How to create nighttime routines for your baby
Nighttime routines can be tough on parents and babies alike. While almost everyone wants and expects a good night's sleep, nighttime can present problems for both parents and babies. You want your infant to get enough sleep, but at the same time you don't want them waking up every hour or two. This can be especially challenging if your baby was born prematurely .
Your infant needs more sleep than you do during the day, so nighttime is often a time of deprivation for them. They may have a harder time falling asleep and staying asleep at night because they need more sleep than an older baby or adult would. However, there are things you can do to make bedtime and nighttime a little easier on everyone.
Here are some night time routines to try:
* Singing lullabies has long been a part of nighttime for babies around the world. Singing lullabies is a great way to help your baby calm down and prepare for sleep.
* You can also try reading a book to your infant. You might choose a nighttime-themed story or one that's calming and soothing for bedtime reading.
* If you have an infant seat or swing, giving them a chance to calm down in their seat while you rock them may help.
* Keeping the lights dim and using a nightlight can help your infant feel comfortable and secure.
* Save the diaper change for after you put them to bed – that way they won't need to wake up fully to go to the bathroom.
*You can also try taking them for a car ride right before they go to sleep. The motion of the car can be very soothing and relaxing.
* Keeping your infant's room cool and comfortable can make a difference as well – anything from keeping the room warmer than you might like to turning on a white noise machine can help them sleep.
* Checking on your baby during the night is fine – just try not to do it too often. Checking on them once or twice during the night is fine – any more than that can be disruptive and make them less likely to fall back to sleep on their own.
* Sticking to a predictable bedtime routine, including feeding and bathing if you do those things, can help you and your baby prepare for a good night's sleep.
* Try putting your infant down drowsy but still awake – this can help them get used to going to sleep on their own.
* Tucking your infant in with a pacifier, stuffed animal or blanket they like can help provide comfort and security.
It might take time to find the things that work for your infant, but remember that nighttime routines are not about getting them to sleep. Nighttime is about making them feel safe and secure so they can relax and get a good night's sleep, so if you find something that works, stick with it.
Let us know in the comments if you have any hacks for getting your little one into a sleep routine.