How to Create a Sleep Routine for Your Baby
Hello again, günamüna community!
Emily here, your blog writer and fellow mom.
Because I have a newborn baby, sleep has been on my mind a lot. Not only am I trying to help my baby sleep better, I am also trying to keep the toddlers on a consistent nap routine, work from home, and maintain my sanity. My greatest weapon in the battle for a sleep routine is consistency. If your child goes to daycare, work with your child care provider to establish a similar routine. Here are a few of my strategies to help my crew take good naps:
Stay on a Schedule
Staying on a schedule is so important! I set up our day with a predictable routine so the kids know exactly what to expect. I use this routine to guide my baby’s nursing and nap schedule. For example, we eat breakfast together at 8, then have craft time, and then the kids watch TV while I breastfeed. (I reserve screen time for when I nurse; I learned the hard way that the kids are extra mischievous when I am busy breastfeeding.) Our routine is always flexible, but I have found that dividing the day into 30 minute activities keeps the kids busy and helps them have better naps.
Here’s what a typical morning looks like:
- Craft Time
- Free Play Time
- TV Time
- Yoga or Dance Time
- Story Time + NAP TIME
Did you know that fresh air and sunshine promote better sleep? It’s true! The benefits of being outdoors are endless. As long as weather permits, time outside is always a part of our routine. If it’s warm enough for my baby to be outside, we eat breakfast and lunch in the backyard, do crafts on our picnic table, play tag, hide-and-go-seek, and go on treasure hunts. Kansas weather is very unpredictable, but we often get lucky with warm-ish winter afternoons. Spending time outside is good for everyone because it keeps us active and makes cleaning up easier, as well as leads to better naps.
If weather does not permit outdoor fun, there are still ways to stay active indoors. I love to get the toddlers moving by following along with a yoga video or having a dance party. My daughter and my nephew spend most of our yoga time doing their own ninja moves and using me as a human jungle gym, but that’s ok because they are still moving. Some of their favorite songs to dance to include: Shake Your Sillies Out, Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes, and SHOUT! Keeping the kids active throughout the morning wears them out for nap time. Since these activities only work if you exercise and dance with them, better make sure you have yoga pants and dancing shoes!
Exercise the Mind
Just like the body, the mind needs to be exercised too. Learning new things is also important for better sleep. One of our favorite things to do is play pretend. Yesterday a “robot tiger” took my nephew's sippy cup. Naturally, we had to rescue his juice by traveling through the jungle (the living room), climbing the mountain (the stairs), and defeating the tigers with our secret weapons (sunglasses). I encourage their imagination because I know how great it is for brain development. PLUS it’s fun! Activities that make kids think wear them out, which leads to better, longer naps. Hallelujah!
Reading together signals to their little (growing!) brains that it’s time to relax. This is a non-negotiable part of our routine because it teaches them to connect reading and learning with a sense of peace. And they won’t go to sleep without a good story first! When it’s time for a nap, we each pick out a book and then the four of us (even my baby loves a good story!) cuddle up and jump into an adventure page by page. Upgrade your story time with our magical blanket to help your little ones drift away to sleep on its cloud-like softness.
Whether you’re looking for a cozy blanket, a sleep bag, or snuggly pajamas, günamüna has your sleep needs covered! We sell products designed by mothers who are experiencing the same things you are: sleep regression, all nighters, fussy babies, and unruly toddlers. Our Sleep Bags and Convertible, Diaper-Zip Pajamas simplify diaper changing and promote more restful sleep. Shop our collection and get ready to sleep…a lot! You do all the heavy lifting, so leave sleep to us.
Emily & the günamüna team