Generally speaking, children have difficulty managing transitions and changes. Since bedtime is THE biggest transition of the day for your child, as they are about to be separated from you for the whole night, it is necessary to gently prepare and accompany them.
When evening comes and your child begins to show his sleep cues, it is time to help your child prepare for the night.
The bedtime routine is THE way to get your child enjoy going to sleep.
In practice, how does it work :
– Developing a bedtime routine early, by about 6 weeks old is essential. It will be very simple at first. You’ll probably start with a warm bath, then move in his dimly lit room. Maybe you’ll do a few minutes of baby massage. Nurse him or maybe let dad give him a bottle. Swaddle him, rock him a bit on your lap and then lay him in his crib or bassinet. when he gets older. But you’ll always need a bedtime routine. Predictable routines not only soothe babies, they cue the brain to slow down and get ready for sleep just like a good book can get an adult to wind down.
– As your baby gets older, you’ll add little quiet games and stories and give him a lovey or blankie that will make him feel secure;
– You’ll make his room a warm and soothing place. His bed must be a place he knows and loves and not a place of punishment.
– You’ll be emotionally available for your child. No television, mobile phone or other distractions will interrupt your bedtime routine.
– You’ll repeat the same steps every evening, at the same time and in the same order. Your child will then be able to rely on reassuring and predictable cues.
– A bedtime routine is not about helping your child fall asleep, but rather about teaching your child how to go to sleep and stay asleep on his own. Put your child in his crib drowsy but awake and leave the room before he’s asleep so that your child can learn to fall asleep independently.
– It shouldn’t take ages. 30 minutes is a good average. And when your child calls you back in, you’ll reassure him, and tell him that you’re close by.
– Enjoy those special moments, before you know it, you won’t even be allowed in his room anymore !