Setting Up a Routine for You & Your Baby
Are you overwhelmed by the arrival of your newborn? Try setting up a routine for both you and your little one! While it may seem impossible when you are just trying to meet all your baby’s needs day and night, it’s certainly worthwhile to put effort into setting up a routine – and you will soon realize the power of a set routine!
Here are some tips that might help:
1. Keep your baby in a room that’s bright during the day (no direct sunlight), even when she’s napping. Our body releases melatonin (a hormone that’s critical to our sleep) when it’s dark to tell our body it’s time to sleep and reduces the level of melatonin when it’s bright. It’s a natural way for our body to learn the difference between day and night. Simply by doing this, it might help your baby to get better sleep at night.
2. Have a bedtime “ritual” – babies and kids adopt to a routine quickly. When the whole world seems uncertain and scary, it’s quite comforting for them to know what to expect next (aka, a set routine). Things like a warm bath followed by story time followed by bedtime. It could be anything that works for you and your baby, but try to repeat the same thing every day. It doesn’t just provide them comfort mentally, but also trains their body for what to expect.
3. Do not try to “tire them out” by keeping them up late. Unlike older kids who need a lot of activities during the day to make their body tired and sleep well at night, babies could get “overstimulated” easily when there’s too much going on. Try to “respect” their need of napping during the day when they are showing signs of tiredness. You might be surprised that when they nap better during the day, they also sleep better at night!
Bottomline: Find a routine that both you and your baby enjoy. A good routine goes a long way! :-)