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Establishing a Bedtime Routine with Sam Saunders aka The Baby Guru

As new parents, it is normal to have plenty of questions about getting your little one to sleep peacefully. Sam Saunders aka The Baby Guru is on hand with a range of top tips for establishing a gentle pre-bedtime routine and to ensure your baby sleeps well so the whole family can rest.


Why is having a bedtime routine important?

Having a routine for your baby, especially at bedtime, is important for these reasons.
  1. Your baby will feel safe and secure.
  2. A routine will give your baby and you reassurance.
  3. Stress and anxiety will be reduced.
  4. Your baby will learn the difference between day and night sooner.
  5. At the end of the day, your baby will know the cues for a good night’s sleep as you follow a bedtime ritual.
  6. Your baby will feed more effectively.
  7. She will learn to rest and empty her tummy between feeds, rather than constantly snacking day and night.
  8. When travelling, a routine will help your baby adapt if she knows when her feeds and naps are.  Even when in a strange room at bedtime with the same cues of bath/feed/bedtime in place, this will help her and you feel less stressed and anxious when you are settling her.
In essence, a routine creates a calmer household. It’s a good idea to start your day between 7-7.30, so that you can get sufficient feeds and naps through the day, which will in turn lead to a better night’s sleep for you all. Try to be patient with the new routine as it will take your baby time to adjust and settle into it.


Sleep environment

Creating a calm, familiar environment for your little one to sleep in is a great idea. Even though in the first few months they will be sleeping in your bedroom, using their room for nappy changes, feeding and some playtime will mean when they move to their own bedroom, they are already familiar with their space. 
Over 6 months the Lullaby Trust guidelines state that babies can safely sleep in their own room for naps and at night. I know this isn’t what all parents want and that’s fine, as a sleep coach though I find it really helps with reducing those night wakings.

As much as their little grunts and groans wake us, we disturb them. If breastfeeding and your wanting to cut down on the number of night feeds, little ones being in their own room can also help. Mum you are like a box of chocolates to them and they can smell your milk all night. I would turn over and want a caramel if there for the taking!

When and how to start a gentle bedtime routine

I normally suggest you can start creating a very gentle bedtime routine from as early as 6 weeks old. Creating a calm environment for them to fall asleep in the evenings. Taking them to their room, or yours, closing the curtains or blinds, putting on their sleeping bag, feeding if due and reading a little story or singing a song are all positive sleep cues.

At bedtime you can also proceed with this routine with their bath time, research has shown that warming up in the bath and then cooling down can help with the falling asleep process. Using this for both naps and at bedtime creates consistency, which babies love. 

Little Butterfly London’s bedtime products…
Gentle Parenting & Sleep Coach, Sam Saunders aka The Baby Guru has over 30 years experience working with families and their little ones. She can help with sleep, routine, feeding and weaning and has a passion for enhancing parenthood for the families she works with.

You can follow The Baby Guru on social media for weekly tips and advice on all things sleep, routine and feeding.

 

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