Alright, so let me clarify ahead of time that sometimes the number of B’s of Bedtime may fluctuate. That’s my disclaimer here. Not that it’s 100% needed, but I thought I’d just throw that out there. The B’s of Bedtime work fantastic for my three month old son, so I really wanted to share them with my readers. Establishing a routine with your young child can provide them with comfort, and something that they understand and are comfortable with every night. I have found that this routine makes our life so much more simple and easy. Baby Liam goes down quickly and effortlessly this way. Babies get interaction with their caregiver, and it fulfills their need for closeness and consistency.
The 5 B’s of Bedtime for Baby!
1. Bathtime! This one is perfectly okay to happen every other day depending upon your baby’s individual needs. Some younger infants are prone to dry skin, and water/soap can worsen this condition. If a bath is the only way to help wind your child down at night, and you have issues with dry skin, investing in a dry skin lotion for infants is a fantastic idea. We use Babyganics Eczema lotion, it is one of the few lotions that is safe on the face, and my son is very prone to having dry cheeks and a dry forehead. You can also use a homemade body butter using coconut oil, and a little tip for those breastfeeding moms out there, mixing the coconut oil body butter with a little bit of freshly expressed breast-milk makes an excellent healing butter for the face. The link for my body butter recipe is here.
Remember to make bath time fun! Play with some bath toys, sing to your little one, and if they’re old enough, let them sing with you! Nothing like singing in the bath or singing in the shower. This first B is the fun B. After this, it’s wind down time. You can also always sneak some calming bubble bath in there, the ones with lavender or eucalyptus! Baby won’t know that it’s your sneaky tactic to get them to settle down, they’ll just enjoy the bubble fun! When finished, put your little one in their favorite pair of pajamas!
2. Bottle! (or a sippy cup, but same concept ultimately, right?) Full tummies make for happy kids. Feed your little guy or gal a bottle or give them a small sippy cup of warm milk. For older kiddos, the warm milk will help relax them as well. So many sneaky tactics to get their little brains moving just a tiny bit slower. Eventually you might want to adjust your bedtime B’s to wean off a sippy cup or bottle, so look for a future blog entry on how to wean baby from these late night snacks.
3. Brush! Depending on the age of your tiny human, (although it’s never too early to take care of those teeth!), it’s very important to help them or have them brush their teeth after having a bottle or sippy cup, because sugars don’t do good things to teeth over time. You don’t want cavities in little ones, it’s no fun! This is also imperative to establishing a good routine when they are older as well. If you start early, they will understand the importance of teeth brushing earlier.
4. Book! This one is a favorite over here. We love books. Books are essential to expanding your child’s knowledge! We read two books every night. One stays the same, and the other changes. We always read Bedtime! and a various other book. Bedtime! is wonderful because it’s an interactive soft book; it has a tiny little teddy bear, that you take through the steps of getting ready for bed! He even has his own itty bitty pajamas that get put on him after his bath, he gets a glass of milk, and there’s even a soft little toothbrush you can “brush” his teeth with. Then he crawls into bed (literally a tiny bed that you put this itty bitty stuffed bear into! Too cute!), and then he reads a story, says his prayers, mama gives him a kiss, and off to dreamland he goes! It’s just the cutest thing, and my son, even at 3 months, loves it! For our second book, we have many options, from The Very Hungry Caterpillar, to Goodnight Moon, to Do You Know How Much I Love You? There are so many options out there that you can’t possibly go wrong. Make reading time relaxing, dim the lights, snuggle up, and read quietly together. This sets the mood and tells your child that this is wind down time now.
5. Bedtime! This one is self explanatory. Your little one goes off to sleep. Sing a lullaby, turn on some soft music, or a sleep noise machine. If you have trouble with your baby going to bed, do a google search for some ideas on how to get your kiddo to stay in bed, and fall asleep without those tears.
This routine works great! Give it a try and see if it helps your baby sleep. 🙂