Our partners at Parenting Power have created some great tips on creating a bedtime routine that works for your family in their article “Easier Bedtimes #RealTime.”
Julie Freedman Smith from Parenting Power says, “All routines are important because they help parents and kids feel confident about what’s coming next. It can happen consistently and faster, with less negotiation.
Kids love routines because they feel powerful when they know what is going to happen next.
Once we have a routine, we can ask our kids, “What do we do next?” That means parents can sound less bossy, and kids can feel like they are capable.”
It’s no secret, kids love and crave routines, and in the area of sleep, routines are really important.
Have you ever noticed that your child has trouble falling asleep when you don’t follow the usual bedtime routine? A pre-bed routine is considered good sleep hygiene and aids in relaxation and signalling our brain to start creating sleep hormones, so it’s essential for a great sleep.
The benefits of good sleep don’t stop there. Getting enough sleep can improve your family’s well being and overall health.
Even a 6-week old baby can identify pre-nap and bedtime routines when done regularly, so start using routines sooner than later.
And if it results in a night of better sleep for baby, and you, why not get started sooner than later!
How Routines Relax
Having a bedtime routine helps children know what to expect, which leads to them feeling safe, relaxed and cared for.
This relaxation effect helps trigger their body’s natural sleep hormones, making sleep a lot easier.
Consistency Is Key
Julie and Gail from Parenting Power also encourage consistency. “Whatever the routine, consistency is the key. This is where, as parents, we have to be sure to allow plenty of time for clean-up and the routine itself, to get the children into bed a decent hour. No child wants to be yanked away from an activity, told to hurry up and then thrown into bed and told to ‘go to sleep.’”
Bedtime Routine Ideas
Here’s a list of possible steps to include in your bedtime routine:
A relaxing bath (or sponge bath) is an excellent way to wind down in the evening. Beaners 1 Easy Step tear-less shampoo and body wash is gentle enough to use daily and safe for babies too. If cradle cap is an issue, you’ll want to try Beaners Renu 1 cradle cap shampoo. Watch Mommy Connection’s facebook live about Beaner’s Renu 1 cradle cap shampoo here.
Who doesn’t love a relaxing massage before bed? Original Sprout’s Scrumptious Baby Cream (available at Beaners) is a natural baby lotion that smells so good and has none of those nasty chemicals in it. You can watch Mommy Connection’s review of Original Sprout’s Scrumptious Baby Cream here.
Next, it’s time to put on comfy pyjamas. If you have a baby, speak to them throughout the routine and explain what you are doing.
One of our favourite things is cuddling up with a good bedtime book. The physical closeness and auditory stimulation are good for the mind and body.
If you have a baby that isn’t weaned yet, it’s time for the usual pre-bedtime feeding.
Take Care Of Those Teeth
If your child has long or curly hair, you may want to take this time to do some detangling with Beaners 2 Knotty leave-in conditioner. Gently brush out the tangles with a wide-tooth comb or detangling brush, like the Macaron by Milk + Sass or a Wet Brush.
A quick lullaby will help signal that it’s just about time to sleep! One of your child’s favourite parts of the bedtime routine will be hearing you sing them a lullaby.
It doesn’t hurt to rock your swaddled baby for a while or lay down in your child’s bed for a quick cuddle as one last “good night.”
Your baby might enjoy some white noise, which mimics the sound of being in the womb. A simple electric fan can be used. Older children might enjoy listening to music as they fall asleep.
Don’t Forget Yourself
If all goes well, it’s time to take care of yourself! Remember to have a bedtime routine for yourself to help you have a deeper, more restful sleep.
Sometimes self-care just means a little pampering. It can be as simple as treating yourself with a luxurious beauty product, like Original Sprout’s Tahitian Hair Oil for a deep condition or their Protein Mist, which strengthens your hair.
Whether your bedtime routine includes reading a book or having a bath or even just making sure you brush your teeth and wash your face, try to create a bedtime ritual that helps get you ready for a good night’s rest.
For more bedtime routine tips, check out Parenting Power’s “Easier Bedtimes #RealTime” here.