Congratulations, mama! You’ve gone from bump to baby! After a very long nine months, your mini has finally been welcomed into the world. Although the pressure of pregnancy is now behind you, the chaos of a newborn has just begun and the thought of a deep, uninterrupted sleep remains a distant memory. However, it’s never too early to start planning how to introduce your baby to a bedtime routine– the sooner you get those eight hours of rest back, the better! Keep scrolling for our advice on how to create a consistent baby bedtime.
When Should you Start a Baby Bedtime Routine?
As you have probably gauged by now, your baba cannot yet differentiate night from day. Every newborn varies in their sleeping pattern. However, each baby’s pattern will have one thing in common, that being that it’s hardly considered a pattern at all. In fact, it will most likely be sporadic, unpredictable, and at any time of the day (or night, if you’re lucky). You will find yourself adapting to when your baby chooses moments of rest, jumping at the opportunity to catch some z’s while you can. However, this isn’t sustainable so when your baby is around three months old, you should try to start settling them into a baby bedtime routine. Once your baba has reached this age, a routine can help to kickstart their natural circadian rhythms and teach them what is day versus what is night.
When Should your Baby go to Sleep?
At three months onwards, you may begin to notice your baby’s internal clock becoming slightly more predictable. We recommend keeping a baby bedtime diary at this point to note any sleepy cues like eye-rubbing and to keep track of sleep stretches for an idea of when your baby should go to sleep. From your diary logging, you’ll be able to spot when your baby gets tired and how long on average their sleep stretches last. If for example, you’re fortunate enough to find that your baby is sleeping for a full, five-hour stretch, you may want to start the wind-down process at 7.30pm, with the hopes of being asleep by 8.00pm. There is no set time, it’s whatever works best for you. However, what is important is that you try to stick to your baby’s bedtime routine every evening. When the chosen time is approaching, keep the lights dim and talk in hushed tones to gradually teach them when it’s time to go to sleep.
Get Some Daylight
Equally important to a baby’s bedtime routine is a daytime routine. Introducing your baby to a daily wake-up time and letting in some natural light in the mornings will help progress their circadian rhythm. Although you’ll want to protect your baby’s soft, delicate skin from direct exposure to the sun, it’s a good idea to get some daylight in throughout the day. Just 10-15 minutes of sunlight may help to increase serotonin levels, which regulates both sleep and digestion in babies. During the winter months, make sure to keep baba’s skin hydrated with a moisturiser before stepping outside, as the cold air can quickly dry out their skin.
Create a Consistent Baby Bedtime Routine
With the lights dimmed and the hushed-voice on, it’s time to put your baby on the wind down. Your baby’s bedtime routine could start with a soft, milky bath with Mini Mio Beddy Byes Bath Milk and warm water. This soothing bath milk is made up of Shea, Avocado and Coconut Oils to help keep baby’s skin feeling nourished and moisturised. It is also infused with a naturally calming, gentle Lavender scent, perfect for your baby before bedtime. Before getting your baby dressed, giving them a massage with Mini Mio Mini Moments Massage Gel to help them relax after the chaos of the day. These two steps are great ways to give your baba the undivided attention they deserve and bond with them. Whatever your routine involves, make sure it’s consistent and follows a pattern every night. Your baby will soon catch onto the evening pattern.
Create the Perfect Bedroom Environment for a Good Sleep
In order for your baby to have as good of a sleep as possible, you may want to focus on their bedroom environment. However, when it comes to creating your baby’s bedroom environment for a good sleep, there’s no need to overcomplicate things. One point to note is that many babies find white noise to be soothing, so purchasing a white noise machine and playing it consistently during the night is a good idea. Apart from this, simply think of the conditions that you yourself would easily fall asleep in. A bedroom that’s quiet, dark, and a slightly cooler temperature is the best environment for anyone to have a good sleep. Lastly, ensure that your baby’s crib is empty before laying them down. Remove any toys or teddies so it’s just them, a firm mattress and a tight-fitted sheet.
Be Flexible with your Baby’s Bedtime Routine
Lastly, allow some flexibility. Although it’s great to stay consistent, you should also listen and watch out for your baby’s natural circadian rhythm as much as possible. Remember, there’s no exact time when a baby should go to sleep. If you spot your baby getting drowsy, rubbing their eyes or yawning a little earlier than planned, this is a good opportunity to put them down to sleep and give them a chance to learn how to fall asleep without your help.
When you have a bedtime routine (somewhat) tackled, pencil in some time for yourself. Read our ultimate guide to self-care for new mums here.