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The Nightingales get asked about a good baby sleep solution — i.e. a nighttime routine for babies — all the time. Here are some thoughts.
Avoid eye contact before bed: Prolonged eye contact is too stimulating and will cause the little one to not fall asleep.
Co-sleeping: This can work, although it notably has critics. One of the reasons people hire us is to avoid this, actually. If you are for it, place the bassinet or crib in the room near your bed.
Lavender oil: If you put 2 drops on a tissue near the bed, it can lead to relaxed sleep. The caveat here is that it’s not recommended for children under six months.
Pick the right bedtime: For children under 1, experts suggest 6:30-7pm. This is going to vary based on your work schedule and wanting to spend time with your child, though.
The right temperature: 68-72 is ideal for young children.
Run a bath: This is a pretty soothing experience for babies and often makes a great baby sleep solution.
A round of peekaboo: Some parents do this on the floor of the baby’s room about 30-45 minutes before bed. Avoid over-stimulation but this can be a fun way to wind down.
Bedtime stories/songs: A classic standby.
Goodnight Moon: Ditto. Let them say goodnight to various things in the house. It’s pretty cute and establishes good object permanence too.
Music: Most people seem to use lullabies or classical music/soothing sounds, but here’s a pro tip. Sometimes Indigo Girls works really well on babies.
Massage: This has many benefits as a baby sleep solution.
Start slowly on the routine: This is not something you master overnight, honestly.
Keep it dark: Some parents want to use a night light because they think their baby will be scared. Don’t worry about that. Their brain isn’t developed enough yet. Dark is the best way to get them prepared for sleep.
Master the drowsy drop-off: This is one of the harder things for new parents. You need to get this right over time; otherwise they’ll rouse as soon as they get put in the crib/bassinet. Also note that babies typically wake up every 50 minutes, but will go right back to sleep if the situation is the same as when they last remember. If not, they’ll cry.
Dress the part: Usually this is one light layer of PJs and a blanket, although it can vary by child. Resist the urge to overdress.
Consistency is key: This is true with any baby sleep solution as well as, well, life.