We often get asked when to start a bedtime routine. Ultimately there is no right or wrong and it is a personal choice, but we recommend starting a gentle bedtime routine when your little one is around 12 weeks old.
This can be a simple routine of a bath, story and then bed (please be aware of the safety recommendations from The Lullaby Trust with ensuring your little one is sleeping in the same room as you until they are 6 months old).
Consistency is key for many different reasons so we would encourage you to be consistent with the bedtime routine you decide for your little one. We want you to have flexibility so you can go on holiday or go away for the weekend and relax, but we also want to ensure that you can build the foundations for a positive bedtime routine. By keeping a bedtime routine consistent in the early days, this will help to build some positive sleep associations.
Avoid your little one having any sort of screen time an hour before they go to bed. The blue light from screen stimulates our brain which makes it harder to go to sleep and have restful nights sleep.
Keep the bedtime routine a positive experience and try not to make the routine feel rushed. We appreciate that this may be easier said than done, especially after a tricky day, but putting your little ones in bed keeping things as calm and as positive as possible, will only help and support them to get a good nights sleep. This will in turn also increase the chances of you getting a good nights sleep too!
Make your little ones bath a relaxing and calm experience to start winding them down for bed. We would encourage you to keep the lights as low as possible for this. Now that the clocks have changed, this is easier to achieve (are you able to bath them without having the bathroom lights on?) but in the winter, would it be possible for you to put the hallway lights on or the bedroom light on rather than having the strong overhead lights?
Follow this by one story snuggled together. Don’t feel you need to read back to back stories as this can actually stimulate their little brains too much. Again, during storytime, ensure that the lights are low and calming.
To chat this through further or to find out more information, please contact NEST.
NEST is an Early Years Consultancy supporting you and your family from pregnancy right through to when your little one starts school. With a team of highly qualified consultants, NEST can support you from packing a hospital bag and preparing for the arrival of baby, to infant feeding, weaning, sleep, toilet training, managing emotions, and so much more, either as a 1:1 consultation or through one of our workshops!
We are passionate to ensure that you feel heard, supported and empowered.
We work together alongside you and offer advice and support which works for you and your little one.