The Best Bedtime Routine for Babies
When to start with bedtime routines?From the time your baby is around three months old, you can start thinking about a bedtime routine. Before three months your baby will probably often fall asleep shortly after a meal. A baby under three months also sleeps very inconsistently, so there is no reason to put a lot of effort into a bedtime routine at this time. But for a newborn a bedtime routine can be as simple as calming down before sleep, getting dressed for bedtime, and having a nice and peaceful time at the changing table. As your child gets older you can build on more in the routine.
How to create a calm bedtime routine
There is no one-size-fits-all bedtime routine that works for every baby. Try to be flexible and find what suits you, your baby, and the rest of the family. Children like repetition and it is the familiarity of the bedtime routine that calms your baby and gives them a sense of security and safety. Therefore, you should not change the bedtime routine from day to day or from week to week. Instead, build a consistent routine that both you and your baby can recognize from time to time.
Get inspired by the following ideas for creating a calm and soothing bedtime routine:
- A soothing bath is calming for most small children, and warm water almost has sleep-inducing powers. However, do not do this every night since it can dry out your little one’s skin.
- A gentle massage can allow the body and mind to calm down. Further, it promotes bonding through skin-to-skin contact.
- A soothing song or lullaby also calms babies and puts them to sleep. Combined with a rocking motion it brings a sense of calmness and security to little ones.
- Reading a short bedtime story in a quiet, calm voice can also make your baby relaxed and settled. And again, children like repetition so read the same books.
- Take your time at the changing table, getting dressed, and brushing teeth (if your child has teeth).