How to Create a Successful Bedtime Routine

March 3, 2018

Even the best-behaved children can turn into mini Machiavellis at bedtime, coming up with scheme after scheme to avoid getting shut eye. Despite their best efforts, we all know that sleep is one of the most important parts of childhood development, and a reliable bedtime routine can make all the difference in mood and stress in the household. Ottawa childcare experts recommend incorporating these elements in order to create a successful bedtime routine:

Set a Firm Time

You should set a specific bedtime and stick with it every night (yes, even weekends at first). When bedtime is constantly changing, your kid’s internal body clock can’t get into a groove. Make expectations clear and be consistent. Give yourself a rough timeline and make sure the schedule runs on time. If you want your kids in bed by 7:30, you can’t start the bath at 7:25.

Give Notice

Kids don’t like to be yanked away from their current activity to prepare for bed. While this may not be as successful with younger kids, kindergarteners and older will understand what you mean when you say “five more minutes until bed.” Once you get into a structured routine, they will learn to recognize the pattern subconsciously and anticipate that bedtime is nearing.

Wind-Down Time

While there is logic behind wanting to wear kids out with energetic activity before bed, Ottawa childcare experts recommend quiet activities before bedtime instead. Bathing and bedtime stories are popular choices for a reason. They calm and comfort your children and get them in the right mental state for the transition to sleep.

Bath Time

Baths are great for relaxation. Warm water can also cause sleepiness, getting your child in the perfect mindset for bedtime. Some parents may not want to do bath time every night, but you can always bathe your children without shampooing or washing.

Bedtime Story

Reading a bedtime story is a classic way to wind down at the end of the night. You can play soft music in the background to enhance the mood. While you should always encourage your children to practice reading, don’t worry if they just want to snuggle and have you read to them. It’s important to help your kids learn that a happy smile is a healthy smile by teaching them the importance of good dental care routines before bedtime! According to pediatric dentists, having your child brush their teeth should never be left out of their bedtime routine.

Small Tips

Kids should wear comfortable pyjamas appropriate for the weather (long-sleeved in the winter, short-sleeved in the summer). You can feed your child a light snack before bed, but make sure they brush their teeth afterward. If your child is afraid of the dark, a nightlight is a great solution. Finally, your child may be comforted by sleeping next to a soft and cuddly stuffed animal buddy.

With these suggestions from Ottawa childcare experts, you’re well on the way to creating the perfect bedtime routine. Just stay firm and don’t fall for any evil machinations to eternally delay bedtime!

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