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Gentle ways to calm baby before bed

Becoming a parent is a whirlwind of emotion, discovery and learning as you go. From new sounds your little one likes, feeding times and learning how to settle them when they are distressed. One thing that can be tricky for all new Mums and Dads is bedtime, finding a sleeping routine that works for you and your baby can take time. The good news is there are plenty of things to help to calm baby before you lay down their sleepy heads. From swaddling with the best baby muslin swaddle to a warm bath and lullabies.

Calm baby in their cot

Here are some gentle ways to calm your little one before bed

1. Bathtime

There is nothing like a warm, relaxing bath before bed and little ones tend to agree. Setting a regular bath time routine for your baby is a great way to relax them and let them know that it’s time for bed. Try and stick to the same time every day, consistency is key. You can add some calming bath soaps like lavender, which is celebrated for its relaxing scent. The natural drop in temperature after the bath will also promote sleepiness, wrap them up in something soft and gentle and get them ready for rest.

2. Keep nap times regular

The more routine you can establish in their daily schedule the more you will balance their energy so they know when it’s time to rest and time to play. Letting them nap for the same time each day can help ensure they are tired enough by the time bedtime comes to drift off easily. If on some days they are more tired than usual it is ok to adjust accordingly though the more you can create a regular routine the easier it will be to keep them calm and ready for bed after story time… speaking of which.

3. Storytime

Setting down for story time either with them in the cot or on a rocking chair is a fun, relaxing way to help soothe them before bed. This will help switch off their minds from the excitement of the day and ease them into the land of nod. Gathering a selection of easy to read stories and speaking in a soft, quiet voice will keep them nice and relaxed. From old nursery rhymes to children’s books, story time is the perfect way to finish the day and get them ready for dreamland.

4. White noise

Believe it or not it can be pretty noisy in the uterus, many babies find white noise comforting during the first year of sleep. There are many apps that provide gentle white noise you can play in the background until your little one drifts off. White noise is any noise that contains different frequencies and combines sounds, have a listen to a few different options and see what your baby responds to best. Once you have found one that works, keep it consistent and this will help them drift off for calm, nourishing sleep.

5. Swaddle with a baby muslin for a calm baby

Swaddling your baby with a soft, baby muslin is an effective way to get your little one to relax. The rocking motion helps them relax and promotes sleepiness, choosing a baby muslin is important. Look for fabrics that are naturally hypoallergenic, soft and absorbent like bamboo. Baby Muslins are also great for life on the go, having a few in your handbag means you have the perfect comforter available if they need a nap or get distressed. A gentle swaddle with their favourite baby muslin will soon have them calm and rested.

6. Soft massage

There is something incredibly comforting about touch, softly massaging or tickling your baby as they drift off can help them feel safe and relaxed. This can promote a deeper, longer rest. Every baby is different in terms of sensitivity, some like to be massaged on their feet, arms or even gently stroking their hand. Experiment until you find the perfect way to calm them and they will be sleeping soundly.

7. Lullaby

Is there anything better than a gentle lullaby before bed to calm baby? Little ones love it and don’t worry if you are not the best singer, there are plenty of apps with relaxing lullabies and sleep music available you can play your baby before bed. Leaving it on until they drift off is incredibly comforting and can help promote deep, long rest. They will soon get used to knowing that the soft sounds mean it’s time to go to sleep, and before you know it they will be dreaming sweetly.

Settling your little one into a sleeping routine may take a while, though the more you can stay consistent and establish a routine the easier things will become. Try not to be hard on yourself, every baby is different and it can take patience and perseverance to get bedtime perfect. These gentle tips are always here to help you keep them calm and ready for rest.

Sleep related resources on KiddyCharts

We have a few articles that are relevant to sleep for kids - do check some of the other ones out.

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Sleep tips from the internet

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This is a collaborative post

Helen is a mum to two, social media consultant, and website editor; and this site is (we think) the only Social Enterprise parenting magazine! Since giving up being a business analyst when juggling travel, work and kids proved too complicated, she founded KiddyCharts so she could be with her kids, and use those grey cells at the same time. KiddyCharts has reach of over 1.1million across social and the site. The blog works with big family brands (including travel) to help promote their services, as well as offering free resources to parents of kids under 10. It gives 51%+ profits to Reverence for Life, who fund a number of important initiatives in Africa, including bringing running water and basic equipment to a school in Tanzania. Helen has worked as a digital marketing consultant (IDM qualified) with various organisations, including Channel Mum, Truprint, Talk to Mums, and Micro Scooters. She loves to be creative in the brand campaigns she works on. Get in touch TODAY!

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