Baby bedtime routines are necessary; they help make things easier for both you and your baby at night. If you need to create a baby bedtime routine to help your baby fall asleep, the steps below will help you achieve that.
- Begin Early
As the saying goes “The early bird gets the worm”, If you want your baby to maintain a bed time routine, it is best if you start early and on time. If you know what you could do to help your baby maintain a bed time routine (which you will be finding out in this article), try to start implementing them at once so as to get results quickly. When is the best time for you to start a bedtime routine for your baby? Between six to eight weeks of age should be perfect enough.
- Engage them in fun before bed time
Doing a particular fun activity before bed time every night will help your baby understand when it is time for sleep. Anything would do, the aim is just to give your baby that bed time signal until they get used to it and would no longer be needing it. You can read them bed time stories or let them play with toys when it’s close to bed time and let them sleep right after that. By doing this every day, not only will your baby know when it is time to sleep, it will also make your baby anticipate bed time as thoughts of the fun awaiting will come to mind.
- Give your baby a soak
This is one of the most effective means of creating a bed time routine, a sweet warm bath just before bed time. Try to give your baby a soothing bath in the tub about 30 minutes before bed time; it will help him feel relaxed and willing to go to bed. Even adults do feel the need for sleep at night after a good night bath, what more babies. If you continue with this routine every day, while enjoying the bath, your baby will understand that he is meant to sleep after that.
- Try Some Scents
Scents with very pleasant smell can help soothe your baby to sleep. Ideal scents you can make use of include lavender, sweet orange and others. You can mix these scents together with you baby carrier oil and apply it on the skin or you can simply diffuse them, they are sure to give your baby that dizzy feel that will see them sleeping soon. Scented candle can also be perfect for this, just light few of them and let the scent fill the place.
- Carry out a Baby Massage
Everyone enjoys having a massage as massages work great in making one feel relaxed. These massages were not meant for adults alone; babies do need and enjoy them too. You should carry out a baby massage some minutes before your baby’s bed time if you want to help them fall asleep and enjoy their sleep as well. Massage their necks, legs, and other body parts and do try to be gentle with it, it is not necessary for you to use oil. Also, Massage is not just to help your baby relax and sleep; it is also a great way for you to bond with your baby.
- Wrap your Baby
It is called swaddling and is one of the ways you can get your baby to fall asleep every night as it is one of the safe sleep recommendation steps by the AAP. Swaddling is easy; you just wrap a baby in a blanket so they feel warm and secured; sometimes a sleep sack can be used. By using a swaddle, your baby won’t get disturbed by his own startle reflex which is common with most babies. It also helps calm your baby but make sure the swaddle is not too tight around the chest so as not to affect his breathing.
- Play Background Noise
You already know what a background noise is, it is sometimes called white noise. It is true that babies may be able to fall asleep quickly when there is a little noise in the background. Your baby has already been used to white noise from when he was in the womb and these noises help soothe and comfort your baby when it is time for sleep as they block out other noises in the environment. You can purchase white noise machines for these; these white noise machines have different soothing sounds that can be effective in making your baby fall asleep.
- Watch when you feed
You are making a mistake if you are the type that feeds your baby just right before bed time. It is unlikely for your baby to fall asleep and stay asleep because the food in his tummy will make him uncomfortable. Try to feed your baby way earlier before bed time, about an hour or more before so as to give his body enough time to digest the food. Some people do eliminate nighttime feeding completely, this may work but it is not safe for babies under six months of age as they need to eat frequently.
- Make sure the air is fresh and pure
Fresh air is good for everyone; you fall asleep faster when the air is fresh and pure and so it is for babies too. If not that it is night time, taking your baby outside to sleep is best (you know you should not try that). So what can you do to ensure that the air is fresh? It’s simple, get a cool mist humidifier, there are so many of them available for you to buy and add to your baby nursery. These humidifiers add moisture to the air and create a favorable breathing condition for your baby which will make your baby fall asleep and sleep comfortably.
- Watch the Room Temperature
It’s unlikely for anyone to sleep in room with an uncomfortable temperature. The room in which your baby is kept should not be too hot or too cold if you want them to fall asleep. Other than for sleeping purposes, there are many disadvantages if your baby’s room is not in the right temperature it should be and one of them is that it can cause sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). For your baby to sleep comfortably, the room temperature should be kept between 20 – 22.2°C.
- Get Rid of Distractions
Can you fall asleep when you are distracted? The answer is a capital NO, but you can fall asleep when the place is calm and so it is for babies. If you want your baby to maintain a bed time routine, you sure do not need any form of distraction that will make them uneasy and quick to wake. There are few things you should do to chase distractions away from your baby nursery so they can fall asleep and stay asleep like dimming the light bulbs and getting rid of unwanted noises. Also, you and your partner should not discuss close to where your baby is sleeping, if for any reason you must, try to keep your voice in the lowest of tunes.
- Use a Pacifier
Pacifiers are safe to use at both naptime and bedtime and it is a nice way to get your baby to sleep. Using a pacifier is not to make your baby sleep for a long time or sleep more comfortably; it is just a perfect way to make them fall asleep faster. You should not just get your baby any pacifier, ensure you use a safe pacifier and one that is designed for his age, then watch him fall asleep. If you can, remove it after he falls asleep but if you feel he will wake up, leave it.
- Try Sleep Training
Sleep training is simply the process where you teach as baby how to fall asleep and stay asleep all through the night. With this training, your baby gets to put himself to bed on his own. It is recommended that you start sleep training when your baby is about 4 – 6 months old or even older due to the fact that babies are different. There are different methods of sleep training, you could try a few with your baby and stick to the one that works best.
- Switch Baby Care Givers
Baby care givers in this case are you and your partner, it would be great if you both take turns in helping your baby fall asleep. Why is that? Sometimes you may not be around and if your baby is used to just you in his bed time routine, it may be hard for anyone else to make him fall asleep, so try and switch and take turns.
- Write down your schedule
If you have found the perfect bed time routine for your baby, it should not just be in your head as there may be times when you will not be around to carry it out. You do not want any other person finding it hard to put your baby to bed so try to write it down.