Putting your baby to sleep can be very difficult if he or she follows no bedtime routine. Either the baby refuses to sleep and let you sleep or falls asleep at a different time and creates a ruckus at night. It is also difficult to manage the baby when you are outdoors or travelling. For these reasons, it is essential to start a bedtime routine for your baby. Do not worry if you haven’t done it already as it is never too early or too late for it. Most babies start to follow a sleep schedule after the initial one or two months. It helps to discipline the child, keep him calm and in control and also gives him a good sleep at night. It also keeps him cheerful all day. Moreover, having your baby sleep at a particular time at night also lets you sleep off without any worries and fights to put him to sleep.
How to start the bedtime routine?
It is not going to be very easy for the beginning, and you need to be a bit patient with the baby. He or she is not going to go to sleep just because you want him to. You have to create the habit and adjust the body clock so that once the child adapts to the practice, he or she starts feeling sleepy at the same time every day. Follow these steps gradually to induce the bedtime routine.
- Notice your child’s sleeping pattern- Before starting the routine, you must notice your child’s sleeping pattern. Every child has a different time and pattern of sleeping. Some children tend to fall asleep early, some late at night or during a particular time. Roughly estimate the hour during which the child begins to sleep for the longest stretch. This will help you to determine how to schedule your child’s bedtime routine. For instance, if the child dozes off at around 8 pm at night, you can start the bedtime routine at near about 7:30.
- Remember to start slowly- There is no hurry, and you should remember that. You cannot start the schedule right away. There will be several manipulations and trial and errors before you succeed. It will take near about a month to incorporate the bedtime routine into your baby’s life.
- Try different methods- You need to experiment with various methods of putting your baby to sleep before he or she chooses and adapts to one. Some babies fall sleepy after breastfeeding or bottle feeding, some love the soothing rhythm of a song or lullaby while others would prefer a bath or massage before sleep. You may also rock the baby in your arms as the swinging motion induces sleep in children. Whichever activity you choose, be consistent with it to help your baby adapt to it soon.
- Tempt the child with comfort- Make your child feel absolutely comfortable before sleep. Prepare his bed or cradle and make him wear his baby night clothes before you rock him to sleep. Try shopping at Deal Voucherz for the best night clothes for your baby. They should be absolutely loose and comfortable for good sleep. You can also go for dream lights and glowing sticky stars for the ceiling to make the room tempting to sleep for your little one. It will create a soothing ambience, and the baby will wish to go to sleep even more without coaxing.
- Begin your routine- For instance, if your baby’s normal sleeping time is at 8, start making preparations from 7:30 pm. Give the baby a bath or a massage, feed him, put on the diaper and night clothes, perform your story reading or lullaby routine and gently rock the baby to sleep. If you see that your little one is half asleep in your arms, gently put the baby into the cradle to create the habit of falling asleep on his or her own gradually. It may be difficult at first, but your baby will soon learn the habit and save your trouble.
- Identify problems- You need to change the routine through trial and error as your baby grows up and his or her needs and preferences changes. For example, at a later stage, the child may ask for stories instead of a lullaby. You can figure that out with time. Parents need to identify the problem areas as the child is growing up to better adapt to the bedtime routine. Know about his or her complaints that may come up so that you are better prepared to deal with them instead of having a tough time coaxing your child to go to sleep soon. You may rehearse the routine in shortly before a naptime during the day to keep the habit on.