8 Tips To Get Your Baby/Toddler Into A Bedtime Routine
I wish I could say i was lucky enough to have babies that slept through the night with no training. My son would not sleep almost throughout the night for the first 8 month. I would wake up for him to just play and stay on my breasts for comfort, he wasn’t even hungry. When he became 8 months I had enough and started a bedtime routine, that was when it was time to evict him from our bedroom, and we did the same with our daughter. I have taken some steps to start a easy bedtime routine, that we still use till now, my son is 4 and my daughter is 2.
Bedtime routines are essential for your baby/toddler's sleeping habits. Your child will wake up in a better mood every morning if they sleep the right amount of hours that they need. And not to forget how much time us mamas can have in our hand, if our baby/toddler had a bedtime routine. Imagine putting your child to bed every day between 7 or 8 pm and they sleep the whole night. Life would be great isn’t it? You can totally do it with these tips.
1) Pick a time for your Bedtime Routine
Pick a time that works well for your family to start your bedtime routines. Depending on the time you want your child to be in bed sleeping, you have to give them time to start winding down before starting. For me i like my kids to be tucked in bed by 7 pm every night, so we start winding down from 6 and start our bedtime routine around 6:15 pm every night, with the exception of when we have an event that finishes late. So pick a time for your bedtime routine and stick to it every night.
2) Give them a warning 10 minutes before that bedtime will start
If he’s/she is a toddler give a warning before you start the bedtime routine, especially at the beginning of establishing a bedtime routine, it is a good idea to give them a warning 10 minutes before bedtime so nothing comes by surprised. This will help a lot if you have a toddler that resists bedtime.
3) Start your routine with a lovely warm bath.
For me this is a queue for my kids, that it's bedtime. They both absolutely love bath time, as it relaxes them and prepares them for bed. I'm sure you as the parent knows how amazing it is to have a bath just before bedtime and how relaxing it can be. So yes kids love that and it actually helps them to fall asleep much faster sometimes. Bath time is when you will start to lower energy levels, don’t put to many bath toys and speak calmly. I don’t let my kids staying long in the bath as they can actually start getting more awake than sleepy. Now I know some babies/toddlers tend to get a lot of energy when they bath at night if that’s your child, than you can just wipe her/he down and give them their bath in the morning.
4) Allow your child to pick his/her pyjamas
For toddlers, let them pick their Pyjamas to make your life a little easier, I sometimes let them pick their PJS because my toddlers are strong willed. Make sure is it comfortable and if they go to the toilet at night it is easy to take off.
5) If your baby/toddler drinks milk, give them before bed
I know some toddlers love to still have their milk before bed. My daughter still loves her warm milk before bed, it works for us fine as I know if she doesn’t drink it she might wake up hungry in the middle of the night. Do what works for your family, don’t forget to brush their teeth.
6) Read a bedtime story
For your child/ren to enjoy bedtime a bit more, allow them to pick which book they want you to read to them. This will soon become one of their favourite times when it comes to your bedtime routine, they will actually start looking forward to it. I allow my kids to pick a book each, i then read it for them. I also try sometimes to ask questions from the story just to test their attentiveness and know what the book is about. Now one other thing that is a must in our household is reading my kids little toddler bible. They can go without the story book but they can never go to bed without reading their Bible, especially my son. He has been sleeping with that bible since he was 1 and refuses to go to bed without it now.
7) Prayers before bed
In our household it is a must that we pray with our kids before they sleep, it is part of their bedtime routine. They are so use to it, that if i say no prayer as a joke they tell me no mummy and they start saying amen mummy. So we have instilled that in them.
8) Give a time for your bedtime routine to end
Make sure you end the bedtime routine if not you can go on for a while, as kids just love to hang around before bed. End it the same way every night and roughly at the same time. For me my kids know after prayers mummy kisses them good night. They get in bed and i turn off the light and leave the room.
I have been doing this routine since my kids where 8 months and they sleep from 7 pm to 7 am. They wake up happy and full of energy in the morning. It just makes my mornings much easier when they are in a good mood. This bedtime routine works well for us and i absolutely love it, because it also gives me some ME time after 7 pm. What mama doesn’t want some alone time with your partner also.