How to Start a Bedtime Routine
At Team gunamuna, we are all about good (and always safe!) sleep – and one of the best ways to set you and baby up for a good night’s sleep is through a bedtime routine. If it sounds intimidating or complicated, don’t worry, we’ve got you. Keep it simple, follow these steps, and you’re on your way to even better sleep. You can thank us later!
Why is a routine important to my baby? (they’re just a baby…)
The bottom line on this one is that a bedtime routine can help your baby be a better sleeper. Not sold? Babies are constantly exploring their environments, picking up on everything around them – so what you do at bedtime (not just what, but where, how, when) can stimulate baby rather than get them ready to sleep. Creating a routine that’s calming AND consistent is key – knowing what is happening and coming next will help baby relax and prepare for sleeping. An added bonus is that this is time for you to slow down – and spend some quiet time bonding with baby.
Bedtime routines have also been shown to help with maintaining good sleep habits during developmental transitions – sleep regressions, environmental changes, or any other disruption to sleep can be reduced with a solid routine.
Hopefully now you’re sold – and your next question is likely what am I supposed to do for this ‘routine’ with my baby…
Here are a few ideas of things to incorporate into your pre-bedtime routine. Your routine can cover this full list or be as simple as a nightly snuggle before bed for baby. Don’t put pressure on yourself - the goal is consistency and finding what works for your family!
- Give baby a bath, lotion, & fresh PJs
- Turn on a noise machine, dim the lights, and speak softly while doing the last diaper change of the day and putting baby in their sleep bag.
- Nurse or feed baby
- Read a book together
- Gently rock or snuggle baby
- When you think your baby is in that sweet spot of drowsy but still awake, it’s time to put them down
- Quietly leave the room (this is way easier said than done in many cases!)