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Bedtime -How to implement a routine

Updated: Aug 22, 2021

Having a bedtime routine helps children get the sleep that they need. Establishing good sleep habits will help them to fall asleep and also stay asleep. Introducing a routine from around 4-6 months may sound too soon but implementing a routine then, can help prevent sleep problems later on.

Teaching your baby the difference between night and day is a useful starting point and very easily done. During the daytime don't worry about noise while they are sleeping and at night time keep things quiet, talking in a quiet voice and keep the lights dimmed.

Choosing the right bedtime - Follow your baby's lead and start bedtime when they are showing signs of sleepiness. There is no exact time, but if your baby has a regular feeding pattern and you know when they will be due a feed, start bedtime around 30 minutes before.

Creating the routine - Your routine should ideally be the same every night. What it contains is up to you but keeping it calm and relaxing is important.

A suggested routine could be:

  • A bath

  • Clean nappy and change into night clothes

  • A bedtime story with their milk

  • A kiss and a cuddle

  • Put down into their cot and say goodnight

  • Lights out

It is useful to keep a similar routine as your child gets bigger, perhaps with a few tweaks and probably starting earlier to accommodate a longer bath and more stories!

If you are reading this and your child is over 6 months old and you don't have a routine yet, don't panic . You can get a routine in place at any age, but the older your child is, the harder it can be. Stick with it though, as it will happen.

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