Your baby’s bedtime routine is SO important and can make a huge difference in your baby’s sleep. Sleep is crucial to your baby’s brain development (and to your own sanity) so it is essential that you establish Baby’s bedtime routine as soon as possible. Once we began Artie’s bedtime routine, I immediately noticed he was sleeping longer stretches at night!
Create a bedtime routine that you know you can stick to because you will need to follow through with this commitment each night. Not only is this a special time you can spend with Baby each night, but it will let your baby know what to expect and signal to him when it is time for bed.
This description of my baby’s bedtime routine includes EVERY DETAIL, from what you need and how to prepare, to the actual routine. You can modify our baby’s bedtime routine to develop one that works for you and your baby!
What You Need
Fitted Crib Sheet
Baby-Safe Dish Soap
Fluoride Free Toothpaste
How to Prepare
1. Place baby in a safe place while you get set up for his bedtime routine.
2. Check Baby’s crib for any safety hazards. The crib should be free of any stuffed animals, bumpers, pillows, blankets, and hanging mobiles. The crib mattress should be covered with a fitted sheet.
3. If you are formula feeding, make Baby’s bottle and warm it up. This should be his largest bottle of the day. Warm it a little extra because feeding will be one of the last things you do.
4. Wash pacifiers with baby-safe dish soap. I clean at least four pacifiers to put in Artie’s crib because he loses them or they fall out of his crib. Having extras in the crib prevents me from going into his nursery to search for his lost pacifier at night. Once they are clean and dry spread them throughout Baby’s crib.
5. Prepare Baby’s toothbrush. Formula on Baby’s teeth overnight can cause tooth decay so it is important to include proper dental hygiene during your baby’s bedtime routine.
6. Lay out Baby’s pajamas, book, towel, and washcloth. Artie sleeps best in sleepers with feet like this. On colder nights we put him in his wearable blanket. If you have a younger baby swaddle them to help them feel more secure. These muslin blankets are large and stretchy, perfect for swaddling your little one!
7. Fill your baby’s bath tub. A comfortable and safe water temperature for baby will be between 90 to 100 degrees. You can test the water temperature with your elbow (it should not feel hot, just warm), or this floating duck thermometer will let you know the water temperature while Baby has some fun!
1. Create a calm, quiet environment for Baby’s bedtime routine so he knows it is time to start winding down.
2. Undress your baby and use a wipe to clean him up so you don’t contaminate his bath water.
3. Slowly place your baby into the water, feet first so he can let you know if the water is uncomfortable before you submerge the rest of his body.
4. Wash your baby with gentle bath soap. We only use soap every other night to avoid irritating Artie’s sensitive skin. The warm bath helps him relax and start winding down after a long, hard day (lol!).
5. Slowly, and safely, remove your baby from the tub and dry him off with a clean towel. He may be slippery so be very careful!
6. Once Baby is dry, apply Aquaphor Baby Cream to his bottom to protect him from diaper rash overnight.
7. Put on Baby’s diaper and make sure both sides are secure, you don’t want any overnight leaks in Baby’s crib! These overnight diapers will keep Baby dryer, longer.
8. Apply lotion all over your baby’s sensitive skin. This lavender lotion promotes baby sleep!
9. Get Baby dressed into his warm, comfy pajamas.
10. Sit comfortably with your baby on your lap and read a book to him, holding it in front of you so he can see the pages and pictures.
11. Feed your baby, whether you are breastfeeding or formula feeding, feed your baby until he is satisfied. A baby with a full tummy is a sleepy baby!
12. Make sure your baby burps before you put him to bed, otherwise it may wake him up much sooner than you would like.
13. Brush your baby’s teeth with fluoride-free toothpaste. You won’t need to use the sink because it is safe for Baby to swallow a little. Artie loves the taste of this toothpaste!
14. Place your baby in his crib, on his back, for safe sleep. Turn on Baby’s sound machine (this one helps Artie sleep through the night) and turn off the lights.
15. Quietly tell your baby goodnight and leave the room. Your baby is set up for sleep success! Hopefully you will both get a good night’s sleep!
This is our baby’s bedtime routine and has worked well for us; Artie now sleeps through the night and falls asleep, on his own, with no crying. It is important to determine what will work best for your family because starting something you can’t follow through with will only confuse your baby.
This routine is something we enjoy doing with Artie each night, and is something the three of us do together, as a family (Dad does bath time, Mom does reading and feeding). I hope your family enjoys starting your baby’s bedtime routine and that it helps you all get some sleep!
If you enjoyed this article check out How I Taught My Baby to Sleep Through the Night!
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