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Tips To Establish A Healthy Bedtime Routine For Your Baby

amber teething necklaces - bedtime

A consistent bedtime routine is an important way to help your little one develop good sleep patterns. Newborns may not sleep all the way through the night and may wake because they are hungry or uncomfortable, but from the age of about three to six months, you may find that your baby will sleep more consistently.

Sleep is extremely important for your baby’s growth and development, not to mention your own sanity! Bringing a new life into the world is a thrilling adventure, but it can also be exhausting and you need to protect your own health and sense of wellbeing as well. 

Having clear boundaries will allow you to plan activities for yourself in the evenings and increase your chances of an uninterrupted night’s sleep. This means that you will be at your best for your baby during the important times in the day, and be more able to deal with the daily demands of life, whether that’s a career or running a home, or juggling both.

Once your baby is accustomed to going to sleep at the same time each night, you will find it easier to avoid any battles about bedtime and the predictability will make it more likely that your baby will fall asleep quickly and stay asleep throughout the night. Here are some tips to help you establish a healthy bedtime routine for your baby. 

The earlier the better

The first few weeks will be a period of adjustment for both your baby and you, but by the time they are six weeks old you should already start to introduce a regular bedtime routine. It’s unlikely that they will sleep through the night at this stage, but it will lay the foundations to help your baby accept the cues to go to sleep when they are a little older.

Establish a sequence of activities

Having a set routine makes it easier for you, because you will not have to think about what needs to be done each time; it will soon become second nature and will take up less of your evening. Your baby will also become familiarised with the routine and will see it as a signal to start winding down and preparing to go to sleep. 

There’s no need to have a long and elaborate routine, because this may be too tiring for both you and your baby, and you might have more trouble sticking to it. A simple routine such as a final feed, brushing their teeth (if they have any) and changing their nappy will suffice. Also take some time to chat, sing, or read a short story to your baby before leaving them to sleep.

If your baby is teething

A further point on the subject of teeth: if your baby is teething then this can make them more irritable and restless than usual, and they might have trouble following a consistent routine. You may want to try massaging their gums or offering them a cold object to chew on to relieve some of the pressure. 

If this does not help and your baby continues to show signs of distress, then you may want to consider giving them a mild pain reliever. If you are not keen on this idea, investigate some natural alternatives such as lavender drops on the pillow, or amber teething necklaces

These are made from raw unpolished Baltic amber, and contain quantities of a natural analgesic called succinic acid. When the beads are worn next to the skin, they are gently warmed by your baby’s body temperature and this triggers the release of small amounts of succinic acid, which is absorbed into the bloodstream.

Some parents find that this has the effect of soothing an unsettled teething baby, helping them to sleep more soundly. However, the necklace should only be used to settle your baby in their pre-bed routine, and you should never leave them alone or put them down to sleep whilst wearing it. 

Final points to consider

Ensure that your baby’s sleep environment is calm, with darkness or dimmed lights and no distracting noise. The temperature should be comfortable and they should have appropriate bedding and clothes for the weather. 

You may need to make gradual changes as your baby grows, and at times there may be regressions. Learn to look for cues that your baby is tired, and avoid overstimulating them directly before bedtime.