How to establish a bedtime routine

One of the first things parents what to know when they arrive home from the hospital is: how do I get my baby to sleep through the night? My simple answer to this question is…routine.

Establishing a bedtime routine is the most important gift you can give your child.   They will actually thank you one day for being such a good sleeper, I promise.   If you establish a bedtime routine early in life ( the earlier the better) it will stick with your child forever through their life.

The most important thing to remember when establishing your bedtime routine is repetition.   Do the same thing every night at the same time if you want success.

Here are just a few ideas for a great bedtime routine:

  • start the bedtime routine before your child shows signs of being tired.  Once they are tired, it’s no good.   If under a year old, start their bedtime routine between 6:30 and 7 pm.
  • give your child a warm bath.
  • massage your baby with lotion.
  • put your child in comfy pajamas.  Make sure to dress your child according to the weather.   Footie pajamas are great year around for babies and toddlers.
  • read a book to your child.
  • start your routine the same time every night.   Follow your same routine every night.  So if you start with a bath, pajamas, then book and bed, do that every night in the same order.
  • let your child fall asleep by themselves.   This one is key!  Once they use you to fall asleep, they will always need you to fall asleep.
  • Be patience…routines take time to establish and work.

Once your family has picked a bed time and routine every one needs to be on board for the routine to work.   Good luck to all and I wish everyone success in their bedtime routine.

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