A newborn nighttime routine is important. Any parent — whether it’s first kid or sixth kid — would tell you that. Establishing consistency early on is pretty much everything, and that’s the essence of a newborn nighttime routine.
I love working with new mothers and I love what I can provide them via The Birth Bag, but recently I’ve been thinking about doing more nighttime care for newborns. This helps me in terms of my own family. I’ll probably be launching more business concepts around that in the next couple of months. In an effort to showcase how smart I am about the topic of newborn nighttime routine (heh), here goes nothing. I previously wrote a post similar to this, too, if you want to check that out.
My ideal six steps for a newborn nighttime routine are:
- A bath
- A gentle massage
- A story or song (the same one every night can set a good rhythm)
- A gentle swaddle (I prefer Aden and Anais products, but also SwaddleMe)
- White noise machine
- Putting the baby down before they’re fully asleep
I’ll break this down 1-by-1 quickly.
Bath: Soothing and cleansing.
Gentle massage: Ditto, and it also exposes the newborn to notions of human touch and connection. That’s crucial in early development.
Story or song: If you need suggestions for this, consult this list from NPR. It’s pretty varied in terms of artist and year recorded (spans 100s of years), but it’s a good benchmark for a newborn nighttime routine. I’d recommend the same song, or set of songs, every evening to establish a rhythm.
A gentle swaddle: Same as above — feelings of comfort and connection.
White noise machine: Babies love white noise, and there’s research indicating it might actually reduce stress levels in newborns. (While we often think of babies as beautiful creatures without stress, can you imagine anything more stressful than arriving in a brand-new world and having no idea how to communicate your needs? Babies are stressed.) Bonus for parents: babies who fall asleep to white noise often stay asleep longer.
Putting the baby down before they’re asleep: Your baby will often wake up when you put him/her down, which is a result of a newborn’s sleep cycle. Never fear! There are tricks to this to help your newborn nighttime routine.
What else would you recommend in terms of a newborn nighttime routine?