My kids love sleep. They come by it honestly. This family is crazy about their sleep. From day one we decided that our kids would have later bedtimes so that they would sleep in later in the mornings, especially on the weekends. When our kids start the day before 8AM you feel it in their attitudes the rest of the day.
Even though they love sleep, they love playing just as much, especially my two year old. I remember when he used to be really easy to put to bed, and even asked to go to sleep! Now, bed time can be accompanied by a lot of tears. To a two year old it seems as if the world is ending when it’s time to stop playing for the night. Therefore getting him into bed could be a chore.
To make the transition to bed time smoother we put into place some practical things and it made a huge difference.
Here is how to make bed time go smoother in your home.
Prepare them. A lot of tantrums can be avoided by preparing your toddler that bedtime is coming. No one likes to be interrupted in the middle of something, so prepare your toddler that bedtime is coming by giving them a warning. About a half hour before it’s time to stop playing I let Jase know that we will be getting ready for bed soon. He usually responds with, “I play, mommy?” Because he isn’t ready to stop yet, to which I let him know he has a little bit of time left.
Bedtime Routine. After you’ve prepared them, it’s time to start getting them ready for bed. A bedtime routine is a huge part of this process. Everyone’s routine looks differently, there isn’t a wrong way or right way to establish a bedtime routine. You just want to keep your goal in mind, to wind down your child and get them ready for bed. You don’t want to do anything to high energy because that could slow the process down.
We usually start the routine with a bath. This doesn’t happen every night, but it’s the first thing we do when it’s time for bed. Next the kids curl up on the couch for a short show and their snack. They snuggle up with their blanket and stuffed animal which is a great way to relax before bed. Once the show is over we read a story together as a family. Currently, our story time takes place on the Kids Bible App which Jase LOVES. Then we get teeth brushed, pray as a family, and get the kids tucked into bed. All of this process serves to help wind down the kids for bed transitioning them from playing to relaxing.
Set them up for a good night sleep. No one likes to be too hot or too cold when they sleep, so make sure your kids are comfortable! Do what you need to make sure that they get sleep peacefully. We have room darkening curtains on both the kid’s rooms. This serves to keep the light out as well as keep their rooms cooler. The sun happens to shine right into their rooms during nap time which makes it really bright and really hot, I don’t know what we would do without the room darkening curtains.
We also have sound machines to help keep noise out and give them something soothing to them. This is especially helpful for Elyse when she takes her morning nap since Jase still hasn’t gotten the hang of being quiet while she’s napping. Sound machines help me not go crazy saying “keep your voice down” a hundred times day.
Be sure to dress your little one comfortably for the night. If they get too hot or too cold, they aren’t going to sleep well. Make sure you have jammies appropriate for the weather. Does your little one have any special stuffed animals or blankets? Jase has to sleep with his puppy, Mickey, and Mickey blanket. Sometimes we even allow a few books in bed to help him rest. You pick and choose your battles, right?
Bedtime doesn’t have to be stressful and you don’t have to wake up exhausted. It’s amazing what a few simple things can do to make a huge difference in your little one’s sleep.
What makes bedtime go smoother in your home? Any tips you have that I might have missed?