Sleep training: a good bedtime routine
Babies and young children are creatures of habit, so they enjoy the predictability of a ritual. Performing the same simple tasks before bed each night helps signal that everything is safe and sound, and that it's time to go to sleep.
Establishing a Baby Bedtime Routine
Here are our top guidelines for an easy bedtime routine.
- Consistency is everything. Once you start a bedtime routine and do it regularly, they will come to expect it. Try to limit them to 30mins or less so they are manageable for all involved.
- Keep it simple. Keep your bedtime routine basic so it can be followed even when you are away from home. You can include a warm bath, a bedtime story, being tucked in and a kiss goodnight.
- Bedtime reminders. Toddlers may benefit from a couple of reminders that bedtime is approaching; springing it on them suddenly will only make them more reluctant to give up playing.
- Turn out the lights. This helps your child distinguish the difference between day and night. If he wakes up and it's dark, then it's still ‘night time'.
- Be flexible. If your child is sick and wants an extra story you can bend the rules a little – just try not to break the routine entirely. Bedtime is a special time for both of you, so enjoy the bonding and snuggle time!
- Avoid making it a punishment. Try to keep your bedtime routine sacred, so avoid taking it away as a punishment.
Enjoy every bedtime: while it can be challenging at times, it's certainly a precious bonding experience!
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