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Most people need time to wind down before bed, and babies are no different. A bedtime routine will not only help your little one get into relaxation mode before being placed in his crib, but it can also serve as a wonderful bonding experience for both of you.
"A bedtime routine is an easy strategy that makes a world of difference in how quickly your baby will settle to sleep and how much support he'll need to fall asleep," says Megan Faure, author of The BabySense Secret. "As time- consuming or rigid as it may feel, it saves you time and energy in the long run." One hour before you want your baby asleep (6 to 7 P.M. is an appropriate bedtime for your baby or toddler), begin your routine. Close the curtains, dim the room, and prepare his bottle and story. A warm bath can help soothe him, and when it's over, take him straight to his room and dress him in the darkened room with a lullaby CD. Read a story and then feed him in your arms. Once he is finished, settle him into a sleepy state and then put him to bed awake, but drowsy.
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