Wednesday, January 14

Tenley's Nighttime Routine (Another Update for Toddler Parents)

I have a 17 month old who is very soon to become a big sister. I have a hard time wrapping my head around that but I couldn't be more excited for the little Gunnell family to become a foursome! (In reality, I already can't wait for us to become a group of seven+ but I think I can be patient...mostly because I'm pretty done being pregnant right now--well, my body is anyway).

Tenley is doing well with her nighttime routine considering how frequently it was interrupted during the holidays. Our current routine seems to be working which is exactly what I was hoping for even though it's about to get disrupted when her little roommate arrives;)

Our nightly routine goes something like this:

-We read family scriptures (unless we did it earlier in the day--it depends on Dalin's work schedule)
-We do family prayer (sometimes over the phone if we have to)
-Tenley and I brush her teeth (possibly my least favorite part of the routine because it's a battle 95% of the time)
-She kisses dad goodnight with a loud "mwaaah!"
-We go to her room and I put the child gate up in her doorway
-On the way in, I turn on the DeepCalm app on my phone (it's free!) and we listen to Sea of Tranquility, or Silent Night, or Morning in the Forest all night long because it makes all of us sleep better (seriously, download's so relaxing!)
-We put her in pajamas if she isn't in them already (or if she isn't in a shirt that works for bedtime)
-We sit down on her bed and read two verses out of her mini copy of The Book of Mormon for her "personal" scripture study (she actually loves doing this--she loves to turn the pages of her tiny Book of Mormon and goes to fetch it before I even have to ask her to;)
-We sometimes read a fun bedtime book depending on how tired mom is
-We turn out the lights and I shine a flashlight on the glow stars on her wall to make them bright
-We fold arms and say a little personal prayer together, which always ends with a loud "'men!" from Tenley
-I tickle her back for a few minutes, kiss her, tell her I love her, and let her know that I'm going to leave and ask her to say "goodnight" and "bye" to me to acknowledge that she understands I'm leaving

Then she usually will cry or whimper "mama" a few times when I leave, but I just say, "It's okay, Tenley, mama's right here" and she goes right to bed. It's great. During the night, Tenley will often wake up around 5:30am and come to the gate in her doorway (which is just a few feet away from my side of the bed) and I just tell her to go back to bed.

Sometimes she won't go by herself and I have to walk her back to her bed, but I only do that if I don't want to hear her yelling "mama" five thousand times in the middle of the night. (It's cute to think about her wanting mama later on but at the time it's really annoying because she can be very loud). Anyway, Tenley will usually sleep in until somewhere between 6:30 and 8:30am, then she gets up again and I fetch her a pre-made bottle of whole milk from the fridge and she drinks it snuggled between Dalin and I in our bed. If she comes in around 6:30, we make her go back to sleep (sometimes with us) until its like 8:30 or 9am when we all get up.

So that's the routine currently. We are hoping we can get her to stop waking up in the early morning hours and crying (mainly because it will probably affect her brother's sleep) but we've been too exhausted to tackle that issue lately.

In other nighttime news, I get up at least twice a night to pee (which is frustrating and I can't wait for that to be over). Also, going to bed has been pretty uncomfortable lately (despite my amazing maternity pillow which I could NOT sleep without) because of this stupid acid reflux I've been experiencing. I had it a little toward the end with Tenley, too, and this time it started about a week ago. I take a few Tums and it helps sometimes, but my belly is just so huge that it is pushing the acid up my esophagus anyway and it's really been bothering me the last few days.

But I truly shouldn't complain because I'm so close to being done and overall it's been a breeze compared to some of my friends' pregnancies. I'm happy though and even happier that I have about 3 weeks or less left! Hooray!

Any suggestions (apart from Tums and sitting/sleeping upright) for acid reflux? I hate it!!!!
Or, maybe any suggestions for getting Tenley to stop waking up in the night? (Our doctor encouraged us to let her cry it out which we did in the past, but now she's much louder and her doorway is literally two feet away from where I sleep so it's pretty hard to ignore her crying for a full hour in the middle of the night).

I love hearing from you! I always get some great advice:)


  1. Our daughter is three and still often wakes sometime during the night. We used to allow her to come in our bed but now that we are also expecting #2 we are trying to get her to stay in her own room so she is ready when the baby comes. Many friends have told us to let her cry it out but I have found that if I just get up, walk her back to bed and pat her back for a few minutes she quietly goes right back to sleep! It may mean getting up for 5-10 minutes but it works so much better for me than waiting for her to finish crying which would take much more time! -- Best wishes as you figure it all out. Praying for your little family and enjoying all of your updates! - Amy

    1. Congrats on being pregnant with #2!!!!! Yay!!!! And that is so's not worth the fight half the time. I just really wish I wouldn't have to do that once baby #2 is here...I am praying for an easy sleeper (like his sister was as a newborn...)! My husband can always help but I hate to make him when he has to be up early for work and school. Maybe for the first few weeks until we adjust I'll have him help me out;)


I absolutely love to hear from you & will reply if I can!