It is a well-known fact that babies respond well to routine and a consistent bedtime routine seems to have a positive impact in baby’s sleep. As parents we know how important sleep is to our little one’s development, and if the baby sleeps better, you sleep better – win/win!
We’ve had a set bedtime routine since James was 4 months old and it has been instrumental to how easily James switches from day to night mode. A bedtime routine doesn’t have to be anything too elaborate and today I will show you how to get your baby ready for bed by doing the Johnson’s 3-Step Bedtime Routine, which consists of bath, massage and quiet time.
The idea behind the Johnson’s Bedtime Routine is that babies make sense of the world by knowing what to expect next. Routines comfort and guide them through the periods of change as they grow, by giving them a sense of security and familiarity. Moreover, when included as part of a bedtime routine, touch and massage are proven by research to improve sleep quality and quantity. A relaxing experience before bed can help your little one fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
We all know very well that when we are rested, calm and content, we tend to sleep better, and babies are no different. The simple things are what matter here – the familiar surroundings, the calming touch from a loved one, the anticipation of the next step. All of this leads a baby to expect one step after the other, until all that is left is saying goodnight and going to sleep. I know it all sounds very simple and although parenting is never predictable, in general, a bedtime routine promotes good sleeping habits.
Johnson’s believe that you may start seeing results in as early as a week, if you stick to this routine for 7 consecutive days. We’ve put it to the test and now I’m here to share our experience and results after a week’s trial of the Johnson’s 3-Step Bedtime Routine.
HOW TO COMPLETE THE JOHNSON’S 3-STEP BEDTIME ROUTINE
Before I start telling you how to complete the Johnson’s Bedtime Routine, I want to stress that babies are all lovely and different in their own unique way. If you’re thinking of following this routine, feel free to add your own elements to adapt the routine to suit your own baby and your family.
This is a simple 3-step multisensory experience, which gives you and your baby the chance to spend some quality time together. Even if during the day you’re all about the rigid schedule and military precision, allow yourself to take your time, make it fun and enjoy!
Step 1: a warm bath
Run a warm bath using a baby bath product like the Johnson’s Bedtime Baby Bath.
This is my favourite smell for snuggly bedtime cuddles! In fact, I’ve actually used the Johnson’s Bedtime Bath Wash on myself for years and I always associate it with getting cosy before bed! James loves the bubbles in the bath, so whilst he is distracted playing with them, I wash his hair with the Johnson’s Bedtime Baby Shampoo and brush his teeth very quickly before he snatches the toothbrush out of my hands!
Step 2: a gentle massage
To help your baby relax, give him a massage using a lotion or oil such as the Johnson’s Bedtime Baby Lotion.
We love this part! James is at his cutest right after a bath, so we have lots of tickles and giggles before moving on to the massage. With the Johnson’s Bedtime Baby Lotion I slowly massage James’ body, focusing on his legs, feet and shoulders. For an incredibly active and on-the-go baby, he is surprisingly quiet during our massage session, and I can feel his breathing slowing down as he relaxes and starts winding down for the night.
Step 3: quiet time
Take this moment to relax with your baby by reading a book or listening to lullabies. For this step, anything that doesn’t overstimulate baby is fine.
If we’re both home, we like for James to have some time before bed with both mummy and daddy separately. Daddy starts quiet time by getting cosy on the sofa with James, watching some cartoons and giving him his bottle. Then it’s mummy and James time; we head upstairs, read some books, have cuddles, kisses and a prayer. I say nighty-night, and by this point he is well and truly drowsy, so he falls asleep in his cot within a few minutes whilst I hold his hands and gently stroke his face and hair.
JOHNSON’S 3-STEP BEDTIME ROUTINE RESULTS
After doing this routine for 7 consecutive days, I have noticed that James goes down much easier and is a lot calmer before going to bed. Although our normal bedtime routine is very similar to the Johnson’s routine, we weren’t consistently doing the massage as sometimes I just wanted to rush getting James dressed, fed and in bed to avoid overtired meltdowns. From now on, this is a step I will not be skipping as I believe it was a crucial part of making James feel less anxious before bedtime. To us, the massage really makes a difference because it helps to wind James down and relax after all the excitement of the day and bathtime fun!
I would like to point out that this is a sample routine of what an average bedtime routine looks like for us. Of course, many factors can disrupt the routine and make everything run less than smoothly – we’ve all been there! Developmental milestones, teething, illnesses, a change in the weather or being in an unfamiliar environment; all of these things can upset your baby and make bedtime a bit (or a lot!) harder. But these are all temporary, so hang in there and stick to your bedtime routine as this will promote a sense of normality and help your baby get back to the regular sleeping pattern.
I hope this has given you an idea of what a simple, yet effective, bedtime routine looks like, and that you feel confident and inspired to give the Johnson’s 3-Step Bedtime Routine a try.
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Advertorial blog post by the JOHNSON’S® brand. I have received payment incentive and samples but all opinions are my own. JOHNSON’S® clinically proven bedtime routine consists of bath, massage and quiet time, tested on babies 7 months+, 1 week+ use. For further information on bedtime routines and to access newborn, baby and toddler sleep guides, visit http://www.johnsonsbaby.co.uk/bedtime