How to guide to getting your baby into a bedtime routine by Mother & Baby TV

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Get advice from experts and mums like you on establishing a bed time routine , say goodbye to sleep deprivation and get your baby to sleep through the night.

If you need to be in control then settle your baby into a routine and put a stop to the sleepless nights

Sticking to a routine
However you want to create your bedtime routine, make sure you do it in the same order each night and stick to it every night. You could start by having a short play before giving her a bath.

After her bath, get her into her sleepsuit or pyjamas and read a story or sing a song (see Winding down time' below). Give her a last feed before or after her bath, but remember to brush her teeth.

Lie her down in her cot in a darkened room just before she starts to fall asleep, so she learns to fall asleep by herself and doesn't drop off in your arms and awakes alone in a dark room.

Don't feel you need to keep the whole house quiet - she'll find comfort from familiar sounds such as you moving around or the distant drone of the TV.

An earlier bedtime
If your baby is still wide awake when you're ready to settle down to dinner for two, then you can gradually start to bring her bedtime forward. The first night, put her to bed 15 minutes earlier.

A few days later, bring it forward by another 15 minutes and so on until she's used to going to bed at a time which suits you.

To make sure she's tired enough to sleep, don't let her nap after 3.30pm.

Winding down time
Older babies tend to need about half an hour to wind down and let off steam before bed. Spend time before bed quietly and avoid rough-and-tumble games, TV or videos which will get their minds racing or fun activities that will end in tears if they don't finish before the appointed time for bed.

Instead, sing nursery rhymes, look at picture books, play soft music or read a story to calm her down.