Use the steps below to create a structured and struggle-free bedtime routine that works for you and your child.
1. Determine the length of time that you can set aside to be a part of your child's bedtime routine. A bedtime routine that is too short or too long is sure to be broken. A 15-20 minute routine in most cases is just about right.
1. Make a list of all of the important steps to preparing for bedtime. Include everything from brushing teeth to goodnight kisses. Make sure all of the fine details that help to create a calming bedtime environment are included: turn off the light, turn on bedtime music or white noise machine etc.
2. Take your list and determine an order of events that is most likely to ensure success. Consider scenarios such as: should we dim the bedroom lights and turn on calming music first so that after teeth brushing we are able to enter a calming bedtime environment?
3. Once you have determined your bedtime routine create a picture list of all of the different steps so that you and your child can follow along together. Get creative with the picture list, or keep it simple whatever works best for you.
4. Children love to learn and feel a sense of control so empower your child by explaining to her why each step is important. Keep your explanations short and to the point so your child can remember your words and re-explain each step to you in the future.
*Sleep makes us happy, healthy and strong.
*We turn the light down so that our bodies know that it is time to rest.
*I give you a goodnight kiss and hug because I love you so much.
Enjoy your new bedtime routine and make sure to keep at it!
Interested in including yoga as part of your bedtime routine? Check out Bedtime Yoga Tips for Preschoolers.