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The first few months of your baby’s life seem like a blur — especially if your baby isn’t sleeping consistently. Believe it or not, though, you can start establishing a bedtime routine for your baby once they are six to eight weeks old. In fact, creating a bedtime routine is quite simple if you know what to do.
Before establishing a bedtime routine for your baby, you need to set up the nursery in a way that promotes restful sleep. To do this, set up a dark, cool room where the curtains are drawn with little to no light. Also, set up a crib with no stuffed animals or mobiles so your baby isn’t overstimulated. Avoid using nightlights or other distracting items, but consider using a white noise machine. Setting up your baby’s room for a restful sleep will help cue their body and help them establish healthy sleep associations.
Most experts recommend choosing a bedtime that works and sticking to the same time each night. Once your baby is three to four months old, they begin developing circadian rhythms and clear sleep patterns. You can start tracking these patterns and select a bedtime that lines up with their natural sleep cycles and your family’s daily routine — preferably between 6-8pm so that your baby can receive a full twelve hours of rest each night.
Once you set the stage for restful sleep, it’s time to establish a calm, consistent bedtime routine. This will help your baby relax and fall asleep quickly without any fuss. This routine doesn’t need to be elaborate — you just need a few consistent behaviors that occur in the same order each night so your baby can associate this routine with bedtime. Some recommendations for a bedtime routine include:
● a warm bath or gentle massage
● a pre-sleep feeding
● a bedtime story or lullaby
Consistent bedtime routines reinforce your baby’s natural rhythms and help them learn how to fall asleep independently from a young age. If your baby is still fairly young, you can also swaddle them to help promote sleep by using one of our organic swaddle blankets.
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