3 Tips to Create the Perfect Bedtime Routine for Your Baby

Good Night Sleep Site and JOHNSON’S® Baby have partnered to help parents create the best bedtime routine to get a good night’s sleep.

Incorporating a consistent bedtime routine is an important part of creating healthy sleep habits for your baby right from the start. Bedtime creates the groundwork for a solid night of sleep, and all kids need healthy sleep in order to have better cognitive abilities, a stronger immune system, fewer behavioural problems, and sharper motor skills, and let’s be honest - happier parents too. The predictability of a bedtime routine will help your baby predict what to expect, which can also really help to alleviate bedtime sleep struggles.

Your baby’s bedtime routine can be established as early as day one and as your child gets older what you include in that bedtime routine will change, but practicing these same steps each night before bed is going to do two things. It’s going to help let your baby or child know that it’s time to go to sleep and it’s also going to allow you to have that calming bonding and attachment time that you both need.

It is important to note that while a bedtime routine can relax your child and ease the transition to bedtime, it is also a great time for parents to bond with their children. Especially for parents returning to work and routine, bedtime is the perfect opportunity to slow down, disconnect from distractions, and build attachment with your child.

How to Create the Best Bedtime Routine:

Make Time for It
You want to start by giving yourself enough time to practice a nice relaxed routine, where your focus is to soothe and bond with your baby while preparing them to go to bed. Allow for 15 to 30 minutes prior to your baby’s bedtime to incorporate your calming and consistent bedtime routine.

Create the Right Environment
It’s important to create a soothing and relaxing environment before bedtime. Make sure your baby’s room is the right temperature (a cooler room promotes optimum sleep), you can also include the right tools to help make bedtime easier.

Here are some of the best tools you can use to create that perfect sleep environment:

  • A certified standard crib with a firm mattress and fitted crib sheet.
  • Room darkening shades or blackout blinds to keep the room dark.
  • A white noise machine to help drown out household sounds and noises from outside.

Choose the Right Activities
Including the right calming activities at bedtime can cue your baby that it's time for sleep and help create a more peaceful bedtime. A bath and massage can help your baby prepare to sleep. These calming activities are a great addition to your baby’s bedtime routine and can help settle and relax their body as you get them ready for bed. A bath doesn’t have to be included every night but you can practice a quiet massage with your baby before putting on their pj’s to help them fall quietly to sleep.

More examples of bedtime activities to include are:

  • Diaper or potty time
  • Putting on pajamas, a special sleeper or sleep sack
  • A feed-breast or bottle
  • Cuddles and kisses

JOHNSON’S® 3-Step Bedtime Routine was developed to help babies sleep better in just 7 days. The routine is clinically proven to help the baby fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. The JOHNSON’S® Baby Bedtime products are triple-tested by pediatricians, dermatologists and ophthalmologists.

  • Step 1: Bath
    • A warm bath is a great addition to your baby’s bedtime routine and with JOHNSON’S® Bedtime Bath and JOHNSON’S® Bedtime Bubble Bath you can create a calming and relaxing bath time to help make falling asleep that much easier. These products are hypoallergenic and free of parabens, phthalates, sulfates & dyes, specifically designed for baby’s delicate skin.
  • Step 2: Massage
    • A massage as a part of a bedtime routine can help the baby sleep better. The JOHNSON’S® Bedtime Baby Lotion is the perfect complement for this moment and the NATURALCALM® aromas helps soothe and relax the baby before bed.
    • Make sure to practice the massage when your baby is in a good mood. Encouraging an earlier bedtime before the baby is overtired can help with that.
    • During the massage speak in soothing tones, tell stories, or sing songs while using relaxing strokes.
    • A massage is a great tool to add to your bedtime routine as it can ease the discomfort of gas, constipation, and teething.
  • Step 3: Quiet Time
    • Quiet time activities such as reading, singing or listening to music allow the baby to unwind after a warm bath and a relaxing massage.

Once your child is relaxed you can place the baby down in their crib and look forward to healthy sleep for the entire family each night.

You can incorporate a short nap time routine like you would a bedtime routine to help prepare your baby for their nap. For example, you can include a short massage and you may not change them into pj’s, or you might only do songs instead of stories-you can experiment and see what works for you and your child.

Support Your Family’s Sleep Success

It’s essential to focus on what the baby needs in order to support their sleep success. Regardless of age, it may take your baby a while to master the art of great sleep, and that’s okay. Be consistent with their sleep routine, and you will see positive progress that will leave the whole family feeling well rested and happy.

Bedtime can be a quiet and relaxing time at your house. It really can! But I’m not going to tell you that it doesn’t take work. The good news is, that by putting some solid bedtime routines in place, you really will notice positive changes for the entire family.


Alanna McGinn is Founder and Certified Sleep Expert of Good Night Sleep Site, a global sleep consulting practice. She is host of the 'This Girl Loves Sleep’ Podcast and author of This Baby Loves Sleep. Alanna has established the world-wide brand of Good Night Sleep Site as being a #1 sleep resource for families and she and her team of sleep consultants strive in helping families (baby to adults) and corporations overcome their sleep challenges and have well-rested smiles in the morning. You can find out more about Alanna McGinn and how to work with a Good Night Sleep Consultant at goodnightsleepsite.com and follow Alanna and all her sleep tips on Instagram.