Having a routine can help your baby settle down more easily and lets them know that it’s time for bed long before they are put down in their cot. Pick and choose your favourite tips and use them in the order that works for you. Try and keep the bedtime routine consistent to help your baby know what to expect.
Here are some bedtime routine tips to help your baby sleep through the night
- Follow your baby’s sleep cues
You’ll start noticing signs that your baby is tired like yawning, rubbing their eyes, grabbing their ears, crying and whining. The more you take notice of these signs, the easier it will be to read them and respond to your baby’s sleep cues.
- Bright lights and quiet nights
For your baby to adjust to the outside world they’ll need to tell the difference between daytime and night-time so that they can recognise the cues for sleep time. You can do this by having light, noise and general movement during the day and then keep night-time calm, dark and quiet.
- Quiet time
Build in a calm, quiet half hour before you start your baby’s sleep routine and include a feed if possible. It’s more difficult to settle a hungry baby!
- Bath time and soothing massage
Try giving baby a warm bath followed by a gentle massage. For tips on how to give your baby a soothing massage see this article.
- Get into a sleeping outfit
Change your baby into their sleep clothes and a fresh nappy, ready to be put into their cot.
- Bedtime story
Get your baby comfortable, and then read a bedtime story or sing a lullaby to help them relax and unwind.
- Goodnight teddy
Say goodnight to everyone (including teddy) and give them a hug or a kiss.
Say the same goodnight phrase as you put them down to sleep to establish a familiar sleep cue.
- Put baby to bed drowsy
Put baby down when you notice they’re becoming sleepy, rather than fully asleep. To help your baby adjust to falling asleep in their cot, instead of your arms. If they need help falling asleep, gently give them a head or belly rub so that they know you are there.
Remember the secret to a good routine is consistency, not perfection. Some nights might be easier than others, especially with younger babies.
Figuring out how much sleep your baby needs depending on their age and development stage is difficult. Luckily we have a great guide of what to expect! Find out how much sleep your baby needs here.