When Should You Start Establishing a Baby Bedtime Routine?
We humans are creatures of habit and this holds true even as babies.
Fussy as they are, getting babies to fall asleep has less to do than putting them in their cribs or your bed than it does with whatever you do before putting them down.
To be more specific, we’re talking about the bedtime routine.
Setting up a simple and repeatable routine for your baby’s bedtime can help significantly improve both the quality of your baby’s sleep and that of yours.
Experts recommend establishing a baby bedtime routine early on in an infant’s life. Ideally, you’ll want to start once they’re six weeks of age, although three months (and older) is neither too old or too late.
If you’re unsure what to do, you can take cues from what your baby is doing and what they prefer or what works for them.
following these 5 simple steps would be even better
1. Give Your Baby a Bath
A great way to kick off the bedtime routine of your baby is to give them a soothing bath.
Just as you would take a shower at night at the end of the day to signal your body that it’s time to relax and unwind, the same goes for your baby.
2. Prepare the Room
Whether you co-sleep with your baby or let your baby sleep in his or her crib, this doesn’t matter as much as how comfortable the rest of the room is.
The human body sleeps better in a quiet, cool, and dark environment.
This essentially means the least amount of lighting as possible. This is because, the less exposed the human body is to lights, the more melatonin it produces.
Melatonin is a hormone that your brain produces in response to darkness. It helps with the timing of your circadian rhythms (24-hour internal clock) and with sleep.
Being exposed to light at night can block melatonin production.
In turn, your baby will fall asleep faster. But do try to ensure that the environment remains as it is for the duration of your baby’s sleep.
Otherwise, you and your partner will find yourself having to comfort a crying baby in the middle of the night.
3. Put your Baby Down Drowsy and Not Asleep
Babies sleep pretty much like adults. This means that they sleep in cycles as well.
The only difference is that babies have a tendency to wake up more often, like once every 40 minutes or so.
The reason why we’re pointing this out is that babies usually resort to crying as soon as they realize that something changed from when they fell asleep.
For example, you not holding them in their arms anymore, or you being out of sight.
But, if you make your way outside while your baby’s eyeballs are still dropping, your baby won’t think that it’s wrong if you’re not there once they fall asleep.
4. Let your Baby Feel Calm and Comfortable
Soothing your baby once he or she has taken a bath and is in nighttime clothes already, is one way of making them fall asleep better.
Just keep in mind that there’s no universal way to soothe and calm babies down. You’ll have to figure it out yourself. Also, try not to worry too much.
What you do really doesn’t matter as much as you consistently doing it. Although, giving your baby a massage, playing them a lullaby, and/or reading them bedtime stories will definitely help.
5. Flexibility is Key
Consistency is important, but bedtime routines shouldn’t be set in stone.
This is mainly because your child is growing, which means that his or her needs, as well as likes and dislikes, change all of the time as well.
What worked last month or even last month will likely not work anymore this time around.
If the once comforting evening baths are having the opposite effect on your baby, be flexible enough to find other techniques that will soothe and calm your baby down.
Remember, you’re not the only one who’s learning about your child’s bedtime routine. They are learning with you as well.
This means that you’ll have to let them figure out their bedtime routine for themselves too.
Eventually, the two of you will get the hang of it, and that’s thanks to these steps, no less!
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