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. 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 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. This means same time every night, same bed/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. https://www.healthline.com/health/parenting/essential-oils-for-babies#5
Applying some cream in a soothing massage motion can help relax your baby.
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 infant’s cozies is a clear way for them to realize that it is bedtime.
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.
Story time and/or lullaby:
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.