Best Bedtime Routine for Baby to Sleep Better
As a new parent, your life revolves around your baby. It’s the best job in the world but comes with its own sets of responsibilities and challenges. Sleep deprivation is the most common issue among parents of infants and toddlers, especially mums. Your cuddle monster needs all the pampering, including feeding, playing, and sleeping. Newborns sleep more than 16 hours a day, as they need to be cute and awesome. At first, their sleep patterns are erratic, where they will sleep for a couple of hours, then wake up and sleep again. But after 3 or 4 months, they will start sleeping around 5 hours a stretch. This is the time you can start trying a baby bedtime routine. A consistent bedtime routine for your cuties will make you and them calmer and happier. You get a good night’s sleep and your bonny baby gets your undivided attention as your sleeping patterns sync.
Bedtime Routine for Baby- Benefits
A regular bedtime routine will reinforce their natural circadian rhythms and prepare your baby for sleep. A routine helps your babies with “sleep regressions”. Sleep regressions are the episodes where your babies do not sleep easily or wake up often. These are normal phenomena that happen during growth spurts in babies, yet challenging for you as you have to endure a cranky and sleepless child. A regular bedtime routine helps your baby get better sleep which lets you sleep better too. Another long-term benefit of creating a bedtime routine is that you set them up for life with good sleep habits. Even as adults, your children will follow good sleep hygiene and grow up calmer and less stressed as adults.
Baby Bedtime Routine- When to Start?
There is no need to start a bedtime routine as soon as you deliver your bundle of joy. Newborns need all the rest they can get and will sleep throughout the day. Their circadian rhythms are not developed yet and they do not have any predictable patterns. They will sleep for a couple of hours, wake up to feed, and then sleep again. So, for the first 3-4 months, feed and cuddle your baby, soak in their cuteness and enjoy the awesomeness of motherhood. At 4-6 months of age, you can predict your baby’s sleeping patterns. It is the time when they start developing sleep associations i.e., associating sleeping time with certain activities like feeding, massaging, and lullabies. And, this is the right time for you to start a bedtime routine for your kids.
Bedtime Routine for Baby- How to Start?
At 4-6 months, your baby will be sleeping around 5-6 hours at a stretch during the night time. This is the right time to initiate a day and nighttime routine for them. Keep a regular schedule of their feeding, playtimes, and naps during the day. Create a regular bedtime routine and put your munchkin to bed around the same time during the night.
Scheduling the Baby Bedtime Routine
The bedtime routine for your baby has to be flexible and works for both of you. Here is a great routine that you can follow or make changes that suits you and the baby.
1. A Soothing Bath Before Bedtime
A bath before bedtime will calm and relax your baby. Use warm water as it soothes your baby. Try a mild soap or a body wash. You can try O’Mumsie’s all-in-one “no-tear” body wash that is crafted especially for kids. It does not irritate their eyes and skin and gets them clean and ready for bed. It is made of organic ingredients like Shea butter, Aloe Vera, Chamomile, and extracts of Basil, Gooseberry, and Lavender oil, among a whole lot of other goodies. These are filled with the natural goodness of antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties. Green apple oil cleans the dirt away while Shea butter and Aloe Vera moisturize and nourish your baby’s skin. Gooseberry and Basil are full of antioxidants. Chamomile and Lavender oil soothes and calms your baby and has sleep-inducing powers. But do not bathe them every day as it may dry their sensitive skin. Do keep the weather conditions in mind too.
Next on our list of baby bedtime routine is baby massages. A gentle rubdown or a massage before bedtime will help your baby fall asleep. It relaxes your baby and produces more of the sleep hormone melatonin, which helps your baby get good sleep. Use a mild lotion or sleep balm for kids that has lavender, and chamomile oil that relaxes the body and induces sleep. O’Mumsie’s sleepy balm for babies has all these along with other organic ingredients like olive, mandarin, coconut, spearmint, and carrot seed oil. A gentle massage with this balm will prepare your baby for sleep and keep their gentle skin safe, smooth, and healthy.
3. Baby Feeding
Nursing or feeding your cuddly bunny leaves them content and is often sleep-inducing. It fills them up and lowers their chances of waking up at night demanding a ‘refill’. Some babies fall asleep at this stage itself.
4. Lullabies and Songs
If your baby is still awake, then gently rock and bounce them to sleep. Next lay them down in the crib. Sing lullabies or tell stories in a calm voice if they are still not fully asleep. White noise is also a great addition that will induce your baby to restful sleep. You can easily purchase a white noise machine through online and offline stores. Or better still, install a white noise app on your phone and get it for free.
Bedtime Routine for Baby- Helpful Tips
Let’s look at some helpful tips that help establish your dainty baby’s bedtime routine.
1. Timing is the Key
Maintain a log of your munchkin’s sleep patterns, and write down the longest sleep stretch during the night. Take note of their sleep cues, like yawning and rubbing their eyes. Establish the bedtime routine a half or three-quarters of an hour before their nightly drop-off time. Also, try to put them to sleep at their crib or their scheduled sleeping spot for bedtime and even for daytime naps.
2. Create the Right Atmosphere
While sleeping, keep your baby’s room dark and comfortable. Take care of external disturbances and irritants. These include switching off the lights and pulling the curtains down. Don’t forget to turn off the TV or lower its volume and put your phones on silent mode. You can also add white noise to the atmosphere through an app or a machine. It will help your baby sleep better and turning it on is also a cue for them to sleep. You can swaddle your newborns too as it provides a cozy womb-like experience to them and also prevents them from startling themselves awake.
3. Be Flexible & Patient
The bedtime routine for baby will change as your child grows up. Their needs will change and with that their routine. Your baby will have new life experiences like teething troubles, vaccinations, going to kindergarten, and making new friends among others. This may disturb or change their bedtime routine a bit. Be patient and adjust for the time being to get them back on schedule.Conclusion
Creating a baby bedtime routine is a challenging yet exciting task. You have to create a schedule that works for you and the baby. Creating a consistent bedtime routine will help both you and your baby get better sleep. It will also set the stage for good sleeping habits in your kids that will help them in childhood and as adults too.