Many advantages come with establishing a bedtime routine for your baby. You’ll save time, improve morning and evening planning, teach your baby that bedtime is “big sleep” time, and more. Establishing a bedtime routine can easily result in your baby falling right to sleep the minute it is placed in the crib, allowing you to enjoy your evening.
Let’s look at a few tips for creating a solid bedtime routine:
The Right Time
Putting your baby to bed early may seem like the wrong idea, but it works. Start the bedtime ritual early so your baby is ready for bed when it exhibits the first signs of sleepiness. Babies are wired to hit the hay early, usually after their dinner. Food, bath, bottle, bed. That’s the baby way. Aim for between 5pm and 7pm, and keep in mind overtired babies do not sleep well, meaning you will not sleep well.
Basic Bedtime Steps
The basic baby bedtime steps include: 1. Bath, 2. Bottle and Feeding, 3. Burping, 4. Diaper Change, 5. Clothes Change, 6. Rocking/Soothing, 7. Pacifier, 8. Room and Bed.
You don’t have to give your baby a bath, however it is a great way relax the infant. Make sure the warm is warm but not too hot, and splash the water in your baby bathtub before putting the child in.
Feeding and Burping
The idea here is to get your baby to eat as much as possible without becoming uncomfortable. The amount of food babies ingest is generally related to how long they will sleep. Milk is what newborns need, so make certain it is body-temperature warm. Make cereal part of the routine as soon as your baby can eat solid food. Do this around dinnertime and follow it with a bottle.
Burping is necessary to prevent gas, nighttime spit-ups, and discomfort.
Sleep Diapers and Clothes
Sleep diapers are a great thing, particularly if your baby frequently wakes up with a wet diaper. Look for diapers that feature extra padding to wick more moisture during the night.
Change your baby into fresh clothes for bedtime, such as soft “footy” pajamas with long sleeves. Never put your baby to bed in daytime clothes, and use swaddling clothes or a baby sleep sack for newborns.
Read to your baby or rock it in your arms, ideally in a rocking chair. Use a high-quality clean pacifier, as they are recommended as SIDS prevention by pediatricians. Don’t worry about sticking the pacifier back in your baby’s mouth if it falls out once the child is asleep.
Room And Bed
Your baby’s room should be dark with the exception of a night light. Don’t crowd the bed with extra blankets or stuffed toys, and use a sound machine to help your baby relax. Leave the room once you know the blanket is secure.
Get some shut-eye after the baby is down for the night!