I don’t know about you, but now that my baby has turned into a toddler, bedtimes can be an all out war. There’s screaming and running, tiny bottoms running away from pajamas, and tons of independent protests from the tiny two year old. At least it was that way until we went back to implementing these three simple bedtime routines for toddlers. Once we did, our night times turned around and so can yours.
If your little one struggles with bedtime I am sure you have heard it all. I am sure everywhere you turn someone is trying to give you advice and, quite frankly, you might be tired of hearing it. I’m not here to judge you or tell you that you are doing it all wrong.
Instead I want to share three simple bedtime routines for toddlers that can transform bedtime nightmare. With a little time and practice, I think they could help you too!
3 Simple Bedtime Routines for Toddlers to End Bedtime Battles
Teeth Time | Every good bedtime routine starts with brushing your teeth. Okay, maybe it doesn’t start here… but if you are like our family… this is where things can get really hairy. Maybe you have a child that refuses to brush their teeth or maybe you have a child who is seems to do everything but start their bedtime. Setting a strict bedtime routine that start at teeth brushing can help signal for your toddler when it is time to settle down.
Before we head to the bathroom, every single night we do some pajama fun time on the bed. Sometimes this is silly singing, sometimes it is a few jumps for proprioceptive input, but sometimes its a little dance party. The part that matters is that every single night it is the same thing. Our toddler knows that once our pjs are on, it is time to start winding down. She knows she has 5 minutes of silly pajama time and then its off to the bathroom with her favorite toothbrush and toothpaste.
TOOTH TIP: If your toddler refuses brushing their teeth, you can offer a fun toothbruth with their favorite characters or colors. Our daughter loves Paw Patrol right now, so she is in love with her new Orajel™ PAW Patrol™ Anticavity Flouride Toothpaste and toothbrush.
Book Time | After we have gotten all clean and our smiles are practiced, we get in our family hugs. It’s important for our toddler to feel connected and independent before she heads off to her own room to be by herself. She goes to each room and kisses her bigger brothers and then cozies up for her favorite bedtime story. She likes to sneak in more than one but we want to keep things on as close to a routine as possible so she knows what to expect.
Right now, her newest favorite book is the Three Bees book we got from Scholastic in honor of the upcoming World Read Aloud Day on February 24th.
If you have a child that is extra squirmy, book time is the perfect time to apply lotions, massage creams or essential oils to help soothe and calm your little one. Tight squeezes and hugs are also a great way to calm a toddler right before bedtime.
Bed Time | Most toddlers know how to dawdle and draw things out at this stage of the evening. However, if you set a clear routine and schedule, bedtime can be less of a nightmare and more of an enjoyment for everyone. There are many things you can add to your routine during this last stage, but remember the routine and consistency is key each night. In our home, our toddler gets one song on her radio with us in the room, and one with us at the door before we leave. Before the song every single night, even though I think she knows the routine, I tell her… “Okay, love.. I am staying for one song. Then I will stand at your door. You are safe and you are loved.” I almost always am greeted with the sweetest “Okay, Mommy.”
My heart melts every single time.
Alright, now for truth time… will getting the right toothbrush and a new book make or break your bedtime… probably not. However, setting a good bedtime routine will! In addition, a routine with happy toothbrushing and a good book are healthy habits you want to start young with your toddler.
I am excited to be part of World Read Aloud Day on February 24th. Orajel™ and Scholastic have teamed together for a program called Read2Me Tonight. This program is aimed at getting parents to read aloud to their children nightly and add reading and brushing their teeth to their nightly routines.
The Read2Me Tonight site contains tons of resources to get parents excited, including a free Scholastic e-book called The Three Bees, the 100 Best Read-Aloud Books, and essential articles from the editors of Scholastic Parents.
The site also links to the Read2Me Tonight Challenge where parents take a photo or video of them reading out loud to their children as part of their bedtime routine “for a chance to win all 100 Best Read-Aloud Books and a PAW Patrol™ “Brushers Bundle” from Orajel™”. Parents can then share that entry via the site to social media, earning an extra chance to win and helping to spread the word!
I’m curious… What’s your bedtime routine look like with your toddler? Does it include reading?
This post was sponsored by Orajel™. The opinions and text are all mine.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of ORAJEL. The opinions and text are all mine.