When babies are born, they are yet to understand the concept of time. They do not know the difference between day and night. They are governed by hunger and their biological clock. Knowing this, it is important to respect their meal times and circadian rhythm; however, this doesn’t mean we can’t help them establish a bedtime routine. Not only that, routines will help them feel safe as they learn to predict the day’s events.
How to establish a bedtime routine?
- Play with your baby during the day, so he begins to associate light with play time.
- At night give your little one a relaxing bath and massage. Just try not to bathe your baby right after dinner, as this can cause reflux, or when he’s very hungry because he may get irritable.
- After bathtime, read him a story or sing a lullaby under dimmed lights.
- Continue feeding your baby in a calm environment and, before he falls asleep, try to place him in his crib when he is drowsy but still awake.
- You can turn on lullaby music or white noise.
- Keep him in a pleasant environment. He can start sleeping in a bassinet instead of a crib.
- Make sure the temperature is nice, not too cold and not too hot. Many pediatricians recommend 20 degrees Celsius as the ideal temperature; however, ask your pediatrician as recommendations may vary. Likewise, avoid placing your baby near the AC to avoid the air flow from hitting him directly.
- Between 0-3 months babies are not mature enough to learn to sleep alone, and they need some support. Therefore, if he cries it is likely that he requires comfort or he might be hungry. Try not to let him cry during this period or development. Instead, respond to his tears and pick him up if necessary, there is no way of spoiling an infant.
- Finally, be consistent with the routine; soon your baby will learn the difference between day and night.