What are some good bedtime rituals to soothe baby to sleep? Sleep

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After a busy day, you want nothing more than for your tot to catch those much-needed ZZZs (and you want to catch some too!). In order for that to happen, of course, you'll need set the stage for relaxation and a restful night's sleep. Here, experts and moms weigh in on the strategies they've relied on to lull their little ones to sleep.

It Depends on Baby's Personality

"Babies, like adults, have their own personalities. Some are easy to put down for naps and bedtime, while others take much more soothing to relax. Rocking, singing, walking around, swaddling, and pacifier use can all be effective techniques to soothe your infant. Pacifiers should not be used in exclusively breastfed babies until they are about a month old." -- Lisa Liu, MD, physician at Loyola Center for Health at Gottlieb, assistant professor of family medicine at Loyola University Chicago

"Babies, like adults, have their own personalities. Some are easy to put down for naps and bedtime, while others take much more soothing to relax. Rocking, singing, walking around, swaddling, and pacifier use can all be effective techniques to soothe your infant. Pacifiers should not be used in exclusively breastfed babies until they are about a month old." -- Lisa Liu, MD, physician at Loyola Center for Health at Gottlieb, assistant professor of family medicine at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, Melrose Park, Illinois

Whatever You Do, Keep It Consistent

"It's great to keep a bedtime ritual that's the same each evening and as close to the same time each night. This signals to the baby that it's time to wind down and sleep. Many parents choose to bathe their child, then read a book ... and kiss their infant as they lie him or her down in his crib. Any routine is okay as long as it is soothing and consistent." -- Maria Lombardi, MD, a pediatrician at Maria Fareri Children's Hospital, a member of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network,...

"It's great to keep a bedtime ritual that's the same each evening and as close to the same time each night. This signals to the baby that it's time to wind down and sleep. Many parents choose to bathe their child, then read a book ... and kiss their infant as they lie him or her down in his crib. Any routine is okay as long as it is soothing and consistent." -- Maria Lombardi, MD, a pediatrician at Maria Fareri Children's Hospital, a member of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network, Valhalla, New York

Warm Bath & Soothing Lotion

"I give a warm bath, and then after, I give them a little massage using lotion with a drop of relaxing lavender essential oil mixed in."

Sound Machine & Story Time

"In this house, Dad puts both kids to bed. We have a sound machine that we turn on; he reads a book, then gives them the bottle and rocks them to sleep. We also do a nighttime bath to help with relaxation." 

Read or Sing Baby to Sleep

"Even tiny babies can benefit from being read to; they just love hearing your voice. You can sing too, of course. My son was a fussy one, and I found that singing the same song every time he needed to sleep was soothing to him."

Talk Through the Routine

"Our routine consisted of tub, towel wrap, jammies, nursing, and stories, followed by soft music in the rocking chair. They were usually out somewhere in between nursing and stories. I talked to my babies throughout the whole process. The ritual of my voice explaining helped, I think. Both my kids were sleeping through the night successfully by 3 months old."

The advice on CafeMom aims to educate, inform, and provide a range of solutions to the issues moms care about. It is not a substitute for consultation with a medical professional or treatment for a specific condition. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem without consulting a qualified professional. Please contact your health-care provider with questions and concerns.