Many of us have our own rituals to prepare for a good night’s sleep. Whether it’s settling in with a good book, taking a bath or watching a favourite television show, unwinding before bedtime is important to achieving the rest you need. These rituals don’t just begin in adulthood but instead begin when our parents establish routines for us as babies.
In order to help them differentiate between day and night and achieve solid sleeping patterns, babies should be introduced to bedtime rituals as soon as possible, usually around six to eight weeks old. Establishing a routine with your baby will help you both get the adequate sleep you need so you can enjoy your time together during the day as well as spend much needed time alone with your partner once the baby is down for the night.
Good bedtime rituals are great for babies as well as parents and can be achieved through some repetition and patience.
Keep it Simple
Keep bed time short and sweet. The younger your baby, the more you will need to do to help him understand that it’s bedtime. Older babies may only require a few minutes to get settled and on their way to sleep.
Unleash the Energy
If your baby isn’t ready to go to sleep, he won’t. Before putting him down for the night, let him get out some of the energy that may still be lingering inside him from the day’s events. Lay him down on his play mat and stimulate his senses with colours and sounds. Let his bounce around in his Jolly Jumper or sing his favourite song. Once playtime is done, follow up with a quiet activity such as taking a bath or reading a book.
Have a Period of Calm
Once you have allowed your baby to unleash his pent up energy, it’s important to allow for a period of calm before setting in for the night. This can begin with feeding then giving baby a bath or massaging baby’s skin with lotion. Touch provides a sense of security and calm, helping to soothe and relax your baby.
In order to be effective, your bedtime routines should be consistent. Of course, consistency will take time. After all, when you first bring home baby, you may have to initially adapt to his sleeping patterns. No two babies are alike and patterns will change depending on your baby’s phase such as teething and growth spurts. But try to remain consistent with the patterns you are trying to establish.
Enjoy Quiet Time with Your Partner
Remember why you both came together and created your beautiful family the first place.
Once baby is sleeping, you should take the time to enjoy the quiet time with your partner. Unwind together by watching a favourite TV show or movie, make dinner together and talk to one another about the day’s events.
Of course routines of any kind take time and patience to establish, especially with a new born. No baby is alike and sleeping patterns tend to change according to your baby’s phase such as teething and growth spurts.