Bathing at Bedtime
Bathing your baby every evening before his bedtime and evening feed will prepare him for the night and establish a routine that he will appreciate and get to know very quickly. Arthur, my Grandson aged 3 months, really loves his bath around 6pm. Following his bath, he is fed in his room, which is made fairly dark, and he is put into his cot at 7pm, sometimes asleep already, and sometimes awake. He is woken and given a late night feed at 11pm. He is now sleeping well until 6am or even later. When he wakes, he has an early morning feed and he then goes back to bed and sleeps until around 8am. Recently he has actually slept right through until 8am.
Routine is vital for babies and parents during some part of the day, and certainly at bedtime and night. Sharing a room and feeding on demand is exhausting for parents, and especially for a breastfeeding mother. Babies make all sorts of snuffling and stretching noises through the night and mothers usually wake far more than necessary.
Monitors are now very effective, some with small cameras, so once he is older, a quick glance can tell you that your baby is safe, moving and either wide awake or not. So stay in bed and only go in to feed him when he actually wakes, his eyes are open and he is going to cry, but before he actually starts to cry. He will soon realise that you are responding to his needs and he will feel confident in his own room.
Healthy baby development includes the stimulation of all his senses, feeling, hearing, seeing, moving and socialising. This multisensory stimulation is perfect at bath time and it is a ritual that will also improve the quality and quantity of his sleep. Bath time provides an opportunity for skin-to-skin contact again, direct eye contact as well as new textures, sights, sounds and smells. Even though you may feel very tired at the end of the day, do remember the benefits of bath time and try to have one every day.