How To Design A Good Toddler Bedtime Routine
Author Bio: Ryan Howard runs SmartParentAdvice, a site that provides parenting advice for moms and dads. Ryan writes about all of the different ups and downs of parenting, provides solutions to common challenges, and reviews products that parents need to purchase for babies and toddlers.
The beginning of parenthood tends to go by in a blur. There is just so much going on, and you’re completely sleep deprived. It’s true that infants spend the majority of their time sleeping. But, that doesn’t mean that they sleep on anything resembling a regular schedule. Eventually, babies do start sleeping through the night and life starts to take on a regular rhythm.
Once they hit toddlerdom though, all bets are off. Some toddlers go to sleep easily, and others will fight bedtime with every fibre of their being.
Why Do You Need A Good Bedtime Routine Anyway?
A good bedtime routine lays the groundwork for a good, regular sleep schedule. A regular sleep schedule will help ensure that your toddler gets enough sleep. Believe me, the last thing you want is an overtired toddler on your hands. Overtired toddlers tend to be prone to meltdowns and tantrums, and are just not as much fun to be around.
Of course, sleep isn’t just important for toddlers. It’s also important for parents. You are doing yourself a big favor if you make sure to get a full night of rest every night. On the other hand, if it takes you several hours to put your toddler to bed every night, that’s going to cut into the time you have for chores, relaxation, or anything else you might want to do in the evening.
Consistency Is Key
If you want your toddler to go to sleep easily every night, consistency is key. If they are going to sleep at 7 pm one night and 10 pm the next, their body won’t be able to get into any kind of rhythm. If they are used to going to bed at the same time every night, they will naturally start to feel tired around that time. That, in turn, will make them more likely to cooperate when it’s time for bed.
Take A Bath Before Bed
Bathtime can be a great transition between the day and night. Whether your child likes taking a bath or not, the warm water can be relaxing. They key here is make sure to keep things low key after bath time. So, you might let your little one play with a toddler activity table before bath, but afterward they shouldn’t do anything so exciting.
A Book Or Two
Reading can be a great post-bath activity. It’s fairly passive for your toddler to sit and listen while you read a book out loud. If you really want to set the mood for sleeping, you might even put them in a sleep sack, and rock them in a glider while you read. That way, they will begin to get drowsy and you won’t have to risk waking them back up before putting them to bed.
After reading, it’s time to put them in their crib or bed and say goodnight. Then, try and make a quick exit. If they protest or call for you to come back, just let them know that you will check on them in 15 minutes. This gives them a little more time to start drifting off to sleep. When you do come back to check on your little one, keep it brief and avoid picking them up. If they are still resisting sleep and don’t want you to leave, just let them know that you will be back to check on them again in a little bit. Before too long, they will be out like a light, and you can do whatever you need to do before calling it a day as well.