Over the past few years, I have come to learn that creating a good solid nighttime bedtime routine for my children is essential for not only them, but for my husband and I.
I like to think that my children sleep well. We have never run into the need to hire a sleep doula or practice sleep training approaches. Rather we have focused more on going with the flow. This is not to say that my children are perfect sleepers. They do wake through the night, and we do have our occasional tough night. We just muster through it, and learn as we go.
Today, I share with you some tips that I hope will help you get your baby and toddler sleeping better in no time:
Set realistic expectations. So often do I hear Moms comparing their children’s sleep schedules. It is important to recognize that while some children will sleep through the night at a ripe young age, others won’t. This is normal. Not every child is the same. Set realistic expectations and be patient.
Always remember ‘This Too Shall Pass’. There are going to be days where your child refuses to sleep. I know how frustrating it is to be that sleep-deprived Mom battling it out and praying that her fussy baby would just go back to sleep. Thankfully there is always coffee to look forward to the next day. I have always found when my children wake at night it is because they are hungry or something is bothering them (whether it be teething, night terrors or they are unwell). Regardless of how hard the times get, it is important to recognize that this too shall pass. Just go with the flow, follow your instincts and you will get through. When in doubt, reach out and ask for help.
Get fresh air and be active. Have you ever noticed you sleep better when you get outdoors and remain active? The same goes for your youngsters. Find ways to get outside with your kids each day. Whether it be for a walk, a trip to the park, a play date or Mommy-Baby Group Fitness.
Create a comfortable sleep environment. You like to sleep in a comfortable bed, right? So does baby. Make sure where ever your baby sleeps that they are comfortable and safe. You can gauge their sleep needs with age. Currently my youngest is 12 months old and sleeps in a crib with no bumper pads, pillows or blankets. Make sure your baby is dressed appropriately for bed. Create a soothing environment by adding things like a white noise machine, mobile and/or cool mist humidifier. Blackout curtains are also a great addition to any baby nursery.
Create a calming bedtime routine. Children require a calm down time to prepare for sleep. Our bedtime routine starts with a bath using AVEENO® Baby Wash & Shampoo followed by an infant massage using AVEENO® Baby Lotion. What I love about the AVEENO® products is that they contain ACTIVE NATURALS® oat, which soothes and moisturizes your baby’s skin with 5 vital nutrients. These products are a natural choice for Mom and baby, gentle enough for newborns and make perfect additions to a daily bath and bedtime routine. Be sure to use them together for more nutrients. After the infant massage, we snuggle up in the dimly lit nursery for a snuggle and story before lights go out for the night.
What you include in your child’s bedtime routine is up to you. All that matters in the end is that you try to create a routine that is soothing to your little ones. Follow their cues and you will slowly find a groove that best fits for your family. Bedtime should be something that is not only enjoyable for your baby, but for you. Look at it as an opportunity to sneak in some extra time and snuggles with your youngster before the days end. Also understand that while bedtime may not go smoothly each and every night, and the times may get frustrating that one day when your child has grown you will miss those moments. It might be hard to believe in the moment, but trust me – you will!
Visit the AVEENO® website to learn more about the AVEENO® Baby Daily Care products, and check out ratings and reviews from other Moms.