Having a bedtime routine helps your baby learn night from day. When their body’s are able to follow a specific routine, they will begin sleeping better through the night. Baby’s live for routine, they need a schedule to function.
As a parent, you want your baby to sleep through the night. The only way to get them to do this, is by guiding them and teaching them when it’s best to sleep and when it’s best to be awake. A bedtime routine, for any baby, should be a priority.
We started our baby on a nighttime routine at about 2 months. Even though she was sleeping at random times, all throughout the day, it was very important to us that she know night time from daytime.
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Here is the schedule we follow:
First, we have dinner. Family dinner is very good for your baby’s social skills. So if you’re not having a family dinner (even if it’s just the two of you), you should be. Sit with your baby and talk to them at dinner. Have a conversation and interact with them. I’ve also heard that if your baby eats the same things as you (within reason) it will help them overcome picky eating. Here’s a fantastic article about baby led weening.
Next, she gets a lavender bubble bath. Some parents only give their babies baths every few days because of dry skin and other issues. We give our baby a bath every night and always have. Every baby is different, so it is up to you. If you don’t want to give them a full bath every night, I’m sure a sponge bath would do just fine on those non-bath nights. I always had issues with my baby getting milk in her hair and neck rolls (she is a chunk!) so a bath (or sponge bath) every night was NECESSARY for us.
After her bath, I rub her down with lavender lotion and I turn on her diffuser with lavender essential oil in it, to calm and relax her.
Then, I get her dressed in her pajamas and brush her hair. She was born with a head full of hair, so I had to incorporate this into her bedtime routine or she wakes up with a mess of tangles.
While I’m getting her in her pajamas and brushing her hair, I let her drink a bottle to top her off so she sleeps better through the night.
If you still swaddle your baby, this is when you would do so. It’s never to early to introduce a bedtime routine. Baby’s live for routines and schedules.
If you’re looking to transition your baby out of the swaddle, here’s a great article. It is recommended that when your baby is rolling from back to front, they drop the swaddling. They need to be able to lift their head if they roll, or they are at risk for SIDS.
I then put her directly in the crib and read her a bedtime story. After her story, she gets goodnight kisses and I leave the room.
I was a big stickler on having my baby be able to put herself to sleep. So with about a month or so of sleep training, she is able to put herself to sleep and sleeps completely through the night. She goes to bed at 9 months old without being rocked and without a bottle or pacifier in the crib.
We follow this routine and it takes her about 15 minutes to fall asleep after we leave. Here’s an article about teaching your baby to fall asleep on his/her own.
Remember to keep artificial lights to a minimum when you are getting them ready for bed. We have a small nightlight outside her bedroom and that is all the light I use to put her to bed. I do believe that this routine helped her learn the difference between night and day.
A bedtime routine is so important as they develop. It helps them learn night from day, which in turn trains them to sleep through the night, and develops their internal clock.
What does your baby’s bedtime routine look like? I would love to hear in the comments below!
Have a beautiful day!