Monday, May 27, 2013

Starting a Soothing Bedtime Routine

Video: Starting a Soothing Bedtime Routine

Should we be starting some sort of bedtime routine?

A better night’s sleep always starts with a bedtime routine — and that’s true even for babies who aren’t yet ready to sleep through the night. Plus, setting up some simple sleep-time rituals now can help your little one develop healthy sleep habits later. Once your newborn has developed a fairly predictable sleep schedule — which usually happens by two months — it’s time to roll out the bedtime routine.
Here’s what to include:

Wind-down time 
The more alert your baby becomes, the more quiet time he’ll need to get into the mood to snooze. He’ll settle down faster if you keep interactions low-key — think cuddles and coos instead of rounds of raspberries.

A bath
Even if your baby’s not exactly dirty, a warm, relaxing bath is the perfect segue to sleep — especially if you’ve spiked it with a soothing splash of lavender-scented baby wash.

A massage
Follow the bath with a gentle rubdown. Studies show that a bedtime massage can boost a baby’s production of melatonin — a sleep-inducing hormone.

The right ambiance
Dim the lights and turn on some soft music or white noise to summon the sandman. To make sure the room’s temperature perfect for sleep, check your baby’s back or the nape of his neck. Too sweaty? Remove a layer of clothing. Too chilly? Add one on.

A story or song
Snuggling over a book can be the start of a treasured nighttime tradition — and it’s never too early to start. Reading’s not winning your baby over yet? Sing a bedtime lullaby instead.

Sweet goodnights
After you fill your baby’s tummy tank, it’s time to put him down — preferably while he’s drowsy, but still awake, so he can drift off to dreamland on his own. Keep your goodbyes short, sweet, loving, and consistent — use the same phrase the same way each and every night. Pretty soon your parting words will become a reassuring signal to your baby that his busy day has come to a cozy end, and it’s time to sleep.


  1. I so agree that a routine is a must! One important tip is for mommy and daddy to not be on call for every whimper. Blessings to you during this phase. I'm on my fourth (19 months old) and I love putting her down with quick sweet goodnights.


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