Bedtime is no easy feat for parents! For some, the nightly challenge is not only to get your baby to fall sleep, but to keep them asleep through the night. It’s important to establish a consistent baby bedtime routine to help improve your little one’s sleep – this will (hopefully!) have the added benefit of making you feel calmer and more relaxed, too.
Of course, we know it’s ALWAYS easier said than done, and ultimately, even with all the tips, how-to guides and advice in the world, you will always do what you feel is best for you and your baby. And we’re here for you, every step of the way. You got this!
If you are in need of some support, read on for our tips and product recommendations to help you create the best pre-bedtime routine for your little one.
OUR TOP BABY BEDTIME ROUTINE TIPS
CREATE A SLEEP SCHEDULE
Babies thrive on routine, which is why creating a regular schedule and sticking with consistent bedtime rituals will help you and your child maintain good sleep habits. Completing the same steps in the same order will help your child learn to wind down and go to sleep - in exactly the same way that reading a book and having a cup of herbal tea helps us slow down, mentally prepare for bedtime and catch some Zs.
Every parent’s series of bedtime rituals will vary. You may find that your baby’s ideal bedtime routine consists of:
- Having a bath
- Baby massage with baby oil or baby moisturiser
- Changing into a fresh nappy and sleep clothes
- Having a drink
- Brushing their teeth (if they have any!)
- Reading a bedtime story
- Dimming the lights
- Singing bedtime lullabies
- Playing white noise or sleep songs
- Cuddles and good night kiss
There is no one-size-fits-all baby sleep schedule, so may take you a while to understand what routine works best for you and your baby, so if at first you don’t succeed, keep trying! As you become more familiar with your baby’s cues, you’ll understand their natural wake and sleep patterns, so you can adjust their routine accordingly. Their routine will change over time; as your child gets older so will their needs, so be prepared to adapt!
When is the best time to establish a bedtime routine? The NHS UK website says, “you may feel ready to introduce a bedtime routine when your baby is around 3 months old”.
Whilst young babies don’t need to be bathed every day, you may find that warm bath at the end of the day forms an integral part of your baby’s bedtime routine. The warm water, calming scents, and bonding time with you can help your baby to feel calm, relaxed and ready to drift off.
It’s key that your baby’s bath is not too hot, not too cold, but just right (now that sounds like a familiar children’s story!). The ideal temperature is between 36-38°C – our Childs Farm baby thermometer will show an illuminated ‘tick’ symbol if the temperature is right, before putting your baby near the water.
It wouldn’t be a bath without bubbles! Our baby bedtime bubbles in organic tangerine offers a unique combination of foamy bubbles for bathtime fun, and kind, mild and moisturising ingredients for maintaining good skin health for the most delicate skin.
Following a bath with a baby massage can help relax your baby further; we recommend using our baby oil or baby moisturiser, slowly stroking your baby’s body to create a sense of calm. NCT has a brilliant 10-step guide for bathing your baby and a guide on how to give a baby massage.
CREATE A CALMING ENVIRONMENT
A cosy, calm environment will signal to your baby that it’s bedtime. We don’t want too much noise or action which might overstimulate them, just as you’re starting their bedtime routine.
In the home, it may help if you:
- Turn off the tv or any other electronic devices
- Keep the lights low
- Keep the noise level in the house low – if you have older children, encourage them to play quietly in the evenings.
- Spraying their bedding with a pillow spray (ours is suitable for 6 months and older)
- Play white noise or sleep songs
- Keep the room dim or completely dark! A blackout blind will help with this.
ALL ABOUT THE SCENTS
Certain scents can help soothe and relax your baby, with lavender, camomile and vanilla being three of the most common scents for sleep. However, at Childs Farm we have a personal favourite – tangerine oil! This essential oil has been shown to have naturally calming properties similar to lavender; the sweet aroma helps to create a sense of calm, so your little one can drift off into a peaceful slumber.
Our baby bedtime bubbles is formulated with this relaxing ingredient, along with our baby bedtime pillow spray (suitable for babies over 6 months of age) – we like to call them our dream duo, for a good night’s sleep! Using a specific sensory input adds to the familiarity of your baby’s bedtime routine; your little one will start to associate specific scents to falling asleep. A good night sleep is vital for you, too, so you may want to use our pillow spray yourself!
Sleep deprived parents, now it’s time to start your bedtime routine, before you have to do it all over again tomorrow. If no one has told you today, you’re doing a great job. You’ve got this!
WHAT ARE YOUR BEDTIME ROUTINE TOP TIPS?
Share the sleep tips and tricks that have helped you in the comments or let us know if you’ve tried any of our suggestions!