Ugh! The dreaded bedtime routine! If you look at social media or talk to other moms you’re bound to hear some grumbling about how hard it is to get little ones to go to bed. Sometimes it seems downright impossible.
We’ve had our share of bedtime challenges here, but over the years we’ve developed a routine that’s fast and fun. Bedtime has even become something we look forward to. It’s also very much in line with the Read2Me Tonight Brush! Book! Bed! approach. If you’re own routine could use a little revamping, maybe these tips will come in handy. I’d love for you to join me in making brushing and reading aloud a part of your child’s bedtime routine.
First we make the bedtime routine predictable. Little ones thrive on structure. If they know bedtime comes a little bit after bath each night, there will be less resistance. In our house the girls each take a bath and put on pajamas after dinner. Then they have a short amount of time to play quietly before we start our bedtime routine. We don’t watch TV at this time because they don’t want to turn off the TV in the middle of a show. Plus some screen-free time allows them to settle a bit before bed.
When it’s time for bed we start with a song. It’s a silly little jingle the girls made up, but they love it. We sing and dance on the way to the bathroom to get ready to brush our teeth. See the girls in action here:
Once we’re in the bathroom we brush together. Instead of me telling them to brush we all get out our toothbrushes and toothpaste and go through the steps together. I model and guide them through reaching all the areas of their mouths, and sometimes I take a break from my own brushing and help them a bit with hard to reach areas. Orajel™ PAW Patrol™ products are a great way to transition your little one to fluoride toothpaste to help protect against cavities, but it’s still important to get to all those hard to reach areas. Since we’ve started this there has been way less protesting about having to brush.
Another way to add some fun and keep us moving along instead of dawdling is to add a timer. You can play a song that is two-minutes long or use a traditional timer. We like using a timer because it also helps us learn about time and counting down.
Next we floss. And we finish up by rinsing with mouthwash. I didn’t intend for this to be silly, but it has become one of the highlights of our routine. We set the timer for one minute this time. Everyone shakes and swishes as powerfully as they can while trying not to accidentally spit out their mouthwash because of all the giggling we do at one another’s silly antics.
After going potty, each child chooses a book to read and we all crawl into the same bed to read aloud together. I’ve debated over the years whether to read together or separately. For now we enjoy the time together, and I like that the girls get more story time this way. Typically I read two books aloud to the girls. Some nights we read a book that we can all read together or the girls help me read parts of a book. As my oldest becomes a stronger reader she also has fun reading aloud to us. We’re always adding to our reading collection. If you’re not sure where to start, this list of 100 Best Books to Read Aloud is a great beginning. You can also get an e-version of the Three Bees book pictured here free.
Once we’ve read the girls head to their own beds where we have one last snuggle before saying goodnight. This is one way that I make sure to have one-on-one special time with each child every day, and it’s a time we all look forward to. The girls either choose a book they want to read to me on their own, or we snuggle and chat about different things on their minds. This takes only a couple extra minutes, but it’s so worth it. Then it’s lights out and goodnight.
You can find more ideas for streamlining your bedtime routine and tips from parenting experts on the Read2Me Tonight site.
How do your make your bedtime routine fast and fun? Will you join me in making reading and brushing a part of your child’s nighttime routine?
This post was sponsored by Orajel™. The opinions and text are all mine.