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How to Establish a Sleep Routine for your Baby

 In this new series, we will be chatting with a few of our favorite sleep experts to get their insights on how to improve your (or your family's) sleep routines. This week we consulted with Melissa Perry, Baby Sleep Consultant and the founder of the Cradle Coach, on establishing the best night time routines to set your baby up for sleep success! 

YOUR BABY'S CIRCADIAN RHYTHM

Around two months old, your baby’s body clock has begun settling into a pattern. For some babies, their sleep rhythm is distinctive. They wake up the same time each morning or begin getting fussy around the same time each night. For others, it may not be as noticeable. Either way, this is an excellent time to begin forming a little structure in their day and establishing a set routine for their bedtime in the night. 

Even if you aren’t a routine-oriented person by nature, the ability to teach your child certain habits is crucial in working to establish good sleeping patterns. Babies thrive on routine. The reason for this: your child will learn and know what is expected from them, giving them a sense of security, and create a more natural ability to fall asleep as their bodies are wanting to slow things down. If you put your baby down every day at the same time, more often than not they will become tired and fall asleep easily at that time.

STRESS-FREE ROUTINE

Even if you aren’t a routine-oriented person by nature, the ability to teach your child certain habits is crucial in working to establish good sleeping patterns. Babies thrive on routine. The reason for this: your child will learn and know what is expected from them, giving them a sense of security, and create a more natural ability to fall asleep as their bodies are wanting to slow things down. If you put your baby down every day at the same time, more often than not they will become tired and fall asleep easily at that time. 

A routine doesn’t need to be stressful. It can be as simple as waking your baby up at the same time each morning, keeping them up in longer stretches in-between their naps, or giving them a consistent bedtime routine, which includes a bath, books, bottle, and bed. But no matter what you do, try it out for a week straight to see what works for your child.

Here are three simple routines to begin focusing on with your baby:

1. SPREADING OUT FEEDINGS

By creating a feeding schedule, every two to three hours allows your child to begin eating more calories. Yes, there will be those days that your child wants to eat all day long. But if you start spreading out the feedings, you will notice your child consuming more ounces and receiving more calories. 

2. WAKING YOUR CHILD UP AT THE SAME TIME EACH MORNING

Rise and shine! I know this one is difficult for most parents, but by waking your child up, feeding, and even putting them back to sleep – your little one’s bodies will start forming this habit, which later helps with naps and nighttime sleep. 

3. BEDTIME ROUTINE = BATH, BOOKS, BOTTLE, BED

This sequence is a typical routine set out for bedtime for most babies and toddlers. Start 45 minutes to an hour before your goal bedtime for your child. If you would like to see your child go to sleep at 7 pm, plan on 6 pm to start settling things down and starting the bedtime routine. By allowing them to fall asleep at the same time each night allows for less overtired babies, structure for everyone, and even a better night’s rest.

For more tips and tricks, check out The Cradle Coach's blog and Instagram.


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