Wake, feed, sleep. Repeat. That’s pretty much all babies do, isn’t it? But never mind baby, while they’re lapping up the zzz’s you’re wondering if you’ll ever sleep again. For the first three months, don’t expect any form of routine. The best you can expect is feeds make them sleepy and they wake up when they’re hungry. Simple creatures, right? Since the womb didn’t have any windows, your first thing is teaching the day and night thing, giving them plenty of natural light during the day and a dark room at night.
Set the scene
Dimmed lights + calm and cosy atmosphere = sleepy time. You know that. That’s how you unwind every evening. If you don’t, we’ve got a lesson for you too. No more stimulation an hour or so before bed. For us, that means smartphones. For baby, it means no more playing and being introduced to new and shiny things. A bit of stretching, kicking and cuddling is the best way to tip them over into the land of nod.
Make bath time part of the bedtime routine. While baby might not know it, you are sneakily lulling them into a routine. Feed, bath, fresh nappy, clean night clothes, bed. It’s all slowly falling into place, isn’t it? Remember the bath is supposed to relax them: it isn’t playtime. In and out in ten minutes — that’s the rule.
Feeding and bedtime
You’re probably wondering why we suggested feeding before bathing. Obviously, it’s entirely up to you but, here’s a word of warning: feeding too close to sleep time can mean baby links the two things and expect feeds throughout the night each time you try to put them down. Don’t start digging that hole.
A story and lullaby
Yeah, we get that they’re not going to understand it. But what could be more soothing than a poem or story to send them off to the land of nod? Get a wind-up cot mobile too to keep them on the cusp of sleep as you slip out of the room.
Is there a problem?
You’ve got the evening routine working down to the minute. Nice one. Now, why does it work sometimes and not others? Before you start stressing about sleep regression, remember this: babies change their sleep patterns. As a toothache or fever would keep you awake at night, growing teeth and getting a little sick is bound to keep baby up too. Like we said, simple creatures. Expect the routine to form again once they’re feeling better.