Implementing a nightly regime for your toddler so bedtime is something they look forward to rather than dread and battle against may be easier than your think. When my two children were toddlers we had a sweet nightly ritual before bed-time. After dinner we’d start to wind down and take part in what I called “softer play.” We’d do activities like reading a favorite book together or listening to soothing lullaby music. I’d even dim the lights in the house down a notch to create less stimulation for their eyes. Small changes like these would aim them into the direction of becoming mellow and sleepy and subliminally signal that bed-time was nearing.
One of the most helpful activities was a nice warm bath before bed. I would let them soak and play in the tub for a half hour until their little fingers and toes were all wrinkled & puckered from the water. Then, after getting their nightly massage with natural oils and a dusting of corn starch, into their one-piece pj’s they’d go. I’d let them choose a favorite stuffed toy (or two) to take to bed with them. We’d say a children’s prayer and God Bless everyone in the family including the dog, cat, bird and fish. Lastly, I’d tuck them in and sing them their lullaby. As I was leaving their room they were already almost fast asleep in dreamland.
Some children prefer a small night light left on, it’s also a wise safety measure to leave a soft light on. We had small glow-in-the-dark stars on the ceiling, my kids often made a wish on one of them from their beds, I also left a soft nightlight on. The environment machines with soothing sounds of the ocean and wind chimes might prove helpful for some children too.
Keeping close to the same regime night after night is why I believe we rarely had difficulties with bed-time. When bed-time comes too fast it causes some children to battle, when bed-time comes in slow over a period of an hour or so it’s easier to accept it. Making bed-time a pleasant experience makes children not mind going to bed. This is not to say you’ll never have some times when they want a second story read, or they just want to stay up a little longer, but those times can be special memories too. The trick is to not let those times become too often and keep them “special” times. Making your own unique bed-time regime with your toddlers will be a very sweet memory to you someday when they’re all grown up.
If you have any little special ways you put your kids to bed please feel free to share them! Just click on “Leave A Comment” above!