There are numerous benefits of having a bedtime routine for both baby and parents.
By creating a process of a few repeated steps each night with your baby – you can help ease him or her into a blissful nights sleep.
As I mentioned in Establishing a Bedtime Routine, we’ve been doing this process for many years. We started with our first child, 8 years ago and will be starting this with our 6-month old, Zeke.
Each night, we do the same song and dance (well with 4 kids, it feels like a dance!). And while each child is different, each has benefited from this scheduled activity.
Here are Our 5 Benefits of a Bedtime Routine:
When children know what is going to happen, they tend to be more relaxed. The expect to be tucked in. If we miss a beat – our older kids LET US HEAR IT!
In all honesty, the only real schedules in this house are: this bedtime routine and the older kids morning schedule on school days. Outside of these 2 items, we run a very relaxed house because my husband and I are just laid back people. This element of scheduling does give our 2 kids that NEED schedules, a schedule on one of the most important things they need – sleep!
With 4 kids, we do attempt to spend as much time as possible individually with each child. But again, life happens and I’m not perfect. By spending the 5-10 minutes each night with each child alone, they are guaranteed some individual time with their parent or parents.
A reader asked if my husband and I do this bedtime routine together or apart. In all honesty, it depends on the day. A few times a week, we do end up together. Personally, I think whatever works for your family is what you should do.
Unfortunately, as these babies grow up – conflict happens. Kids act out and get in trouble. Bullies pick on our babies. Life just happens and it isn’t always good.
By being able to close the day with my child and tell him or her that it’s okay and that there is a new day tomorrow has helped diffuse many situations!
When the bedtime routine doesn’t happen, we pay for it! In all seriousness, the kids sleep so much better when we do this routine. Our third child cannot sleep outside of his room unless we do this routine. He is very hyper and this settles him down and gets him into a happy place.
We do try to keep the routine fairly simple. On the few occasions that we have left the kids for a couple of days, explaining the routine to family has been able to ease the kids into sleeping outside of their normal bed.
Disclaimer: Every child and every family is different – this is what has worked for us!
St. Joseph’s study in 2009 showed that srtting a nightly bedtime routine significantly reduced problematic sleep behaviors in infants and toddlers:
Results indicate that the establishment of a nightly bedtime routine produced significant reductions in problematic sleep behaviors for infants and toddlers. Improvements were seen in latency and sleep onset and in the number and duration of night wakings. Toddlers were less likely to call out to their parents or get out of their crib/bed during the night. Sleep continuity increased and there was a significant decrease in the number of mothers who rated their child’s sleep as problematic. Maternal mood also significantly improved.
According to the study, sleep problems are one of the most common concerns of parents of young children; approximately 20 to 30 percent of infants and toddlers experience sleep difficulties. Previous studies have found that successful treatment of children’s sleep problems with behavioral interventions also result in improvements in parental well-being.
Have You Noticed Benefits to Creating a Sleeping Routine With Your Baby?