Getting your baby to sleep has more benefits than just rest and quiet for your weary self. Did you know that 40% of childhood is spent in slumber, and that it plays a crucial role in infant physical and brain development?
Sleepless nights may be a rite of passage for most parents, but it doesn’t mean you have to struggle alone. Here are 12 tried-and-tested bedtime tips to help your baby and you.
Bedtime tips for baby
1. Before you begin the bedtime routine, do something that tires them out.
Play peek-a-boo, blow raspberries on their belly, dance around the house, sing songs, make them laugh. The key is to get out any built-up energy before you begin to wind down for the night.
2. Try a combination of baby massage + bath + post-bath snuggles.
An infant massage isn’t the hourlong extravaganza that adult massages are. Simply use the time you have to connect with your little one, and over time your gentle massage will become the trigger for them to realize that bedtime is drawing near.
We recommend massaging our Lullaby Melting Balm Cleanser onto your baby’s skin before placing them into a warm, soothing bath. The balm will magically transform into a gentle cleansing milk bath and leave your baby’s skin lusciously soft and hydrated! Follow up with post-bath snuggles to complete the bath ritual.
3. Keep the lights dim.
This is another sign that bedtime is near, and helps prepare your baby for sleep. We love Himalayan salt lamps for bedtime- they provide a comforting glow and still give off enough light to illuminate the room.
4. Start early and keep the routine simple.
Doctors say that when babies stay up too late, they get overtired, which leads to them having a harder time falling and staying asleep. By starting early and keeping the routine simple, you’ll leave plenty of time for what’s important without messing with baby’s sleep schedule.
While reading the same books every night may bore you, the routine actually helps your baby feel secure. Choose 3 books you won’t mind reading night after night and rotate between them. You’ll probably have them memorized over time, so you can even start reciting them in the bath if you are behind schedule!
Bedtime tips for mom
5. Take a few minutes to sort out the logistics for the next day.
Even if it seems like a drag, you will be able to sleep better knowing that you are well-prepared for the next day. Your future self will thank you the next morning and you might even be able to enjoy your coffee while it’s hot!
This might mean taking a really long shower, or putting on your favorite guilty pleasure TV show. The saying that you can’t pour from an empty cup is true- you need to relax and take care of yourself so that you can show up as a better mom.
7. Foster connection.
Once the kids are finally asleep, adult conversation becomes possible. Make time to catch up with your partner, call a loved one, or get out of the house and grab a drink with friend. This gives you time to connect, share your thoughts and ideas, vent and enjoy adult company. As an added bonus, having an evening cocktail might make you extra sleepy.
I know- at the end of a long day, the last thing on your mind is exercising. Don’t dismiss it, though, because the exertion of energy can help you sleep better. If you’re a multi-tasker, work out to your favorite show (for entertainment) or with your partner (for connection).
9. Take a bath.
You gave your baby a bath earlier, now it’s time for you. Add a cup of epsom salts to your bath water- they’re known for their therapeutic qualities and provide stress relief and soothe tired muscles. Throw in a candle and relaxing music for ultimate relaxation.
10. Make yourself a cup of tea.
11. Incorporate scent.
Diffuse essential oils, light a scented candle or try our Sweet Whispers Hydrating Face and Body Lotion to promote out sleepy vibes. Lavender is perfect for bedtime because it helps create feelings of relaxation, and other sleep-inducing smells include jasmine, orange and vanilla.
12. Put away your phone and pick up a book instead.
Going to bed and falling asleep should be a peaceful and happy experience. Interacting with your phone right before bedtime is too stimulating for the brain, and the blue light emitted by your phone disrupts your body clock. Reading before bed is a great way to signal to your brain that it’s wind-down time- even ten minutes a night can make a huge difference!
Try out these tips and cultivate a handful of the bedtime habits that work for baby and you. With a good night’s sleep, you and your baby will be ready to take on the world.