Putting baby to bed will be easier and less stressful if you stick to a pattern on a daily basis.
Sleep is not something you can force on someone, despite of how much you want or need them to drift off. However, following a routine that sets the mood for the night is a brilliant way of making sure that your baby knows that it's bedtime. Follow these tips to guide your bedtime ritual, although feel free to add your own, unique traditions.
Tip #1: Establish a regular sleeping time for your baby. Eight in the evening might be bedtime most nights, but if your baby is displaying signs of sleepiness earlier, put him to bed earlier. An overtired and restless baby is harder to settle and will be more likely to wake during the night.
Tip #2: Set calming daily rituals to prepare your baby to bed like warm bath, brushing teeth and gums, milk feeding, light massage, reading books and listening to music. A baby who has been bathed, dressed in clean and dry pajamas, had his diaper freshly changed and has a happy tummy really should have no reason not to feel sleepy. By trying your best to maintain the night time routine, your baby will come to know what to expect. And by the time you bring out the lavender oil, he will know it is time to lay his head down to sleep. The last feed should be accompanied by calmness, and an air of relaxation encouraged. Try to make time to feed your baby when you are not rushed with dinner, preparing lunches for the next day or trying to do dishes and help with older children's homework.
Tip #3: Exercise caution when choosing beddings. Make sure each item does not pose the risk of suffocating your baby.
Tip #4: Always keep all crib drop-sides up and locked in place whenever baby is in the crib. The crib should be positioned in a warm (or cool) spot in the room, should be clean and dry and arranged with the covers neatly tucked in.
Tip #5: Control the room lighting by using curtains and lamp shades to allow transition from active to peaceful sleeping time. It is even better if the baby's room has blinds or drapes that block the light from outside. Total darkness is not needed, just a little light present, for example from a night-light or a soft lamp is perfectly fine.