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Pre-sleep rituals or bedtime routines are really good to introduce to your baby around three months old. Some people call them rituals because they do become just that - rituals.
By incorporating special time with your baby before they go to bed they come to know and love it.
But it is the simple and consistent rhythm of what you do before bed that becomes so predictable for your baby and allows them to know what's coming next. And being relaxed and calm in the minutes before being put into the cot can really help them fall asleep easily. Some babies, especially if they are overtired, can be quite wound up and stimulated before bedtime. A gentle predictable routine around bed can really assist them to get out any pent-up energy and really wind down to a calm and relaxed state.
Emma O'Callaghan is a qualified midwife, nurse and infant and child sleep consultant. With over 20 years' experience in both hospital and community settings, Emma knows about sleep. She has helped thousands of families reclaim sleep and is particularly passionate about supporting new and first-time parents. She is the Founder of Baby Sleep Expert, and with a common sense, compassionate approach is often referred to as the ultimate "baby whisperer". Here, she shares her top tips for finding the right pre-sleep rituals for you and your baby.
Having bedtime at roughly the same time every night is important to support your baby's body clock. And the predictable sequence of events before bed gives your baby clear signals that it's wind down time and bedtime.
It doesn't really matter what you do, or exactly how you do it but that you consistently do it. In time the lovely wind down routine and the special rituals you incorporate in for your baby will become just as enjoyable and special for you as they are for your little one.
The younger your baby is the shorter the pre-sleep ritual needs to be. The following ideas can help get little ones aged three to six months ready for restful sleep.
Slightly older babies (aged six to 12 months) can enjoy a bit more winding down time.
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