In her first post as a Love Boo blogger, Bonita Turner from Mama’s VIB shares her essentials for a great bedtime routine… Sleep.

Its the 64 million dollar question when you become a mother isn’t it? When you’re pregnant all you want to do is sleep and all everyone says to you is ‘you better get your sleep in now before the baby comes..’ (If only you could store it up like a rechargeable battery and use it as and when required!) Then the baby comes and you feel like your spending every minute trying to get them to sleep or to stay asleep. Let alone trying to get some rest yourself. Following this comes the mum and baby group questions and interrogations: ‘

Does you’re baby sleep all night?’

‘My baby sleeps a solid 8 hours…’ ‘OMG! Send help! my baby won’t sleep at all.’ ‘We have a strict routine – and its works wonders!’ They can make you feel a bit like a nighttime failure. There are so many books on getting babies to sleep that you can more spend more time reading – and talking about – them than actually finding what works for you and your baby. If there was just one solution that book would be a worldwide bestseller – wouldn’t it? Now, as much as I wish I had the answer (I don’t by the way!) I thought I would share some things that have worked for my daughter, Miss Marnie – and hope they offer you both a few minutes or, at best, hours rest!

1. COMFORTER Miss M got a soft doll for her 1st Birthday – and I’m not sure when it started but she took it to bed one night and now she can’t sleep without her. She only has her at bedtime so she is part of her familiar bedtime pattern – this Jellycat FuddleWuddle Lion would be the perfect nighttime companion. Try to keep one toy – and the same for bedtime only its helps build the routine.

2. STORIES We started reading books to Miss M before bed as soon as we could. We have a little routine of 3 book each night (sometimes 4) but always before the last book we say ‘last one’ which of cause she repeats and the last book is always Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown. It’s a classic and we both love it – and its lovely flowing text should send them into a slumber!

3. NIGHTWEAR This is obvious of course – but I just wanted to add that I always make sure her PJ’s are cotton and try to avoid any fussy detailing. I think the softer the better and my current lust-must-haves of choice are these Organic Bamboo body grows from Panda and The Sparrow – they regulate heat and are perfect for sensitive skin.

4. CALMING BUBBLES If its bath night – and I am going to confess we don’t bath her every night (bad mummy!). Then I will use a very light bubble bath, no toys and a little warmer than usual water temperature. Anything to aid a good nights sleep. Our current fave is Love Boo Very Gentle Top-to-top Wash. I know for some mums a bath is part of their strict bedtime routine but to be honest some nights especially after nursery she is just past it. A bath often wakes her up a bit as she wants to play with her toys. A quick wash, toothbrush and a quick body lotion massage are all I do.

5. WARMTH Miss M hated those sleeping bag things – she went crazy that her feet were trapped (I kinda understand as I’m the same and always have to pull the sheets out of the corners in hotels and such). Thankfully I have a bit of a baby blanket obsession so I always ensure she has a few layers over her with a soft flannelette sheet too. That way I can add or take away as needed. I love this soft baby blanket from H&M.

6. MUSIC Ever since she was born we have used music to lull her to sleep. In the beginning we played music from our phones. As the first cot mobile I brought was a wind up style and didn’t play music for very long. Now we have this VTech Ocean Mobile (Argos). I admit it’s not the prettiest looking mobile and I avoided it for ages, as it didn’t go with her bedroom decor. But, the reason I love it is it plays lullabies and ocean noises that you can set on a timer, has soothing light projections on the ceiling but the best bit – if baby wakes in the night it plays another cycle of timed music without the lights (so, as not to wake them further.)

7. BLACKOUT BLIND Miss Marnie’s room is at the front of the house and anything to bock out unwanted light is a bonus. This Gro Anywhere Blind (Mothercare) is my fave. It’s portable so we have taken it on holiday and when staying with family – it just sticks to windows with suction pads and really stays in place. 

8. NIGHTLIGHT This Brother Max Bear Carry & Hang Nightlight is so cute. But its practical too – it has a separate charging base, lasts for up to 12 hours (ummm, if only Miss M slept that long…), is cool to the touch and the best bit is it can hang over a door handle. So, my reasoning was that it would be great when she is a little older and needs a light to guide her to the bathroom in the middle of the night! (Err. Think I may need one for me too!) And, whilst we’re on the subject of sleep anyone got any advice for getting a toddler to sleep in past 6am?

Bonita Turner is mum to the gorgeous Marnie, 2, and blogs at Mama’s VIB. Having worked in fashion for 15 years, looking after the style pages in women’s magazines, Bonita knows a thing or two about shopping and loves giving tips and advice on her blog. She lives in London with her family and as you can see, both Bonita and Miss M know how to rock a Breton top…