Wanted to share an update on our current bedtime routine. I am going to call this the 1.5 – 2 year old routine since we have been doing this for quite some time now. But we are really in a good rhythm now with it. What I want to say is that while this is a schedule, it’s never followed to the minute. I think what we have learned most going through parenthood is that you need to have flexible schedules and be able to go with the flow. That makes for both happy kids and happy parents. Our structure is pretty simple: DINNER / BATH / MILK + MOVIE / TIMER / BEDROOM / DIAPER / BRUSH TEETH / SLEEP DIAPER / SLEEP SACK / BOOKS / SING / BED. Ok maybe that doesn’t seem simple when I type it all out but it’s what we do. There are nights we skip bath time, or nights that our timing get’s WAY off. Our main goal is to have him in his crib as close to 8pm as we can.
2 year old toddler bedtime routine
5:30 – Dinner Sometimes this pushes later to 6 but we try our best to do an earlier dinner. This usually sets the pace of the whole night.
6:00/6:15 – Bath time! We do baths most nights but not every. For instance if dinner runs much later and we haven’t had a messy day, we can skip bath. On days where we do bath time, Otis runs to his room in excitement and we wash and play and then get changed into pajamas.
6:45 – Milk + Movie 🎥 Some days Otis goes straight to his toys after bath and we let him play before we give him his milk. By 7:00pm we are settled onto the couch to “snuggle” as he says with a milk and one of our fav movies on rotation: Frozen 2, Frozen 1, Trolls + Trolls World Tour, Cars 1 + 3, Nemo, Coco, Moana, Monsters Inc, Monsters University, or Grinch. We use the Oxo tot transitions cup. We never watch a whole movie, we watch bits and pieces. It’s a nice time I get to snuggle with Otis under a blanket, turn the lights down and relax while he enjoys his milk. Some days he’s really mellow, sits the whole time, other days he gets up to dance to his favorite songs in the movie. It’s time to drink his milk however he feels that day. It’s one of my absolute favorite parts of the day.
7:30 – Set the timer! ⏰ A relatively new thing we have been doing for the past 2 months is setting timers when we want to transition from activities. Especially when ending the activity might be unwanted. We set our google home timer for 5 minutes (could easily do this on your phone also) and then verbally tell Otis that when the timer goes off in 5 minutes we are going to his room. It’s surprising how some days he now grabs his lovey when the timer goes off and marches down the hall to his room. It’s been a really great structural element (or tool for that matter) to add into our routines and give him a warning that we are going to his room soon. I feel like this is a great one to start early because sooner or later it will click as part of their routine.
7:35 – Otis bedtime routine 😴 This part can always be chaotic because he always seems to have a second wind when we get to his room. Ha! We change him into his sleep diaper, put on his sleep sack, and pick some books to read. We sit in his chair, brush his teeth, read books and then sing the books away song. Otis turns on his hatch rest plus sound machine, Blake kisses him goodnight and then I hold him and offer a snuggle in the chair before bedtime. Then we usually sing a song. Current favs are twinkle twinkle or Itsy Bitsy Spider and ABCs. I make it interactive and let him pick which song he wants to sing and participate. Then we walk to crib, he throws lovey in, we kiss and hug and I put him in the crib. Since he has been throwing his lovey out, I always explain that if he throws his lovey that lovey is going to sleep on the carpet. I say my night nights and Love you and leave the room. If he throws his lovey, we wait till he’s deep asleep and we will stealth throw it in without waking him. This way, he doesn’t expect us to come right back in if he has thrown it.
We use the Nanit plus camera to monitor Otis and we are still using the breathwear (until he grows out of it) which monitors his breathing. This all pretty much sums up most nights in our house. Always remember that every night isn’t picture perfect and we move and flow as the day needs. Feel free to leave any other questions about our routines below.
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