We all know the feeling. It’s around dinner time and your baby is entering their witching hour. There can be a lot of crying, by both of you. A lot of trying a million tricks to get them to settle down. Figuring out if this should be bedtime or do they need another nap? Here are 3 easy things you can do to tackle this mystery time.
The bedtime routine should be a general shift in the energy from dinner time rush into time-to-sleep relaxation. This is a great time to enjoy and bond with your baby. From start to finish, it should be pretty short, but not rushed. Time wise you’re looking at around 20-30 minutes long, not including a bath time if it’s one of those nights.
Maybe you go with a routine that consists of dimming the lights as you do the last feed before bed. Then you put on pajamas, do some baby massage (also a great time to use your Tranquilo Mat), and read a book or sing a song to your baby. Then into the crib or bassinet they go. It should be a relaxing time for you, too. Take that time to take a breather from your day. Put away your phone, turn off the television, and just inhale your baby. Don’t overcomplicate the whole thing. If you’re suddenly rocking for an hour, or bouncing on a ball to get them to sleep, you’ve made a misstep. Too much stimulation can send their hormones into overdrive and make it harder for them to fall asleep--eek!
If your baby is a newborn, know that they don’t really have a biological schedule for sleep just yet. Be on the lookout for sleepy cues and go by those. Yawning, slow energy levels, fussiness, and eye rubbing can all be clues that sleep time is approaching. If your baby is around 10-12 weeks old (from their estimated due date), you can start implementing a biologically appropriate bedtime of right around 6-6:30pm. It sounds early, but generally babies need approximately 12 hours of sleep at night, and they naturally wake around 6am. I swear this is the magical bedtime. It also keeps their sleep hormones in check and makes it so they love sleep instead of their bodies fighting it.
Keep it simple. Keep it relaxing. Keep an eye on the time. You can’t go wrong.
Ilissa Goman is the certified child sleep consultant and CPST behind BINX. She started her business in June of 2010 after realizing the NY Capital District was lacking many services that were available in other places across the US. Ilissa has become a trusted expert for moms in her area and beyond. She wants parents to understand the science behind sleep so that you can make the right choices for your family. It’s not always just about the sleep training method, sleep is a big (but easy) puzzle. For more info on BINX please visit www.BinxBaby.com, www.facebook.com/binxbaby or call (518)309-2469.
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