A consistent routine before bedtime can help your little one drift off easier & feel more secure! How do you set up a routine? Read below for the top 3 things you can do to start implementing a great bedtime routine.
The bedtime routine is a set of actions that promote sleepiness; actions your little one will associate with falling asleep. It is a calm, transitional moment & also serves as a way to connect with your little one before they drift off. In time, they will begin to feel sleepy just by repeating the same steps every day. By transitional, I mean it is a nice way to move from the exciting activities of the day to calm, quiet ones so they are in the calm state they need to be in to allow them to fall asleep.
We all do something right before we go to bed, even us adults! This is our own little version of a bedtime routine.
Creating a set of steps that will become part of their long term memory will help them, in the long run, to fall asleep peacefully. Here are some things you can do to create a great bedtime routine for your little one & to make it easier on you.
1: Set the stage
Setting up the space where your little one sleeps can also be a great way to begin your bedtime routine. This could be closing the blinds, turning off the lights, & even saying good night to things around the room. If your little one is older, you could even have them put their toys to bed & say goodnight. This mimicking allows them to create another level of associations.
Reading or telling a story, singing a lullaby, or just talking about your day in a dimly lit room in hushed tones is a great way to continue the routine.
2: Keep it consistent
Consistency is key in all things with little ones. The more consistent you are with them, the more they know what is expected of them.
Making sure that the routine is EXACTLY the same & at the same time every day, creates a sense of security because your little one knows what comes next. Their bodies will also respond accordingly; the routine will eventually make them feel sleepy & their bodies will begin producing the hormones necessary to fall asleep at the right times of the day as it becomes part of their internal body clock.
3: Make it age-appropriate
As newborns, you can begin with just a quick diaper change, turning off the lights, & lullaby before putting them in bed. They can't handle more than that at such a young age. As they get older you can make the routine longer & include more things.
I am a strong believer in reading stories before bed & how relaxing it can be! Starting at an early age - even those early months - can help them get used to the process & you won't have any struggles down the line. It's a great pause to your day & - bonus points - you are also instilling a love for books while growing their little brains by reading!
Struggling during bedtime?
I would love to hear about your bedtime routine or if you have any struggles! Please comment or send me an email - firstname.lastname@example.org. I also offer free 15-minute phone consultations & would love to chat! Book here!