months.
- Small world bedtimes - Acting out bedtime scenarios with babies and toddlers is not only fun and good for bonding, it helps support their curiosity and to develop their sense of a bedtime routine. We put various toys “to bed” after bath time (normally Finn likes to put his cars to bed, gives them all a kiss, and puts them gently into their “bed”). I think it helps him understand the world. More traditional than a car (!), is putting a lovely dolly to bed in a doll’s bed. Try this lovely doll’s bed from Pinch Toys, and maybe this little buddy toy (which is made from 100% GOTS certified organic cotton and has a Corn Fibre Filling), to re-enact cosy bedtime routines.
- Tidy together - We sing “put it away, put it away, that’s enough of the toys today” when we are putting things away at the end of an activity or the end of a day (taken from our lovely Tinkler’s music class!). It makes me feel better when things are stashed relatively neatly away at bedtime, to clear the mind to prepare for sleep, and as babies get older, making it a fun activity will relieve you of some of the tidying burden! Having a nice little place for books such as this Trestle Rack or popping toys away in some very handy wooden crates is rewarding all round. I swear by wooden crates, and have them all over the house at Finn-level!
- Get the right bed for your baby or child - There are so many cot and bed options for babies and toddlers, and the options can sometimes seem a little exhausting! I opt for plastic free, made from 100% natural materials, to ensure that bedtime is toxin-free. These Bermbach Handcrafted cots, side beds and children’s beds are the thing of dreams - they are so stylish and individual, and delightfully plastic free. A lovely Montessori-inspired alternative, is having the bed on the floor, with a lovely natural wood bed frame such as these from Childhome. Making sure you match your lovely bed with a soft organic cot or bed sheet - it’s a must - try this one, for example, from Beaming Baby. Having soft bedding made of natural materials really helped when my son suffered really badly with eczema when he was around a year old.
- Something in the air - Keeping a calm ambience in the nursery can be through a reassuring and relaxing aroma. I use the Rooba aromatherapy stone next to Finn’s bed, using 100% essential oils (at low dilution, appropriate to the age of the child). Having the lights off, dark curtains over the windows, and the natural aroma next to the bed, are a recipe for calm.
Sleep well. Night night. x
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