What Is The Best Bedtime Routine For A Toddler?

‘Bed Time Routine With A 1.5 Year Old’

What works this week may not work next week… actually what works tonight may not even work for her tomorrow night. Routine? How do you make it work? regularly!

We aren’t strong routine users but have similar patterns each day, just not strict on hours in the day for certain things. We never have been strict with routines with her as we wanted her to be flexible and fit into where ever we were and that has worked pretty well so far.

It’s a fine line between fighting the battle and letting them decide when they are ‘ready’ for sleep. How far do you push it in getting them to go to bed? How far do you let them go with taking control over when they will go to bed without having to fight them to go to sleep?

Dinner, bath, teeth, books then bed. This is often the general order we do things of a night before bed. Sometimes we don’t get the bath or books in because she gets so tired and requests to go to bed while at the table after she has eaten dinner, so we clean her up with a washer and get her organised for bed.

Other nights she is up for ages after her bath, doing crazy dancing around the lounge room with energy like no other and not looking at all like going to bed anytime soon.

So sometimes she is running around one night and requesting to go to bed the next night. How do you sustain a regular routine with behavior like this?

Since she has begun to talk a lot more and communicate more it is much easier and also so much harder to try get her to go to bed. She can communicate a lot more being able to talk a fair bit for a 1.5 year old. When it comes to the nights she is requesting to go to bed this makes life a lot easier as we can work together to make a deal so she understands we are getting her organised for bed but the end result is still sleep. Aka we always try and communicate the order we will be doing things so she is prepared for what is to come. Eg.  1- wash your hands and face 2- nappy. We try to encourage her to respond/communicate and agree/disagree to the actions ahead. 1-nappy 2- bed.

Sometimes it takes me a while to get a blog done and I come back to it days or weeks later. This is the case in this blog and the perfect blog for that to have happened. Since starting this blog our ‘routine’ has changed multiple times trying to work with Miss A.

We have periods of success then periods where it seems like she will never go to bed. Not necessarily causing a drama or making a fuss, she is just not interested in going to sleep no matter the tricks we try to get her to bed.

Just two weeks ago it was as simple as dinner, bath, book and her music on and tuck her into bed.

This week it has been a little more tricky. Miss A has discovered she can just stand up reach over and turn the light on. She then calls out to us and starts off talking and gets more and more upset if we don’t go in.

When we put her down to bed I often think you beauty that was easy then 5-10 min later I hear “mummy, daddy, come come”. Then we go in and anything is possible. She is awake standing, light on, just looking at us.

The past two nights she has required a little more persistence in getting her off to sleep. Light on, music on, mummy or daddy sitting in the chair in her room, book in the bed for her to flick through until she is ready to lay down, with her pooh bear blanket and dummy. It is just a matter of knowing we are still there and being given the chance to drift off when she is ready. Thankfully this usually only takes maybe 15 min at the max. Miss A’s dad has been doing this part the past two nights sitting in the chair reading his book while she reads hers, soon enough she curls up and drifts off to sleep.

What is your ‘routine’ in getting your child/ren to bed of a night? What time do they go to bed? and how old are they? 

By Clare at Relaxed Parenting

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