Bedtime Routine – The Secret to a Good Night’s Sleep

Sleep Back

If asked for only one tip on how to get a baby or toddler sleeping well, it would probably be to get a good calming bedtime routine established. A perfect bedtime routine has 5 elements:


Begin your bedtime routine at the same time each day. All babies and toddlers should be in bed between 6 and 7pm. Begin your bedtime routine with a bath an hour before you want your little one down. Make sure your baby or toddler has an age-appropriate awake time between their afternoon sleep and bedtime.


Each day, stick to a predictable order between supper and lights out: an example of a healthy bedtime routine is:

  • 5pm Supper – No TV between supper and bath – rather play with your baby or toddler
  • 6pm Bath – calming with soothing smells
  • 6:30pm Massage and dress your little one but keep them in their room after their bath
  • 6:45pm Last feed of the day
  • 7pm Into bed



Keep the time between bath and bed calming:

  • Soothing smells of lavender and chamomile
  • Lulling sounds of white noise or lullabies
  • Relaxing movement – rock your baby a little in your arms
  • Dim the lights and remove mobiles from over the cot
  • Soothing massage
  • Warm milk and sucking on a breast or bottle or dummy / pacifier are also soothing



A bedtime routine becomes a trigger for all the wonderful brain hormones that will settle your little one. By keeping the routine consistent, your baby will anticipate bed and not fight sleep.


As you prepare for putting your little one into bed, ensure they have their ‘sleepy blanky’ – something they can hold and love as they drift off to sleepyland.

Meg faure

Meg Faure

Hi, I’m Meg Faure. I am an Occupational Therapist and the founder of Parent Sense. My ‘why’ is to support parents like you and help you to make the most of your parenting journey. Over the last 25 years, I’ve worked with thousands of babies, and I’ve come to understand that what works for fussy babies works just as well for all babies, worldwide.