Bedtime can be tricky with your new baby – make it stress-free with these brilliant tips.
The most precious thing in your life as a new parent is your baby, and next on the importance list could well be ‘sleep’.
By getting your little one into an effective bedtime routine, you’ll maximize the chances of them not just settling down smoothly, but staying asleep – so you can all get as good a night’s rest as possible.
Find a sleep routine that works for you, as well as your baby
Many babies do sleep better with a routine, but it needs to be one you’re happy doing for the next couple of years. For example, you might get into the habit of breastfeeding your newborn to sleep or rocking them for an arm-achingly long time before bed. Keep it simple and workable wherever possible.
Make bath time central to bedtime …
A bath can be calming and a key pointer to let your baby know they’ll soon be going to bed.
The problem is that bathing a wriggly, uncooperative infant can be less than relaxing for the grown-up in charge – and your baby might pick up on this!
So, before you put your little one in the tub, ensure everything you need is close to hand, such as sponges and body wash.
Keep the bathroom toasty warm and the towel nearby, too, so that your baby can stay cosy when it’s time to get out of the water.
Add in a post-bath massage
Massaging your baby is relaxing, and doing it with a cream moisturizes the skin to maximize comfort overnight – many infants suffer with dry skin, and one in five have eczema, both of which can irritate them enough to disturb their sleep.
Make some (white) noise
Turning on white noise – a constant, steady sound – at bedtime could be another sleep trigger for your baby. What’s more, it blocks out distractions that can jolt your little one fully awake, just as they were about to nod off.
Give your baby your undivided attention before bed
With our lives feeling ever busier and our focus often being distracted by smartphones and tablets, why not turn your tech off at bedtime and make a habit of giving your baby your full attention for a little while?
Switching off from technology will mean you’re calmer, too, and your baby will pick up on these relaxing vibes. Chat softly to her, have a cuddle, and maybe read her a book – it’s never too early to do this, as your baby loves the sound of your voice.
Have a special bedtime lullaby …
We’re not going to claim we’re being original in suggesting you include a lullaby in your nightly routine, but you can maximize its impact as a sleep signal by keeping to the same time and tune every evening.
… and a goodnight ‘mantra’ to ‘sign off’ with
Use a set word or phrase for your final signal that it’s time to get sleepy – seal it with a kiss and cross your fingers that tonight will be a good night!