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Everything You Need to Know: Newborn Bedtime Routine

1 May 2024
5 min read
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Everything you Need to Know: Newborn Baby Bedtime Routine

Most adults have a bedtime routine to help us settle into the evening and maintain habits for basic hygiene. And so should your baby. A routine that is consistent and predictable not only helps them prepare for bedtime, but reinforce their natural circadian rhythms – aka helps them to differentiate day from night.

When to Start a Bedtime Routine with Your Baby:

A newborn bedtime routine should tell your baby that it’s time to settle down and go to sleep. The best bedtime routine is one that works with your schedule and can be maintained.

There’s no need to rush into a bedtime routine, but for most children, starting around 6-8 weeks old is a good place to start.

A consistent and predictable bedtime routine provides a sense of comfort in your newborn that can be essential during times when your baby struggles to sleep, such as during growth spurts, during sleep regression or when you are sleep training. Ideally your newborn should be in a consistent sleep routine around the age of 4-6 months, although every child is different and will adapt in their own time.

How to Start a Bedtime Routine:

A bedtime routine should not be a source of stress for you or your newborn baby. So don’t push yourself to start a bedtime routine from day 1 of your return from the hospital. Your body has already been through so much by giving birth to your newborn, so allow yourself, your body, your mind and your newborn a little time to get used to being home first. Although you may want to start early with developing a bedtime routine with your newborn, be realistic enough with yourself that you don’t push your limits too soon.

The Best Bedtime Routine for Your Baby:

The best bedtime routine is simply the one that works best with you and your baby. Your routine should help your baby sleep, train your baby to maintain the routine during tough nights and it should also help you to relax. Depending on your personality and your baby’s, some bedtime rituals may work better than others.

These bedtime moments with your newborn should be the coziest and calmest moments of your day. So make it special by adopting rituals that can create that soothing and relaxing space for you and your baby.

Here are a few examples you can use to help develop a bedtime routine that best works with you and your baby:

Noise reducer

Often white noise such as a fan, soft music or the soothing melodies from a sound machine or app help ease newborns into deep sleep. Some newborns, prefer silence, like most adults. Test sleeping with and without various forms of white noise in the background to workout the best strategy for your little one.

Bedtime stories

For babies, it’s sometimes the sound of our soothing voices as we read to them that eases them to sleep. As they grow, their imagination stirs as we read and they drift into dreamland and continue the stories in their dreams. A good bedtime story is really just one that eases your baby to bed almost effortlessly. It has the added benefit of also increasing your child’s vocabulary and improving how they express themselves as they get older.

Snuggle your baby

Your baby spent a considerable amount of time in your tummy, so now that they’re in this great big world, he still prefers the snug comfort of anything that mimics your tummy. So a nice long snuggle at bedtime can do the trick, or a swaddle with a blanket or dressing your newborn in a sleep sack, they all offer added security and keep your baby comfortable. It may even help your newborn sleep a bit longer. Swaddling is recommended for newborns up to 3 or 4 months. Try not to swaddle your newborn once they can roll over or undo the swaddle themselves.

Your newborn may also feel more secure in a bassinet or cradle versus a crib that may feel too vast for your newborn and not as cozy or contained.

Bath and body massage

You can also try a warm soothing bath for your baby with calming scents that can soothe your newborn to sleep. You can also add a hand or body massage right after a bath that will help them to easily drift into sleep. Studies show that massaging your baby before bedtime, can increase the production of the sleep-enhancing hormone melatonin. Most adults can also attest to sleeping much easier after a massage so the same is true for babies.

Avoid Nighttime Nappy Leaks With Rascals Premium Nappies

Once your little one is in a consistent sleep routine, the last thing any parent wants is dealing with overnight nappy leaks that disturb your little ones sleep. That’s why Rascals Premium Nappies are our #1 Absorbing Nappy[1] with up to 12 hours of advanced leak protection, meaning your little one can stay comfy and dry, all night long.

To hear more about Rascals Premium Napppies head to the related post about how to prevent you baby's nappy leaking:

Related article: How to prevent your baby’s nappy leaks

FAQs: Newborn Bedtime Routine

A consistent bedtime routine helps signal to a baby that it's time for sleep, aiding in better sleep patterns and overall restfulness.

Establishing a bedtime routine as early as two to three months is recommended to help babies associate certain activities with sleep.

Ideally, aim for a bedtime routine lasting around 20 to 30 minutes to provide a calm transition to sleep without being too lengthy.

Stay consistent, but be flexible. Adjust the routine to suit your baby's preferences and needs for a more effective bedtime routine.