Getting your newborn on a healthy sleep routine is the key to establishing healthy sleeping habits both at the beginning and long term. Because your baby’s internal clock will take some time getting adjusted to know the difference between day and night, you should establish a routine that’s completely consistent every night. Being consistent will allow your little one to feel the difference between a regular daytime nap and their nighttime sleep. How can you teach your little one to know the difference? Here are some common steps that most parents take to help their little one make the distinction.
6 Best Tips for Establishing a Bedtime Routine for Your Newborn
Get a head start
You can start to establish sleep routines when your baby is around 2 months old. Anything sooner will be a waste of effort since your little one has to get used to listening to their own body. At around two months old, your baby will have somewhat of her own schedule down as far as eating and sleeping, so you can work around that. If you’re planning on sleep training, it is advised that you wait until she is at least four months old.
Because baths are soothing for babies, choosing to bathe your baby at night prior to putting her down for the night will help her fall asleep. Once the baby gets out of her warm bath, her body temperature will start to cool. It is at this point, that experts agree that cooling your baby’s room is another way to help maintain safe sleep. It is recommended that the room your baby sleeps in remains at a temperature between 68 and 72 degrees.
Dimming the lights while giving your baby a massage after her bath can help her body relax, as well as send a signal to her brain to produce melatonin. Because melatonin is a gland in the brain that helps regulate sleep, sending signals such as dimming the lights and turning off all bright screens from devices can help trigger the release of melatonin.
Just as adults have pajamas for bed, having specific onesies designated for bedtime can also help your baby feel the difference between a daytime nap and winding down for the day. For example, the knotted baby gowns at Sandstone Avenue are a wonderful way to keep baby in a swaddle feel during the day while making diaper changes easy. If you’re using a knotted gown during the day, you may want to try using a super soft onesie at night. Changing wardrobes can send a signal to your baby that they are now in their nighttime attire which is meant to be slept in longer.
Your baby is never too young to be read to. In fact, the earlier you read to them the sooner you boost their brain power. After their bath and massage, grab their snuggly Baby Tula baby blanket and read to your little one as a way to have some quiet time prior to getting some shut eye. You can also make stories up as you go while using plush animals such as the Jellycat bunny from TNBC so that they can have a variety of storytelling time.
Place your baby in the crib while she’s still awake
After all of the above has been done, it’s time to put your baby in their crib. You want to avoid placing your baby down once she is all the way asleep because it interferes with teaching her how to soothe herself. Instead, try placing her in her crib when you see that she’s getting drowsy. That way she can see her surroundings and they will look familiar to her should she wake up in the middle of the night and can soothe herself back to sleep. When swaddling her, make sure to use a breathable material such as Baby Tula baby blankets to keep her nice and snuggly. If the blanket tends to be more stiffer, chances of it coming undone in the middle of her sleep are likely to happen which can wake her up once she feels it.
Keep in mind that these are just some basics to give you some ideas. Since each baby is different, you have to do what’s best for you and your baby and sometimes that means figuring things out on your own. If you find that certain things aren’t working for you, try leaving it out or replacing it with something else that works for you both.