I have been compensated by JOHNSON’S® Baby for this post; however, I am sharing my own thoughts. All opinions are my own.
One thing that I have tried my hardest to stay consistent with since our toddler was born is a bedtime routine.
Our lives go so much smoother when she knows that bedtime is the same time each night and she knows what to expect leading up to bedtime.
It isn’t easy to find out what works for your child at bedtime, but after a lot of patience and consistency I think that we have finally have it down.
Toddler Bedtime Routine
Send Them Outside
First off, if the weather is nice enough I almost always send my toddler outside to play in the evening while I am cooking dinner.
We have a window in our kitchen that overlooks the backyard so that I can watch her while I am cooking. This keeps her out of my hair while I am cooking and it also helps wear her out.
I can always tell a huge difference in bedtime struggles if she hasn’t been able to play outside that day.
I also work from home so a lot of the time I will take my laptop outside and work while she is burning off some energy.
We don’t always have dinner at a specific time each night, but I try to make it as consistent as possible in other ways. We almost always eat dinner at the table as a family and no one gets up until we are finished.
Our daughter also knows that what is served for dinner is all that is being served. I would never make her eat something that she truly didn’t like, but I also don’t fall for the “I don’t like it” excuse when she’d rather have chicken nuggets.
We have always served her what we are eating for dinner and honestly, it has worked out really well for us. She is an extremely adventurous eater and very rarely gives us a hard time about eating.
Bathtime is really one of the crucial components of getting a toddler to sleep easier because it calms them down. Bedtime is much harder for us if we skip bathtime.
We let her play in the bath for a while and then get her out. We use the JOHNSON’S® Bedtime line of products for baths. The products are lavender scented and I use lavender to help me sleep so it only makes sense that I would use it on her too.
You can buy the bedtime line as a set at Walmart so that you have the bath soap, lotion, and baby shampoo to use all together!
I love it so much that I have done a store pickup order at Walmart just to stock up on this line of bath products before bedtime. (haha!)
After she gets out we brush her teeth and hair then I give her a little massage with the JOHNSON’S® BEDTIME® baby lotion. This is the step that she loves the most. Now that she is older she thinks that lotion makes her like mommy so she is always excited to help me rub it in.
Some nights we don’t end up having time (especially in the summer when she plays outside later than normal), but I really try to always read a book with her. If she is fighting bedtime this never fails to get her mind off of being upset and excited about something else.
She also knows that I only read one book and I try to stay consistent with that otherwise she would beg me to read another and another just so she didn’t have to go to bed.
We started doing this when she was a baby, but now we use it as a reward. She loves having a diffuser in her room.
We made it a rule that she can have the diffuser running in her room as long as she stays in bed because diffusers are for big kids. If she gets out of bed, we turn it off.
It is a win-win for us because she is excited to stay in bed and have a diffuser running and we get to diffuse an oil that promotes a good night sleep!
Out of all of this, I think my biggest tip is consistency. Stick to what you say and they will eventually stop fighting it. It was really hard at first and I swear she would get out of bed 100 times per night (she still does very occasionally!), but we tried our best to stick to it and it paid off.
A routine is going to look different in every home and different things are going to help different kids, but hopefully, this helps with a framework to get started on forming a toddler bedtime routine.
If you have any questions, suggestions, or anything to add let me know! I’d love to hear what your family’s routine is!
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