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  • Taylor Scott-Wood

Why a Bedtime Routine is a Game-Changer for Baby Sleep

Updated: Aug 2, 2023

Hey there, fellow moms and dads! Let's talk about one of the best-kept secrets in the parenting world – the magical bedtime routine for our little ones. We all know that getting a baby to sleep can sometimes feel like a mission impossible, but not anymore! A bedtime routine not only provides predictability, but actually helps to signal and prepare your baby's body to get ready to sleep. So, grab that cup of coffee and let's dive into the importance of creating a bedtime routine that works like a dream.

Don’t forget to keep scrolling down for an example of a bedtime routine!

Baby having a bath

Why bedtime routines are the key factor to a great night's sleep!

Predictability is the Name of the Game: Babies (and toddlers) love predictability. Creating a consistent bedtime routine signals to your little one that it's time to wind down and get ready for dreamland. Bath time, a cozy story, and some snuggles – it's like a special little code that says, "Hey, it's sleepy time!"

Say Bye-Bye to Bedtime Battles: Remember those nights of endless rocking and shushing to get your baby to sleep? Well, with a bedtime routine, you can say goodbye to those bedtime battles. Once your baby gets into the groove of the routine, they'll know what to expect, making it easier for them to drift off to sleep peacefully.

People Can Step in For This and Give You A Break: One of my favorite things about using a bedtime/ naptime routine is that when you have a solid routine, you can have other family members, babysitters or even family friends do the routine for you! Make sure to write the routine down for them and have it set up and ready to go so that the routine goes seamlessly.

Calm Vibes Only: We all know that bedtime can get a little wild with our tiny tornadoes, but a bedtime routine is like a calm oasis in the midst of the chaos. The consistent activities and soothing environment help your baby relax and unwind, making bedtime a more peaceful experience for everyone.

Quality Bonding Time: Bedtime routines aren't just about getting your baby to sleep; they're also an opportunity for some quality bonding time. Whether it's singing a lullaby, reading a book, or sharing some giggles, these special moments create beautiful memories that'll last a lifetime. Do you have a parent that often comes home late from work? Let them be in charge of doing the bedtime routine, it allows them to have a short but sweet time with the baby.

Sleep Training Supercharger: If you're into sleep training, a bedtime routine can work wonders as a sleep-training supercharger. By sticking to the routine, you're reinforcing healthy sleep habits, helping your baby learn to soothe themselves and sleep more independently.

Tips for Creating the Ultimate Bedtime Routine:

Baby yawning in parents arms

  • Consistency is Key: Keep your bedtime routine consistent every night. Babies thrive on predictability, so having a set routine helps them feel secure and ready for sleep. This also can be very beneficial when your family goes on vacation or sleeps in a new environment. A bedtime routine provides familiarity and comfortability to them in a new sleep space.

  • Start Early: It's never too early to begin a bedtime routine. Even tiny newborns can benefit from the calming effects of a routine. Have a toddler, you can still start a routine for them!

  • Keep It Simple: Your bedtime routine doesn't need to be elaborate. Simple activities like a warm bath, gentle massage, or reading a short story can work wonders.

  • Watch for Sleep Cues: Pay attention to your baby's sleepy cues, like rubbing their eyes or yawning, and start the routine before they get overtired. (around 4 months old, we want to start to follow age appropriate wake windows instead of sleepy cues as they are no longer as reliable)

  • Adjust as They Grow: As your baby grows, you may need to tweak the routine to suit their changing needs. Stay flexible and adapt as necessary.

Example of a bedtime routine

A nap time routine is also highly encouraged. We want our naptime routine to be a more condensed version of our bedtime routine. Bedtime routines typically last 30-45 minutes, while nap times we want to aim to have them be 15 minutes.

Conclusion: Snoozeville, Here We Come!

Creating a bedtime routine for your baby is like giving them a golden ticket to Snoozeville. So, embrace the predictability, enjoy the bonding time, and get ready for some peaceful nights ahead. With a bedtime routine that rocks, you'll have your little one snoozing like a champ, and you can say hello to those sweet dreams and giggles every night! Struggling to create the perfect routine, reach out to me or a fellow sleep consultant and we can help guide you onto the right path. Sleep tight, super parents!


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