As a parent, you’ll soon find that there’s nothing quite as wondrous as a good night’s sleep – for both you and baby! The key to helping your baby develop & establish good sleeping habits, is to establish a good bedtime routine right from the start. A bedtime routine is a set of activities that precede bedtime to help your little one fall asleep easier, and must be followed consistently over time.
Why is it important to establish a bedtime routine?
A consistent bedtime routine can be calming for baby, helping them fall asleep faster
Studies show that infants with a good bedtime routine sleep longer, wake up lesser through the night and even deal better with sleep regression, when it takes place
Your bedtime routine signals to your baby that it’s time to go to bed. Once they pick up this routine, it’s so much easier to put them to sleep every night. This is especially helpful when you’re travelling or trying to put baby to bed in an unfamiliar environment
It’s the perfect time to relax and bond with your baby after a long day
When to start following a bedtime routine?
You can start establishing a simple bedtime routine as early as 8-12 weeks. That’s when babies typically begin to develop their circadian rhythms and understand the difference between night & day. You don’t need to worry about following a bedtime routine for the first few weeks, as newborns don’t have any concept of night & day or any predictable pattern.
How to establish a peaceful bedtime routine?
Here are some tips on how to start creating a proper bedtime routine for your little ones. However, it is important to note that every family has their own set of needs and particular circumstances. Create a routine that works best for you and your family, while keeping all of baby’s needs in mind. Use these tips as a set of guiding principles to help you create the perfect bedtime routine for your baby.
Pick the correct time to begin your routine Typically, baby’s bedtime routine should take about an hour. So, plan to start your routine at least an hour before you want baby to go to sleep. A good bedtime for baby is typically between 7 pm to 8 pm but when you’re starting out, try and pick a time that’s closest to your baby’s usual bedtime. Try and understand your baby’s sleep cues – they might start yawning or rub their eyes. Setting a bedtime and staying consistent about this is important in establishing a proper nightly routine.
Always put baby down to sleep when they’re drowsy, but not yet asleep Just as you complete your bedtime routine, put your baby down in their crib while they’re drowsy but not yet asleep. This helps your little one fall asleep on their own. While this might not work immediately with all babies, the key is to stay consistent and keep trying until you see a change.
Help baby calm down with a relaxing bath & pre-bedtime massage A warm bath and massage can help almost anyone relax, and the same holds true for your baby! Start baby’s bedtime routine by unwinding with a quick bath using our gentle & hypoallergenic baby bath-time products. As newborns have very dry & sensitive skin, they only need a bath 2 or 3 times a week. However, even if you don’t give baby a bath, use a damp cloth to clean their face, hands and feet. Make sure you change their diaper, and brush their teeth or gently clean baby’s gums. If your baby enjoys a massage, use a gentle massage oil like our Calming Baby Massage Oil that not only helps lock in moisture in the skin, but also helps strengthen baby’s bones & muscles.
Dress baby in cozy and breathable bedtime wear Swaddling your little one can help them sleep longer and better. If your little one has outgrown their swaddle or doesn’t enjoy being swaddled, try dressing them in a sleep bag instead. Swaddles and sleep bags are both safe practices for putting your baby to bed. Explore our complete range of soft & breathable muslin swaddle blankets and sleep bags for babies, that’ll help them sleep in maximum comfort and coziness.
Create a peaceful sleep environment Once you’ve given baby a bath and massage, make sure you create a calming, peaceful environment in the bedroom before taking them in. Minimize any noise, make sure the bedroom is completely dark by drawing the shades, and maintain a cozy temperature in the room. Prevent any overstimulation by avoiding having any visitors over before baby’s bedtime.
Sing baby a lullaby or read a bedtime book Getting to relax and bond with your baby at the end of the day is truly the best part of their bedtime routine. Pick a nightly activity that is calming for baby. You could read them a short story every night. Even if baby is too young to understand, they can still pick up on cues and will associate this with bedtime. The sound of your voice is soothing to baby. You could even sing them a lullaby to help them doze off.
Let baby’s other caregivers also get involved in this nightly routine As baby grows, let other caregivers in your family such as your spouse or the grandparents also take over the bedtime routine once in a way. This will help make sure your little one adjusts easily in case you aren’t there to tuck them in sometimes.
Make adjustments but stay consistent Babies go through so many different developmental milestones in those first few months and years, and sometimes it might seem hard to maintain a fixed schedule or routine. It’s okay to make adjustments every now and then to keep up with this, but staying consistent is extremely essential to establish a strong bedtime routine for baby.
Tell us – what are some of your bedtime rituals? We’d love to know more about your individual nightly routines.