Have you ever tried to go to sleep right after an exciting movie?  Or you’ve been up working late on something intense then tried to immediately hit the sack?  Ever work out right before bed and have a hard time falling asleep?   We know that it’s much easier to fall asleep if we have some downtime and a bedtime routine before hitting the sack.  You may have a little ritual yourself – tea, bath, light reading.  Whatever it is, your bedtime routine is a cue to your brain that bedtime is coming soon so it helps you relax and get sleepy.

This is the same for babies.  They have a hard time falling asleep if they spend the last hour before bed playing high energy games, watching TV, or are exposed to bright lights.  We need to create a nice relaxing bedtime routine to help them drift off to the land of nod.  Here are 10 suggestions to include in your baby’s bedtime routine.

  • A nice warm, calm bath
  • Baby massage
  • Gentle rocking or swaying
  • Soft singing
  • Using a swaddle or sleep sack
  • Bedtime stories
  • Prayer or familiar phrase
  • Sucking (Nursing, bottle feeding, pacifier or thumb)
  • Playing soft music
  • Taking a walk

Once you decide on a good bedtime routine for your little one, keep it consistent every day.  Your child will begin to associate the bedtime routine with naptime or bedtime and automatically become sleepy.   The routine at naptime should be similar to the bedtime routine, but you can shorten it and omit the bath if you do it at bedtime.  And if you start doing your consistent bedtime routine as soon as baby is born, you may find he goes to sleep easily with very little fussing!

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