How to Craft a Great Infant Bedtime Routine.
There is nothing like a good night’s sleep. Therefore, few things are as exhausting as having to face daily life without the right amount of sleep to back us.
For children and infants, good sleeping can be hard to come by. Usually, they have problems sleeping through the night or by themselves. However, we must create good sleep patterns in them if we want to avoid cognitive difficulties the next day.
Creating an infant bedtime routine is all about consistency and good habits. Let us learn more about how to create and why you should prioritize good sleeping habits in your children.
Why start a bedtime routine?
We are creatures of habits. This probably sounds a little sad, but we tend to function better if we have several steps to follow to complete a task.
For children, having a sleep routine will be extremely useful to help them form sleeping habits.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine provides useful guidelines on how much children need to sleep at different stages of their development.
- Babies 4-12 months: 14 to 16 hours.
- Toddlers 1 to 3 years: 11 to 14 hours.
- Pre-scholar age: 10 to 13 hours.
- In middle school: 9 to 12 hours.
- High school: 8 to 10 hours.
Studies over the recent years show us that not having the right amount of sleep can be detrimental to the cognitive development of our children.
When we sleep, our brain does not go completely “idle”. Several chemical processes take place during REEM that helps us recover both physically and mentally. That is why after a good night’s sleep, we feel completely renovated.
Putting your baby to bed at the proper time will impact significantly their development and mood over the next day.
But having good sleeping habits is complicated. We tend to sacrifice hours of sleep to do homework, work, study, or just because we can and want. This set an example for our children who already struggle with going to bed every day. If you are a parent, you know of the battles to fight.
Having a go to sleep schedule will help us put aside the neverending conflicts before going to bed while providing our children with the right amount of sleep they need. This structured program with steps to follow and hours to comply will create the healthy habits we want to encourage.
Now, we jump on how to craft a great infant bedtime routine.
Create the plan and execute.
As we said before, it all comes down to having a plan a being consistent about it. Here are some of the things you should keep your eyes on all the time:
- Give a 15 minutes warning: once you have the routine, you need to create some sort of “expectation” about it. As if it were a game we were talking about. You can give the routine a funny name and call it a few minutes before actually starting it.
- Starts always at the same time: a baby’s bedtime routine should always start at the same hour every day. This creates the habit we want to encourage without too much trauma.
- Fight the fears: if your children have any particular fear of sleeping alone or in the dark, find ways to battle these fears with half measures. Try leaving the room but staying at the door a few minutes until the child sleep. Try adding cool lamps in the bedroom to combat ugly shadows, and so on. The idea of this nighttime routine is that it needs to happen without too much interruption.
- Use white noise: Even though the child’s room should be a quiet place, some children may face troubles if things are “too quiet”. White noise is things like the sound of waves, rain, or crickets; something that is not actual noise but keeps a background of sound in the room.
- Throw some exercise into the equation: yoga, meditation, pilates; these are all great activities to have in a bedtime routine. They will help to smooth things out just before going to bed.
- Set an example: since children learn by imitating, set yourself the first example by having good sleeping habits. We know for us parents this can be particularly difficult, but with enough effort, we can also create good sleeping habits.
- Add some storytime: reading to your kids is not only a beautiful way to bond with them, but it can also help with calming the atmosphere in the bedroom before or during the process of going to sleep.
We want all the children in the Spimbey family to grow healthy and in good mood. Prioritize sleep over other things since, in the end, nothing is more torturous than going through the day with the eyes closed and not knowing too well what is going on.
Do you have a bedtime routine with your children? Share it with us! We love knowing about the members of our family of Spimbers.
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