Toddlers can be very fussy when it comes to bedtime as they usually sleep most of the day and wake up at odd hours of the night. This can be very stressful for parents as they will be unable to get enough sleep which may greatly interfere with the productivity and concentration, thus the need for an effective toddler bedtime routine.
The only way to deal with this issue is by establishing a regular sleeping pattern for your toddler. This may seem like an impossible task but we are going to guide you through an effective bedtime routine for your toddler that will work best for you and have long-term positive results.
The basics for a good bedtime routine
The most important thing to remember when it comes to establishing a bedtime routine is that you have to engage in the same activities every night in the same pattern. This helps the toddler associate certain activities with sleep and help him or her feel more relaxed and thus be able to fall asleep much faster.
Ensure that you try to maintain the same routine even when you have traveled away from home as this will help the toddler relax in this unfamiliar environment and thus be able to sleep much faster.
It is important to ensure that you spend some time in the toddler’s room as part of the bedtime routine as this will help them associate it with a fun place to be and make them even more comfortable in the room.
Leave the toddler’s room after kissing him or her goodnight and tucking the toddler to sleep- do not linger. If your toddler starts to fuss you should just promise to be back in a few minutes so as to keep him or her reassured and thus make it easier to fall asleep.
Read more: 7 Tips on How to Sleep Deeper
What kind of activities should you include in your toddler’s bedtime routine?
The activities you choose for the bedtime routine should aim at making your toddler calm down rather than getting him or her excited.
The following are suggestions for toddler pre-bedtime activities:
Brush your toddler’s teeth
This activity is both soothing and good hygiene practice for your toddler. It is important to teach toddlers to brush their teeth before going to bed as this will help them maintain good dental hygiene even when they get older.
This bedtime activity is great as it gets the toddler to wind down and it is also a common activity associated with bedtime.
Give him or her a bath
This is another fun and relaxing activity to do for your toddler’s bedtime routine. Giving your toddler a warm bath before putting him or her to bed will help to relax them and this will also make them feel sleepy and prevent them from fussing too much when you put them to bed.
This, however, will not be the best activity for a toddler who gets excited by taking baths or one who does not like being given baths. You should instead reserve this particular activity for morning hours when he or she wakes up.
Play a calm game with your toddler
You can choose to include a quiet game as part of your bedtime routine where you may play card games or simple puzzle games with your toddlers if they are a bit older or you could play peek-a-boo with a much younger toddler.
You should opt for simple games such as counting numbers or reciting the alphabet as this will not stimulate your toddler and instead make him or her to feel relaxed and even lull them to sleep.
Get your toddler dressed for bed
Having a different outfit for bed can help your toddler feel much calmer and sleep early than letting him or her sleep in clothes they had on during the day. You can dress them in exciting pajamas that will make them feel happy and thus get them excited for bedtime.
Allowing your toddler to choose between two different pajama outfits will be great at teaching them how to be independent and be able to make decisions even when they grow up.
Read your toddler a bedtime story
A bedtime story is another activity that your toddler will enjoy. You should pick an age-appropriate story and then read your toddler the story while cuddling with him or her in bed as this will help to strengthen your bond as well as allow them to feel safe enough to fall asleep faster.
You can also have a couple of story books and then allow your toddler to choose the book that you should read each night.
Singing a soothing lullaby to your toddler can come in very handy when getting him or her to fall asleep faster. A toddler’s favorite sound is that of its parents and singing to them may help them to drift off when they are feeling sleepy.
This is a great bedtime routine as you don’t even have to be physically around to sing the toddler to sleep; you can record tunes and set them to play when the toddler is in bed getting ready to sleep.
Talking to your toddler
It is very important to have a chat with your toddlers, whether or not they are old enough to talk back to you. You can make it a routine to always talk to them about how both yours and the toddler’s day has been.
It is good to encourage your toddler to tell you about his or her day if he or she is old enough to talk as this will foster better communication between the two of you as well as give you information about the child. It is also very soothing to the toddler to listen to your voice and this will help him or her to fall asleep easily.
From the information we have given you, you can now easily establish an effective toddler bedtime routine. A predictable and appropriate routine for bed is important in enabling the toddler to get sufficient quality sleep.
Sufficient quality sleep is as important for toddlers as it is for adults and it will be up to you as the parent or guardian to ensure that the child gets the right amount of sleep to enable the toddler to have a more productive and energetic day.
When you are able to participate in the same pattern of activities on a daily basis, your toddler will learn to associate these activities with falling asleep and thus take less time drifting off to sleep after engaging in these bedtime rituals.
Start practicing your toddler’s bedtime routine now and enjoy a more peaceful night with no interruptions from him/her.