Thank you Baby Dove for sponsoring this post.
As a new mom, you are probably looking for any way to ensure a good, restful night's sleep for you and your new baby. Right? Well, if you're like most new parents, you're willing to try anything with the hope that your baby will give you a few extra hours of shut-eye.
In your search for the secret to your baby's sleep, you might have found information on sleep training, creating good habits, or advice that sounds a little bit like “He'll sleep eventually. Just wait it out.” None of those options are as simple as they sound, though, are they?
Now, I'm not claiming to have the secret to baby sleep. If I did, I would be a millionaire. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to all baby's sleep problems. BUT, is there something that you can do to encourage your baby to sleep? There has to be another option!
Thankfully, there are other options. There are smart ways that you can set your baby up for a good night tonight. In my experience with my two boys, I've found that the best way to encourage a baby to rest at bedtime is to set up a smart bedtime routine right away – and stick with it!
But how do you set up a bedtime routine for a baby that doesn't even know the difference between night and day? What can you possibly do to relax your fussy baby who's fighting sleep?
My secret after two babies? Creating a bedtime routine that includes a relaxing bath routine.
Create A Nightly Bedtime Routine
Setting up a routine that you can maintain every night will help your baby recognize when it's bedtime and anticipate when sleep is about to happen.
Creating a solid bedtime routine is the simplest and most important step to assisting your baby in winding down and preparing for a few hours sleep (or an entire night if the universe is on your side).
The trick is to include a number of steps in your routine that your baby can identify as the beginning of their longest stretch of sleep. In order to create that successful bedtime routine that you're looking for, you need to make it calm and relaxing. My favorite way to do that is to start each night with baby bath time.
Include baby bath time in your nightly routine
An established bedtime routine that includes relaxing baby bath time can help ease your baby into a state that allows drifting off to sleep to happen a little bit easier.
The best time to bathe your baby is when you have time to give your baby your undivided attention and your baby is neither full (immediately after a feed) or hungry (your baby is showing hunger cues already). So, keeping that in mind, placing baby bath time right at the beginning of your bedtime routine is a good strategy if your goal is to wind down before bed.
Giving your baby a nightly bath can be a comforting first step in your nightly bedtime routine. It is a soothing way to get your baby ready for bed every night and can become a helpful tool in your bedtime tool kit.
Keep baby bath time as relaxed as possible
Most babies love the combination of warm water and your loving touch that comes with bath time.
The close physical contact between you and your baby during a bath and what comes after baby bath time will reduce tension and anxiety in your baby. This will improve feeding and allow your baby to sleep longer.
Create a Calming environment
Whether you choose to bathe your baby in the bathroom, the kitchen, or even your bedroom, make sure that the environment is appropriate for a soothing bath time experience.
- The temperature of the room and the water should be able to remain consistent throughout the entire bath time
- The lighting in the room should be dim
- Windows and doors should be kept shut to eliminate drafts
Come prepared to baby bath time
Ensure that you collect everything that you will need before you begin your baby's bath.
The things that you're going to want to have in an arm's reach during your baby's bath are:
- A mild soap intended for baby's sensitive skin
- Soft washcloths
- A few clean cotton pads
- A bath thermometer
- A hooded towel (or two)
Choose the right cleanser for a calming baby bath time
The cleanser that I am using for both of my young boys right now is the Baby Dove Calming Nights Tip to Toe Wash.
Baby Dove Calming Nights Tip to Toe Wash is mild enough for my newborn but still produces a rich and creamy lather that leaves my baby's skin feeling clean and soft.
I love using Baby Dove's Calming Nights Tip to Toe Wash because it is formulated with a calming scent of warm milk and chamomile. It's key to getting my baby to relax before bedtime.
Prepare for a soothing after-bath experience
Your baby's after-bath experience can be equally comforting as the bath itself. Have your favorite baby lotion, diaper cream, a clean diaper, and jammies all in one spot so that when it comes time to get your baby ready for bed, you won't have to interrupt the relaxing environment by shuffling around looking for something that you forgot.
You can achieve a pleasant after-bath time experience by cradling your sweet baby in a soft towel and giving him a baby massage with Baby Dove Calming Nights Baby Lotion.
Baby Dove Calming Nights Baby Lotion is my favorite nourishing baby lotion to keep my baby's skin moisturized and smelling delicious.
It’s created without dyes, parabens, phthalates or sulfates and is hypoallergenic. It's pH neutral formula leaves my baby's skin feeling so soft every night. The delicate scent leaves me blissfully smelling my sweet baby's head throughout the rest of the bedtime routine until I reluctantly put him down! I know you can relate, mama.
It's important for me to know what I'm putting on my baby's skin every night. That's why I choose to use Baby Dove Calming Nights cleansers and lotions. They contain the nutrients identical to those naturally found in skin. It's a mild way to replenish the moisture that my baby's skin craves.
Enjoy baby bath time
Don't be nervous when bathing your new baby! It's important that you relax and enjoy these moments with your baby as much as you hope they enjoy it. Giving my baby a bath before bed is one of my favorite ways to bond with baby every night and I hope it can be yours too.
A Soothing Baby bath time might help you get sleep
A nightly warm bath using a warm milk and chamomile scented wash such as the Baby Dove Calming Nights Tip to Toe Wash, a soothing massage with Baby Dove Calming Nights Baby Lotion, sweet cuddles, and white noise can help your baby wind down before bed and allow him to achieve sleep with less fuss and more cuddles. That's a win-win if you're asking me.
It doesn't hurt to try adding bath time at the beginning of your bedtime routine tonight, right mama? If the only thing between you and a good night's rest is a relaxing bath for your baby then you've just struck gold!
What To Read Next:
- The EASY Bedtime Routine That Saved Our Sleep
- How To Get Baby To Sleep Well Right From The Start
- The Newborn Checklist To Help You Prepare For A New Baby
- The Newborn Essentials Before You Bring Baby Home
- Breastfeeding 101: What You Need To Know About Breastfeeding Your Newborn
- How To Make A Baby Proofing Kit That You'll Actually Use