WINDING DOWN: A RITUAL FOR SUCCESS
Have you ever stopped to think what you do as a winding down ritual before bed? Do you just jump straight into bed and fall directly asleep? If so, congratulations! But many of us don’t! So let’s be realistic and understand that our babies aren’t going to be able to either. Their brains are much less neurologically advanced than ours, and if they’ve been in a stimulating and exciting situation, playtime or scenario - expecting them to go straight from point A (said scenario) to point B (bed, and asleep) is completely unrealistic!
✖️Some of the best sleep success stories we’ve come across have all resulted from a good, gentle and consistent wind down ritual! It is a ritual, routine or reoccurring event that falls directly before you put your baby into bed each time, or even just for bedtimes. It removes any stimulating processes (TV, loud or bright toys and lights, loud noises and any other distractions) from their area and allows for 5-10 minutes of cuddles, snuggles, sleepy time words and phrases, a book and that winding down period to occur.
✖️It helps babies to transition towards easier sleep, because they have already had a winding down period before being placed into the cot or bed, a deans they are less likely to fight sleep or need to wind down when put into bed without it.
There are many ways in which you can incorporate a good winding down ritual into your day, but here are some fun, age appropriate ideas for helping to initiate it!
- Turn off the TV, dim the lights and sit and have a cuddle or snuggle on the couch, explaining that you’re winding down and sleep is approaching
- Do your feed in your child’s room, with a dim light on and a nice lullaby or sing a song to them to signal its time to wind down and sleep is approaching
- Read a book, do a puzzle or another low stimulation activity before bedtime with toddlers
- Sit and be still, speak softly and calmly and for some younger baby’s, giving a little shush and a pat on their bottom is enough to trigger the wind down and process towards becoming drowsy for sleep
✖️ Your baby or child becomes accustomed to their new winding down process, many families have found they only need to introduce it for bedtime! If settling and sleep is currently difficult to achieve I Your household, doing this for each nap/daytime sleep may be what you need to dedicate yourself to for a good week or so to see some results! being consistent and still performing the ritual, even if your child doesn't seem to be interested signals that this is the regular occurrence, and they soon become invested (toddlers especially) if you given them independence in choosing a book or task to do during 'wind down time' together.
If you have any concerns regarding your child’s or baby’s sleep, timing, nap transitions or other sleep related issues - why not check out our sleep guides! They are jam packed with comprehensive information to aid your settling and sleep issues!