Despite always thinking that we would be one of those families that didn't pay too much attention to routines, now that Poppette is almost seven months old (boy how time flies), we have come around to the realisation that we could all do with a little more sleep in this house and that perhaps a routine might just be the way forward!
Common wisdom has it that babies thrive on routine and that the constant repetition of actions in the same order each night before bed might just make a baby catch on to the fact that they are supposed to go to sleep at the end....
Apparently, until the routine is etched into your baby's head, you should also make sure you read them the same story each night. For this part of our routine we have a great book which I can't recommend enough. It's called Au Dodo Les Animaux [C'mon animals it's time for bed ] and is a soft cloth book with a furry cover. The book is entirely in black and white and has pages which crinkle and little flaps on each page for your baby to lift up.
The story basically takes you through a young child's bedtime routine with each animal doing a particular activity e.g. getting undressed, putting on pyjamas, brushing their teeth, having a glass of water, having a story etc Each page has a short sentence on it which rhymes e.g. "Petit éléphant se brosse bien les dents" [Little elephant gives his teeth a good clean].
Poppette really seems to enjoy this story (or at least crinkling and chewing the pages) which ends with all the animals in one big bed and the line "Au dodo les animaux" and of course we always add "Au dodo Poppette".
She seems to be catching on - touch wood.