Ten Steps Easy Baby Bedtime Routine

cute baby sleeping in a woolen hat

10 Steps For An Easy Baby Bedtime Routine

It is natural for some babies to not sleep properly for the first year. However, you can help your baby sleep through the night, or at least a few hours longer, by employing some simple baby bedtime routine strategies from day one. These 10 tips will help you have an easy baby betime routine in no time. 

Establish A Baby Bedtime Routine

Developing a baby bedtime routine can be very helpful. Studies show that babies who follow a proper bedtime routine sleep well and are less likely to wake up crying in the middle of the night.

You can develop routinely bedtime rituals like giving your baby a warm bath and a massage just before putting them in bed or you can read a story or sing a soothing lullaby.

Notice Baby’s Tired Signs

Babies, just like adults, become grumpy and tired due to lack of sleep. Know when your baby is showing sleep signs, such as losing interest in toys and activities, becoming quiet or making a fuss.

Put your baby to bed as soon as you notice any of these signs or else the baby might become irritable and grouchy. If you do not put your baby to sleep at the right time, the negative mood will affect them and make it even more difficult for them to sleep.

Use Sounds and Music at Baby Bedtime

Simple monotonous sounds or relaxing lullabies can help your baby fall asleep. Newborns are not used to silence. Recordings of your baby’s favorite lullaby played continuously or the sounds of sea or waterfalls help relax baby.  Sounds from ceilings fan, clock ticking, air conditioner, or that of running water from a close by tap can all help in your baby’s sleep.

The right kinds of sounds have a soothing effect on your baby. Some sounds remind your baby of the sounds they heard in the womb making it easier for them to fall asleep.

Use Security Objects

Giving your older baby a security object, such as a stuffed animal or a blanket, can also be helpful. Keep the object with you so it smells of you. Babies have a powerful sense of smell. Whenever your baby wakes up startled at night, the scent can help them calm down and go back to sleep. Don’t use these with young babies who are not fully mobile as they pose a suffocation risk. 

Reduce Caffeine

When you are breastfeeding your baby, the caffeine you drink can give your baby a stimulant which makes them restless and fidgety. Cut back on your caffeine intake to avoid the effects. Caffeine is found in coffee, some soft drinks, sports and energy drinks.  Be sure to check the labels on food and drinks. 

older baby sleeping

Check For Physical Discomfort

For a good night’s sleep your baby needs to be as comfortable as possible.  As part of your babies  bedtime sleep routine make sure your baby is warm, cozy, and physically comfortable when you put them to sleep.

Clear out your baby’s nose to create way for better breathing.

Make sure that the baby’s room is clean, dust free and has no allergens.

If your baby is teething at night, it can be very painful and uncomfortable for them, making it impossible for them to sleep well.

With your doctor’s permission you can give your baby small doses of infant acetaminophen just before bedtime to help them sleep better if they are really distressed.  Give every 4 to 6 hours as needed. But you shouldn’t give more than five doses in 24-hours. You shouldn’t give Tylenol routinely or for more than a day or two in a row.

Enjoy A Snuggle 

Make sure that the bed where your baby sleeps is warm and comfy. Putting a warm baby to sleep in a cold bed can be very discomforting just as it can for adults. 

Wrap your baby in a snug blanket before putting them to bed. This can also be helpful with the startle or moro reflex which will wake baby up. 

Try Baby Massage

Some researches show that prior to putting your baby to bed, a gentle massage can be helpful. A massage will help in relaxing your baby, sooth their muscles; thus, making it easier for them to go to sleep in a calm and relaxed manner. Use a light natural oil such as almond oil rather than a paraffin or mineral oil which is artificial and bad for baby.

In fact all kinds of oils for baby massage can be used such as coconut, sunflower, safflower and even olive oil which are much better for baby than chemical laden products made by big companies. 

Soothe Your Baby as Bedtime Approaches

Help your baby relax and unwind well before bedtime. You can read your baby a book, walk around with them, try a rocking chair or special baby hammock, offer a pacifier, or anything else which helps in relaxing your baby. Listening to stories and calming lullabies really helps to set the mood and settle baby down before sleep. 

Use Dimmers

Controlling light is one way to help regulate your baby’s sleep cycle. Use dimmer lighting after the sun goes down even if your baby is not going to bed right away. Making clear distinctions between day and night time can be very helpful. Use bright lights during the day, even if your baby is napping, and dim lights during the night.

By using these tips to establish a baby bedtime routine will make bedtime a peaceful and enjoyable time for you and your baby. 

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Our Experts

Our Expert

Jane Cooke - Baby Sleep Expert