Bedtime rituals with bub
There is perhaps no question as frequently asked to parents of young ones than “are they a good sleeper?”
While the intention of this question stems from a kind place, hoping the parent is getting sufficient rest, we know that there is no such thing as good or bad when it comes to our precious little bundles. When they are little, babies wake during the night to feed, for comfort and security, and for a host of other reasons. A baby waking in the night is not a bad sleeper - they’re likely not developmentally ready to stretch those elusive 12 hours.
What we do know is that bubs of any age can benefit from bedtime rituals to soothe, calm and nurture, establishing the foundations of beautiful slumber. These foundations will lead our little ones in good stead as they grow, develop, and in time, sleep blissfully through the night. Here, we share our favourite rituals for sweet dreams.
A soothing bath:
A bath is an amazing way to relax and begin the bedtime ritual, thanks to the sleep-inducing powers of warm water.
Our core body temperatures are naturally at their lowest when we sleep, so in order to feel sleepy, they need to drop. Soaking in warm water is thought to stimulate our bodies’ thermoregulatory system and help lower our core body temperatures. This signals to our bodies that it’s time for bed and helps us fall asleep more easily.
Try incorporating GAIA Sleeptime Bath Wash for extra relaxation. And remember - always check the water temperature beforehand to make sure it’s not too hot (around 37 to 38 degrees is the sweet spot)!
Super soft nappies & PJS
Comfort is key when it comes to bubs, and our super soft and breathable planet friendly nappies, made with organic bamboo, are the ultimate choice.
With 12-hour leak-proof protection, bub will be dry and comfortable til morning. (Who wants to be stripped down in the middle of the night?! Not us - and definitely not our bubs).
A soft pair of pajamas and a sleeping bag or swaddle, will keep bub cosy and feeling safe and secure.
Our top nappy night-time tip? Try going up a nappy size at night for extra absorbency. See our size guide below and click here to buy).
Gentle infant massage:
Help bub wind down and produce sleep hormones with a gentle rub-down before bedtime.
Melatonin is a hormone released at night or in response to darkness that has long been associated with our sleep-wake cycles. By gently massaging your baby's skin, you can help soothe and relax, relieve colic, gas and constipation, and stimulate the release of melatonin to help the transition to sleep (and a good quality one, at that).
Use gentle strokes and a baby-friendly massage oil or lotion (something with lavender or magnesium is extra calming on the nervous system).
A feed with cuddles:
Give your bub nourishment and that sleepy feeling, by filling their tummy with a feed and a cuddle before bed.
It's also a great chance for skin-to-skin contact and fostering those essential needs of love and physical affection with your little one.
Read a book:
Reading in a quiet, calm voice is soothing for infants even in the pre-verbal stages and has the wonderful benefit of early literacy learning.
Settle into a comfy chair with a good book and channel your inner bookworm with your bub. A few of our favourites include Goodnight Moon, Kissed By The Moon and The Night You Were Born.
Sing a lullaby:
There’s no sound a baby loves more than that of their parents’ voice. So a soft song or lullaby at bed not only sets the stage for sleep, but is another beautiful opportunity for bonding between parent and bub. Tap into your creative side with an original rendition or lean on the classics - 'Twinkle Twinkle Little Star' or 'You Are My Sunshine' are gorgeous, rhythmic favorites.
Some parting words:
When you’ve tucked your twinkling little star into bed and are ready to turn out the lights, leave them with some comforting words like “Goodnight, I love you” and a kiss on the head.
Positive affirmations of love help make your child feel safe and secure, and even when they’re too young to understand the meaning of the words, the soothing tone of your voice and physical contact helps service a child’s basic need of love and is a nice way to round out the day before you send them off to dreamland.
We hope you enjoyed our favourite bedtime rituals. Sweet dreams.