A bedtime routine is a consistent selection of calm activities to do before it is time to sleep in order to get the baby to learn that when these routines are taking place it is bedtime. Many people think “well can’t I just put my baby down in their crib and that’s a wrap?”. Well if that is the case, you’ve got yourself a unicorn of a baby. Otherwise, babies need to learn the routine of bedtime to help them go to sleep more easily with less fight and to understand that bedtime means sleep. These useful tips will help your infants from not co-bedding with you until they’re 6 years old, will help you feel more rested and less frustrated at bedtime, and will allow your children to have better quality of sleep.
What consists of a bedtime routine?
The only way for a baby to learn a new habit, is for there to be consistency in the routine. If you’re keeping up the bedtime routine only a couple times in the week, your small efforts will be going nowhere. This means same time every night, same bed (not yours and sometimes the crib), same person or 2 putting the baby to bed, and the same routine.
Incorporating a soothing bath before bedtime can help to create a sense of calm. You can even try using scents of lavender; an essential oil that helps to encourage sleep and calm.
Applying some cream in a soothing massage motion can help relax your baby. Boy, is a baby’s life rough or what?!
Brush their teeth
Once your baby starts growing teeth, it’s good to incorporate brushing their teeth every night before bedtime so that becomes a habit. They can carry these good habits into childhood, which then will become effortless.
Putting on your infants cozies is a clear way for them to get to realize that is bedtime. Who doesn’t like to be cozy anyway?
Dimming the lights is a good way to teach infants that now it’s time to be quiet. Dim the lights just enough to still read your book if that’s what you incorporate in your routine. You can also try gradually reducing the lighting until the lights are out from the beginning to the end of bedtime.
If you’re reading a story, start with that first while the lights are still on. This is a good way for infants to learn to listen to your voice and the story without playing and interacting. If you’re going to sing a lullaby or song try to sing the same song or two every bedtime, that way the baby will recognize that “over the rainbow” for example, is before sleep.
Establishing a bedtime routine can be challenging and time consuming at first, but once you’ve got it, it will be so rewarding. If you’re having trouble sticking to your routine or you’re in need of some sleep training, contact RN Privée’s baby nurses to assist you.