Planning out a bedtime routine for your baby is one of the most important things for getting him to sleep on time on a regular basis, and you should come up with your own routine that suits him. You might think it’s too soon to start a bedtime routine but the opposite is true; it’s never really too soon to start a routine, and you can start planning out a bedtime schedule at the age of 6 to 8 weeks. Babies can greatly benefit from a routine because they need to wind down from the day just like adults and it will help them with their transition into childhood.
Decide on a bonding activity
Your baby will have to deal with being separated from you when it’s bedtime, which is a difficult thing for both you and him to deal with. To make it easier you should set up 30 minutes of bonding time during the evening as a part of your routine. The bonding time can involve playing a game, reading a nighttime story, or if he still has energy you can play a more active game that involves dancing or using a baby bouncer. If you decide on a more rowdy activity you should follow it up with a calming activity like a bath.
Nighttime baths are a good choice for a routine
A nighttime bath is a good choice for a routine because it will help to calm your baby down and establishes a more regular ritual. Warm water is also shown to make both adults and babies more tired after a bath, and it’s another great bonding activity that will decrease separation anxiety when it’s time for him to sleep. Some babies don’t enjoy baths as much, and if this is the case you can choose to leave bathing out of the ritual. Babies only really need a bath every other day or a few times per week.
Singing a song or reading is a good bonding activity
Your baby may really enjoy it when you a sing a song to him at bedtime or a lullaby, or he may respond better to book reading. It’s your choice as to what you think is a good bedtime bonding activity based on your baby’s responsiveness to reading or other activities. Reading a book will help your baby build up his vocabulary and studies have shown that it is very helpful for building language skills and intelligence, so it’ never a bad idea to read to your baby every evening.
Play relaxing music
Babies enjoy rhythmic sounds and it can be very helpful for getting them to sleep, so consider playing classical music or CDs with soothing white noise. There are a number of CDs and MP3s of songs that are specifically composed to help babies sleep. Sound machines that are designed to produce soothing white noise can also be a great way to help your baby get to sleep and can cut off external noise that may be bothering them as they try to sleep.