The bedtime routine is one of the keys to success in getting your baby to sleep independently. It can clearly help you to facilitate your little koko's bedtime. In this article, we go into the details of how to set up a well-oiled baby bedtime ritual.
You should know that it is possible to change your baby's sleeping habits. So don't panic and read our tips 👇
Why introduce a baby sleeping ritual?
The baby bedtime ritual is a sequence of gestures or actions before putting baby to bed. These same actions should be repeated in the same order before each bedtime, whether it is before a nap or before going to sleep.
2 reasons to set up a bedtime ritual for baby:
- It will help you to give your child cues. Yes, it's a signal that you're going away for a while
- Habits reassure a baby. This is why the gestures and actions of the ritual must remain the same every day
Is there a difference between a ritual and a bedtime routine?
The bedtime routine can be said to be a little broader than the ritual. It will include hygiene and daily actions such as the evening meal, brushing teeth, changing the nappy or going for a pee... As for the ritual, it will be shorter, more symbolic and necessarily pleasant for baby: it is that moment of relaxation just before going to bed.
When to start the ritual? At the earliest, around 2-3 months or when baby starts to have a rhythm
When to start a longer bedtime routine? As soon as you feel it, usually as the child grows and activities such as brushing teeth become daily.
In the rest of this article, we'll talk about the bedtime ritual.
What is the baby's bedtime ritual?
First of all, this routine just before bedtime should be short, between 5 and 15 minutes according to sleep specialists. It is the transition for your baby between the time he is with you and the time you put him in his bed.
This ritual should be a pleasant moment: it is a moment of relaxation for the child and a moment for you to fill his emotional tank.
A moment of relaxation and sharing
It's up to you to see what your child likes: reading a book, giving a massage, playing a game or doing an activity, singing a song... You can also make your child laugh: tickling him or her, making him or her jump on your lap...
Moment of affection
Give her hugs and kisses of course. But also to say sweet words to him.
Small symbolic habits can also be incorporated into the routine
For example: putting cuddly toy to bed, saying goodbye to the big brother, the other parent or the stuffed animals, closing the shutters, turning off the lights, putting on his Kokùn Lab sleeping bag of course 😉
When you say goodbye to your koko, try to do the same gesture and say the same sentence every day.
It is important to put your little koko in his bed before he goes to sleep. The aim is that he falls asleep alone in his bed. So if he wakes up during the night and doesn't have any particular needs (hunger, fear), he will be able to fall back asleep more easily.
Your ritual will obviously evolve according to the age of your little koko. As soon as he is a little more concentrated, your little koko will appreciate a book for example.
Bedtime ritual for breastfed babies
If you are breastfeeding your baby, make sure that breastfeeding is done outside of this bedtime ritual. For more details, read our article « sleep and night of the breastfed baby ».
Some tips that can help
Try to stay calm even if you are tired. Our little kokos feel all our emotions and follow our lead. Easier said than done...
If you have to do something unpleasant like washing your little koko's nose, do it before the bedtime ritual. The bedtime ritual should remain a pleasant moment for baby.
When your little koko grows up and you set up a longer bedtime routine, you can visualize the different actions to be done like a calendar with pictures or drawings.