Our toddler is now 21 months.. Where does the time fly?? It seemed like just a little while ago, my husband and I were married. Then I was pregnant. And 9 months later, a beautiful baby boy changed my life forever.
One of the many struggles of parenthood is sleep training kids and figuring out a bedtime routine. This is harder for some parents than others because kids are different. Each child has his or her own temperament. Some kids are naturally more calm and easily adapt while others have a hard time processing their emotions. Some kids are way more energetic than others and literally require less sleep. Yeah, that’s right… Some kids don’t sleep as much as others. And that’s perfectly normal.
Like many new parents, my husband and I struggled with getting our little boy to fall asleep on his own. It took time, hard work, and research to figure it all out.
Once we got our boy to sleep through the night, we decided to stick with what worked. That meant doing the same things every night to “promote” sleep. What I mean is we would do the things that our little boy learned to associate with sleep. And we did them over and over again.
Here is his bedtime routine:
(We don’t nessecarily do it in this exact order every night. But the fact that we do try to do everything every night lets him know it’s bedtime. Consistency is key.)
1. We tell him its time for bed. We want to let him know that it’s time to settle down and get ready for bed.
2. We change his diaper. This became part of the routine because if we did not change his diaper before bed, he would wake up wet in the morning.
3. We dress him in his pajamas. We picked cute and comfy pajamas that he would like and sometimes I would even comment on how cute they are so he would love to put them on.
4. We read the Bible and pray together as a family. This is part of the routine because we try to do this every night and it’s usually right before bed. He associates this time with bedtime.
5. We put a night light that he likes in his room. We bought an LED night light for his room that was shaped like a star. Our boy loved it. He didn’t have to sleep in the dark. We bought one at the dollar store.
6. We warm up milk for him. Yes, we let him go to sleep with a bottle of milk. We know it’s not the best for his teeth because milk has sugar, but it’s what helps him fall asleep on his own.
7. We clean up his toys. This is part of the bedtime routine and part of my own nighttime routine to keep the house clean.
8. We make sure he has his blanket. It’s his comfort blanket and he needs it to fall asleep.
9. We walk with him to his room. He actually leads the way now because he knows it’s time for bed.
10. We kiss him goodnight. We make sure he gets some love before going to sleep. We want it to be a positive experience so he will love bedtime.
That’s all for now!