Updated: Aug 22
Having a bedtime routine helps children get the sleep that they need. Establishing good sleep habits will help them to fall asleep and also stay asleep. Introducing a routine from around 4-6 months may sound too soon but implementing a routine then, can help prevent sleep problems later on.
Teaching your baby the difference between night and day is a useful starting point and very easily done. During the daytime don't worry about noise while they are sleeping and at night time keep things quiet, talking in a quiet voice and keep the lights dimmed.
Choosing the right bedtime - Follow your baby's lead and start bedtime when they are showing signs of sleepiness. There is no exact time, but if your baby has a regular feeding pattern and you know when they will be due a feed, start bedtime around 30 minutes before.
Creating the routine - Your routine should ideally be the same every night. What it contains is up to you but keeping it calm and relaxing is important.
A suggested routine could be:
Clean nappy and change into night clothes
A bedtime story with their milk
A kiss and a cuddle
Put down into their cot and say goodnight
It is useful to keep a similar routine as your child gets bigger, perhaps with a few tweaks and probably starting earlier to accommodate a longer bath and more stories!
If you are reading this and your child is over 6 months old and you don't have a routine yet, don't panic . You can get a routine in place at any age, but the older your child is, the harder it can be. Stick with it though, as it will happen.
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