Baby Bedtime Routine
Let’s face it, we’re all creatures of habit! This is especially the case when it comes to sleep. We all have our own bedtime routines. We have our special sheets and favorite pillow. Some of us like our feet tucked in, and some like the blankets loose. Others want a pitch dark room.
However, some parents worry about using comforting sleep cues for their infants. They’ve heard that using swaddling or awhite noise CD will create a badbaby sleep habit, or even an “addiction,” that their baby will never be able to shake.
In truth, rocking your baby to sleep each night (or feeding her into slumber) delays her learning to self-soothe and put herself to sleep. But, on the other hand, these rituals remind her of life in the womb. They comfort and calm her! She, like the rest of us, drifts off more easily with familiar and favorite cues. So there is definitely an upside. Your goal is to get her sleeping, right?
How can you tell a good sleep cue from a bad one? It’s this simple:
- Bad sleep cues are inconvenient, demanding on you, and hard to wean.
- Good sleep cues are easy to use and easy to wean.
For example, if your baby needs 30 minutes of bottom-patting each time he rouses, or demands that only Mommy can put him to sleep (and screams if Daddy, Grandma, or anyone else steps in), it’s pretty clear you’re looking at a bad bedtime routine.
During the first few months, I recommend using the following cues to signal it’s time for some shut-eye:
Baby Bedtime Routine
- Turn on some rumbly white noise.
- Do a snug swaddle (arms down).
- Give your baby a breast or paci to suck on.
- Enjoy some sweet rocking as you ease your baby into the sleepy zone!
When Should You Start a Bedtime Routine for a Baby?
Most babies are receptive and able to start a bedtime routine at around 6 to 8 weeks. Having a newborn bedtime routine helps to calm your baby and eases them to a good night’s sleep. Keep in mind that starting a bedtime routine for your newborn and helping your child get a good night’s sleep are vital to both your little lovebug’s happiness and your own!
How Do You Get a Baby Into a Bedtime Routine?
Getting your newborn into a bedtime routine is all about consistency. Wake up at consistent times, feed your baby at the same time each day, and pretty soon, your baby will be on a consistent schedule.
Final Thoughts: Baby Bedtime Routine
As you can see, the above baby bedtime routine has fairly undemanding steps that won’t lead you down the road to disaster. You can also begin teaching your baby to put herself to sleep by learning my “wake and sleep” technique. Be consistent with the routines, and your baby will be on a great path for good sleep!