Experts are always talking about the importance of a good bedtime routine. What’s more, parents of young children are always in pursuit of a good night’s sleep. So why not follow our top tips for a blissful night’s sleep all round?
Start young. The sooner you set up a bedtime routine, the more successful it will be. Your baby can develop good sleep habits from around 6 weeks old.
Get the temperature right. The optimum temperature for a child’s room is between 18 and 20 degrees C. A basic thermometer can help you keep an eye on this.
Follow a set pattern every night. Babies and children thrive on routine and will be more responsive if they know what to expect next.
Aim for the same time every night, try not to leave it too late. Overtired children are not easy to settle.
Always end up in the child’s bedroom. Maybe your routine could start with a bath but it should always end in the child’s bedroom.
Read a bedtime story. This a relaxing activity to soothe your child before they go to sleep... and it may help increase their vocabulary too!
Put them in their cots or beds awake. That way, if they wake up in the night they will be more likely to be able to settle themselves back to sleep.
Try to avoid rocking or cuddling them to sleep in your arms. If they get used to falling asleep this way, it’s much harder to settle them down any other way.
Don’t rush into their room at every little murmur. It’s hard to do, but – as long as you’re confident they’re safe – try leaving them alone for a few minutes to see if they will settle on their own.
Be consistent. A successful bedtime routine is rooted in the repetition of exact actions. The same thing in the same order every single night.