5 Easy Bedtime Routine Tips for Toddlers
Hey Mums! Getting our little ones to sleep can be quite the challenge, right? Toddlers have so much energy and can make it difficult to calm them down and get them ready for bed. But don't worry, having a consistent bedtime routine can make a big difference in helping your toddler fall asleep faster and sleep better. In this article, I will be sharing with you my 5 easy bedtime routine tips for toddlers that have worked for us.
- Why a bedtime routine is important for toddlers?
- Tip #1: Start winding down before bedtime
- Tip #2: Setup a calming bedtime environment
- Tip #3: Establish a consistent bedtime routine
- Tip #4: Limit screen time before bedtime
- Tip #5: Read a bedtime story
Why is a bedtime routine important for toddlers?
A consistent bedtime routine can help your toddler feel more secure and relaxed, making it easier for them to fall asleep. It can also help regulate their sleep cycle, leading to better sleep quality and quantity and we all know how much easier the next day is with a well rested little one! Additionally, a bedtime routine can be a special bonding time between you and your toddler, helping them feel loved and cared for.
Tip #1: Start winding down before bedtime
Start winding down at least 30 minutes before bedtime. I think this is my favourite tip as it prompts the brain that time to sleep. I've found that turning off all screens including the ipad or TV, turning off some of the house lights, and doing some calming activities like reading a book or taking a warm bath. Try to avoid any stimulating activities, playing video games or running around are a big no no because it will make it harder for your toddler to settle down.
Tip #2: Setup a calming bedtime environment
Setting up a calming bedtime environment is great for helping your toddler relax and prepare for sleep. You can do things like making sure the bedroom is cool, quiet, and dark. You can even use a white noise machine to block out any external noises and soothe your little one. We use blackout curtains to keep the room dark, especially during summer when the sun sets later, this can also help in the mornings to prevent them waking when the sun rises at 5am!
Tip #3: Establish a consistent bedtime routine
Establishing a consistent bedtime routine can help your toddler know what to expect and feel more secure. This routine should include activities such as brushing teeth, putting on comfortable clothing like our Sun Seeker Cotton Sets (super comfy loungewear) and reading a story. Try to stick to the same routine every night, even on weekends or during holidays.
Tip #4: Limit screen time before bedtime
The blue light emitted from screens can interfere with your toddler's sleep by suppressing the production of melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate sleep. Avoid screens at least 30 minutes before bedtime, and consider using a blue light filter on any devices that your toddler uses during the day.
Tip #5: Read a bedtime story
Reading a bedtime story is a great way to calm your toddler down and help them feel relaxed. Choose a story that is age-appropriate and not too stimulating. You can also make it a special bonding time by asking your toddler questions about the story and encouraging them to ask questions as well.
By following these 5 easy bedtime routine tips for toddlers, you can help your little ones fall asleep faster and sleep better. Remember to start winding down before bedtime, create a calming bedtime environment, establish a consistent bedtime routine, limit screen time before bedtime, and read a bedtime story. With a consistent routine, your toddler will feel more secure and relaxed, leading to better sleep quality and quantity.
If your little one struggles with falling asleep or staying asleep, be patient (this can be very hard), continue to follow the routine and remember you're doing a great job as a parent! It may take some time for your toddler to adjust, but with consistency, they will eventually learn to associate the routine with sleep and feel more comfortable and relaxed.
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If your toddler is resisting bedtime, try to stick to the routine and be patient (this can be the hardest part of parenting I know!). Offer reassurance and try to find out if there is anything specific that is making your toddler anxious or scared. You can also try adjusting the routine, such as changing the order of activities or adding a new calming activity.
In an ideal world their bedtime routine should be around 30 minutes to an hour. This gives your toddler enough time to wind down and prepare for sleep without becoming too tired or bored.
Especially when they are younger this can happen, try to stick to the routine as much as possible. Offer reassurance and avoid stimulating activities such as playing with toys or turning on the TV. Encourage your toddler to go back to sleep by reading a story or singing a lullaby, sometimes even laying and cuddling for a few minutes can be enough and a really quick way to get them back to sleep.
If your toddler is afraid of the dark, a nightlight can provide a sense of security and comfort. However, make sure the nightlight is not too bright or stimulating, as this can interfere with sleep.
A light snack before bed can be fine and of course you have to use your own judgement depending on how they have eaten during the day, but avoid anything too heavy or sugary, which can interfere with sleep. Opt for healthy snacks such as fruit or yogurt, and avoid anything that contains caffeine or artificial colours and flavours.
Remember, a consistent bedtime routine can make a big difference in helping your toddler fall asleep faster and sleep better. By following these easy tips, you can help your little ones get the restful sleep they need for a healthy and happy life.