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Solving Sleep Challenges

As a parent, getting your baby to sleep peacefully can sometimes feel like a daunting challenge. However, a consistent bedtime routine can work wonders in helping your little one settle down for a restful night's sleep.

Step 1: Set a Consistent Bedtime

Your baby’s bedtime should fall between 6-8pm, during this time natural melatonin begins to produce, encouraging your little one to sleep. Until your baby is on a consistent nap routine, continue to follow awake windows throughout the day to determine your bedtime. It's ok to wake your little one from a nap to ensure bedtime isn't too late.

Step 2: Start Winding Down

About 30 to 60 minutes before bedtime, begin the wind-down process. Dim the lights, close the blinds, lower the noise levels, turn the tv off and engage in calming activities. This sends signals to your baby's brain that it's time to relax and prepare for sleep.

Step 3: Warm Bath, Shower or Gentle Massage

A warm bath can be incredibly soothing for babies. It relaxes their muscles and helps them feel comforted. It also signals to the body that it’s time to begin to reduce its internal temperature to prepare for sleep. After the bath, consider giving your baby a gentle massage using baby-safe oil, which can further promote relaxation.

Step 4: Dress for Comfort and Climate

Choose comfortable sleepwear appropriate for the room temperature. Dressing your baby in breathable fabrics, such as cotton or bamboo, will ensure they stay cozy without overheating. Use a tog rated sleeping bag, rather than blankets, to ensure they’re warm enough throughout the night.

Step 5: Create a Calm Environment

Transform the nursery or sleeping area into a calming sanctuary. Use soft lighting or a dim nightlight during the wind down routine and keep distractions to a minimum. Consider using blackout curtains or shades to create a dark environment conducive to sleep. The room should be as dark as possible, no lights/night lights until at least 2 years of age or when your little one expresses a fear of the dark. Use pink noise to not only block out external noise but also promote deep sleep.

Step 6: Feed and Burp

If your baby is still on breastmilk or formula, offer a feed before bedtime. Burp your baby afterward to minimise discomfort from gas or reflux during sleep.

Step 7: Books or Lullabies

Incorporate a soothing activity like reading a short story or singing lullabies. These activities can help your baby associate positive feelings with sleep time and create a sense of connection and security.

Step 8: Cuddle and Comfort

Spend a few minutes cuddling and comforting your baby to comfort them and help your them relax before being put down to sleep.

Step 9: Establish a Sleep Phrase

Create a sleep phrase that you will repeat before every sleep and when resettling your baby. It can be as simple as “time for sleep. I love you.”

Step 10: Place in the Cot Awake (if you can)

When your baby is calm but still awake, place them in the cot. This encourages them to fall asleep independently. However, if your baby becomes upset when placed in the cot, comfort, calm and reassure them how you feel necessary..

Step 11: Be Patient and Consistent

Establishing a bedtime routine takes time, and every baby is unique. Be patient and consistent in following the routine each night. Over time, your baby will come to recognise the routine as a signal that it's time for sleep.

Creating a bedtime routine for your baby is a powerful tool in solving sleep challenges and promoting healthy sleep habits. Consistency, patience, and a calm environment are key elements to success. Remember, each baby is different, so adjust the routine as needed to suit your little one's individual needs and preferences. Sweet dreams!

Have a great bedtime routine but still struggling with sleep? Reach out to book your FREE Speedy Sleep Chat and let’s get you all sleeping better.

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