Establishing a Bedtime Routine for Baby

Insights, advice, and recommendation for modern parents dealing with postpartum moods, blues and sleep deprivation.

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Sleep is so crucial to baby’s health and mom’s health, both physically and developmentally speaking. This article will explore the necessity of a bedtime routine and how that plays into helping you get longer stretches of sleep.

What Our Experts Are Saying

Insights, recommendations, and advice for parents with postpartum related challenges from the doctors, subject matter experts and thought leaders in the Modern Parent Project community.


What to Do?

Direct, straightforward and summarized advice and recommendations.  Parents, please consider the following insights when navigating the challenging topic of kids and technology.


What NOT to Do?

The wrong words or actions can sometimes make things worse with kids.  Parents, please consider avoiding the following potential traps.

Screen YouTube videos and channels

Be sure to watch and approve any YouTube video (or channel) your child watches. Not only will this allow you to approve content, it will provide you with a window into something that interests your child, allowing you to discuss and bond. Ask your children what it is they really like (or dislike) about the kids and characters on their favorite YouTube channels.

Agree to a household Usage Agreement

Make sure your kids understand and agree to your household usage agreements for electronics/watching video content.

Engage with your kids in pretend play

If their unstructured play tends toward imitating their favorite YouTube stars, try encouraging them to embrace different forms of imaginative play. Remember, there’s not a kid in the world that doesn’t light up when Mom or Dad joins them in pretend play!

Don't allow your child to watch YouTube unsupervised

There is no end to what your kids may discover on the Internet if left unattended.  YouTube Channels and other online content can be fantastic, but should not be viewed as a babysitter.

Don't allow your children to record themselves without supervision

We have seen, heard and helped countless families cope and deal with the aftermath of kids who recorded themselves without supervision.  They are some truly horrific stories.  What can start as innocent games can lead to stalking, blackmail, bullying, ridicule and a lifetime of scars for both your child and you.  Don’t let this happen to you.

Don't allow your child to post anything to YouTube without your permission

If you have never tried posting a video to YouTube or another similar site, you will be amazed to see how simple it is.  It is just like printing a document from your computer.  Rather than pushing ‘print’, you simply push the ‘upload’ or ‘publish’ button.  What is potentially scarier still is that many public elementary and middle schools require kids to create and publish content as part of their normal schoolwork.  Our point here is not that technology is bad, rather, without supervision and guidance, it is much easier than you think for kids to accidently share their home-grown content with the world.

Establishing a Bedtime Routine for Baby

How to Start a Routine:  Establish a bedtime routine right away (as early as 6-8 weeks) and tweak it as your child gets older

By Erin Smith (article)

Why Babies Need a Routine

Like adults, babies need a bedtime routine to simply unwind from the day. It is difficult for anyone to fall asleep after a busy day without some time to calm down. Starting a bedtime ritual while your little one is a baby will not only make bedtime easier now but also help as Baby transitions into childhood.

How to Start a Routine

Establish a bedtime routine right away (as early as 6-8 weeks) and tweak it as your child gets older. Once your baby gets older and understands the routine, explain to him the reason for changes. Such as, “We’re going to get up really early tomorrow for a trip so you have to go to bed a little earlier tonight.”

Dealing with Separation

Bedtime is often scary for your little one because he’s separated from the people he loves most — his parents! It might cause your child anxiety to abruptly send him to bed without a routine. So set aside 10 to 30 minutes to do something special with your child: Try reading a book, rubbing his back, or sing him a lullaby. Your bedtime activities should take place in his bedroom — not on the couch or in your bedroom — so he knows his bedroom is where he’ll sleep.

Identify Problem Spots

As your child gets older, you will experience more woes that accompany bedtime. Every child has her hang-ups when it comes to the bedtime routine: Whether it be stalling for more time reading, not wanting to brush her teeth, or complaining about her pajamas. The best way to deal with these problems is to simply know they are coming. By anticipating her protest, you will be able to maneuver around it smoothly in a manner that suits your child best.

Try this Routine

  • 7:30 Transition Activity: Put diaper and pajamas on Baby.
  • 7:40 Calm and Connect: Play on the floor or look at books; rock and feed Baby.
  • 8:00 Cue: Lay Baby in crib; play music, kiss and hug him, rub his back.


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