9 Creative Bedtime Routines That Really Help Babies Sleep

sleeping babyWhen you're the parent of a baby, there's one thing you want more than almost anything else: sleep, glorious sleep. Helping your baby develop a good nighttime routine is an important step to helping her get more sleep. And what happens when she gets more sleep? Yep! You get more sleep.

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The standard advice on helping baby get to sleep usually involves some variation of the “four Bs”: bath, bottle/breast, book, and bed. While these steps are the standard for a reason, we reached out to moms to find out the full details on how they get their little ones in the mood to snooze. Read on and get ready to yawn!

1. “We start our bedtime routine with a family walk. We started it as a way to help our toddler make the transition from playtime to bedtime. I’ve also found that the fresh air and the motion of the walk seems to help the baby relax too. We do a lap around the block and then go inside and do jammies and stories.” -- Karen V., San Diego, California

2. “Our routine involves feeding the baby and burping, and then I sing her the same four songs in the same order while swaying with her on my shoulder. She is always very sleepy by the time I’m done.” -- Beth F., Moorhead, Minnesota

3. “My husband and I alternate days. This way my son doesn’t get used to only falling asleep on mom. I nurse when it's my turn; I pump a bottle when it's my husband’s turn. I think this helped him get used to being fed both ways, which means that either of us can take care of him when he wakes up in the middle of the night. Yay!” -- Lacey P., Cleveland, Ohio

4. “I do a baby massage with lavender scented baby lotion before I swaddle her for the night. I swear it relaxes her!” -- Nina M., Chandler, Arizona

More from The Stir: Milestones: When Will My Baby Sleep Through The Night?

5. “When our baby was first born she was very fussy at bedtime. My husband figured out that she calmed down a lot when she got skin-to-skin contact. So now we give her a bath and then she snuggles with my husband in just her diaper (he has his shirt off) for a few books before we do pajamas. They both like it.” -- Jackie B., Des Moines, Iowa

6. “What works for us is the white noise machine. We have an old creaky house and our baby is a light sleeper, so we could get her down but keeping her down was the problem. The gentle white noise helps muffle our footsteps and other house noises. We turn it on as the last step of the routine.”-- Kate W., Norfolk, Virginia

7. “If you happen to have twins, I recommend having them share a crib when they're little. I think they're comforted by the nearness of their ‘womb-mate,’ so we rock them together and put them down together.” -- Sookie W., Casper, Wyoming

8. “Don’t freeze the baby! I was so worried about the baby having SIDS that I don't think she was warm enough. No blanket, ceiling fan running, thin PJs. No wonder she didn’t sleep! Now with my second baby, I still run the ceiling fan but I put him in a cozy sleep sack too as part of the bedtime routine.” -- Jessia R., Cambridge, Massachusetts

9. “The tried-and-true in our house is a bottle, a book, a song, and a few minutes in the rocking chair. Nothing fancy, but it works!" -- Elizabeth A., Phoenix, Arizona

 

Image via iStock.com/barisonal

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