Ask any new parent and they will tell you that their current number one goal in life is to get more sleep. Despite having nine-ish months to get ready, nothing actually really prepares you for the sheer and utter exhaustion that a new baby brings! And while that exhaustion is sneakily coupled with the most intense and amazing feelings of utter joy and exhilaration, there can be no denying that those early days of parenthood can be hard work. It is so important to get enough sleep, especially when you have a baby in tow, and there is only one way to guarantee at least a few hours in a row: you need to get baby to sleep too. Helping baby to sleep better is a steep learning curve indeed, but good nights start earlier than you think. This week we’re looking at three little tips for a calm and relaxing baby bedtime… because a good routine is going to be essential for that all important slumber you so desire!
Set the scene
Some parents say that their entire day is geared towards bedtime, and that’s really no exaggeration. If you have a really good daytime routine with set times for naps, you’ll find that the nighttime sleep is a lot easier to manage. So plan your day around naps, and when it comes to bedtime make sure you leave yourself plenty of time for a relaxing and calm bedtime routine.
Bath time is an excellent way to prepare baby for bed, but you may need to set the scene at least an hour before you start. The last thing you want is a hungry baby, or a just-fed baby for that matter. The timing of your bath is important, and the order of your routine should be consistent and calming too.
Our tip: An hour before bath time, start to dim the lights and remove any toys that are stimulating (noisy, flashing lights etc). Turn off the TV and perhaps play some calming music instead. This will help your baby to relax and the dim lights will prompt the body to start producing melatonin, the hormone that induces sleep. Baby massage is also a great way to relax baby before bath time.
A warm, soothing bath
Bath time is an amazing sensory experience for babies, and one of the best ways to really relax and sooth ready for bed. Being prepared is
key to success! Make sure you have everything you need to hand before you start, and keep all of your actions slow and calm so that baby stays relaxed and happy.
You can use our beautiful Pure English Lavender Organic Bubble Bath for an all round relaxing and calming experience. Lavender is well known for it’s soothing properties and its ability to help prepare the body for sleep. And because we use only natural ingredients, our bubble bath is 100% safe for young, delicate skin too. This little gem was voted Best Buy in the 2018 Green Parent Awards, and a winner in the Mama and Baby Beautiy Shorlist Awards of the same year too.
For a gentle wash, we also recommend the Unperfurmed Organic Bar Soap (Silver winner in the Free From Skincare Awards 2015) or the Unperfumed Bar Soap with nourishing avocado oil from our Mediterranean range. Both are amazing for sensitive skin and can be used on the face too. And the added bonus here is that all of our products are great for the whole family to use, so no need for baby to have their own cabinet full of ‘special’ toiletries.
Our tip: Do a top & tail wash before you lower baby into the tub. Use the time in the water to talk gently, sing songs or just maintain reassuring eye contact- allowing you both to enjoy the bathing experience without worrying about how to hold baby and wash them at the same time!
Bath time complete, now is the time to really connect with your baby. The day is done, the stresses of it all are forgotten and- hopefully- you’re now both relaxed and ready for the night ahead. Use this time (perhaps whilst feeding baby ready for bed) to just be. No TV, no laptop, no phone. Just be in each other’s company and connect the mind with the breath for a moment or two. The more you relax, the more your baby will relax too, so just allow yourself this time.
Our tip: If you find yourself thinking ahead to all the things you need to do as soon as baby is asleep, you will find it hard to relax. Promise yourself that you will use this part of the day to really wind down and reflect on the day that has passed, plus the day ahead. Enjoy these precious moments because they really do not last long enough!