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Best Bedtime Routines for Babies

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Cozy pajamas, a song, a book, and plenty of hugs and kisses make going to sleep a time to savor. Here’s how to build a smooth end-of-day routine for your baby or toddler.
Best Bedtime Routines for Babies

A peaceful bedtime routine hikes the odds that that everyone in the house gets the snooze they need—but there’s a lot to squeeze in before the lights go out. Predictability is key here. Babies thrive when they know what comes next.

Sure-fire Ways to Find a Bedtime Routine that Works for You

Don’t fret over the time it takes the two of you to get the hang of a stress-free nighty-night. Your little one is always growing and changing, and you’ll need to adapt your evening routine to keep pace with him. Keep in mind, too, that finding the right night-time. schedule a will be a learning experience for both of you. Check out the hints below to help you establish a sleep-smart routine.

  • Assemble bedtime supplies ahead of time. Gather soap, a towel, his favorite PJs, a toothbrush, toothpaste and, for older babies, a glass of water and a lovey. Plan a quiet wind-down activity. A last-minute dash for a book or blankie makes separation more difficult—and throws a pre-bed routine off kilter.
  • Adjust your strategy as necessary. Does your sweetie seem fussy? Is she more active than usual? Irritable, cranky, and over-stimulated babies are harder to settle, so scale your routine back a bit—it’s okay to skip an evening bath on occasion. Or give your baby an extra long bath if she finds that relaxing. Build in time for the unexpected.
  • Seize the moment for bonding. A calm room with few distractions is a great place to connect with your baby. Aim for quiet conversation. Make him feel safe and secure with a familiar routine and a reassuring tone.
Do-it-Yourself Bedtime Poems, Songs and Stories

Many babies love listening to a story or two before drifting off to sleep at night, while others may want to hear just one tale or poem over and over. There’s no one formula for nighttime reading, so remain open to other options.

Switch it up a bit. Don’t hesitate to grab a couple of picture books one night, some poems the next, or a combo of the two a few nights later. Nod to her preferences when you select some books, continue to offer lots of choices.

Use your imagination. Dream up a story of your own and toss in new details every time you tell it. Base your tale on the day’s activities. Don’t worry if your creation isn’t a Pulitzer contender. Your baby will be focused on the sound of your voice, not your plot structure.

Tap into your inner poet. Select a verse that appeals to you, and create a version featuring your family members. Your efforts may become part of the family legend.

Sing to your baby. Any quiet song will do. Little ones won’t care if you can’t carry a tune. You’re together, and focused on her, and that’s all that matters.

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