Bedtime Routines – Birth to 6 Months
There are things that you can do to help teach your baby the difference between daytime naps and going to bed at night. It is suggested that starting with a consistent bedtime routine from the very first night. Routines really help ready your baby for sleep by gradually decreasing stimulation. New parents are often exhausted as they realize that their baby doesn’t know the difference between night and day – meaning many sleepless nights and a big adjustment to their usual sleep schedule.
Here are some suggestions you can follow to create a routine:
- Give your baby a warm bath – keep in mind that some baby’s develop dry or irritated skin when bathed daily, so this may not work for your child.
- Give your baby a massage.
- Dress your baby in different clothing at bedtime, such as pyjamas.
- Make sure your baby has a dry diaper.
- Read a book to your baby (even though baby doesn’t really know what you’re reading, this can be comforting and it is a way to bond).
- Quietly sing a lullaby or play soothing music.
- Keep the lighting low – use a night light or draw the blinds.
- Keep the room at a comfortable temperature.
- Feed your baby.
- Walk, rock or cuddle to help relax and calm your baby.
If your baby wakes up, always respond. Once you’ve figured out and solved the reason for waking – hunger, wet diaper, etc. – keep talking and other stimulation to a minimum. This will make it easier for your baby to settle again.
For more about bedtime routines, see the following articles: