Every parent hunts and strives for the perfect bedtime routine for our little ones. We have been very lucky with Baby bear when it comes to bedtime, he has never battled us at bedtime but I honestly think it has been so easy for us because we have a set routine that we use.
Experts recommend that your child should go to bed between 7-7.30 pm upto the age of 5 then move their bedtime to 8-9 pm until your child is aged around 12 years old.
Since we moved into our home when Baby bear was 9 months we have followed the same routine. The only thing we have changed is his bed and bedtime. When baby bear was just over a year we changed his cot into a toddler bed which he handled the transition really well. As advised we put Baby bear to bed at 7 pm each night so we start the routine an hour earlier which is pretty much straight after dinner is finished.
So once dinner is finished we will sit on the sofa as a family and watch a film or Facetime with our family. I find this just helps Baby bear start to calm down ready for when we want to move upstairs to bed. Of course, he’s a toddler so he doesn’t sit still for the whole hour so when he starts to get too over-excited, jumping around we remind him he needs to calm down and we bring him back into calming downtime. I try to not raise my voice as it only seems to make the situation worse as it gets him more riled up.
Give your child countdown reminders. So I start our countdown at 20 minutes before bed when I give Baby bear his bedtime biscuit (Ill explain in a minute). We then continue to give reminders for 15 minutes, 10 minutes, 5 minutes and 2 minutes. If he starts to get upset at the countdown we have found setting a timer on Alexa helps him accept it.
Keep reminding your child of what is coming up next in the routine. We find doing this as gently as we can as he knows by now what happens but I find it helps with him resisting going to bed. I also find this helps keep bedtime running smoothly if I have to add something into the routine like bathtime (we bath Baby bear every 2-3 days) or medicine.
We give Baby bear a biscuit about 20 minutes before he goes to bed as he seems to fall asleep a lot better if he has a small snack just before bed. This is the newest thing we have added to our routine and it seems to be working for us.
While Baby bear is brushing his teeth I will set him Gro Clock up. Baby bear has a GroClock which I swear by now. It is a visual aid for your child at bedtime and again in the morning. We brought it more for morning times to help show Baby bear when it is an acceptable time to wake up. However, it does help us show him that it is bedtime, especially in the summer when it is still bright out.
Baby bear then puts his Pj’s on and picks the book he wants to read that night. We then turn the lights down, sit next to his bed and read him a story in a quiet voice.
We then lay him down, give him his comforter Ellie and turn on his sound machine. I know Baby bear is 3 but he really struggles to fall asleep without his Slumber Buddies sound machine and comfort blanket.
Before leaving the room make sure to kiss your child goodnight, give them a cuddle and make sure they are tucked in and warm. I also like to tell Baby bear something he did in the day that made me proud of him. It makes him smile and I love knowing he goes to sleep knowing I love him and he makes me proud.
I hope this helps you get into a good bedtime routine with your little ones, and let me know if there’s anything that works for your little ones that you would suggest.