The first step to a successful bedtime routine is putting your toddler to bed at the right time.
As a rough guide between 6.30 and 7.30pm is a good time but may vary depending on family routines. Pay attention to your child’s tired signs because if your child goes to sleep ‘overtired’ it may affect the quality of their sleep.
Stick to Routine
If your toddler knows what to expect at bedtime they are less likely to resist.
Try to keep the routine as consistent as possible while allowing for some flexibility e.g. you may want to alternate bath time and dinner time depending on your toddler’s mood.
A warm bath is a good opportunity for your toddler to unwind and relax. Keeping your toddler occupied with bath toys and games will help to avoid making bath time into tantrum time.
Keeping your toddler calm and relaxed is important when preparing your toddler for sleep. Engage your child in calm quiet play before reading a story or singing a song.
Bedroom Warm and Safe
A toddler should feel their bedroom is a warm and safe place to sleep. Ensure the room temperature is comfortable.
If your child is afraid of the dark then you might provide a night light or let some light in from the hallway. Remember to keep the room conditions the same for the whole night i.e. leave the night light on all night.
Before finally saying goodnight make sure your child is warm and dry and has everything they need for sleep e.g. night light, sleep aid.
Keep this step of the routine short so your child understands that it is now time for sleep.