Bedtime ritual: our 10 tips for a good night!

- Categories : Baby Sleep

Bedtime is important both for your baby and you. Falling asleep alone away from Dad and Mom, facing the anguish of separation, the nightmares... There are plenty of reasons for your child to refuse to sleep. You can't help but understand them! It is therefore necessary to reassure them and show them all your love. In order to do this, nothing better than a bedtime routine to help them get in a good rhythm and go to sleep quickly!

Create a Routine

A bedtime routine is a sequence of steps that are repeated in the same order to provide benchmarks and a frame for your child before they fall asleep. These different steps will gradually bring your little one to distinguish between day and night.

Their main purpose is to reassure them but it is also and above all a privileged moment to live for both of you! It is also at that moment that you can show them all your love and bond for a lifetime. Therefore, this moment of complicity is for you to imagine and to create from scratch depending on your family and what your child expects.

You can start the bedtime routine at the age of 6/7 months. It is at this time that the baby begins to sleep at night and its biological clock begins to understand the distinction between day and night. Of course, the bedtime routine must change according to the age of the baby. Some parents start the bedtime routine with the bathroom, others a little later.

The important thing is to be present and to try to respect a similar order. When your child is a bit older, it's also a good time to talk to them about their day, their worries... to defuse any fear that might prevent them from sleeping. For example, you can take the baby in your arms, turn off the light in the room while talking to it gently before taking it to its cradle. If you have a musical mobile or a baby monitor such as REMI, you can seize the opportunity to rock it during the song.

Our 10 Tips for a Successful Bedtime Ritual:

The big secret, and the key to a successful bedtime routine, is REGULARITY! No matter the number of steps, as long as they are repeated every night, your child will gradually find the calm needed to sleep like a log. It is up to each family to find the routine that correspond to its dynamic. If the routine works, there is no reason for it to change!

Bedtime ritual is also an opportunity to share and enjoy a moment alone with your child and to fill up on hugs and love!

Here are some ideas to pick from to create your own bedtime routine:

- Create an atmosphere: Before starting anything, it is important to create a suitable atmosphere for sleeping. Dim the lights of the rooms, speak with a softer voice and obviously avoid any activity that may agitate your children before falling asleep. Prohibit screens one hour before going to bed!

- Repetition is the key to success: Each step must be followed in the right order if possible to create a reassuring context. Remember that this routine can be repeated for several years! However, do not blame yourself if, for some nights, it is not possible for you to strictly respect your routine. Unpredictability will always be there (the blanket forgotten in the car, an unexpected call, etc.). The important thing is that you have to always spend a moment with your child to help them fall asleep.

- Be present for your child: Even if they look tall enough to brush their teeth alone, or go to bed, try to spend a moment with them every night. They need to feel your presence. Enjoy it while they still need you!

- Comforting words: Bedtime routine is a special moment for cuddling and kisses! Fill up on love for yourself as much as for them.

- Do not hesitate to change your routine: Your child is growing quickly as their needs grow with them. Avoid sudden changes to your bedtime routine, but if your child asks for longer stories or feels the need to talk a little longer, be open!

- Do not wait until they sleep: Bedtime ritual must allow your child to sleep well, but your child must also find a way to sleep on their own. Leave the room a little before they fall asleep. This will allow them to be autonomous.

- Do not force them to sleep: Nobody is able to sleep right away! If your child is not sleepy, suggest that they rest quietly in bed, think of pleasant things, what they want to do tomorrow until they slowly fall asleep.

- Respect the needs of your baby to sleep: If your baby shows signs of fatigue but it is not time yet, do not wait! Shorten the routine a little and put it to bed quickly

- Do not prolong the ritual for too long: The bedtime routine should make your child feel loved and serene to sleep. If your routine is too long, it may have the opposite effect! On average, a bedtime routine can last about ten minutes for the youngest and up to 30 or 40 minutes for the older ones. Again, it depends on your family and the character of your little one!

Ideas for baby's bedtime ritual

If you're struggling to create a personalized routine, here are some sample steps to take for good sleep.

- We bathe together (brushing teeth, washing face, etc.).

- You have the right to quiet activity in your room for 45 minutes.

- We warn you in advance that you will have to go to bed.

- We prepare the room together (close the curtains, put on the nightlight, tidy up a little if necessary).

- We do a relaxation exercise.

- I'll read you a little bedtime story.

- We say goodnight to the stuffed animals.

- We quickly tell each other about our day.

- We tell ourselves what we would like to dream during our sleep.

- We give each other a big hug before sleeping.

- We put on a lullaby.

- We leave, leaving the door closed.

Finally, the last word: The bedtime routine is a privileged moment and not an immutable imperative. The important thing is to show your child that you are there for them!

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