Our Tips For Baby Bedtime Routines
Once you bring your baby home from the hospital, establishing a newborn bedtime routine is essential. It will let your baby know that bedtime is coming so they can wind down and relax, and you can too. The more you enforce the routine, the more it will help them go to sleep on time and stay asleep through the night. Yes, it’s easier said than done, but find what works and stick with the process. You’ve got this mom and dad! Here are some tips for newborn baby bedtime routines.
What does a healthy bedtime routine look like for a newborn baby?
While there’s no perfect formula for bedtime routines, and life can interrupt consistency, try your best to get your baby on a healthy bedtime routine. The routine should start about 45 minutes to an hour before bed, leaving you enough time to wind your baby down, bond with them, and say a peaceful goodnight. Healthy bedtime routines should consist of the following timeline:
- 45 Minute to an hour before sleep: Give your baby a soothing bath. Follow up with lotion and a clean diaper. This will make them comfy and ready for bed.
- 30 to 45 Minutes before sleep: Massage your infant. Dress them in comfy pajamas and swaddle them up. Turn on an ambient noise machine and make the room dim or dark.
- 15 to 30 Minutes before sleep: Nurse or feed your baby. You may also engage in other calming activities such as turning on a mobile or reading a book.
- 10 to 15 Minutes before sleep: Move to the baby’s room, if you haven’t done so already. Burp them if needed and gently rock or snuggle them.
- 5 Minutes before sleep: At this point, your baby should be drowsy enough for you to put them in their crib. To make the transition smoother, try laying them down with a weighted blanket or swaddle that mimics a human hug.
- Slowly walk out of the room as your baby falls asleep: You can say something like, “Good night, I love you,” but speak softly and keep words to a minimum. If you talk too much or too loudly, it may stimulate the child.
What are the advantages of bedtime routines for babies?
In addition to a smooth bedtime transition, a consistent routine offers many benefits for your baby such as the following:
- Soothes the baby: A routine can help calm and soothe your baby, thus allowing them to prepare for sleep. Overtime, this will teach them how to fall asleep on their own as they get older.
- Establishes a routine: While newborns may not fall asleep and stay asleep as you are hoping, they will eventually recognize the routine as they get older. They will be more likely to sleep through the night sooner.
- Helps your baby relax and reduces stress: Routines help reduce stress for babies and adults. Going to bed stress-free promotes a good night’s sleep. Establishing a routine early on will help promote healthy sleep and lifestyle habits in the future.
When should I start a bedtime routine with my newborn?
Three months is a good age to start a baby bedtime routine with your newborn. While you can start at an earlier age, babies are likely to be resistant until they hit the three-month mark.
How Do You Get a Baby Into a Bedtime Routine?
Every baby will react differently, so while our tips should help get your baby into a bedtime routine, there’s no one formula that fits all. Some babies may need additional aid or steps in order to get them to bed. Here are some tips to help get your baby into a bedtime routine:
- Start the routine at the right time: It’s best to start the routine an hour or so before your baby tends to go down for their longest stretch of sleep. So, if your baby sleeps best between 8 PM and 1 AM, start your routine at around 7:15 PM. Stick to the same time every night.
- Put your baby to sleep in the same place: It’s best to put the baby in its crib when it’s ready for nighttime sleep. Avoid scheduling errands around sleep time as the baby may fall asleep in its stroller or car seat. If that’s the case, the baby will have to be moved which can interfere with sleep.
- Master the drop off: Most parents will have the biggest challenge putting their baby down in its crib for the night. The baby is likely to start crying when it leaves its mother’s or father’s arms. It’s best to attempt the drop off when the baby is drowsy but not asleep. However, this will be a major challenge no matter what.
Why are baby bedtime routines so important?
There are several reasons why a newborn bedtime routine is so important. Here are some to consider:
- Helps the baby fall asleep: As a parent, our baby sleeping is a beautiful thing. Not only are they getting the rest they need to wake up refreshed, but you can too. A routine helps babies know when bedtime is approaching. With a better understanding that it’s time to go to sleep, babies can start relaxing and fall asleep sooner.
- Keeps the baby asleep: Babies often experience sleep regressions in their first year. They will have a hard time falling and staying asleep. A baby bedtime routine will provide comfort that helps them sleep in times of sleep regression.
- Aids with learning: A bedtime routine for babies promotes better sleep which helps them reach developmental milestones. It also aids with learning and memory.
- Bond with baby: A newborn bedtime routine is a bonding moment for parent and child. Enjoy the good nights and bad ones too, as this time is precious.
How can I get my newborn to sleep longer at night?
You may think this is a million dollar question - but the answer is actually very simple. Weighted sleep aid products such as swaddles, sleep sacks, and blankets are the winning ticket item. Swaddles and sleep sacks provide a womblike experience that promotes relaxation. Adding a weighted element into the design helps calm the baby. Dreamland Baby blankets, swaddles, and sleep sacks feature CoverCalm Technology that evenly distributes weight from your baby’s shoulders to toes to naturally reduce stress and give your baby the feeling of security and comfort. The feeling resembles a hug - without the need to hold your baby while they sleep.
Getting your child into a baby bedtime routine is essential. You may encounter challenges at first, but
Dreamland swaddles and sleep sacks can help make you look like a pro as you incorporate a bedtime routine.