Bedtime routines are the best way to reliably put your child to sleep. They condition your child so he or she accepts the idea of sleep and transitions peacefully. You can mix up your routine to include any step or activities that work for your family, but here are seven that are shown to help.
1. Start with a warning
It’s always helpful to give a warning before you progress into a new mode of the day. This helps your child adjust to the coming change. Even if your child can’t quite understand what you’re saying, it will eventually help them mentally prepare.
2. Quiet play
After dinner playtime should light, quiet and slow. This isn’t the time for horsey rides around the living room or playful tickling. Save those activities for earlier in the day. Use this time to quietly play with toys in a single spot. If the play becomes too aggressive, gently quiet it down.
3. Bath time
A bath is a great way to end the day because it’s warm and soothing. Make sure the water is comfortably warm, but not hot. Let your baby play in the tub, by try to keep it relaxed. Don’t play splashing games or anything that will excite baby. If your baby finds bath time especially exciting (and that’s quite alright), consider giving baths at a different time.
4. Standard grooming
Just before bed is a good time to do those ritual grooming chores each day. They will help signal to your child that the day is coming to a close and sleep will be happening soon. Use this time to brush your little one’s teeth or hair, change the diaper or use the potty, etc.
5. Dress for bed
Make an event out of getting ready for bed so the experience is perceived as a positive. This is also an opportunity for you to give your child some control over the event. If they are allowed to choose their sleeping outfit, they will feel connected to the experience and will be less likely to protest. Make sure to offer comfortable choices.
6. Story book
Stories are the perfect activities just before bed. It feels like play to your baby, but he or she is sitting calmly in the bed, snuggled up with you while listening and not moving around. Your voice will lull your child to sleep.
7. A brief goodnight
Say goodnight to your child and leave the room. Don’t look back and make your child think that if he or she puts up a struggle that you’ll stay longer. Don’t rush into the room at the first sign of noise either; let your child learn to fall back asleep alone.
Written by Karen Barski, BSN, RN, Mother of five, Certified Infant Care Specialist & Instructor, & Inventor of the Woombie Baby Swaddle
Karen has been an RN for 18 years, and has worked in many different nursing roles. As a Certified Infant Care Specialist, Karen counsels thousands of families yearly on a multitude of issues relating to pregnancy and infancy. Also, as a mother of five, she has invaluable experience and tips to share.
Since 2007, Karen’s company, KB Designs, has invented a line of signature baby swaddle products that have helped parents easily transition their new babies from womb to home. There are multiple designs and sizes so that babies can enjoy the comfort and security of the Woombie up until the time they begin to roll.
Each product has been created and designed by Karen because of a need she identified in her life with her five children. With convenience, safety, and fashion in mind, KB Designs has helped over a half million babies and counting!
For more information, visit www.woombie.com.
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