Creating nap and bedtime routines is essential for helping your baby wind down and sleep, b ut the internet is full of contradictory suggestions for what you should include in those routines, so you may feel lost. Plus, every baby is different, so what works for one baby may not work for yours. Luckily, there are some basic ideas that tend to work across the board that you can try with your baby. Keep reading to learn some simple ways to help your baby wind down before sleep.
As naptime and bedtime approach, try to get your baby to switch from stimulating activities to more soothing ones. This is where transition activities are helpful. Transition activities acknowledge that play and excitement are happening, but at the same time, they also help your baby ease into a calmer state of mind.
One example of a transition activity is quiet play. Start cleaning up any noisy toys together, and then allow for some brief play with quiet toys such as blocks. Then, you can clean up the quiet toys and read a book together. The quiet play makes for an easier transition than jumping straight from excited play to reading.
Your baby’s environment needs to transition, too. Switch from harsh overhead lighting to softer ambient lighting such as lamps. Turn off any loud devices such as TVs, and either keep the house quiet or turn on a sound machine to cover any noise. If you’re transitioning into nap time during the day, cover any windows in the baby’s room with shades and curtains, as natural light is a signal to our brains that it’s time to be awake and do things. And if cleaning up toys wasn’t a part of your transition activities, do so now so that the toys don’t distract your baby.
Now that you’ve calmed baby’s mind and environment, make sure they’re comfortable enough to sleep. Whether they’re going down for a nap or for bed, make sure they’re wearing breathable clothing made of natural materials such as merino, cotton, linen, or bamboo, since overheating can increase the risk of SIDS . To prevent them from getting too cold while they sleep, you may also want to swaddle them or put them in a sleep sack made of a fabric such as merino wool, which can regulate their body temperature.
Participating in transition activities, creating a soothing environment, and making sure your baby is comfortable are three simple ways to help your baby wind down before they go to sleep. If you’re interested in a baby sleep sack or even a toddler sleep sack for an older child, Woolino is proud to offer various sizes that will help your child sleep comfortably through their naps and through the night.