Baby Sleep Time Routine
When a baby is born, it will sleep for most part of the day because the body has not yet adapted to the day and night changes and it continues to work as it used to when the baby was in your womb. The first two months will more or less be an eat, sleep, play routine so you can’t expect a bedtime routine for 2 month old. But as your baby turns three months, he has definitely sorted out day from night and this is the right time to introduce him to a good baby sleep time routine. Healthy sleep habits begin early on in life.
Babies love predictable routines and if you do the same things in a sequence for about a week to 10 days, then they know what is going to come next. A good bedtime routine should include a short massage, followed by a warm baby bath, cotton night clothes that are comfortable (you will need to dress your baby as per the season that is full sleeves in winter and lighter cotton clothes in summer). This can be followed by bed time stories preferably from a book with big pictures. After this, you could feed the baby or give a bottle and then put the baby to sleep while humming a sweet lullaby or your favorite childhood song.
Whatever routine you follow should be consistent and you can decide what to include from the above. The massage and bath will help the baby to relax and thus sleep better. Bedtime means your baby needs to get the message that play time is over. If there are older children in the house, engage everyone in some quite playtime. This is the best bedtime routine for baby and toddler. Having a lively playful environment around will not allow the baby to settle down as he will keep getting distracted. Ensure that bedtime is a pleasurable moment with lots of cuddles, love and kisses. Your sleeping baby may cry if he sees you leave the room. In such a case calm him down and reassure that you will be back soon. This is called separation anxiety and it normally peaks around 9-12 months of age.
Tips to Establish a Good Sleep Time Routine
If you want your little one to have a good baby sleep routine, then you could make use of these tips.
- Calming down: Before you start the bedtime routine, ensure that the baby has finished playing. Picking him up between an interesting game or playtime, can make him cranky and make the sleep routine long and tedious.
- Massage and bath: A short massage and warm bath will help your baby to relax and make sure you only good quality baby products. Wear them comfortable night clothes and comb their hair.
- Get the room ready: Dim the lights and play some soft music or lullaby. Create a dark surrounding to give the message that it is night and time to sleep. If your baby not sleeping do not worry as sooner or later he will settle into a routine. Create a favorable atmosphere for the baby to sleep by drawing the curtains and putting off the television or any other noise creating object. Talk to your baby when you hold him close as your voice will have a calming effect on him and help him settle down faster. Also set a time for going to bed. Infant bedtime should be somewhere around 7-8 pm and not later than that.
- Say goodnight: Teach your little one the habit of saying goodnight to everyone and at times everything. He can say bye to all his favorite toys and this will get across the message that everything is winding down and ready for sleep. You will feel very happy when all this routine and little things pay off and your baby begins sleeping through the night.
These are just some guidelines to help your baby sleep better and ultimately you are the best guide to decide what suits you and your baby. Baby sleep patterns tend to change every few months. There are many baby sleep aids also available like rocking chairs or swings. Putting the baby in these helps them to sleep quickly and comfortably. The only drawback is that these are all habit forming and your baby may refuse to sleep without them after a while. You can choose what suits you the best. Most babies begin sleeping all though the night or for considerably long hours around the age of 9 to 12 months. So your much needed rest is just around the corner, hang in there moms!