- Try not to have tea too late. Say 5.00 – 5.30pm or earlier depending on the daytime nap schedule. A fussy baby at tea time often will reflect that they are tired.
- Start baby bedtime routine with a warm bath; try Johnson’s baby bedtime wash
- Followed by a gentle massage with Johnson’s baby bedtime lotion (see more massage tips below)
- Next always ensure some quiet time before bed, perhaps read a story or sing a song (the same quiet story every night – repetition is good!)
- Put your child down in their bed when tired, but make sure you put them down drowsy but not awake.
- Leave the bedroom when baby is drowsy and about to sleep, but before they fall sleep if you can, so that your baby gets used to falling asleep without your presence.
- Look for tired cues such as rubbing eyes, jerky movements and yawning
- A constant background (white) noise will help sleep onset. Try to avoid complete silence.
- Maintain naps for as long as possible. The better they sleep in the day, the better they will sleep at night
Baby Massage can also be useful in helping with baby’s sleep routine:
Mothers from many cultures have been practicing the art of infant massage for centuries, and it is very clear there are many physical, emotional and developmental benefits for both mother and baby. Massage, the gift of loving touch, is wonderful way to bond and communicate your love for your baby. Massage is a great way of involving Dads too, giving Mum a break and helping fathers become more confident in handling and comforting their baby.
Initiating a regular routine of massage encourages today’s busy mums to slow down, pause and really be in the moment with their baby. Put down the phone or the iPad, put on some relaxing music, create a warm soothing environment and introduce your baby to the wonderful language of touch. It really is never too early or too late to begin massaging your baby.
There are no set rules, no right and wrong – just try it. Modify and adjust as you go, you will soon know what works by following your baby’s cues. Initially 5 minutes may be long enough working up to 20 minutes for older babies if needed. It is best not to massage immediately after a feed or when your baby is hungry, if he or she is unwell or has been recently immunised.
When first starting massage, some babies prefer to have their singlet left on as they can feel vulnerable when completely exposed. Alternatively your baby may be naked if they have come straight out of the bath and this can be an excellent time to begin. Remember to make sure the room is cosy, warm and remove your jewellery. Pick an area that is comfortable for both of you, on the floor, on a change table or on your bed. Use a small amount of JOHNSON’S® baby oil warmed between your hands. JOHNSON’S® baby oil helps to moisturise your baby’s skin and locks in up to ten times more moisture to help prevent dryness. Avoid using oils from your pantry such as olive oil which can be high in oleic acid and therefore unsuitable for your baby’s delicate skin. Other vegetable oils from your pantry may be contaminated and nut oils present the potential for allergies.
Talk softly or sing to your little one and remember to relax and enjoy this quiet time together. The massage should be slow and unhurried and may even help put you into a Zen state. When you have finished the massage, wipe off any remaining oil from your baby’s hands and feet with a towel.
If the first time you try a massage your baby cries or seems unsettled by it, stop, but do try again another day.
Brought to you by Jo Bridgeman, Midwife, Johnson’s baby Professional Team.