Having a bedtime routine is a wonderful way to end your day, whether you're using it as a way to prepare yourself for sleep or as an opportunity to bond with your child. But the importance of your bedtime routine goes beyond simply being a nice way to end the day.
Whether you're a parent or grandparent, creating a bedtime routine is important for your child. Whether it's in the morning or at night, having a routine defines what your child knows of themselves; sets boundaries and teaches them how to follow through with their efforts.
Here are some tips and ideas on how to create a bedtime routine for your child. This can be done right at the start, or even after they've learnt to sleep (with help from your attempts). These tips will ensure they have their restful slumber, no matter what their age or temperament is like when it comes to falling asleep.
12 Tips on How to Create the Perfect Bedtime Routine for Your Child
You've been doing a great job so far, but there's only one more thing we have to talk about: how to make your child's bedtime routine as amazing as possible!
You might be thinking that this is going to be hard, but it doesn't have to be. Follow these 12 tips and you'll soon be able to make your child's bedtime routine anything but ordinary.
1.Start the bedtime routine in their infant years
As early as possible, establish a bedtime routine to your child so they will get used to it. Around the time your baby turns three months old, you might feel ready to start a sleep routine.
Establishing a quick, relaxing bedtime routine for them might be a wonderful chance to spend one-on-one time with your infant.
2. Do a bedtime routine, even if you're out of town
Maintaining a regular sleep routine even on the weekends and even you’re out of town keeps the body's biological clock on track and can make it easier for you to fall asleep and wake up wherever you are.
3. Focus on relaxing activities
It's tempting to try to get your child to sleep, especially if you're exhausted. But the more you try, the more likely it is that you'll end up frustrated and angry at yourself for not being able to get your child to sleep.
Instead, try focusing on some calming activities that set a nice tone for bedtime.
- Reading books together (not storybooks—they're too exciting)
- Making music together (no instruments or drums—just gentle singing and playing)
- Playing games like peekaboo or Simon Says (make sure there are no objects that might awaken a child who's tired)
And when it comes time for bedtime, don't rush it! If your child has trouble sleeping, they may need 10 minutes or so of extra cuddling before going under covers.
4. Make getting dressed more enjoyable for your child
Changing your child might be a challenging routine task. Some infants have a tendency to detect that changing diapers signals the impending arrival of sleep and, consequently, separation, which may alarm them.
Others find it difficult to get dressed because it bothers their sensory system and they don't like being chilly, laying flat, or sensing different textiles being put on and taken off.
Getting dressed can be a battleground for older toddlers and kids as they attempt to exert their dominance and delay sleep.
Try these suggestions if you've done everything else and your child is still being resistant:
- Put on breathable, soft, and light clothing for your child.
- Use cozy, soft muslin blankets to promote better sleep
- Use a wipe warmer or cover your child when changing diaper
- Describe your movements to your infant as you move
- Sing songs to one another while making eye contact.
- Play the game of body parts by identify your child's lovely features
5. Try a bath as part of the bedtime routine
Whether you're new to it or an old pro, it's never too late to start having a nightly bath routine. It's one of the best ways to bond with your little one and create a wonderful bedtime routine.
Here are some tips and tricks for creating a wonderful bedtime routine for your child:
- Multi-sensory stimulation - Many children respond well to multi-sensory input in the bathtub. This can include water temperature (warm or cold) and texture (silky softness or roughness), as well as bubbles or bubbles that break apart when they touch them.
- Lots of input from all senses - Touching and gently rubbing their skin slows the heart rate, lowers body temperature and blood pressure, and stimulates pressure responders that induce relaxation. All of which could mean better sleep!
- Creating an opportunity for bonding time: If skin-to-skin contact is possible during bathing, this is one way for parents and kids to connect
6. Keep the room calm, dark and cool
The bedroom is the most important place in your child's life. It's where they go to sleep, rest, and dream. You want to create a peaceful environment so that they can relax and feel safe.
One of the best ways to do this is by keeping the room dark and calm, as well as cool. Put aside all screens an hour before bedtime. This will help your child get ready for sleep faster and easier.
7. Save active play for daytime hours
Always save active play during daytime and reserve evening time for quiet activities like reading books or doing puzzles.
Make sure that the room is free of distractions like electronics or toys so that they can get a good night's sleep! Keep distractions to a minimum before bedtime so they don’t think of playing instead of going to sleep.
8. Make sure they've had plenty of exercise earlier in the day
Make sure they've had plenty of exercise earlier in the day to help them tire out faster! This means giving them a run around the block or playing tag with them as they get ready for bed. It also means getting outside and taking a walk before bedtime to help them wind down.
9. Calm your child if he wakes up at night for some reason
If your child wakes up at night for some reason, keep them calm and focus on getting them back to sleep. This can be done by giving them a hug or holding them close (even if they're fussing), by reading a book or playing with them in another room. It's also helpful to put on calming music and dim the lights.
Don’t talk about why they woke up or what's going on around your house at the moment. A conversation about a weird dream can also make it hard for them to go back to sleep.
Try to get back into bed with them again—if they're awake, this is probably just because they want you there!
10. Read them a book
Did you know that youngsters who spend every day with their parents reading one picture book together are exposed to around 78,000 words annually?
When they start school, your young child's exposure to books and words will make a significant difference. They'll be better equipped to see and learn to read those vocabulary words in print, even if they don't seem interested.
There are so many other advantages to reading. It allows you the chance to spend quality time with your child and gives you the chance to talk about things like feelings and emotions, various cultures, far-off countries, etc.
What kinds of books or stories are the finest, then? The ones you like to read! Your baby is more likely to get into anything if you are having fun.
Check out the breakdown below if you need some inspiration about where to begin:
- For 0-3 months - black-and-white, high-contrast books
- For 4-6 months - books that are tactile or feature pictures of babies
- For 6-12 months - simple rhyming and picture board books for infants and toddlers
If you're at a loss for how to bring a book to life for your child, consider these suggestions:
- Make it more interesting - Utilizing comical voices, whispering during certain passages, and loud voice usage during other passages will get their whole attention
- Model how to think - practice how to think with your child. Speak what you think and allow them to also think with you with probing questions.
- Make real life examples or connections on what you read - you can tell of your own experience and relate it to the story you are reading
- Ask them questions - you can ask them what do they see in the book so they don’t get bored and feel involved.
11. Make sure there's enough time between their last meal and bedtime
Make sure there is just enough time between their last mean and when they go to sleep so that they aren't hungry.
If you're having trouble getting them to eat before bed, try setting up an alarm on your phone so you know when it's time for dinner.
12. Be consistent with your routine
Make sure that you're consistent with your own routine so that your child knows what's expected of them each night.
A bedtime routine promotes deeper and longer sleep for your child. We're so happy that our bamboo baby blankets and bath towels get to be a part of your routines because it's a special time to bond with your tiny ones.