I love that special time one-on-one that I get to spend with my children right before I put them to bed. Reading stories and talking about life is the best part of my day. However, to be completely honest, putting my children to bed hasn’t always been an easy task. What has made the difference in my home? Creating (and sticking to) a bedtime routine. Set the tone for an enjoyable and peaceful night by learning how to create the perfect bedtime routine.
How to Create the Perfect Bedtime Routine
Start today: It’s never too early to begin a bedtime routine. Although bedtime routines may vary based on age, the sooner you begin introducing structure into your child’s life, the better. Because we are creatures of habit, children often thrive on routines. Creating a bedtime routine for your child sets the stage for a peaceful night’s sleep. But keep in mind, every child is different, so bedtime routines may need to be adjusted to meet the needs of each individual child.
Get rid of distractions: The less noise and distractions before bedtime, the easier it is to stick to a routine. While getting my children ready for bed, I like to turn off the television, use lamps instead of overhead lights, and create a peaceful environment. This sets the tone and mood for bedtime.
Complete essential steps: Although the order of completing the steps of bedtime routines may vary from child to child, there are a few essential elements that I always incorporate into my children’s bedtime routines.
Baby: Feeding time, bath time, pj’s, story time, lullabies, swaddle, turn on noise makers, turn off lights, place in crib.
Toddler/Small Child: Snack time, bath time, pj’s, brush teeth, story time, lullabies, turn noise makers/nightlight on.
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Although all of these elements are important parts of a child’s bedtime routine, nothing beats bedtime stories. Reading aloud with your children is a great way to bond and gain more knowledge. Full of numerous resources such as free e-books (like The Three Bees), interesting articles from the editors of Scholastic Parents, and 100 Best Read-Aloud Books, scholastic.com/read2me contains many resources to help parents get excited about reading to their child.