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How to Set Up a Toddler Bedtime Routine and Schedule

If you haven't already, now is a great time to establish a bedtime routine for your toddler. When you follow a set pattern every night, your toddler will know what to expect. This will help them feel more relaxed and able to fall asleep more easily.

The routine you’re starting with your toddler should be:

  • Unique to your child and family

  • Based on activities that fit into your schedule

  • Able to help soothe your child to sleep

  • Tailored to your child's preferences and energy levels (e.g., a child who gets an energy boost in the tub probably shouldn’t have bath time as part of their bedtime routine).

Preparation Can Include the Following:

  1. Start with Talking to Your Child: Let your child know that it is time to prepare for bed.

Getting children into a sleep routine from an early age is beneficial for their physical and mental well-being. Sleep is important for children's physical and mental well-being. Children who get sufficient sleep are able to focus better, have better memory skills, and learn better. Sleep supports children to learn better, improves their concentration, and enhances their attention span.

A bedtime routine includes all of the things that you do with your baby or child just before you put them to bed, such as taking a bath, the last diaper change, putting on pajamas, and reading a bedtime story.

The goal of a good bedtime routine is for your child to fall asleep on their own, without being rocked, watching TV, or having you lying down next to them. This way, if they do wake up later, they should be able to fall back asleep without needing any extra help.

Sleep allows the body to rest and repair itself, during sleep the body muscles develop and the body releases hormones.

The amount of sleep required by each child will depend on the age of the child. On average, children need a minimum of eleven hours of sleep every night.

A relaxing bedtime routine is important for children's development and well-being. Children who sleep well are more energetic, playful, and focused. Lack of sleep can increase the risk of childhood illness and lower the risk of obesity.

How You Can Help:

  • Be Consistent: Early bedtime routines support children to fight cold. Keeping to a routine of the same waking time, mealtime, bath time supports children to feel secure and comfortable; they know what to expect.

  • Start children off with an early bedtime routine that includes brushing their teeth, reading a book, prayer, and then bedtime.

  • Offer choice: While your child cannot choose when to go to bed, he can be offered the choice of pajamas and a book to read. Explain to your child what you are doing and why.

  • Dim the light and create a sleeping environment for the child. Turn off the light when the child falls asleep.

  • Your child may cry for a few minutes as they settle down for sleep or when they wake up in the middle of the night. This can be okay if they quickly settle down, and you are comfortable letting them cry for a few minutes.

  • Having a bedtime chart can support you to see the progress both you and your child are making.

For more parenting questions and advice, contact me for parental advice and support by visiting my website!

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