You know those babies who go to sleep exactly at the some time every night without any fuss, without breastfeeding forever or holding them until they drift away? Yeah I don’t know either (although the rumour has it they actually exist!).
My baby has been full of energy from the day she was born- she was crying the loudest of all the babies that were in a room with us after I gave birth.
I believe each child has been born with a different character and there’s not much you can do to change it but rather shape it. However, when it comes to baby and bedtime routine, apparently each of them can be ‘trained’ to fall asleep on its own. At least that’s what many experts claim in their books.
I did try to use few techniques such as ‘cry it out’ method but I just hated it. I couldn’t bare my baby girls’ screams and begging for attention. Maybe I’m too soft for it, maybe I didn’t do it the right way but what I know is that we all have to listen to our instincts and don’t feel the pressure to do anything according to some book.
So it’s good to listen to any advice out there but more importantly, listen to your baby.
I prepared a list of what to do to make your energetic baby more sleepy and aware of the coming bedtime.
1. Stick roughly to the same time
Whether it’s 7 or 8 pm stick to that hour (or at least roughly) and let your baby know that it’s time to prepare to go to sleep. Make sure you switch off the TV or don’t use a smartphone in front of your child at least 30 min before he goes to bed as the light from any screen can disturb the healthy sleeping cycle.
2. Make bath a fun time
Warm bath will help your baby to calm down same way it helps us to relax. If your baby is already sitting down on his own it’s a good idea to entertain him in some way (if you want him to stay longer than 5 minutes in there). I tend to go in with my daughter and she loves that but I’m not always in a mood so then I’ve got my bath toys ready. My favourite one is swimming Baby Shark that is activated when it touches the water (and it sings too, not so fun for you anymore); it does the job, your child will be thrilled if he likes Baby Shark song (and which baby doesn’t?).
Oh and don’t forget about brushing the tiny teeth! Don’t use the toothpaste though until your little one learns how to spit. I always try to make the whole process in a not-so-boring way so my little one could associate this routine as a fun activity.
3. Baby spa massage? Yes, please!
Massaging your baby will not only improve his sleep but on the long will also improve weight gain, digestion and blood circulation; it can even ease up teething pain.
Use any organic oil such as coconut oil and gently massage the whole body, including the face (my baby girl loves this part the most!).
It’s always good to sing softly to your baby while doing the massage as a kind of reassurance, especially when your little one is getting used to this experience.
4. Books always welcome
When it comes to reading ‘bedtime stories’, I started pretty early as my daughter was only 3 months old. I used to choose high contrast, black and white books to get her attention but with time we progressed to interactive books such as this one. It teaches your baby first words by pressing buttons and giving different sounds, This way you keep bedtime fun and something your child will look forward to.
5. Choose the right light and ambience in your baby’s room
Many people think blue light is the best option when choosing lamps to their childrens room due to its calming effect. And while it may give you this relaxing sensation or have a good effect on you during the day, it is not the best for sleeping. Same way long exposure to the blue light from tablets or Iphones is harmful, same way blue night lamps will interfere with your little one’s sleep and can keep him awake for longer.
So which colour of the light is the most desirable? According to the scientists, the answer is red. Apparently it will make your baby (and yourself) more tired and won’t keep waking you up in the night, like the blue one would.
What’s more, many parents could swear on the white noise making their babies drift away faster (I was not the lucky one). There are soft toys on the market, such as The Dream Sheep, producing the white noise plus the red light so you get 2 in 1. However, the white noise will usually work on younger babies so make sure you start using it in those early weeks.
6. Keep it cool
When it comes to the bedroom temperature, it’s best to keep it at 18 degrees, which is lower than most people think. If your baby has tendencies to sweat a lot (like mine does), it is also a good idea to cover him with a bamboo muslin blanket, especially during summer. It’s super soft, its properties will help to keep your child’s right body temperature, absorb any sweat and prevent overheating.
7. Swaddle your baby
If you have a younger baby it’s good to learn how to swaddle your baby. There are many tutorials on YouTube but if you keep struggling or just find it time-consuming, you can always buy a ‘ready’ baby swaddle blanket or a baby sleeping bag.
Being ‘wrapped up’ like this has a purpose of reflecting your womb environment, so it should bring your little one comfort and a feeling of safety.
8. Don’t forget a comforting toy
As mentioned in one of my posts, comforting toy should be always around your baby and will be a great companion for the bedtime routine. Snuggling should make your little one feel safe and secure.
When things get predictable for your little one he will ‘slide into’ that routine himself. For some babies it may get longer but they will get there as long as you are consistent.
Now you it’s time for you to get some sleep too!
Good luck mamas!:)