Wednesday, 24 October 2012

A snapshot, fool-proof and doable guide to bedtime routines for your little ones

Bedtime can be a huge source of frustration from a parent’s point of view. If you need any convincing, just ask your mum or dad how long it used to take to get you to sleep when you were a baby! The chances are that they will tell you that at times it felt like a bit of a battle. 

There are loads of ways you can try to make bedtime easier for both you and your baby. For example, you can make sure she has something comfortable to sleep on, like an organic baby mattress. However one of the most important steps is establishing a bedtime routine from a very early stage.  Read through the following tips and try introducing some of them before your baby goes to sleep. You should find that your routine will slowly but surely start to become easier.

Let’s play
Your routine should start about half an hour before bedtime by playing a fun game with your baby to help her relax. This can be a fun way to start off the routine but make sure you play something calming like ‘This Little Piggy’ though because you don’t want her to get too excited!

Bubbles and squeaks
A nice warm bath is another great way for your baby to unwind before bedtime. The warm water will have a soothing effect on her and adding some Johnsons Baby Bubble Bath can help make it fun. Unfortunately some children don’t enjoy bath time so this step may need to be skipped in some cases.

Kisses and cuddles
Another way to help your baby learn that it is nearly bedtime is by having her say goodnight to everyone in the house. This should pretty much guarantee plenty of kisses and cuddles which will help her settle down. You can even make a bit of a game out of it and say good night to her favourite toys or family pets. 
Cosy crib
Make sure the lighting in your baby’s bedroom is turned down low and the room temperature is comfortable (about 18 degrees Celsius is about right). As well as helping to create a cosy atmosphere which will help her drift off, this will also help her learn that night time is for sleeping.  

A treat before sleep
Your baby will not be able to sleep if she is hungry so make sure you give her a bottle of warm milk before bed. The milk will also give her a nice warm feeling which will help her to settle quickly.

Have a catch up
Having a chat with your baby once she is in bed is another great way to help her relax. There are loads of things you can chat about, for instance all the fun things she did today or what exciting things you are going to spend tomorrow doing.

Parents have been telling bedtime stories to help their children fall asleep for centuries. The sound of your voice can be very soothing and will help her relax. Once she is old enough, you can let her choose the story herself but you may well end up reading the same story every night!

Singing lullabies is another really popular way of helping your baby to fall asleep. As with telling a story, the soothing sound of your voice will have a calming effect on her. Quite often, you will notice that she starts to nod off while you sing but make sure you continue until you are sure she is asleep.

Soothing sounds
One last step that can help is to play some soft music in the background as your baby is falling asleep. This can be especially useful if your singing voice isn’t quite doing the trick! Playing some lullabies can have an incredibly soothing effect and should help her gently drift off.

Don’t feel under pressure to introduce all of these steps at once. Pick one or two that you think your baby will react to and start with those. Slowly introduce the others over a period of time and you will find that bedtime will become less stressful and, if you are really lucky, something you and your baby can look forward to! 

This is a sponsored post