Young children - especially toddlers love routines because the predictability of knowing what comes next makes them feel safe and secure in an environment - especially in their bedroom where they will be left alone all night.
Since starting this business I have found a lot of parents don’t provide their newborns with an effective bedtime routine, but luckily it isn’t too late to start.
Your toddler's routine should always include spending a little time in their bedroom - maybe whilst you are running a bath for them or during story time - this will help them realize that their room is a relaxing place to be and not just a place they are sent at the end of the day.
After your child has had their tea, let them sit and talk to another parental figure whilst you run a warm bath, this will be a calming time for your little one; building there trust with their mentors and learning how to clean and dry themselves.
Then I would normally wrap them up in a cool baby towel, made of 100% cotton and has great water absorbency, preventing them from getting to cold whilst you clean their teeth. It is important to start the habit of brushing teeth as early as possible so that they learn to look after their teeth properly.
Next, change your toddler into a fresh nappy (or encourage them to use the toilet if they are already potty trained). Then help them get changed into a pair of pyjamas, offer your child a choice of two pairs so that they can exercise some growing independence - be careful not to let your child prolong the decision as they may be avoiding getting into bed.
I always found when starting a bedtime routine for the first time, my child was anxious - ask them about their worries and talk to them, giving them gentle encouragement, letting them get a better night's sleep knowing everything will be okay.
Once your little one is all tucked up in bed give them a choice of books from their bookcase, they’ll enjoy getting to have their say. Although you may end up reading the same book for a week or so, repetition is a key part of your toddler's learning. Reading stories to your child may even help them learn new words and encourage a lifelong love of reading.
For the first couple of nights your toddler will more than likely wake up, get up out of their bed or keep calling out. Simply put them back in bed and tuck him in again, keeping words to a minimum. Toddlers may often want you to be near them whilst they go to sleep, so why not give them an old t-shirt of yours? Or another item of clothing that smells of your scent, this may help them to relax.
What you include in your child's bedtime routine is entirely up to you. Just make sure you choose activities that help calm your child rather than excite them. I have always found the more simplistic a routine the easier it is for you and your child, whilst doing the same thing every night will help your little one associate particular activities with bedtime.
Why not browse the store for a funky new children’s bed to go along with the new bedtime routine? Our Gami Elliot Bunk Bed with shelving may help ease your child’s bedroom anxiety as all their favourite possessions will be in an accessible place during the middle of the night and first thing in the morning.