Rock-a-bye babies - Bedtime routines to make your baby sleep better

  • By Dr. T Deepa Porkodi

When to start?

The routine can be started as early as six weeks.

How does it help?

Making a routine helps the baby to relax by knowing what will happen next. It makes the baby habituated to the pattern and sets a good sleeping pattern for the future too.

Here are easy ways to build a baby bedtime routine:

  1. The activities of the routine can be whatever suits you, reading a bedtime story, playing a quiet game, singing to the baby, cuddling etc. Whatever you do, make sure it is calming and soothing for the baby and doesn’t make the baby more active and hyper. Also take care that the activities end in bed, so that the baby can fall asleep easily and you don’t have to carry it back to the bedroom.
  2. Make sure you lower the noise levels in the house at least thirty minutes before the baby’s bedtime. Cut down on the TV volume and if you have older kids, ask them to do their work quietly. This is very essential as it gives the baby time to adjust to the change in the environment. Placing the baby from a noisy living room to a quiet bedroom suddenly can end up alarming the baby and making it more alert.
  3. Bathing the baby before the bedtime is a very helpful activity. It relaxes the baby making it to fall asleep quicker.
  4. Massaging is a great way to end your baby’s day. Start by massaging the baby’s legs.
  5. Talking to the baby till it falls asleep is also a good routine. Listening to your voice soothes the baby and helps them sleep calmly.

You may feel ready to introduce a bedtime routine when your baby is around three months old. Getting them into a simple, soothing bedtime routine can be helpful for everyone and can help prevent sleeping problems later on. It's also great one-to-one with your baby.