Toddler Bedtime Tip

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I’d like to share what works for my toddler (20 months old) at bedtime. After much trial and error, I’ve learned that a routine is simply the easiest way to transition into bedtime. I use the term “routine” loosely; I don’t always put my little one to bed at exactly the same time, but the process remains consistent.

 I look to her to know when the time is right. By this I don’t mean she runs the show, but it will only take longer if I try to put her down too early. Sometimes we have a busy day with less napping, this usually leads to an earlier bedtime. Other times we have a low key day with a good nap, that means a bit later to bed. Regardless of the time, I can tell when she starts to rub her eyes a lot that she’s pretty tired.

I let Dad get involved. When I know our little one is definitely tired, I will say “Come on, Daddy’s going to brush your teeth!” She loves to be in the bathroom, so this usually gets her interested in the process, plus I use those few minutes to pick up her room or make sure her favorite stuffed animal is in her bed.

I get her involved. Once her teeth are brushed, she gets to do the next 2 simple things, which she seems to really enjoy. We use a noise machine, so I say “Time to turn on your machine!” and she will run over and hit the button. Then (after giving us hugs & kisses) one of us will lift her up so she can reach her light switch to turn it off.

After that, I put her in bed and tell her I love her and will see her in the morning. Sometimes she will babble for a bit, but she’s usually asleep soon after this process.

I realize this may not work for everyone, but I spent months making bedtime harder on myself than it needed to be! When she was first sleeping in her own room I would hold her hand and wait for her to fall completely asleep (I know, crazy new mom). That worked for a while, but sometimes she would wake up as soon as I pulled my hand away, which meant I started all over again until she fell back to sleep.

How do you put your little one to bed?      

One thought on “Toddler Bedtime Tip

  1. Love this! You are absolutely right!! It’s all about routine, routine, routine!! I worked really hard on ours and bedtime is a breeze. Kids need routine. They need to know what is going to happen next. It seems silly and insignificant, pushing the button on the noise machine or letting them turn off the light, but those are huge to them!! Especially when they can do it themselves. Good work H&R for figuring out a routine and sticking with it! It will make life so much easier going forward! And don’t worry if you forget a step….she will remind you!! xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

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