Goodnight Baby: Our 4-Step Nighttime Routine
By Andrea Ramalheira, My Daydreaming World. Andrea Ramalheira is a paid spokesperson for HEALTHY ESSENTIALS®
One of the hardest things to figure out as parents is your child’s bedtime routine. Where do you begin? I remember when my son was born, I had no idea how to get him into a nightly routine. In the beginning, it is nearly impossible to create a routine because your baby is still being fed every few hours and he/she may not be on a schedule; but around three months (or older), you can start to introduce some habits that help teach baby it’s time to get ready for sleep.
I know having a routine isn't for every family, but for me, it has been a great way to make sure my baby is getting enough sleep. Try my four easy (and essential!) steps for establishing baby’s nighttime routine. Who knows – it might help you enjoy a peaceful evening and slumber yourself!
1. Bath Time.
In our house we start our bedtime routine with a warm bath. I try to make it as quiet and calm as possible, rather than splashy and crazy. A peaceful bath is not always achievable but as long as you are trying, that is what matters. I find that my baby boy (he turns 2 in October!!) loves a good tune, so I sing to him a sort of lullaby and encourage him to follow along!
The second step in the routine is giving a soothing massage right after his bath. This always calms my son down. I gently massage his arms and legs using a gentle baby lotion. Our favorite and go-to bedtime lotion is JOHNSON’S® BEDTIME® Baby Lotion because of its special blend of gentle and calming aromas. I usually sing a little song while I warm the lotion in the palm of my hands.
3. Read a Book.
After the massage, my baby boy stays pretty calm and relaxed, so a bedtime story is the perfect next step. He stays seated in my lap while I read a book to him in a very relaxed tone. This can help your child settle down even more, and it also helps nurture a love of books from an early stage.
4. Feeding Time.
Finally, I give my son one last bottle before putting him down so he can have a full tummy to keep him from waking up in the middle of the night. In my breastfeeding days, I used to breastfeed him before bed. Now, I give him the bottle, and when he's done, I say a special ‘I Love You’ to him. Another tip for moms: Play some relaxing music in the background or consider a white noise machine to help baby drift off to dreamland.
I find that by doing the same steps every night when you’re putting your baby to sleep, your child will eventually recognize that when doing these steps together, it means it is time to go to bed. And that means you’re one step closer to a good night’s sleep, too!
Andrea Ramalheira is a paid spokesperson for HEALTHY ESSENTIALS®
Get your kids involved with their nighttime routine with this handy printout. They can cross of the starts one-by-one on their way to a good night's sleep!