Let’s talk bedtime routines. Here is a blog I wrote back when Jack was a newborn.
Jack is 5 weeks old now.
Our days with Jack are still a bit of a mismatch. No two days are the same but I can see a pattern for naps starting to form.
One thing I have been solid on is that I don’t feed less than 3 hours apart. The break between feeds is generally longer than this, however, because I let Jack dictate it (based on his nap length). I also always follow an Eat Play Sleep pattern.
I tend to do the same steps prior to each sleep (i.e. song, swaddle, into bassinet, light off, kiss goodnight) however it is nearing the time that a good solid bedtime routine, different to the day nap routine, is a good idea.
NEWBORN SLEEP GOAL 2: BEDTIME ROUTINE
Establishing a good bedtime routine early on is a great way to help your baby organise days and nights and start to consolidate night time sleep more quickly.
I suggest starting a bedtime routine off with a bath. It’s a great step one of a bedtime routine because it is such a significantly different experience from what baby has experienced in the day. Your baby will soon learn that a bath means bedtime is near.
Bedtime routines may look something like this:
- Feed* Ensure no drowsiness or sleeping occurs. For the awake time prior to bedtime, either move the feed to this point or do your feed on wake up and do a ‘top up’ feed in the bedtime routine (recommended). You want baby’s tum full to help promote a large block of consolidated sleep
- Book or song – it is never too early to start reading to your child, and it is important to have something between the feed and going into the bassinet or cot to prevent a feed-sleep association form
- Into swaddle or sleeping bag
- Kisses goodnight and into bassinet or cot (awake)
N.B: I suggest that baby is in an ‘arms free’ sleeping bag by the age of 12 weeks
*I suggest putting this step into the bedtime routine around the 6+ week mark. Earlier if you feel ready.
Bedtime routines are a powerful thing, and something I would encourage you to continue all the way through to toddlerhood and beyond.
Children thrive on routine and structure. Not only does it help their body and mind know what is coming next (sleep time!), it also gives them a sense of security. So simple and efficient bedtime routines can make bedtimes a much smoother process.
For more detailed information on newborn sleep, check out my Newborn Package.