When your baby is around three months old you might want to introduce a bedtime routine; a familiar routine can help to regulate your baby’s body clock and help to establish a good sleeping pattern. The theory is that your little one will feel more relaxed if they know what’s coming next – the more relaxed they are, the better chance you have of getting them off to sleep easily and quickly.
So, if you’re thinking of giving it a go, here are our top ten tips to get you started:
1. Introduce a regular bedtime – aim for somewhere between 6.30pm – 8pm. Any later and your baby may become overtired.
2. Keep your routine short and simple to begin with – no more than 30 minutes long.
3. What you do as part of your routine is up to you, but make sure that it’s something calming!
4. Some ideas for your routine include: talking quietly, having a bath, changing into pyjamas, reading a bedtime story, singing a lullaby, giving a gentle massage, kissing them goodnight.
5. If you start your routine in the bathroom, make sure you end it in the room where baby sleeps
6. Start winding down an hour before bedtime – turn off the TV or any other devices. Have some quiet playtime
7. Don’t rush it – going to bed should be something to look forward to – lots of attention, kisses and cuddles
8. Don’t worry if your baby takes time to settle into the routine – it is best to remain calm otherwise baby may pick up on how you’re feeling and this could upset them more.
9. The warm water of a bath may help to relax your baby at bedtime but not all babies like baths at first – if your little one gets upset or over-excited when they have a bath, leave a bath out of your routine for now.
10. Say goodnight to everyone! Babies like the ritual of saying ‘night-night’ to family, pets, favourite toys and even objects – but again keep it simple and quiet – you don’t want them getting over-excited!