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How do I implement a nighttime bedtime routine for my toddler?

Every night when we try to put our toddler down to sleep, she cries and cries. How do we make bedtime a smoother process (or, better yet, less of a process)?

Re: Every night when we try to put our toddler down to sleep, she cries and cries. How do we make bedtime a smoother process (or, better yet, less of a process)?

The Bump Expert

A nighttime bedtime routine can lead to better-rested children and happier parents (we're pretty sure those two results are related). The idea is that for the 30 minutes before you want her to go to sleep, you follow the exact same rituals in the exact same order: washing up, brushing teeth, book, whatever makes the most sense for you.

There are two keys to implementing it: The first is to start by working around the time when your toddler usually falls asleep. If you don't care for it and want to change it, wait a few days, then adjust it gradually -- by increments of around 10 minutes. And the other is to give her notice that those 30 minutes of bedtime rituals are about to begin so she can get used to the idea: "We’re going to get ready for bed in 30 minutes," followed by "We’re going to get ready for bed in 20 minutes," and so on.

The Bump Editors

How do I implement a nighttime bedtime routine for my toddler?

And what if that doesn't work? Then what do we do? I've tried that.

GinaBeeley |

How do I implement a nighttime bedtime routine for my toddler?

I use Music and a story age relevant and it works for me.. 30 before bed time . make it musci time use nice & relaxing music. play with your toddler and I make baby & mommy cudde time. dont over activate the child of course.. good luck!;)0

nbelloblue |

How do I implement a nighttime bedtime routine for my toddler?

I was having the same issue with my 2 year old. We have a bed time routine and sometimes she would go to bed without a fight and other times she would cry for about an hour and give every excuse she could think of for getting up. So now we make sure that she has had a snack and drink shortly before her bedtime routine. To make sure she has a full belly. Also I realized that her late naps weren't working anymore. Used to be she would take a late afternoon nap and still be ready for her scheduled bed time but when she started fighting it I moved up her nap time and that really helped with bed time. Now our biggest issue is she doesnt always want a nap until late in the day.

Mommyofaredhead |