A simple bedtime routine that works

And why a bedtime bath shouldn't be part of it

I have met many parents who fret over the bedtime routine and after a busy day have to face into bathing their children before they go to bed so that their child will sleep. Children should not be dependent on baths to help them relax, this is something that children need to learn how to do for themselves.
Many books promote baths before bed to help the baby relax and go off to sleep. This is all well and good and can help some children however more often than it is a hindrance!
Here’s why;
  • What a warm bath does is raises your body temperature, so when you come out of the bath the temperature reduces quickly which makes you sleepy. If your child is already very tired this may lead to your child getting very fussy or upset which in turn leads to your child taking much longer to go off to sleep.
  • Older children tend to love the bath therefore after all your efforts in trying to keep the house calm before bedtime, your child may then become over stimulated in the bath and find it very hard to wind down after it.
  • Many toddlers love the bath so much that they don’t want to leave which leads to a full scale battle just before bedtime.
A bedtime routine should be something simple
  • Wind down time before bed is important - so Dad’s listen up , no rough and tumble before bed! You don’t need to do anything specific just try and keep the house calm and try to avoid over stimulating tv.
  • Say good night to everyone – sleep cue 1
  • Wash hands, face and teeth – sleep cue 2
  • Put on pj’s – sleep cue 3
  • Story – (or show pictures in a book to a baby) – sleep cue 4
  • Kiss Goodnight – sleep cue 5
  • Leave the room
A good bedtime routine should not take longer than 15 minutes and it should be something anyone can do.
Read more from our sleep expert


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