Baby’s Bedtime Routine

September 18, 2007 · 2 comments

A friend of mine turned me on to this article in the local paper today. For you local girls, the article appeared in today’s Doylestown Intelligencer.  The article is about how important a baby’s bedtime routine can be to his or her overall sleeping success. The article got me thinking about the sometimes overwhelming need to be “everything” to your baby and how those expectations can cause a new mom tremendous guilt.

The article specifically describes a few mom’s bedtime routines for their baby. The routines include some of the basics like bath before bedtime, dimming of the lights, calming environment, etc. Ok, I’m with you so far. Then the article goes on to include some other routines, most notably, a half hour of reading, prayer, and baby message.

Now I’m beginning to sweat. Not only did I not do those things with my baby, I’d never even considered doing them. No, that’s an understatement. The truth: I would have never in my wildest imagination come up with such a routine. Ok, maybe the reading, but the baby message, no way! But that’s just me.

My guilty conscience got me to thinking. No wonder new moms feel so much guilt! Isn’t it enough that we take care of our baby all day, every day? (To be completely honest, I was lucky to still be awake after a full day with a baby, let alone have energy for the apparent spa treatment that some moms are creating for their babies.) According to the article, once your baby bedtime routine has become effective, you’ll be stuck doing it for a long time. Couldn’t a bedtime routine simply be to feed the little baby and put him to bed. I think so. Couldn’t that routine be just effective? You bet!

Who knows what way is the right way? Maybe there is no right way? There is always more than one way to skin a cat. In any case, I invite new moms who do not have a 30 minute 5 step process to putting their baby to bed to please not feel guilty. Sincerely, for all you moms who do the 30 minute 5 step process, my hat’s off to you.

In any case, back to the article. Once I read it, I noticed the comment line on the bottom and fashioned the first comments that came to my mind. Clearly, this gives you insight in to my psyche!

Here’s’ what I came up with:

“I really enjoyed this article. I think it has a lot of truth to it, especially where it encourages routine and consistency in getting a baby to bed. My question is, do the moms who were interviewed have more than one child? I mean, who is watching the other children while mom is cavorting for a half hour with the baby? Does this Mom have a nanny or a husband or an au pair caring for the other children. In my experience, children don’t take kindly to be ignored while their older siblings are being shown favoritism.”

After careful consideration I changed my comment to this:

“I really enjoyed this article. I think it has a lot of truth to it, especially where it encourages routine and consistency in getting a baby to bed. ”

Tell me about your baby routine and set me straight. Did anyone have a routine like the routines described? Did your baby require the routine for a long time?

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