Establish an early bedtime routine…
It’s late in the evening, your child has just had a bath, and you decide to watch a little bit of TV together. You might be thinking that your child will get tired eventually. Then you check the time, it’s getting late, and it’s a good time to get your baby into bed.
But as your getting your little one tucked into bed, they decide that it’s playtime and not bedtime. So what do you do? Stay up until 11, 12, or maybe even later than that until your child finally falls asleep on their own. Are you the one having these issues?
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This happened to me almost every night. The problem that I had found here was that I was not getting my daughter into bed early enough.
I thought that 7 pm was a little too early for her to go to bed, and that she wouldn’t even want to go to bed by 7 pm if I tried.
How did I fix this problem?
I started to establish a good bedtime routine for her. Before I explain how I did this, I’d like to make a point that every child is different.
If your child is going to bed at a later time with no issues, then that’s good for you. I’ve tried many methods from letting her cry it out to checking in on her every 5 minutes or so. Then I’d just let her stay up late til whenever she would pass out because I gave up on the fact that I just could not get her into bed.
Crying it out worked for a while, and she started to learn how to fall asleep on her own. But now that she is more aware of her surroundings, I noticed she was not wanting to go to sleep unless I held her or put her in my bed.
And I am going to be honest here, as your child grows, there are definitely going to be nights where they are having troubles with going to bed. Or if they wake up in the middle of the night and can’t fall back to sleep. The underlying causes can be from growth spurts, to brain developments, to teething.
But there is just no magical button to push to keep your toddler asleep all night long every night. Its something that you just have to get through, and endure. That’s my tough love for you there.
So the bottom line is, that it’s a lot of trial and error to see what works best for your child. Because there is no “one size fits all” method to this.
Start with a warm bath…
To set an early bedtime routine, first start out by giving your child a nice warm bath. A warm bath can really help calm and soothe your child before bedtime. Then put lotion on afterwards to calm him/her down with a massage at night.
Use a particular lotion that has a lavender or chamomile scent to it. I also like to include books into our routine before I put her to bed. We’ll sit in her room and she grabs whichever books from the shelf.
Next, you will want to give your little one a bedtime snack. Sometimes toddlers wake up in the middle of the night because they are hungry. Toast or crackers are usually a good bedtime snack to have.
When it is time for bed, I lay down with her and pretend that I am sleeping. I also make sure that the room is dark enough and quiet for her to know that it is bedtime.
Sometimes she will get up and move around the room to explore a little or to see what is outside our bedroom window. Then she might look back at me to see if I am awake.
But pretending to be asleep will let her think that it’s time for her to lay in bed too. Toddlers are independent little people and they like to do everything on their own.
So be patient, if your little one decides to crawl around the room or start looking into things. He or she will eventually want to crawl into bed with you too.
So here’s an example of our evening schedule:
5:30 pm dinner time
6:15 pm bath time and brush teeth
6:45 pm massage and books
7:00 pm snack time
7:15 pm bed time
Setting up an early bedtime routine has helped me immensely. After consistently doing this for a few weeks, she now knows when its time to go to bed. I’ll grab her favorite blankie and a binky for her, and she crawls into bed without crying or having a fit.
I’d also like to add that I use sleepy time essential oils with a diffuser and I have to say that it has worked well for us. Plus, the room smells really nice and it helps us both to relax.
If you’re a firm believer in essential oils, then check out this diffuser. We have this exact one and we absolutely love it! It lasts for about 8 hours and it’s very quiet. My daughter and I also love the pretty colors that it makes when you turn it on. I am sure your child will love it too.
Add these sleepy time essential oils into your diffuser, and you will never look back after this. I think it definitely helps calm my child when getting ready for bed.
It took us only a few nights to adjust to this schedule, but I bet you could get established with an early bedtime routine within a week. Now my toddler even knows when it’s bedtime. Sometimes, she will just crawl into bed without me asking her to do so.
Try not to think of having a bedtime routine as a chore. This is a special time for you and your child to bond together and time flies so fast. You will miss the snuggling days.
Don’t forget too, your child could be going through a sleep regression. There are so many stages of development for toddlers, so they’re mind and thoughts are everywhere.
Have some patience with your little one. It’s a lot to handle when you want to get your toddler into bed. But at the end of the day, it’s so rewarding to think of what you just accomplished with an early bedtime routine.
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