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Home » Obedience Issues, Toddler

A Toddler Bedtime Routine

Submitted by on Wednesday, 6 August 20083 Comments

I am sure many parents out there are searching for the perfect bedtime routine, so they can get the kids to bed and have a moment of serenity. I know we searched for one at first!

Time for bed!

Time for bed!

It took us awhile to come up with our bedtime routine, and now that we have one, we use it on a “routine basis” (pun intended)… Actually we use it every night and it works very nicely with great success. We use it with our almost 29 month old son, and he knows exactly what to expect with this routine, and it is a perfect signal to him that it is bedtime.

In preparation for our daughter’s birth, I started doing this routine with him, knowing that my wife wouldn’t always be available to put our son to bed, due to nursing duties with our daughter. Quite ironically (sorry, don’t want to quote Alanis Morissette here), since our daughter was born, our son wants my wife to do the routine with him more often. This is understandable, since he wants to have some special one-on-one time with her.

So the routine goes like this:

1. Time to take a bath and brush your teeth. The bath is sometimes left out if he is not very dirty. In that case we just brush his teeth. If giving him a bath, I brush his teeth while he is in the bath. See also my posting on tooth brushing.
2. Time to wash your face and hands. This step is only if we didn’t give him a bath.
3. Dry down and run under the bed covers! (this is his favourite part)
4. Put on bedtime gear/pyjamas/t-shirt, depending on how hot it is.
5. Close the blinds together (he sometimes wants to do this all by himself – that is okay, I let him).
6. Time to read a book… we generally read the same books to him each bedtime, or he chooses one out of about four typical bedtime books. I will write another posting on books we like.
7. Read the book one time.
8. Read the book a second time (before starting to read the book a second time, he always says “again? last time… then sleep.” … it was me who got him saying this, because I always said, “last time, then sleep” to him before starting to read the book a second time) – we don’t read “war and peace” or “the lord of the rings” to him or anything like that, so it is not a big deal to read the book a second time.
9. Turn off the bedside lamp (he turns it off by himself).
10. Sing him a bedtime song/lullaby. He usually falls asleep during the singing. I always sing the same lullaby, “Hush little baby,” my wife uses a different one.

That is it, our 10 step program to a good night’s rest! It may sound long, complicated and elaborate, but it actually goes by really quickly and flows very naturally.
So if you are in need of a bedtime routine, I welcome you to try adapting this one to your needs, or take the steps that might fit for you and create your own routine out of it. Appreciate any comments you have!
Wishing you many nights of uninterrupted sleep!

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