Our Toddler’s Bedtime Routine

It really shocks me when I hear so many parents saying that they don’t read their children stories before bed, or any other time of day for that matter. I wouldn’t have it any other way, my little one loves books & I’m pretty sure that it has something to do with the fact we’ve read to him since, well, before he was born…

When I was pregnant with Theo, myself & the Mr would read to him every night when we went to bed, even though he was in my tummy, we were firm believers that he could hear us & responded well to our voices. Reading books out loud was just an easier way to talk to him, without being stumped with what to say.

Call it chance or coincidence, but the one book we would repeatedly read him, is & has been for a long while, one of his favorites. I like to think it’s because he learnt the rhythm of the words through us reading it to him & he picked up on it when he was out & about in the world.

Theo’s bedtime routine, has been & will remain the same for the forseeable future because it works so well, for him & for us.

He starts his bedtime routine at about 6.50pm / 7.00pm.

We take him upstairs, brush his teeth, wash his face, get him dressed into his pjs & read him 3 – 4 stories (depending on the length). Then he helps his Daddy (or me if he’s at work) switch off his light & see if his dinosaurs & stars have come out (glow in the dark stickers). He gives us both (or again, just me if the Mr’s in work) a cuddle & we ask him if he’s had a nice day & various other questions that only really need a yes or no answer & we give him a kiss, lay him in bed, tuck him in & sing him 2 or 3 songs before saying goodnight & leaving the room, blowing a kiss on the way out. He normally blows a kiss just as we’re closing the door & that’s him down to bed. He’s normally asleep within 5-10 minutes of us leaving the room with maybe the odd chatter after we’ve gone, but normally it’s just silence.

When he’s in a big boy bed, it might go slightly differently – we will probably read him books in bed rather than on our laps, or at least one in his bed so he’s settled, but it’s far too difficult to lean over the cot at the moment, so it works really well with him snuggled on one of our laps. We take it in turns every night to read stories so if & when we have another one, he’s used to only one of us reading & hopefully wont get too picky with who he wants to read to him.

I can’t help but feel without the winding down of a quiet story time, he might not sleep as well, but he’s always out like a light by 7.10pm & he doesn’t wake until between 8.30am – 9.30am & he’s been the same since he was around 5 / 6 weeks old.

So there you have it, our simple yet effective bed time routine.

I’d love to hear your bedtime routines for your little ones & what other things you do compared to me, so drop a comment below. 🙂

Sweet Dreams, xo

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