How To Create a Baby Bedtime Ritual
Babies can't comprehend the difference between night and day, especially right after birth. But by the time they reach six months, they fully develop their circadian rhythm, a.k.a "the internal clock," which regulates the sleep-wake cycle.
Most six-month-old babies can sleep for longer stretches of time at night without waking up for a feed. So, this is the ideal age to introduce a bedtime ritual that calms and eases them into a restful night’s sleep and lays the groundwork for developing good sleeping habits.
Benefits of Crafting a Bedtime Ritual for Bub
- A nighttime ritual brings predictability and consistency, and since babies are creatures of habit just like us adults, it can make your little one feel safe and secure.
- The sense of relaxation brought on by a nightly ritual can help make your baby sleep faster, sleep for longer, and improve the overall quality of sleep.
- Aside from restful deep slumber, it can result in more positive outcomes for your baby, such as cognitive and language skill development.
- If you are yearning to connect more and deepen the "mumma-bubba" bond, then spending meaningful time together before bub's bedtime will definitely facilitate that.
- Since it helps improve sleep and leads to fewer nightly wakes, a baby bedtime ritual can also lead to you having more downtime. You can use that free time for your own self-care routine (imagine relaxing away in the languid warmth of a magnesium-soak-infused bath) that promotes your mental and physical wellness.
A Simple, Soothing Ritual for Your Baby’s Sacred Sleep 🖤
Step 1 – Start With Bathing and a Bit of Pampering
Giving bub a warm bath will cause vasodilatation, a natural process that increases blood flow and raises the body temperature. And once you take your little one out of the water, the core temperature will slightly dip and make it easier for bub to fall asleep afterwards.
To make this simple sleep-inducing activity more nourishing, add a few drops of baby bath oil or a scoop of baby magnesium soak into the water. While the addition of baby bath oil will help soothe any skin irritations, the baby magnesium soak will turn bathtime into calming sensory play.
Step 2 – The Pampering Continues With Baby Massages
The next step is to move bub from the comforting warm bath to the comfort of your familiar warm touch. A gentle massage from your caring hands will encourage the release of sleep hormones and stimulate the vagus nerve responsible for relaxing the body.
Before you begin, make sure the lights are dimmed, and the ambience is quiet and peaceful. Then, on the bed, place your little munchkin on a soft towel and gently massage the stress away from bub's busy little body. Richen this experience by including an all-natural baby massage oil that nourishes and soothes the skin.
Psst! Good news! You don't have to buy two separate items because our fast-absorbing, fragrance-free baby bath oil doubles up as a massage oil.
Step 3 – Dress Bub for the Night
Dressing your baby for sleep is an obvious but essential step in the ritual, as the right clothing can bring more comfort and help your little one sleep better. Check the room's temperature; if it is too hot, select a cotton onesie and a lightweight swaddle/sleeping bag for bub; if it is colder, opt for a heavier swaddle/sleeping bag.
Step 4 – Feeding Time!
Offering one last feed before bedtime can be an excellent sleep promoter and prevent bub from waking up in the middle of the night due to hunger. Just make sure this step isn't the last one to avoid a feed-to-sleep association.
Step 5 – Finish With a Calming Activity of Your Choice
Reading from story books and singing lullabies are good buffer activities to try between feeding and sleeping. Both will calm, relax and lull bub to sleep while promoting language and cognitive development. So, choose whichever bub prefers more, and after it's done working its magic, treat bub to a goodnight kiss.
Good sleep can contribute a lot to the well-being of a baby. It impacts growth, learning ability, the immune system, and so much more, which is why it is crucial to have a working wind-down ritual whose sole purpose is to enrich your baby’s quality of sleep. And let's not forget the other perks, such as more bonding with bub and downtime for mum. From baby bath oil to baby soak at The Hermosa Co., you will find every essential item you need for a successful baby bedtime ritual.
– The Hermosa Co.