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The Best Baby Bedtime Routine for Peaceful Nights

how to soothe a fussy baby

New parents, we hear you! Bedtime battles can be brutal, and nobody enjoys long stretches of rocking a fussy baby.

The good news? A consistent baby bedtime routine is a game-changer. It helps your little one form sleep associations (connecting specific activities to sleep) and makes bedtime a habit. In the same way that your morning cup of coffee signals that it’s time to wake up, a calming bedtime ritual shows your little one that it’s time to wind down. 

In this post, we'll break down the ideal bedtime routine for babies. (Plus, some bonus tips to help you create a sleep routine that works for your whole family!)

Why a Consistent Baby Bedtime Routine Matters

The key to creating a successful bedtime routine? Consistency! Like adults, babies crave predictability and thrive with routines. Therefore, strive to make every night as similar as possible.

As we mentioned, babies develop "sleep associations" by linking certain actions or cues to falling asleep. (Think of them like signals!) These associations — like cuddling or white noise — tell your baby it's time to wind down. And the more consistent you are, the stronger this connection becomes – making bedtime smoother for everyone.

Building Your Baby’s Bedtime Routine: Step-by-Step for Babies Up to 9 Months

Many of us are parents, so we understand the quest for a peaceful bedtime routine baby. Here's what Newborn Nightingales recommend for babies under nine months:

  1. Start with a soothing bath.

  2. Get dressed in the nursery.

  3. Feed for the last time.

  4. Swaddle (if under 12 weeks).

  5. Rock or sway with a song while doing the final burp to promote relaxation.

  6. Turn the white noise on.

  7. Place your baby on their back in a crib or bassinet, and turn off the lights to create a sleep-inducing environment.

When it comes to sleep development, predictability pays. While it might be tempting to rock your baby to sleep, rock them for the last burp every night instead (for the same length of time). This consistency helps signal your baby that it's time to rest.

Baby Bedtime Routine for Baby Over 9 Months Old

If you have a night owl over nine months old, here's our recommended wind-down ritual:

  1. Bath time (every night).

  2. Get dressed in their room.

  3. Feed baby.

  4. Place them in a sleep sack.

  5. Read a book.

  6. Sing them a bedtime song.

  7. Place them in the crib (or a portable crib with a slumber pod if on the go).

  8. Turn on the white noise.

  9. Turn off the lights.

Essentially, every day is Groundhog Day! And just like newborns, resist the urge to adjust your routine according to your baby's mood or sleepiness. Repeating the same steps every night teaches them what to expect and makes bedtime smoother overall.

Best Infant Care Fort Worth

While this post can serve as a helpful guide, you should be prepared to adapt your baby’s nighttime routine as they grow and their needs change. Of course, if you’d like help creating a bedtime routine for baby (or need any guidance as a new parent), Newborn Nightingales offers in-home and virtual consultations! Get in touch to discover how we can serve you. 

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