Sleep routine for babies and toddlers

Getting your little one into a sleep routine can be really hard, yet there are some little tricks that can help you to achieve the holy grail of a full night’s sleep!

With my children I have always found that a set routine before bed is really important, even right at the beginning. We start with a warm, bubbly bath in a warm room. Following the bath it’s a massage with some baby massage oil. It is worth attending a few baby massage classes if you can, as you can learn some great massage techniques to help with relaxation and any specific problems, such as relieving colic.

Once your baby is in their pyjamas, it’s time for a feed. This is always done in a well lit room to prevent them falling asleep on the breast or bottle, as I believe it is important that babies learn to fall asleep on their own. This way, if they wake in the night, they may be able to settle themselves without needing a feed. While feeding, I find it a lovely time to softly sing or chat to your baby, the sound of your voice will naturally relax your baby, and it’s a great bonding experience too.

Once feeding is over, we pop on a Grobag. This keeps them warm and toasty all night, as they are not able to kick off their blankets. Just ensure that they are dressed appropriately, so if it is really warm, use a light sleeping bag and a bodysuit. If it is cold, you can use a thicker sleeping bag and a sleepsuit – or try a Grosuit for extra peace of mind. We use a nursery thermometer too – you get one with each Grobag, and they offer great advice on how many layers and which tog of sleeping bag to use. 

sleep, Grobag

Then it’s into a dimly lit room for a story. We have done this right from the beginning – reading to children is so important, and even right at the beginning babies enjoy listening to the soothing sound of your voice, and looking at pictures in books.

Finally, put your baby into their cot awake. This way they fall asleep on their own, and are more likely to be able to settle themselves again if they wake in the night. If your baby cries when you pop them down, place your hand on their tummy and say shhhh shhhh. Leave a soft nightlight on if it helps your baby settle. This can also be useful for night feeds. If you do feed in the night, keep the room dimly lit, and try not to interact with baby too much, keep it sleepy and soft so that baby learns to understand the difference between day and night.

This has always seemed to work for us, and all of our children have slept through the night from a fairly early age.



  1. January 26, 2015 / 4:46 pm

    These are definitely tips I’ll take on board if I ever have children, than k you for sharing! x
    Isabella (Tiny Tang) recently posted…ClassicMy Profile

  2. January 26, 2015 / 4:58 pm

    Sleep routine is really important we are blessed with. Children who will happily go down and settle themselves. Mind termite still likes a bit cuddle through the night
    Karen recently posted…Totally Tasty Tandoori and SaladMy Profile

  3. January 26, 2015 / 5:09 pm

    We’ve only recently got Little Man into a good self settling routine at bedtime but for now at least it’s working! x
    Donna recently posted…Living Arrows – 4/52My Profile

    • kate
      January 26, 2015 / 8:00 pm

      It can take a while can’t it? Glad to hear Little Man is now settling well, long may it continue!

  4. January 26, 2015 / 6:48 pm

    Nothing worked for Toby in the first few months because he was in too much pain from his silent reflux. We’ve always done a similar routine to you though and with his reflux under control it is working pretty well xx
    Hannah Budding Smiles recently posted…From Blogging To Jogging – Week 4My Profile

    • kate
      January 26, 2015 / 7:59 pm

      I am glad to hear the reflux is under control. Max suffered too, and it was a juggle to find the right medication for him!

  5. January 26, 2015 / 8:51 pm

    This was the aim for Boo, however she has silent reflux which meant our plans had to change, we did have a bedtime routine from early on which we have stuck too, and we love grobags/grosuits here!
    I wish we could have helped her learn to self settle earlier but with having the silent reflux this proved impossible, even once the meds got sorted it still proved diffcult, and we have only really had any measure of success in the last couple of months.
    Jenni – Odd Socks and Lollipops recently posted…Should Boo carry on going to nursery?My Profile

  6. January 26, 2015 / 11:16 pm

    Works well for babies but unfortunately not toddlers. We have been rocking our son to sleep for the last year at least and he is nearly 2 1/2. He then is transfered into his bed. Worked well so far but since he was really sick in November he wakes during the night and ends up sleeping in our bed. This can be daunting sometimes because he could move all over the place in bed which means less sleep.
    Janine recently posted…Pregnancy Update – 38 WeeksMy Profile

  7. February 2, 2015 / 12:05 pm

    my sons five and im still struggling he slept great and was in a routine as a baby but for some reaosn hes been a nightmare since a year old and we cant get him out my bed lol x
    lisa prince recently posted…Christmas Beauty Gift Ideas For WomanMy Profile

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