Routines are a very important part of our daily lives, and even more so for the little ones, as they help them to maintain order. In short, routines are key for your baby to sleep better.
Why are night-time routines important for babies?
For babies, routines help them to have stability. By repeating the same action every day, they learn. They understand what is going to happen and that reduces stress (yes, babies are stressed too). Once they learn the routine, everything works better, even their rest is better.
For example, come home, play for a while, give them a bath, put on their sleeping bag, have dinner, read a story or do a relaxation exercise before going to bed.
How and when to implement a routine?
Normally, up to 6 months, baby's sleep is more disordered. As babies do not distinguish between day and night, they need to eat and sleep every two or three hours. Therefore, routines need to be related to this cycle.
From four months onwards, you can start to establish a mini bedtime routine so that they can assimilate that the rhythm slows down at bedtime and they will know that it is "time" to go to sleep.
Important things? Eat at the same time every day and put them to sleep soon after, so that they will always associate this nap from the beginning, which is one of the most important. Above all, it is important to avoid putting them to sleep in a place other than their cot (whenever possible). If he rests in his cot, he will sleep better than in a pushchair, in the arms of a relative or anywhere else.
Here are a few steps.
1. Do something active before dinner (play, walk) so that they can rest better afterwards.
2. Bath time, where it can be related to some kind of game or distraction, later they will assimilate it with being clean before going to bed.
3. When drying him, give him a massage, try a sweet almond cream, for example. Cuddle him and show him how much you love him. Everything to relax him as much as possible, if possible with a dim light, all the better.
4. Time to put the sleeping bag on!
5. Once the baby is clean, dry and in the sleeping bag, it's time for dinner or the corresponding feeding. It's better if he takes it where he won't sleep, so that he doesn't associate food with sleep.
6. Story time comes, the first few months, it can be an explained story and then a physical story so that they can feel the textures and see the colours.
7. And lastly, but most complicated of all, it's time to go to sleep!
We know that this last point is the most difficult, so we encourage all families who are going through this process!