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

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:

TIME

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.

ORDER

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

 

CALMING

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

 

CONSISTENT

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.

A HEALTHY SLEEP ASSOCIATION

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.

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