How to Create a Bedtime Routine

When the sun sets, incorporate these simple tips into your bedtime routine, and both you and Baby will catch more snooze time.
Alexandra Grablewski

Set your baby up to be a star snoozer -- and get more sleep yourself -- by following these steps at the end of the day.

  1. Don't Delay Even though your newborn isn't sleeping through the night, establishing a bedtime routine now will create a comforting rhythm that will pay off for you both later.
  2. Limit Distractions Infants need to unwind before bed just like grown-ups, so switch gears 30 minutes beforehand. Head up to her room and look at books together.
  3. Hatch a Habit Choose quiet activities, such as giving your baby a bath, feeding her, and singing her a lullaby, to do each night in the same order before putting her down.
  4. Wrap Her Up Some babies like being swaddled before bed, but when Baby can roll over on her own (by about 4 months) stop swaddling and use a wearable blanket.
  5. Stick With It Put your sweetie to bed drowsy, but awake, so she learns to fall asleep on her own. And aim for the same time every night. A schedule you can live with is key!

Sweet Dreams:

  • Make feeding a first or second step in your routine, so Baby doesn't rely on it to fall asleep.
  • If you use a white-noise machine, keep the volume low to protect Baby's hearing.
  • When the sniffles or a trip interfere, get back on track when you can.

Baby sleep whisperer Ingrid Prueher meets Eric and Laura, whose baby will only go to sleep when her mother rocks her, and sleeps in a portable rocker. Ingrid shows them how to break bad bedtime habits and get the baby to sleep through the night.

Originally published in the May 2015 issue of American Baby magazine.

American Baby

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