Bedtime Routine - When & How To Start It
Before bedtime routine (or you can call it just bedtime routine) is something you can apply since the very beginning. What is this really about? You should start following a set pattern every night. It is as simple as that. All the actions that need to be done before putting the baby to sleep, you should do in the very same order every single night. The sooner you establish your routine, the easier your sleep training will be. 6-8 weeks - it should be your final call.
Why so important
Even if babies cannot consciously follow the routine yet, they will appreciate the consistency and predictability. Thanks to that, babies feel safe and more relaxed, while falling asleep but also in the morning. Regular schedules and bedtime rituals play a significant role in helping kids function at their best. When you set up and maintain good sleep habits, it helps your child to fall asleep fast but also to stay asleep, and - in the end - awake rested and truly refreshed. But what is best - when babies go through a bedtime routine, it helps trigger their bodies natural sleep hormones.
How to set up a bedtime routine
You can take a planned template to follow or create your own checklist. Depending on the age you start establishing the routine, it will look different. But there are some basics you need to follow at any time.
Remember to encourage calm time before bedtime. Activities like reading and quiet play would be better than intense competitive games. Don’t forget feeding and a fresh diaper.
You can start off your child’s routine with a relaxing bath; it will calm the baby for the rest of the evening. Little massage would be soothing for the baby. Also putting on pajamas is the sign even newborns can connect with getting to sleep. Reading a book and singing a lullaby are classic parts of a bedtime routine.
The best way to communicate the end of the day? A kiss and a cuddle.
As you can see, how your routine looks like depends on you. There is no easy answer, what is best for you and your baby. You should analyze your other commitments first, observe your newborn for a while and find your pattern of bedtime routine to follow. And remember - bedtime rituals may be good for parents, too! At least it keeps you more organized!
You can find out more about your baby sleep in "How to teach a baby to fall asleep alone." guide.