Baby Your Baby: Establishing a bedtime routine

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Experts advise parents to establish a routine to help babies sleep. (Photo: KUTV)

(KUTV) Bedtime can feel like a chore for any parent with a new baby. However, establishing a bedtime routine and sticking to it can help ease some of the bedtime battles.

“Having a set pattern that the child can count on is really helpful for them. Children like routine. It helps them feel confident. It helps them feel secure because they know what’s going to happen in their day,” Dr. Catherine Strasser, a Pediatrician at Intermountain Layton Parkway Clinic, said.

Strasser recommends a sleep routine with the four bedtime “B’s.”

  1. Bath
  2. Brush
  3. Book
  4. Bed

Bath time is very soothing for babies and encourages them to start winding down.

After feeding, be sure to wipe baby’s gums or, as they get older, brush their teeth with a dab of fluoride toothpaste.

“If we leave the milk sugars on the teeth, that’s going to be sort of a way to promote cavity formation for that child, so we want to make sure their teeth are clean before they go to bed,” Strasser said.

Next, spend some one-on-one time together. Reading to your child not only promotes bonding, it also introduces children to new words and experiences.

“We know that a child who is read to often develops language earlier and faster,” Strasser said.

Finally, make a point to put your child to bed around the same time every night. For most children, this will be sometime between 7:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Strasser said most children will begin sleeping through the night around six to eight weeks. Unfortunately, around four months and again at nine they’ll likely have some sleep-regression. Strasser said the best thing to do is keep their routine consistent, and most likely, within a week or two, they’ll be back to their regular sleep schedule.

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