I used to loathe the bedtime routine (er, battle) with my toddler. Some nights I still do. All of a sudden, at 7 or 7:30 it’s like they have a to-do that rivals mine. Seriously, Liv – what is wrong with the cup of water you have? oh it’s not the right polka-dotted one? Oh you want me to go all the way downstairs and clean the right one that’s in the dirty dishwasher? Oy…
And bedtime back when Gray was teeny (before sleep trained) and I would have to nurse him to sleep? Omg, I am sweating just thinking about those stressful times when I would have to do it alone (not often, but enough that I still am suffering PTSD). I would legit turn on his nightlight, set up a “pic-nic” of Liv’s dinner for her on the floor of his room and beg her to be quiet while I breathed deeply to relax. Guys, why I didn’t just turn on the TV is beyond me. Maybe it’s because I have supermom issues. Or maybe I really was protecting her as much from the screen as possible.
Here’s our bedtime routine that we’ve been sticking to for about the past year. I believe in consistency and being firm; because of this, I fortunately am not a tired mama (most days) and can count on a few hours of hubs / blog / RingHero / wine / me time at the end of the day.
- After dinner we do some family playtime or lately Liv has been obsessed with watching PJ Masks, so we’ll allow for a quick 22 minute episode.
- Upstairs for bathroom break and change into jammies & nighttime diapers. Can someone tell me when they actually hold their pee all night?! Changing this in the morning so so gross.
- Gray gets milk in a sippy cup while we read stories. He demands these three: Goodnight Moon, Baby Beluga, The Magic Bunny
- Brush Teeth – our dentist said fluoride is OK. Anyone else’s toddler sometimes just straight up lick and eat the toothpaste?! I guess we can consider that dessert! Yum, mint!
- Tuck Gray in his sleepsack, sing “You are my sunshine” and lights out. He sleeps with 3 pacifiers, a lovey and a stuffed animal. I’m convinced he needs none of these, my #toddlerdictator on the other hand disagrees. I lose.
- More stories in bed for Liv – she gets to pick out two books, one for each of us to read. And like the toddler dictator she is, forces the other parent on her couch while the other reads the book of choice. “Nik, is Horton Hears a Who a Long Book? I want that one.” Oh for goodness sake.
- Sound machine on, lights out. We got her the Hatch Nightlight a while ago when she would wake up at the crack of dawn and scream for us. Seems to work most days.
I have no idea why (and I really hope I’m not jinxing myself here) but she doesn’t seem interested in getting out of her bed at night. She’ll call for us, sometimes scream if we don’t jump right away (#toddlerdictator), but I’ll take that any day of the week rather than coming downstairs mid Narco’s bloodbath scene or waking us up in the middle of the night.
I still haven’t figured out how to beat the procrastination or at least narrow it down – any suggestions? While this is a routine, it sometimes takes a very long time. Would love to improve that. At one point a co-worker suggested she draw out her routine, we taped it up on her closet, so she could be in charge and follow that. It worked for a few weeks…However, since we dropped her naps, she’s way more amenable at night.
Here’s my post on sleep training in case you need that too!
Let’s band together on sleep, mamas! Please share any trade secrets you have in the comments below or on Instagram!