Babies usually take some time to sleep. Babies need to be soothed and rocked to make them sleep soundly. Children may try to resist sleep even if they are super tired. It’s best to set a bedtime routine for babies to save yourself from sleeplessness and irritability.
Till date, my daughter just doesn’t want to miss out on the fun and tries to resist sleep as much as she can. Except for the weekend or when we’re out for a party, we’ve made it a point to turn off the lights at 9 pm every night.
I know that seems to be so early. I mean that’s the time we get some time to watch TV but if we don’t sacrifice our TV time, she’d take another hour to sleep. We just had to stop resisting her please for 10 more minutes of coloring, playing, or doing any other activity.
Also read: 11 Sleep Rules That You Must Follow With Your Child
Effective tips to set a bedtime routine for babies
#1. Dinner at a fixed time
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Nobody can sleep on an empty stomach; children are no different. Make sure that your child’s tummy is filled. If he/she still breastfeeds, give him a feed as it helps to induce sleep. Try and eat your dinner at the same time every day. Nowadays doctors advise to have dinner between 7-8 pm so that one can have a gap of 1-2 hours before going to sleep. This allows the food to get digested.
#2. Night Wear
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Wearing tight clothing makes us feel uncomfortable. We all like to sleep in comfortable clothing. Remove all the extra layers and make your child wear a comfortable cotton night suit so that your he/she doesn’t feel uneasy. My daughter loves to pick out her nightdress every night. She chooses a nightdress and then changes herself!
#3. Brush his teeth
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Brushing the teeth every night before going to bed is not only important for good oral hygiene but also a signal that it’s time to go to bed, also a sign for kids that no eating after teething :) It’s fun when she tells us - “Mumma, come, it’s time to brush our teeth!”
Also read: Most Common Myths About Sleep In Babies
#4. Make him use the washroom
Make your child freshen up one last time before he retires to bed. If your baby wears a diaper at night, make it a point to make him wear a clean dry diaper. We first reminded our daughter every night when we went to the washroom the last time before going to bed and then she followed suite.
#5. Turn off all Sounds
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Most kids need silence to sleep. Turn off all sources of sound so that your baby doesn’t get disturbed while sleeping. This was the toughest - to turn off all distractions, TV, phone, and interactive app! But now, we’ve got used to it.
#6. Bedtime stories
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One of the key elements of setting a bedtime routine for babies is to make time for stories. Cuddle up in bed with your little one and read some bedtime stories to your little one while stroking his hair. It has an intoxicating effect on babies and they sleep in no time.
Turn off all the lights except a small one. You can make use of a Soothing Projector. The lullabies and soft sounds in this projector help to make the baby doze off. You can even adjust the time for which you want the music to play. If your child has a separate room, it is a great idea to put some stars and moon roof stickers on the ceiling. Not only do they soothe the eyes, they also make the room look more elegant.
Also read: Is It A Good Idea To Let Newborns Sleep Alone?
#8. Say Goodnight
Not only is it a goodnight ritual but also a way of teaching good manners to your child in the form of a bedtime routine. So, every night, as we say goodnight to each other, we hug her and then she also says good night to her toys, books, and the interactive speaker.
#9. Adjust the temperature
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According to the weather, adjust the temperature of the room to promote good sleep. You know what is best for your child. Some babies like the room a little warm while others need a normal room temperature.
#10. Hug your baby
You may hug your baby and keep him/her close to your body. This makes babies feel secure and they are able to sleep easily. My daughter likes to hold onto my arm while sleeping. It makes her feel safe and comfortable.
#11. Make him warm
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If your baby is feeling cold, he/she can’t sleep properly. Tuck your baby in a soft baby blanket. If it is extremely cold, you can wrap your baby in a sleeping bag to make him feel warm. Older children can be given a separate blanket so that they don’t struggle to get it in the middle of the night! It can take upto 6-8 weeks to set the routine but once your child’s routine is set, he/she will sleep at the same time and you won’t have to worry.
Also read: 10 Precautions To Take While Co-Sleeping With Your Newborn
These simple tips will help to improve the quality and length of your baby's sleep to a great extent. A good night’s sleep helps to rejuvenate your child’s body for the next morning.
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