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How to prepare your baby for sleep time

Written by Chelsea Tromans

 

Sleep is something we take for granted. Until you become a parent it’s hard to truly comprehend what it’s like to function on limited and interrupted sleep. You also probably had no idea that sleep isn’t actually something you master from the moment you’re born.

 

For most babies, good sleeping habits need to be learned. Self-settling, surrendering to those tired feelings, even learning the difference between night and day don’t necessarily come naturally to little bubs. They need your help to become sound sleepers, and it all starts with a few simple steps that prepare them for sleep time.

 

A bedtime routine helps your baby recognise that it’s time to wind down and go to sleep. Here are some things to consider adding to your baby’s nighttime bed routine to help them prepare for sleep:

 

Bath time

Start off your bedtime routine with a bath. It’s not just an important step for keeping your bub clean; the warmth of a bath helps babies relax. Additionally, after getting out of the bath your baby's body temperature will start to cool, which can help them to fall asleep more easily.

 

Change into pyjamas

Teach your infant that getting into their pyjamas means it’s time for bed. This additional step will differentiate your nighttime routine from their daily naps, which doesn’t include an outfit change. Ensuring your baby is warm will help them have a more sound sleep, too. Just be careful that you don’t go overboard with the layers - overheating puts your baby at risk of SIDS.

 

Read a story

Storytime offers a great bonding opportunity for you and your baby. It’s also a quiet activity that can help prepare baby for bed. The warmth from holding your baby as you read to them paired with the soothing sounds of your voice help to make your bub feel good.

 

A nighttime feed

According to If your infant tends to fall asleep during or soon after a feed, time your nighttime feed at the end of your bedtime routine.

 

Give bub a massage

A gentle massage can help put your bub into a relaxed state. According to research conducted by

 

Say goodnight

Every time you put your baby down for the night, repeat the same phrase. It can be anything you want, such as “Goodnight, I love you” or “Sweet dreams, baby”. Repeating the same comforting phrase before bedtime signals to your little one that it’s time to go to sleep.

 

Extra sleeping tips for babies

A sleep routine is the first step towards ensuring your baby has a good night’s sleep. These tips may also help your baby to enjoy a better sleep:

 

Create the right atmosphere

A dark, quiet room is the perfect setting for encouraging a sound sleep. Blockout curtains are a good idea, as is limiting the white light in the room. The light emitted from fluorescent and incandescent bulbs can disrupt your baby’s sleep patterns. If you’re using a night light, opt for an orange light.

 

Put on some white noise

Baby sleep music can help bubs relax and drift off. White noise is a popular choice because of its soothing effect on babies (it reminds them of being in the womb).

 

Use an overnight nappy

You don’t want to wake up your baby in the middle of the night to change their nappy if you don’t need to. Opt for an ultra-absorbent nighttime nappy like Lovekins Ultra Dry Night Nappies. They’re designed with pearl grain grooves for superior absorption and Flexi-Bod technology for maximum movement so your bub can stay dry and comfortable throughout the night.

 

Be consistent

As babies get older, they start to respond well to routines. But it’s important to be consistent for them to be effective. Having a bedtime routine also ensures you won’t have to worry about learning how to get an overtired baby to sleep because you’ll have it perfectly timed to align with their sleep cycle.

 

How much sleep do babies need?

As your baby grows, his/her sleep needs will change.

 

When do babies sleep through the night?

Getting a few hours of sleep in a row is a good start, but no doubt you’re also eager to learn how to get your baby to sleep through the night. All babies are different, but according to the

Sleep training can help with getting your baby to form better sleep habits and adopt a sleep routine that sees them sleeping for longer stretches of time. It can also help if you want to learn how to get your baby to sleep without being held.

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