Parents know there is no magic wand for a magical night’s rest, yet building consistent strategies for a nighttime bedroom routine that your toddler can count on provide a good place to start. Having actual tools to assist the process can make the entire process a lot smoother. Below, we have amassed a list from parents around the country to assist with getting kiddos into a positive, sleepy space for nighttime.
While you may not choose to utilize each of the "accessories" below, establishing a standard for how each night’s bedtime routine will go and sticking to it is part of the process.
Brushing: Getting a child to brush his or her teeth makes us want to grind our own, but the Baby Shark Toothbrush by BriteBrush makes brushing a breeze by turning it into a game that can be played over and over again, resulting in pearly smiles and healthy gums. It will change your bedtime routine’s start for the better and make it fun for your little one.
Bubbles: An aromatherapy bath is a very soothing way to prepare kids for bed. Colorful bath bombs, like these from Sky Organic or lavender-scented bubbles add an element of surprise, and if energy needs to be burned off, Honeysticks Beeswax Bath Tub Crayons will allow your mini-Picasso to get their artistry on while easily wiping off.
Books: Nothing is better than reading a book with a good storyline to your kiddo before bed. We actually recommend (three!) books a night. The first book is one that your child can pick out on their own, the second is one you select together and the third is your own old trusty tale that always gets them to snores. Something that has the right tenor without too much excitement so they can nestle in and drift off. Another idea is to have high, medium and low energy books in that order.
Of course, we highly recommend our book, My Ready for Bed Routine – it teaches your toddler their nightly bedtime steps to get ready for bed.
Music: Soft classical or spa-like music is a delightful way to create calming energy and remind your little one that bedtime is nigh. If you turn the music on at PJ time right after the bath, it sets a definite mood. We like this cute owl speaker that plays directly from your iPhone.
Prayer & Presence: Whether you are uber religious, or more of a spiritual type, finding a moment for reflection in your nighttime routine with your little one allows you both to connect to the world and universe at large, while noting the people, experiences and memories for which you are grateful. It also provides a safe space to touch on larger topics that may require coming back to time and time again without a direct conversation with your toddler, which could make them overwhelmed.
Bears, blankets or stuffed animals of any kind are bedtime’s best friend. If your child has a soft something to snuggle, that is really the key, here. A child’s special toy is an immediate comfort at night. Often times, having the animal or object come to life (at bedtime only, of course) to speak softly with your child during bedtime is a great way to talk through any fears and anxieties without them feeling they are talking directly to mom or dad. You will be amazed how much they open up. We love these monkey blankets as they serve a dual purpose of cute and cozy.
Clock: Go by the clock. Establishing the exact time for bed is key to creating a consistent routine that everyone can count on. What’s more, this Eco Glow clock keeps kids in bed with a nifty little light that alerts them when it is time to get up and out. It doubles as a nightlight, so you can erase the need for number nine.
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