Getting the baby sleep routine isn’t always an easy thing. There are so many new things that your baby wants to learn and experience during his first months outside of the womb that he’s often just not in the mood to slow down and take a rest. Add in the hectic nature of your schedule, and you can see it’s a formula for trouble. Fortunately, there are things you can do to get the baby sleep routine on track.

You’ll find that your baby, like most babies, tends to thrive on having a routine. Routines are comforting, and they work well with our bodies’ circadian rhythms, as well as with our human desire to know what to expect. Your baby sleep routine is an important part of your overall parenting plan.

You can put your baby on a regular bedtime routine within a few months after birth. By about the fourth month of age, your baby is probably sleeping through the night and you can truly put that baby sleep routine into action. Here are some things you need to keep in mind  when planning that baby sleep routine:

  • Stick to the baby sleep routine every night. Even if you’re not at home, try to lay your baby down at the same time each night. Experts suggest that you lay your baby down before he actually falls asleep, while he’s sleepy.
  • Consider a bath at bedtime. Adding a warm bath to your baby sleep routine can be tremendously soothing. If your baby is the type that likes to play and get excited in the tub, you might put that toward the beginning of the routine so that she has some time to start winding down afterwards.
  • Read a story. Babies and young children usually love being read to. In addition, some studies suggest that simply reading to your child (even a very young child like your baby) can help with future academic success.

Because every baby is different, you’ll find other techniques and elements to add to your baby sleep routine as time goes on. The important thing is consistency, so that your baby is soothed at bedtime and so that he learns to recognize when it’s time to go to sleep.