Ever since I started sleep training my daughters, they look forward to bedtime routine the most because this is a special bonding time, a one-on-one with each of them, reading book a book or two, sing nursery rhymes, recite versus and counting from 1 to 100 for my 4 year old Ariyana. It’s special because there is no other time in the day that we do this and it helps them to wind down from an active state to sleepy state.
The key thing for a successful bedtime routine and no struggle is consistency. I do this every night without fail. Even when they have sleepovers at grandma’s once in a while, they will still get their books read to them, singing and so on. Nowadays, the association of the bedtime routine is so strong with sleep that they sometimes get sleepy when the bedtime routine is being carried out!
Our routine is pretty simple and calming. We start off by going to the loo for Ariyana and diaper change for Amelyn, my soon to be two year old. Next their teeth get brushed, and then they pick the book(s) they’d like to read. After that we kiss each other goodnight, they both get into their bed & cot and lights off. Ariyana understands very well the rule after lights out. No talking, be quiet and lay still to sleep. Most of the times, this is when she starts reciting versus or counting. Which I allow, because it’s her way to wind down to sleep. Amelyn would be lying down, rolling around in her cot at this point and that is her way of falling asleep. The whole routine takes about 20 to 30 minutes and they are all done in their shared bedroom.
This is a cherished moment for me and my husband with our children. We’d like to continue this well into their tween years. Of course at that point, just a short chat about their day before bedtime will do.
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