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Quick Tips: Bedtime routine for your toddler

Quick Tips: Bedtime routine for your toddler

Building a better bedtime routine

A consistent bedtime routine helps your toddler understand that it’s time to wind down for the day, and prepares them for a restful night. Bedtime is an opportunity to spend quality time with your little one – but it can also be chaotic as kids want nothing else but to play, and tired parents become frustrated. You may have tried to introduce a routine of your own but are struggling to make it stick.

Here are 3 easy tips to help get your bedtime routine back on track, and (most importantly) a good night’s sleep for the whole family!

Tips to improving your toddler’s bedtime routine

1. Create a calm sleep environment

Their environment is key, especially when you’re trying to switch the mood from playtime to quiet time. Try keep their bedroom calm and soothing – it’s much easier for them to drift off that way.

  • If your little one is easily distracted by playful toys, take these out of the bedtime-battle equation and leave them outside of the bedroom. You can gently introduce this rule by explaining that their toy is to also going to sleep, and that they can see them again in the morning. Your child may also like to act out the motion of putting their toys to bed as well.
  • If they enjoy the company of a toy during the night, opt for a soft toy that specifically becomes their ‘night time teddy’ (or whatever their favourite toy is). It may stay in their bed and be the incentive to help them leave behind other toys. Just make sure this bedtime toy doesn’t make any playful animations or sounds!
  • Dim the lights or use a side lamp to signal that it’s time to wind down.
  • Ensure their room is dark, especially for when the days are longer and the sun is still up when they’re going to sleep. You could also use a night light or alarm clock to teach them day from night, and when they’re allowed to get up again.
  • A noise machine can create a gentle, soothing ambiance.

2.  Keep it fun!

Your bedtime routine doesn’t need to be just about completing tasks. Use this daily ritual to spend quality time with your little one, and make it fun for both of you. Some ideas include:

  • Run a soothing bath. If playful toys, soap and bubble bath equal playtime in your household, try keep this bath simple with warm water and a wash cloth.
  • Letting them choose their pjamas.
  • Using a toothbrush in their favourite colour.
  • Playing a special song before bedtime. Check out Rascal + Friends on Spotify. We’ve got a range of FREE playlists for music inspiration!
  • A quiet craft activity, like a colouring-in book or short learning activity. Download coluring-in sheets, maze activities and alphabet flashcards on our News + Resources hub.
  • A special story told by you or read from a storybook.
  • Each sharing a highlight or something special about their day. If your little one is in preschool/daycare, this is a nice way of catching up on their day.

3. Routine, routine, routine

The most important tip we can offer, is to keep it routine!

That means even after a long day or even when the kids are extra fussy, still try to follow the sequence of events in your routine. Of course, that’s easier said than done, and there will be times where you can’t go through all the motions. This won’t impact progress. Just know that with these steps will start to become a habit with consistency. Your little one may also start to take on some of the responsibility as they learn what to expect.

Remember, a bedtime routine doesn’t have to be a complicated series of events. It should include the range of motions that help you get the essentials done, and be an enjoyable experience for the whole family.

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