I was talking with another mom, right after I’d had my first child and of course, I was worried about everything from formula and breast-feeding to nuclear war and the future of the Western World. This other mother had four children and was a much calmer — and wiser – person than I. She said, “at the end of the day, your baby just needs to feel safe and secure.” And she was right.
As moms, we strive to give our babies that feeling, and there’s no better way than a good night time routine – and no better time to start than now! A bed time schedule is more than just PJs and a strict lights-out. It’s a calming ritual for you and your child and quality time for you both. So, what’s the recipe for a good night?
- Patience is the key – do you need to establish this routine when your baby is three weeks old, and you’re out of your mind with sleep deprivation? No – wait until you baby is at least six weeks old because until then, schedules are still just pie in the sky.
- Have a little fun –Put on some music, dance around the room a little bit; sing to your baby! Or, sit on the floor and play a quick game of peek-a-boo. Have a conversation about your day – it doesn’t matter that only one of you understands what you’re saying! Night time is not just about hygiene; it’s about quality time!
- Bath time – despite dirty diapers or sticky formula, babies don’t get that dirty. A bath is a calming opportunity and a great facet of any night time ritual. It really just takes a few minutes and some warm water. For the baby’s hair, hands and feet, armpits, cute little chubby neck folds and groin area, a soapy cleanser like Baby Pibu’s™ tear-free and sulfate-free Bathtime Wash is perfect. A soft bristle brush is great to use on your baby’s scalp, gently cleansing and exfoliating the skin.
- Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize – when your baby is done with the bath, pat him dry, rather than rubbing the moisture off his delicate skin. Then, massage with a lotion like Pibu’s™ Baby Butter to protect and lock in moisture. After all, who wouldn’t enjoy a nightly massage? Then, before the last diaper of the day, protect that sweet baby bottom with a lubricant like Pibu’s™ Bottom Balm, a great defense from unwanted rashes.
- Music and lyrics – once Baby is diapered and jammied up, this is the perfect time for a bedtime story, lullaby or both. Do this in your baby’s room, so your child knows the nursery is more than just a place to be alone; it’s a place of comfort and security. Your voice is the last thing he hears before he drifts into dreamland.
Safety and security – a fresh set of jammies, a sweet-smelling lotion and a voice that we love– that’s all any of us really need at the end of the day. Do this, not just for your baby, but for yourself. And, one day, when you’re that much calmer – and wiser mother – giving advice to a new mom, you’ll be glad you did.