BEGIN 6 Tips for a pain-free bedtime Routine | Corina's Corner

6 Tips for a pain-free bedtime Routine

10.27.2015


For a long, long time bedtime was complete torture at our house (for both parent and child). It involved things like kicking, screaming, door locking, hair pulling, and not sleeping.

Until recently. Everything changed when we figured out and implemented this magical, truly blessed and tested method. The ultimate bedtime routine. It is phenomenal. I feel like I have been let out of sleep-less toddler prison. I'm telling you. This has been life changing. It's all very simple things but when put together in the right order sleep occurs! And I love nothing more than a sleeping child.

I had read and heard that routines were important, but I wasn't sure what kind of routine we needed or what needed to be included. I didn't know what or how many things we needed in our routine to make it successful or if Reagan would buy into any of it. We had tried little routines here and there but they never stuck. We'd always forget to brush her teeth or 11 o'clock would roll around and I'd realize we hadn't read her a bedtime story in days. For months and months bedtime meant listing to Reagan pound on her door and scream and cry for hours. But after doing the following 6 steps Reagan stays in bed, falls fast asleep and we all end the day with smiles on our sleeping faces.

Here is the magical routine:

1. The first thing we do is put on jammies. This step is the hardest one and is usually met with resistance. Once it's completed though, it's smooth sailing from here until the zzzzzz's.

 

2. Next, we brush teeth. Reagan loves brushing her teeth. First, we brush her teeth for her and then we let her do it herself.

 

3. Then we read stories. Usually we read 3 short books of her choosing. Tonight it was Animal Alphabet, Big and Small, and The Grouchy Ladybug. 

 

4. Right after stories Reagan gets to choose which sippy cup she wants and then we get her some milk (but she doesn't get to drink it until after prayers...) P.S. I know some people say not to send your kid to bed with milk but she seriously downs her milk in about 37 seconds, so she's not actually sleeping with it at all. Plus, it's a major comfort for her so we say she gets to have it.

 

5. Then she gets in her bed. We pull up the covers ("blue blanket from Target," she says, followed by "quilt mommy made."), she gets a stuffed animal on both sides (usually Dumbo and bear) and then we say prayers ("Father...Reagan happy..." Her usual prayer). Reagan is super serious about saying prayers. If we even think about forgetting this step, she will incessantly remind us. Prayers are a really fun part of the routine though because it's interesting to hear what Reagan remembers from her day. I like hearing about her favorite part of the day.  


6. After prayers we give her kisses, turn on her fan, turn off her light and then close her door.  We didn't start using a fan until recently but I'm convinced that it has been a game changer. And we have closed her door at night for a long time. I think the floor plan of our house necessitates it. She can open it herself though so as far as middle of the night worries go, we don't have any. 

Voila. Sleeping baby! It isn't overwhelmingly long. The most time consuming part is reading stories, and that part is actually rather enjoyable. She knows what's coming next and by the end she is totally ready to sleep. Magic I tell you! Pure magic. 

Does your child have a bedtime routine? Is it different than ours? I'd love to hear about it!

2 comments:

  1. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/men/relationships/fatherhood/11896196/Five-reasons-why-dads-should-read-to-their-children-more.html
    I told Jordan about this. Interesting. Dad

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  2. Can't agree with this more! Books in bed or next to her bed has always been in ava's routine, as well as a primary song or two after lights are out. But that white noise we didn't start doing until she was closer to 2 with this little lamb thing that plays rain sound and that is a great help! we even turn that on while we read books

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