Bedtime Routines for Babies

bedtime routines for babiesSleeping at night is a game that we need to teach our babies how to play. A bedtime routine is their cue that their job to go to sleep for hopefully many hours through the night is quickly approaching.

My babies weren’t quick to get the memo that they should sleep during the night. So, we worked very hard (and still do) to make sure they got the message loud and clear by establishing consistent bedtime routines.

Here are some things that you can try to put into your baby’s bedtime routine to let them know it’s time to go to bed:

  • Bath
  • Lotion
  • Massage
  • Nursing or a bottle
  • Singing songs
  • Reading books
  • Putting baby in their bed while they are drowsy but still awake

Our first baby, who is now 3 years old, loves his routine so much that it is still pretty much the same as it was when he was 3 months old. Every night, after getting his pajamas on, he gets three books of his choice read to him, the song “Operator” by Jim Croce is sung to him in his chair and then he hops into bed and gets his back rubbed with one last serenade of “Operator.”

The one thing that did change from the time he was a small baby was the song that we sing. I pushed for songs like “You Are My Sunshine,” but one crazy night after many attempts of calming our screaming child, my husband sealed the deal of getting our son to sleep with the ever so popular lullaby, “Operator.” I’m sure that I have broken some kind of world record of singing “Operator” the most times in a 3-year time period. My 2-year-old daughter also requests this song every night and before naps. So, yes, I win!

Our second child has challenged bedtime routines. Just when we think that we have one set in place, she changes it on us. She has taught us to be flexible and to keep trying. Even though she is set on her favorite song, sometimes she wants books, sometimes she wants to chat, or read to her babies by herself. She’s in charge. And, yes, she still has a difficult time sleeping through the night consistently. We hope to find something that impresses and pleases her before the time she is a teenager.

Sarah Cole is a stay at home mommy to two busy toddlers. She enjoys writing and sleeping through the night.

Tags: baby, bedtime, bedtime routine, night, nursing, operator, singing, sleeping

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