If you are a new parent, there is so much to learn. Advice is coming your way by well-meaning friends and family, and it can be a little overwhelming. If you are awaiting the arrival of your little one, you have come to the right place! Our certified sleep experts at Rocky Mountain Sleeping Baby can help you, and/or your partner, develop a routine for your baby from their first night out of the womb helping establish a pattern for healthy sleep schedules.
If you have already welcomed your baby to the world and are questioning if the routine you have established with baby is not sufficient, please do not fret. You have not created any “bad habits”, and we are happy to help you tweak your routine with any changes that may be beneficial to you and baby. After all, there are no directions or pamphlets that are sent home with you after baby is born. We learn as we go, and our certified sleep experts are happy to be the helping hand you may need as you navigate parenthood.
The sleep consultants at Rocky Mountain Sleeping Baby have all been where you are now, and we did not have the help we offer to others. This is one of the reasons this business was created; to offer support and help to new and seasoned parents who need first-time advice or ongoing support in all things sleep. We all went through the same challenges and experiences that you have or will be going through, and we know how daunting this can be. We are here to guide you and baby, and through our experiences both personally and professionally, we are here to answer any questions you may have and assure you that our goal is to help you and be your partner in this thing we call parenting.
Newborns have a mind of their own, and it focuses on sleeping and eating, the majority of the time. They do not know the difference between day or night until 3-6 weeks old. You can start establishing a routine from the day they are born so that when they start to understand night and day, they will have a jump start on a bedtime routine that will allow them to fall asleep quickly, and sleep soundly through the night.
When you first establish a bedtime routine, the time frame we want to focus on is thirty minutes. This includes the time from start to finish of their routine.
The purpose of this routine is to focus on getting your baby ready for sleep time. This is not intended for actually getting them to sleep. Understanding the difference will make a more successful routine for you both.
To give you an example of a routine we had laid one out below:
Starting with a bath is a great way to start the bedtime routine. This is the start of our bedtime routine so whether you give a full bath, or just a wipe down is up to you. The idea is that this is the first step in signifying it is time to start winding down to bedtime. Bath can be a fun time, it is okay for baby to splash, or play with a toy for a few minutes. It is not necessary to make it a relaxing bath time. Pro tip: throw a towel in the dryer so baby has a warm towel when they get out. That transition in temperatures can be hard for newborns!
Right after bath we encourage you to focus on putting on their diaper, and if you prefer to dress them in their pajamas now, or after their feeding is up to you. Once your baby is in their diaper, focus on phase 2, the feeding. Whether it is breast or bottle, try to keep this to a 10–15-minute timeframe. We know this snuggle time is precious and so hard to cut short, however, it is important that we keep a schedule to establish a perfected routine for baby.
If you did not already put baby in pajamas, this is the time to dress baby in their pajamas. This should ideally take just a minute or two.
This is the time to spend winding down with either a book or a lullaby. While baby may not understand the words, or understand the pictures, they do enjoy the colors and can actually absorb what they are seeing as patterns and colors. It is also developing a routine for them so as they grow and begin to understand the story and the images that go along with it, they will have developed an understanding of the routine itself and know that story time leads to sleep time.
The length of the book is dependent on your baby. Some babies prefer the 10 minutes or so to wind down, others get sleepy fairly quickly and you can make the book a quick one or skip it all together.
Sleep Tight, Little One
This is the time to put your sweet little one in their crib or bassinette. Give them a goodnight kiss, turn off the lights, and let them drift away to sleep. They should fall asleep within five to ten minutes.
Wait…What? That’s it?
We know that this may seem too good to be true. Rest assured, it can truly be the routine that works for your baby, every night. The key is to understand that it does not happen overnight, and it will take time, and patience, to establish this routine.
To create the ideal routine for your baby and help promote a healthy sleeping habit that will carry them through the toddler, child, and teenage years, it is imperative that you begin when they are babies. Sleep is one of the most beneficial activities to keep our bodies and minds healthy and balanced.
Keep in mind, this bedtime routine will take time for both you and baby to grow accustomed to. You will need to be patient and remember that a routine takes repetition and patience to become a habitual bedtime routine.
The bedtime routine we have shared with you today is just one phase of our sleep training program we have created at Rocky Mountain Sleeping Baby. Understanding the fundamentals of this routine will be your guide when we implement the next phase. For more information on when is the right age to start sleep training, and how to implement it for you and baby, please give us a call, or send us a message. We can work with you from virtually anywhere! We are excited to help both you and your little one in creating a healthy and balanced sleeping routine that will carry you through the years.
In the meantime, we encourage you to begin this routine and when you need us, we will be here to help you! It takes a village, and we are so excited to be a part of yours.
Baby not sleeping? We are sleep consultants in Denver and Kansas City. However, we help families all over the world! Give us a call today to see if we are the right fit for your family!