Creating a consistent bedtime routine will make all the difference to your baby’s night-time sleep. We’ve put together the steps you can take to make it magically work for your baby.
Step 1: Make sure the crib and the nursery are set-up right.
The crib will become your baby’s sanctuary so you want to make sure you’ve set it up right. Our “Feather the Nest” post below gives you the essentials you’ll need to create the perfect crib environment. And the key to creating an ideal sleeping situation overall for your baby is to also give her a room of her own that’s safe, comfy, and peaceful. Get our tips for making her nursery beautifully organized by clicking on each picture:
Step 2: Make sure the nursery temperature is right.
The nursery needs to be set to a colder temperature than you might think it should. Read our post on getting all of the temperatures right for your baby:
Step 3: Swaddle and wedge your baby.
Swaddling is a sleep-training must for the first two to three months…but you need to know how to get it right so your baby sleeps better and wedging your baby a little to one side will comfort your baby to sleep as well. Read our posts on both practices here:
Step 4: Use a monitor and sound machine together.
Your baby will love to sleep with the sound machine on — and you will too! Find out why, here:
Step 5: Use our 15-Minute Rule and a crib soother together.
It falls to you and your partner to teach your baby how to sleep through the night. Our 15-Minute Rule used in combination with a crib soother is your best means to that end:
Step 6: Create a bath-time + story-time nightly routine.
In the beginning, and for a while, you won’t be giving your baby nightly baths. But until then, you can still create a washing time by using wipes to clean their hands, face, and feet on their changing table as part of their night time routine. And reading to your baby is a great idea, starting on night one! It doesn’t really matter what you read or how long you read as much as it matters that you read every night. Creating the consistency of a bath + story routine every night is crucial to your baby’s sleep training. Babies want and need structure and learn very quickly to depend on it. This will serve as the quiet down-time she really needs for better night time sleep, plus it will become a cherished bonding time for you both.
Step 7: Offer a “nightcap.”
Top off the last feeding by offering slightly more ounces. The additional calories will help your baby sleep through her longer night time stretches. Learn how we do it:
Step 8: Put on a fresh diaper.
Whether you use disposable or cloth diapers, your baby needs a fresh one before dozing off to dreamland. Remember, you should always put your baby to sleep while they’re still awake (read why in our Napping No-No’s post). And one last diaper change will help you achieve that.