[Guide] How to create a good cuddling ritual for your baby

Cuddling rituals are good for both you and your baby. A ritual gives you a set rhythm that you can work together on, making bedtime easier and more enjoyable for both of you.  

Here we'll go through what a cuddling ritual is, how to create them, why they're good, and of course, a good example of a cuddling

What is a cuddling ritual?

A cuddling ritual is when you have a series of repetitions and routines you do so that your child knows what's going to happen when they go to sleep. This helps your child understand that they will be going to bed soon and makes them feel more relaxed.

Children like these routines and repetitions because they are aware of what is about to happen. Setting a bedtime ritual and following it every day can be a very good idea because the most common sleep problem in children under three years old is difficulty falling asleep.

It's only when your child is around three to four months old that you should consider a cuddling ritual. The reason for this is that when your baby is a newborn, they sleep a lot on their own. Therefore, at this stage, you don't need a nursing ritual to get your baby to sleep.

How to create a good cuddling ritual?

What is the best way to put your baby to sleep? As a parent, this is a question that can be difficult to answer because your baby doesn't sleep much.

A good cuddling ritual doesn't have to be elaborate and long. The most important thing is that you do the same thing every day, and
that in the process you do things that reduce energy levels and don't do things that get your child excited (like playing, for example).

The purpose of the cuddling ritual is to include activities that are relaxing for your child and that help your child calm down after a long day. It is also important to mention that it doesn't matter if mum and dad have different cuddling rituals.

A cuddling ritual can look very different. That's why we've put together a list of ideas for cuddling rituals:

  • Pacifier
  • Breast and bottle
  • Brushing teeth
  • Cosy and relaxing on the sofa
  • Say goodnight to everyone in the family
  • Sing a lullaby
  • Reading a bedtime story
  • Sleeping teddy bear
  • Swaddle and rock your baby
  • Bath time
  • Touching the eyes
  • Massage

Read also: Tigerspring: follow your baby's development

Example of a cuddling ritual

There are many different ways to organise your baby's cuddling routine. Here are our suggestions for a good and simple cuddling ritual. Remember that every baby is different, so you know best what works for you.

  •  Switch off the television, radio and other screens
  • If possible, dim the lights
  • Change nappies and nightwear
  • Brush your teeth
  • Say goodnight to everyone in the family
  • Read a bedtime story and/or sing a lullaby

It's normal that over time, and as your child gets older, their bedtime routine changes, so it's a good idea to change your bedtime routine.

For example, over time, and around 6 months of age, you can start trying to let your child fall asleep alone in their room. Before this, however, the cuddling ritual should still be carried out as normal. In addition, the older your child gets (from 1-2 years), the more they will want to have a say in what the bedtime routine looks like and argue why it should be different. Here, it's just as important that you are determined about what the
bedtime routine should look like every night.

If you're struggling to get your child to sleep, it's
important to consider removing screens close to bedtime. This is because the light from screens makes them wakeful. You can therefore consider not using screens for a while before the cuddling ritual and during the cuddling ritual.

 Why do you need a good cuddling routine?

Cuddling rituals are important because children like routine and repetition. This predictability is something that also makes your child feel more secure.

As your child gets older, they become more aware of the cuddling ritual. That's why it's important from the start to create a cuddling ritual that you want to do many times again, because it can become important for your child that you do the same thing every day.

For many children, going to bed can be annoying. It seems boring to them, because now all the fun they have done that day has to stop. That's why you can use the bedtime ritual to make getting ready for bed a pleasure. This is because even at 3 months old, they quickly learn to understand that the different activities mean that they will be going to sleep soon.

In addition, you can also include activities such as singing and bedtime stories, because these are things that create a sense of closeness between you and your child.


Frequently asked questions

What are cuddling rituals?

A cuddling ritual is when you do the same thing with your child every day in preparation for bedtime. This gives your child a sense of security and calm.

When should baby have a cuddling routine?

From around 3 months old.

How do I put my baby to sleep?

By including calm things in the cuddling ritual, such as a bedtime story, to soothe your baby.