Inspire Mum and Baby

Inspire Mum & Baby Logo

How to Establish a Bedtime Routine for Your Baby

Establishing a Bedtime Routine for Your Baby: Does Sleep Training Start from Newborn?

Are you ready to transform those restless nights into peaceful slumber for your little one? Discover why establishing a bedtime routine from day one isn’t just possible – it’s transformative!

As new parents, one of the most common challenges you may face is getting your baby to sleep well. You might wonder if it’s possible to create good sleep habits with your newborn right from the beginning. The good news is, yes, it is possible! This early groundwork can help set the stage for healthy sleep habits in the future.

Why Establish a Bedtime Routine?

Firstly, it provides predictability and security, which are essential for newborns. Knowing what to expect helps them feel safe and comfortable, making it easier for them to settle down at night. Secondly, a bedtime routine acts as a signal to your baby that it’s time for night sleep. This can help them transition more smoothly as they begin to progress from their newborn sleep patterns at around 2-3months when their body begins to consolidate their night sleep from their day wakefulness. Thirdly, it offers quality time for bonding with your baby, creating a calm and peaceful end to the day. Starting a bedtime routine early can prepare your infant to differentiate between day naps and night sleep, setting the stage for healthy sleep habits in the future.

How to Establish a Bedtime Routine for Your Newborn

While your newborn might not fully understand a routine and can have unpredictable sleep schedules, by around week 6-8 you can see some regular eating, playing, sleep schedule. By this time observing what helps to soothe and relax your baby may help you get started in introducing a simple and consistent bedtime routine. Here’s how you can start:

1. Choose a start time

Based on your observation, try to begin your bedtime routine around the same time each night. It can be challenging but having a range of 15-30minutes around the same timing each day can help set baby’s internal clock.

2. Dark

Our sleep patterns are regulated in part by light. Keep the lights low when feeding baby in the evening or during night feeds. When it is daytime, bring baby out to a bright room.

3. Create a Calming Environment

Make the sleep environment conducive to rest. Ensure that their room is at a comfortable temperature, and minimize noise. Avoid having cot mobiles in the cot and keep the cot clear of loose items or blankets. You can include some white noise or ambient sounds if the surroundings are noisy.

4. Follow a Sequence of Activities

Choose a few calming activities to do in the same order each night. This would increasingly become familiar to your little one and help them know that bedtime is approaching. This could include:

  • Bath Time: A warm bath can be soothing and signal that bedtime is approaching, it also helps to differentiate their day naps from the night sleep.
  • Massage: A gentle massage for your baby can be relaxing for your little one and help to make them feel comfortable.
  • Feeding: Ensure your baby is well-fed before bed to prevent hunger from waking them up. Try to put feeding at the first step of the routine so as to break the feed to sleep association.
  • Storytime or Lullabies: Reading a short, gentle story or singing lullabies can help your baby relax and it also helps build their language ability.
  • Cuddling and Rocking: Spend a few minutes cuddling or rocking your baby to help them wind down.

You don’t have to do all of the activities but pick and choose what is comfortable for you and your spouse to be able to stay consistent in the routine.

5. Swaddling

Swaddling is effective in helping baby sleep in their first 8-12 weeks. Due to the involuntary reflex of newborns they can get startled in their sleep and wake. Swaddling can be part of the routine for newborns to help cue them for sleep. Remember to always place them on their back for sleep. When they show signs of rolling over or they begin to break out of their swaddles, ensure you transition them to a sleep sack or remove the swaddle for their safety.

6. Look out for their sleepy cues

For newborns, you may find them falling asleep after one song or straight after the feed. Overtime you can build your routine by adding additional steps. By the time your baby is around 6-8 weeks old, you should be able to establish a bedtime routine of activities that last 10-30 minutes. Do note that your baby may get overtired if the bedtime routine gets dragged too long and you’ll find it hard to get them to sleep or to stay asleep. So ensure your routine is within your baby’s wake window. Be flexible and take note of the sleepy signs your baby may show during the routine to ensure they get to bed not overtired.

Remember it is about finding what is comfortable for your baby and for you to repeat predictably each night. As you build your routine, it may take time for baby to get used to the activities, so don’t be too quick to change things, allow time for baby to get used to the routine and slowly add to it when baby begins to stay awake longer. Take your time to find what works for you and your family and together explore what you enjoy doing with your little one at bedtime and look forward to continuing it as your child grows older.

Article from Sara Parn, Baby & Toddler Sleep Coach, @sleepsupernanny

We are available to take private 1-1 swim class bookings at your outdoor pools. Interested?
Contact us via WhatsApp at 92341866
Stay tuned for the next article on the Benefits of Group Swim Classes.

Related Blogs