Whether or not you are a routine based parent/nanny, a simple and consistent bedtime routine can work wonders for children’s sleep. Using the hour before bed to slow down and be calm helps children switch off and sleep better than if they just run around until they fall asleep exhausted.
A consistent bedtime routine creates sleep associations in babies and children so their body and brain know bedtime is approaching. The great thing about a bedtime routine is you can start it from as early as 6 weeks and it doesn’t have to be complex. The simpler the routine the better, and you can adapt the routine in any which way to suit your family.
- Ideally the hour before bed should be empty of blue light emitting devices, such as tv, iPads, phones etc. Calm activities such as reading stories, listening to music or audiobooks and talking about the best parts of the day are great things to include in your bedtime routine.
- Turn lights low to create a calm and relaxing environment.
- Most children enjoy a bath as part of their bedtime routine but for some bath time can be too exciting and stimulating. So for these children think about doing bath time in the morning if you have the time.
- For young babies a massage after a bath is both relaxing and also a wonderful bonding time for you and baby.
- Try and keep bedtime and wake up time the same everyday. Try for no more than an hours difference between school nights and weekend nights.