Your baby needs 12 hours settled quiet time so they get plenty of rest. It can be such a lovely time with your baby – all you need to decide on is the timings. The main thing is it is the foundation of getting your baby into great routine that can be built on.
Here is how I create a bedtime routine.
Bedtime isn’t necessarily to give you peace (though it often does!) but to build the foundation of a routine into parts of your baby’s day and to make sure she/he gets plenty of rest. Baby can sleep wherever you are – bedtime doesn’t mean baby needs to be upstairs alone in the dark.
7pm often works best if you’d like to be able to have you dinner when your baby is settled, but you can adjust these times to suit your lifestyle as you wish. This plan is based on a 7-7 schedule.
- Firstly try and make sure baby is awake from naps by 5.15-5.30pm.
- Take your baby upstairs around 6pm.
- Prepare a nice warm room and lay a towel on a changing mat on the floor and give baby around ten minutes of nappy-free time. Babies particularly enjoy nappy free time after around six weeks of age. This can be over stimulating in the early days though so ten minutes should be plenty for a very young baby.
- I usually dim the lights and put on some kind of light show/music.
- As part of the routine I bathe baby at this point or just a top and tail wash and put pyjamas on (I like to warm them on the radiator during bath-time) .
- Before the last feed it you could introduce a bedtime story. I don’t believe children are ever too young to start enjoying a short book at bedtime, it’s great for their memory and speech development.
- After bathtime swaddle young babies or a baby sleeping bag for older babies and do the last feed in a dark relaxed environment
The next morning
- Start introducing a wake up routine. This is usually 12.5 hours after bedtime for young babies.
- To start the day I like to open the curtains and feed baby in a nice bright environment. Just having a regular bedtime and wake up time give you some regularity to your days.
The day becomes easier very quickly. This will also encourage regular days feeds and most importantly makes sure your baby is getting adequate sleep at night and not become overstimulated and overtired.
Get in touch if you have any questions or would like a bespoke plan created for your family.