Establish a bedtime ritual for baby
Establishing a bedtime ritual helps babies fall asleep better and soothe themselves for a better night.
Bedtime rituals reduce babies' anxiety
For a baby to sleep well, he must first of all be serene. For toddlers, the night is often anxious, synonymous with separation from their parents. By setting up a bedtime ritual, you will defuse this feeling of fear to help your child spend a peaceful night.
The goal is to repeat the same gestures and habits every day so that your baby gets used to them and no longer fears the night's sleep as an unknown thing, but rather knows that everything will go well, night after night.
The bedtime ritual can evolve with age, in the first few months it can start with taking a bath, putting on the pyjamas and sleeping bag, closing the bedroom shutters, singing a little song and giving a cuddle. This moment must be a moment of calm and complicity between parents and child.
Be careful, if you are stressed or if you rush things because you don't have time, baby will feel it... You all risk having a bad night!
The principle of the ritual is, of course, that it be repeated every night and in the same chronological order. It should not be too long, 15 minutes are enough (not counting bath time), otherwise baby might think that separation is difficult for you too...
Do not wait until your baby falls asleep in your arms to put him in his bed, the ideal being that he falls asleep by himself, you can without problem leave the room before he is asleep. If he still cries before falling asleep, don't rush into his room, wait a little, most of the time he will calm down by himself.
Adapting the bedtime ritual to the child's age
As the months go by, the ritual can evolve by adding the telling of a story. When the child can express himself, why not sing a rhyme together? Or tell each other about the events of the day? Encourage him to talk about what worries him at the nanny's, the day care center or at school. Don't be afraid to talk about it for fear of making him anxious before going to sleep; talking can, on the contrary, relieve his anxieties.
Later, around 4 or 5 years old, the fear of nightmares appears and with it the fear of falling asleep... Be present for your child but set limits by telling him that you have a good time with him and that it is now time to leave him alone. Reassure him that you are not far away but that he must stay alone in his room.
Don't force him to sleep, it's impossible, no one can sleep on command, tell him calmly and without shouting: "If you are not sleepy at the moment it's not serious but you must stay in your bed to rest".
Why is this ritual important for children's growth?
This little peaceful moment allows children and parents to enjoy a moment of complicity and to strengthen the relationship between the two parties. This is an important moment when the baby is at the daycare all day while the parents are working.
The ritual is intended to facilitate the falling asleep and the quality of the sleep of baby, it evolves according to the age of baby so as to support the autonomy of the children and to improve his confidence in him. Indeed, when the child grows up, he can start reading with his parents and then finish it by himself, decide to turn off the light when he is ready to sleep.
It is not because the child grows up that the bedtime ritual must be abandoned. It can of course evolve but even for adults the ritual can help them fall asleep. Besides, have you ever noticed that a change of habits and a festive evening make falling asleep more difficult and the night more agitated?