The Best Tips for Night Time Routines!
Let’s be honest, while we may love the joy of spontaneous activities , we are creatures of habit! Routines make our lives easier, especially with children!
Some moms look forward to starting the day with a brisk workout, picking up coffee at their favorite shop as an afternoon pick-me-up, or scheduling their day by the hour.
In order to get through all we want and need in a day, both mom and baby need to get a consistent number of zzzz’s each night. And this all starts with a nighttime routine. While this is one of the most important pieces of the daily puzzle, it can also be one of the most challenging!
Below we cover some of the best tips you can easily put to practice (starting tonight) that will help both you and your baby establish a nighttime routine to last.
What is a Bedtime Routine?
A bedtime routine is simply repeating the same sequence of actions each and every evening prior to bed. A bedtime routine doesn’t need to last long; as it is simply the actions themselves that serve as non-verbal cues to your baby that it’s time to go to rest and recharge.
When Should I Start a Bedtime Routine?
There is no need to start a bedtime routine immediately after a baby is born. It is not only unnecessary but it can actually be overwhelming. Take these first weeks to get to know your baby and settle into the feeling that all your old routines have changed!
We recommend beginning to start a bedtime routine with your baby when she or around 6 weeks to two months of age. At this point your infant is starting to distinguish between day and night and you may have also begun to settle into other routines as well.
The Best Activities for Establishing a Bedtime Routine:
Below are some of the easiest activities to do with your baby (or toddler) when establishing a bedtime routine. You can choose to start with one or do a combination of any of these; just make sure that you stick with the same activities each and every evening to build consistency for you and your baby.
1. Start with a Bath
A nice warm bath before bedtime can be extremely relaxing. Add a soothing bubble bath to calm down your baby and get him or her snuggled up and ready for bed. For newborns, a bath every night might be too much on their sensitive skin, so this may be one you include every few days.
2. Gentle infant massage:
Babies love gentle rubs, and according to research, they can help relax your baby. These are perfect right after a warm bath as well.
3. Feeding with some snuggles:
Nothing is better than a full belly before bed. If baby tends to fall asleep when feeding, you can always push the feeding up before bath time.
4. Finding a good book:
Settling into a rocking chair to cuddle up and read with your favorite book and blanket is a great way to end baby’s day.
5. Play White Noise in the Background:
Using white noise, either on a machine or a phone, is another soothing technique for relaxing your baby at bedtime. Choosing sounds such as gentle ocean waves, the rain, or any other white noise for your baby is the perfect way to help your baby fall asleep.
Beating the Bedtime Blues: Tips for a Successful Bedtime Routine
Here are a few key pointers to making your bedtime routine work well for you and for your baby:
- Keep your routine at the same exact time every night. Including feeding time, bath time, story, etc.
- Stick with the same activities every single evening to avoid confusion for baby
- Ensure that your baby has diapers that can last the night. Diapers that are saggy, wet, and irritating are enough to wake even the most sound sleeper. Mum & You’s eco-friendly, super soft diapers and training pants guard against leaks for up to 12 hours! That’s a lot of sleep time for you and your baby.
- Get other people involved during the bedtime routine. Enlist the help of your partner, or the baby’s siblings or grandparents to bond with the baby during this precious time of the day. Getting your baby used to others handling his or her bedtime routine will give you a break and still set him or her up for sleep!
Here are a few things to avoid when establishing a bedtime routine:
- Just say “no” to last minute, well-meaning visitors. One of the key parts to having a bedtime routine is sticking with it. Let family members and friends know that your child goes to sleep at a certain time and be sure to include the 20 to 30 minutes it might take you for your routine.
- Don’t repeat the entire routine if the baby wakes up in the middle of the night. This may actually stimulate your baby more and keep them up. Instead, do some snuggling or you can also consult a sleep training method if that suits your family and style of parenting better.
- Skip overstimulating activities too close to bedtime. Silly nighttime dance parties are fun, but make sure you plan to get this extra energy out before the bedtime routine.
Wrapping up Bedtime:
Establishing a bedtime routine helps babies to relax and be primed to fall asleep at bedtime. It then gives parents the time to bond with baby in a quiet and calm setting. Select activities that work best for you and your child enjoys most.
Don’t put too much pressure on yourself for nailing down a routine right away either. We hope this quick guide will help you to ultimately find the best routine for you and your baby so that bedtime is one of the easiest and most relaxing parts of your day.