10 Sep Designing a Bedtime Routine for Baby
Most parents would agree that getting their baby to sleep at night is one of their biggest challenges. Putting your baby to sleep can be difficult as for many parents this means combating a lot of fussing and crying.
However, even if your baby isn’t sleeping for very long stretches at a time, there are things that you can do to help your baby get to sleep faster. This all has to do with creating a bedtime routine for our little one before you put them in their cribs.
Babies learn actions early on in life, even before they learn the meaning of words—which is why consistency is key when it comes to creating a bedtime routine that will work to help get your baby ready to drift off. When their bedtime routine is simple and predictable, it communicates to your baby that they need to start relaxing because it is time for bed.
Typically, at about 6 weeks old, your baby will start to fall into a more regular routine with their sleeping, eating and awake times, this age is a great time to start developing a set bedtime routine as they are more likely to absorb the routine and understand what it means.
Here is an example of a suggested bedtime routine:
The first thing to remember is that bedtime routines can vary from baby to baby and parent to parent. The ideal pre-bedtime routine can last anywhere from 15 minutes to 1 hour, but you should try to keep it as short as possible. Of course, if your baby is in a certain mood—short and sweet bedtime routines may not be a possibility.
Here is a sample of how your routine can go:
45-60 Minutes Before Bedtime- Give your baby a bath and a clean diaper.
30-45 Minutes Before Bedtime- Give your infant a gentle soothing massage, put them in pajamas and swaddle your baby. Make the room dark and turn on white noise if you use it.
15-30 Minutes Before Bedtime- Nurse/feed or engage in other calming activities that you choose. This may also include book time.
10-15 Minutes Before Bedtime- Go to your baby’s bedroom, if you haven’t already, and gently snuggle or rock your baby to sleep. If you need to burp them this is also the time.
5 Minutes Before Bedtime- Once your baby is drowsy, but awake, gently lay them down in their crib so they can fall asleep.
As your baby starts to drift off, try quietly leaving the room. For some parents, this is the most difficult part of the process, especially if their baby is particularly perceptive and knows when their parents have left the room.
This is just one example, of many different types of bedtime routines for babies. If you have questions about establishing a bedtime routine for your little one, or if your child is struggling to get enough sleep at night, you can always schedule an appointment with us here at Continuum Pediatrics by calling 817-617-8600 today.