In every parent’s ideal world, their baby would be able to sleep soundly without any disruptions, enabling parents to get a good night’s sleep as well. In the real world, however, things tend to be a little different. Putting your baby to sleep doesn’t always go as smoothly as you might hope it to go. In this case, you might need to introduce a baby bedtime routine. If you are not exactly sure where to start, these five steps for sleep training your baby should help you ensure that both you and your baby get a good night’s sleep.
Give them a soothing bath
The best way to start a calming sleep training bedtime ritual would be to give your little one a warm, soothing bath. This first step will be the indicator that daily activities have come to an end and that it is now time to rest.
Before placing your baby gently in the bath, you want to make sure that the water temperature is right—neither cold nor hot. Ideally, it should be similar to the body’s temperature, which is around 96.8°F (37°C).
After giving your baby a bath, make sure to apply moisturizer as this will help protect their skin from drying out. Be sure you use a moisturizer with a baby-safe formula.
Finally, put your baby in their nightclothes or let them sleep without any clothes on if the room’s temperature is warm enough.
Optimize their room for sleeping
After you’ve gotten your baby out of the bathtub and dressed them up for bed, it’s time to get them all comfy and cozy in their nursery. You want to make sure that the bed they are sleeping on is comfortable yet firm and supportive enough for the baby’s spine.
A dark sleep environment is good for babies as it helps boost the production of melatonin, a sleep hormone that helps the baby fall asleep more easily. Dim the lights either by using dimmer switches or by getting some heavy-duty blackout curtains. This will prevent light from entering and disrupting your baby’s sleep.
By now, your baby is probably feeling a bit sleepy, so it’s the right time for their pre-bed feeding. Nursing or feeding the baby is a calming activity, after which your little one will eventually fall asleep (in the next 15 to 30 minutes).
You want to do this in a way that doesn’t wake them up completely while also paying attention not to feed them while asleep. Avoid feeding your baby when they’re lying down—if they are already feeling too drowsy to eat, a few sips will suffice. After that, you can burp your baby and then help them fall asleep by rocking them or by snuggling them.
Sing them a lullaby
After you’ve made sure that your baby is feeling relaxed and comfortable, it’s the perfect time to bond with a lullaby.
Now, you don’t have to have the voice of an angel to be able to soothe your baby with calm, gentle tunes. How well you can sing doesn’t really matter—it’s all about the rhythm and the repetition that will help soothe the baby and help with sleep training.
The key? Keep it simple, using a soft tone and repetitive words all while rocking them to sleep or jiggling. This will help create a womblike experience, further optimizing the power of a lullaby. While the lullaby should be repetitive, you want to mix things up a bit and sing different lullabies to your baby from time to time.
Tell a story
Last but certainly not least, you should also try to introduce a bedtime story to your little one.
There are a lot of different padded baby books out there that you can get for your baby and read to them as they are slowly dozing. You can also read them a fairy tale or select a colorful book with lots of pictures.
Although they won’t exactly understand everything you are telling them, they will benefit from this activity as it helps boost brain development, teaches them about communication, and improves their memory skills.
Reading aloud to your baby before bed is a great way to further bond with your infant, and it’s also a fun shared activity that you can continue enjoying together as they are getting older.
All parents hope their child will be a miracle sleeper. However, sleep starts before your baby is actually in the crib, and even the fussiest baby can benefit from their parent introducing an effective sleep training bedtime routine. With these five steps, putting your baby to sleep should be child’s play.
About the Author
Mia Taylor is a 33-year-old blogger who writes about beauty, fashion and travel. She had always been passionate about fashion and over time she has developed a style of her own. Mia loves to mix and match and get inspire girls with her advice about outfit and accessories. She loves telling a story about her travels and providing beauty tips with readers.