If you set up a strong bedtime routine early on, you and your child are far more likely to sleep for longer periods at night!
We struggled with this a lot in the early days of parenthood. Seriously, it was rough. We were getting up for hours in the middle of the night because he ‘wanted to play’. First time parent rookie mistake (Don’t laugh). Read more about how we nipped that in the bud here.
As I mention in my other post about sleep habits, your daytime routine is nearly as important as the bedtime routine. When Leopold was smaller, his schedule was all over the place and his sleep suffered for it. Once we tightened that up, we saw results almost instantly. I’m not saying you have to be mega rigid with sleep times and bedtime habits because that can get to be stressful and a little annoying.
*I received a ‘Baby Bedtime Box’ in exchange for my honest review, and as always all opinions are my own! Read my full disclosure here.*
Sometimes I let Leopold go to bed a bit later than his regular time. Sometimes he goes to bed a tad earlier. We don’t do bath time every night either. If he has been extra messy that day we will have a bath, or if we have some time to kill before bedtime. Aside for that we usually do bath time about twice a week. I do wipe him down with a wash cloth on the ‘no bath’ nights so don’t worry…he isn’t going to end up like Pigpen from Charlie Brown!
Here is how our typical night plays out:
After dinner we head upstairs to sit on the potty for a minute or two. Or ten. We are still working on things in the PT department (and you can read about that adventure here).
Usually while he is sitting on the potty I will brush his teeth, comb his hair, and wash his face, hands, neck, feet, armpits, and then his booty when we are done on the potty. That’s on nights we don’t take baths.
Once we are done in the bathroom we will tell daddy goodnight and then head on over to his room. I’ve usually laid out his pajamas while he was on the potty so we put those on along with his ‘night time diaper’.
Dressing toddlers should be an Olympic event. Seriously.
Any energy I might have left after a long day of tot wrangling is used up by trying to get his pajamas on him. Most of the time he only wears a t-shirt, too. He’s a quick little guy!
Next we cozy up in our glider (that he has now peed on a handful of times…once more and I SWEAR it’s going into the guest room. After I clean it thoroughly of course) and some nights he will breastfeed briefly.
I’m pretty much ready to be done breastfeeding (he is 22 months) but I’m not really stopping him yet. We will go a couple days without it and then he will nurse 3 times in one day. I’m practicing a ‘don’t offer, don’t refuse’ method…however sometimes I do offer him an alternative before I give up the goods.
If we do nurse, I usually brush his teeth after that but not always.
Then we read three books. Since he was probably 10 months old (maybe younger) I’ve been very specific when I say we will read three books. I’m hoping that way he will know when he is older that I’m not going to be bargained with on this topic. I do let him pick out the three and he seems to enjoy that privilege!
Then I ask for a kiss and lay him in his crib. Leopold sleeps with a pacifier still, but I plan on breaking that habit when we get back from our trip in September. He has a few stuffed animals he likes to keep in his bed, including his soothing vibrations elephant he has slept with since he was a baby. I let him use a pillow, it’s a flat one from IKEA and it’s totally great.
So how do you keep bedtime exciting without changing up routine too much?
If your child is starting to dread bedtime and becoming more difficult when they hear you say ‘time for bed!’ you might want to check out the Baby Bedtime Box!
The Baby Bedtime Box is a subscription box full of items that are sure to make bedtime easier, more relaxing, and fun. The creator of the box collected a wonderful assortment of things ranging from name brand goodies to mom boss made treats.
Here is a peek into the box we were given to review. Leopold had such a good time opening the box and pulling everything out!
There are items for bath time included, like these squirt toys, wash cloths, and soaps. My son decided to be a super weird toddler and carry the lavender soap around for an hour or so, licking it every now and then. Maybe I’m not feeding him the right stuff…good thing it’s organic!
We love a good book and this one is such a sweet story about bedtime hugs! We have read it every night since we got this box! There is a dreamcatcher included too which I thought was a unique touch! It’s great for older kids and there is even a card included talking about the history of the dreamcatcher and what they are supposed to be used for.
I think one of my favorite things included in the box was this lavender lotion bar! Leopold loved putting it on himself, as you can see! It smells HEAVENLY too. Nothing beats a delicious smelling baby!
I’m also going to quickly mention our new night light. This was NOT sponsored NOR was it free. Leopold’s ‘NiNi’ (my mother in law) purchased this for us as an early birthday gift after I mentioned that I think he is becoming afraid of the dark.
Seriously you guys they DID NOT PAY ME. I just need to tell you how awesome this thing is.
It connects to it’s own app on your phone via Bluetooth and you can control and adjust it from the app.
You can program all of the features like the color, brightness, and timing of the light, the sounds, and the on/off functions. It has a touch sensitive ring on the top of the light that you can tap to shuffle through the different settings you have programmed.
The light can be almost ANY color which I find to be ridiculously awesome. There are options listed and even a color wheel so you can get that perfect hue.
The sound machine comes with a ton of options and goes from quiet as a mouse to super loud, if that is what tickles your fancy. There are function buttons on the bottom of the light in case you don’t have your phone on you at the time.
If Leopold were still nursing at night this would be perfect. I could turn on the light before I even got in the room! It also has an ‘okay to wake’ setting that will turn green when it’s okay for them to get out of bed. This night light is pretty much all of the electronics I’ve ever wanted for Leopold’s room. All tucked into one pretty little package.
On their site they even have decorative sleeves so you can personalize the light even more!
Seriously I know that sounded like a sales pitch. That’s just how I sound when I’m really excited about something. You can find the Hatch Baby Rest here! (*Affiliate link) Find the covers >here< (also affiliate link)
If you order a Baby Bedtime Box between August 1st and 31st, you will get the same box as us! Trust me, you don’t want to miss these goodies!!!
>>Click HERE to order your Baby Bedtime Box!!(Affiliate)<<
What is your favorite part of the bedtime routine? Do you and your child do anything special before bed that I didn’t list here? Tell me about it in the comments!